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18
Jun

Valve tests Steam Controller customizations and 3D VR screenshots


When Valve announced that it had sold over half a million Steam Controllers, it also noted a new feature on the way called Activators. With Activators, gamers can customize each press of an input on the gamepad, with tweaks for haptic settings, or distinguish between a normal press, a long press or a double tap — all on a single input. Now the feature is live for users in the Steam beta, to try out and see if there’s another level of precision for controller customization.

Additionally, the SteamVR beta just added support for stereoscopic screenshots. Assuming you’re playing in VR, you can hold down the System button and pull the controller’s trigger to take a screenshot. The screenshots are still shared to the Steam Community in 2D, but another update will let properly-equipped viewers see them in 3D to get the same effect experienced when they were taken.

Source: Steam Community

18
Jun

‘No Man’s Sky’ developer ends ‘legal nonsense’ battle over name


There’s no sign that it contributed to the delay, but Hello Games founder Sean Murray said today that after “3 years of secret stupid legal nonsense,” his company’s game can be called No Man’s Sky. They had to settle with trademark owner Sky TV to use the name that it’s very protective of — remember when Microsoft had to rename SkyDrive as OneDrive for the same reason? According to Murray’s tweets, he’s learned a lot about trademark law, and might have a good idea about why Skynet never happened. Seriously though, the highly anticipated game should be on track for its rescheduled release date of August 9th, and we can’t wait to see it procedurally generated universe unfold.

This is the same folks who made Microsoft change Skydrive to Onedrive… so it was pretty serious

— Sean Murray (@NoMansSky) June 17, 2016

Source: Sean Murray (Twitter)

18
Jun

Tablo’s live TV and DVR features now work on the Apple TV


During CES Tablo promised its $200 box that tunes into and records OTA TV would eventually get an Apple TV app, and now it has delivered. It already works with boxes like Roku and Fire TV, and on the Apple TV it’s brought both live TV and DVR viewing, plus navigation by voice or touch with the Siri Remote. More features are coming in future updates, but if you already have a Tablo box (with the latest updates) and an active subscription you should be good to go. The only question left, is if you’d prefer Tablo’s setup or Sling TV, which also launched this week on the Apple TV.

The Tablo app for #AppleTV is now LIVE! Get the full scoop & download links on the Tablo blog: https://t.co/zKKyhKJ9V3 #cordcutter

— TabloTV (@TabloTV) June 18, 2016

Source: Tablo Community, Tablo Blog

18
Jun

Pro-Uber Austin politician sues to abolish fingerprint rule


Uber and Lyft have found a friend in Austin City Council Member Donald Zimmerman. The pro-ridesharing politician has filed a lawsuit against the mayor in an effort to overturn the rule requiring drivers to undergo fingerprint background checks. If you’ll recall, ridesharing companies lost a special election in Austin held on May 7th, wherein 56 percent of voters were in favor of doing stricter background checks on drivers. According to Reuters, his lawsuit argues that the requirement’s language was confusing, unlawful and did not provide enough information about the process.

Uber campaigned widely against the requirement to the point that it’s now facing a class-action lawsuit for spamming people with text messages asking them to vote in its favor. After losing the election, both Uber and Lyft pulled out of the city, leaving thousands of drivers without work. Some of those drivers filed lawsuits of their own, accusing the ride-sharing companies of breaking federal law by shutting down their operations in Austin.

Reuters notes that Zimmerman’s argument is similar to another complaint filed back in March. It sought to stop the elections, because the ballot language was confusing. The Texas Supreme Court, however, denied the plaintiff’s request.

Source: Reuters

18
Jun

Use Android apps on Chrome OS right now – CNET


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ASUS Chromebook Flip running the Android Play Store.


Jason Cipriani/CNET

In May, Google revealed Android apps would soon begin working on Chromebooks. The addition of Android apps to a Chromebook transform it from a device with a sparse app offering, to one with access to virtually any app you can use on your Android device.

Starting today, owners of the Asus Chromebook Flip can begin testing the new feature before its official launch later this year.

If you own an Chromebook Flip, you will need to enable developer mode before the Play Store will show up on your device. You can do so by opening Settings > tap on About Chrome OS at the top of the screen > More info > Change channel > dev channel.

You will receive a couple of warnings which remind you the dev channel isn’t the most stable version of Chrome OS. In other words, you are (very) likely to experience random crashes and bugs when using a Chromebook on the dev channel. If you’re alright with that, follow the prompts to download and install the update.

Asus Chromebook Flip C100

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With the update installed, you will have the Play Store app icon in the app shelf at the bottom of your screen. Tap on it, follow the prompts, accept some terms and you’re ready to start using Android apps on your Chromebook.

I ran into two issues during my testing. I was unable to open the Play Store when signed into my Google Apps account, nor could I enable Android apps in my Chromebook’s settings. Turns out, Android apps need to be enabled by your admin (which is me, in my case), but the setting is currently missing from my dashboard.

The second issue I ran into was easier to fix: Using my Gmail account, I still wasn’t able to open the Play Store, but after disable and then turning it back on everything is working.

For those without an Chromebook Flip, Google has said Android apps will come to more Chromebooks when it officially rolls out. You can view that complete list here.

18
Jun

How to customize the look and feel of the OnePlus 3 – CNET


After setting up your OnePlus 3, there are a few things you can do to make the device look and feel like you want it to.

From changing the transparency of the Google search bar, or adding software buttons to the bottom of the screen, the OnePlus 3 has a bit of everything tucked away in various settings screens.

Custom color scheme

On your OnePlus 3, open the Settings app and then select Customization. Within the customization settings you can enable dark mode, which defaults apps to a dark color scheme, complete with your preferred accent color. More than just a personal preference of a light or dark interface, dark mode can help ease the strain on your eyes when using your phone in a dimly lit environment.

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Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Also found under Customization is the ability to enable, disable or alter the LED notification feature on the OnePlus 3. Lastly, you can remove system icons from the Status Bar of your OnePlus 3 by opening the status bar listing. For example, you can remove the Wi-Fi or Bluetooth icon from the status bar in this section.

Buttons

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Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

When you use the OnePlus 3 you’ll notice there are capacitive buttons flanking either side of the fingerprint sensor. These buttons act as the standard Android back or app-switching buttons. However, you can turn them off and use on-screen buttons instead.

On your OnePlus 3, open the Settings app, then tap on Buttons.

The top option labeled On-screen navigation bar will enable software buttons. It’s also in this same settings screen where you can swap the functionality of each button. Meaning if you’re fond of how Samsung normally places the back button on the left side of the home button, and multitasking to the right, you can set the OnePlus 3 to use the same setup. However, if you prefer the opposite button assignment, well, you can have that too.

Furthermore, you can set custom shortcuts based on a long-press or double-tapping the back, recent or home buttons.

The other Customize setting

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Jason Cipriani/CNET

When viewing the home screen on your OnePlus 3, long press to bring up three options: wallpapers, widgets and customize. The first two are self-explanatory and standard Android features.

Customize is where you need to go to do things like turn off the OnePlus 3’s Shelf feature, increase or decrease the size of the app icons, and change the app drawer grid layout size, to name a few.

There are four different cards, each one with a different category of settings for you to change. Gestures is where you’ll find the Shelf toggle, along with quick gesture settings for search and notifications. Search will let you change the look of the Google search bar, or disable it altogether, while icons and app drawer provide further flexibility to the overall look of the phone.

18
Jun

What works with Apple HomeKit?


Apple’s HomeKit technology might seem really confusing, but trust us, it’s not. It basically allows accessories from various manufacturers to work together, and it gives you a uniformed way of controlling all those accessories at once.

Pocket-lint has already explained how HomeKit works (including the new Home app that’ll arrive with iOS 10 this autumn), but in this piece, we’ll specifically talk about which accessories are HomeKit-enabled. In other words: these are the devices that work with HomeKit. Each device has its own app that enables you to remotely manage it, but with support for HomeKit built in, their apps are able to interconnect.

That means you can make your accessories work together, and you control them all right from your iPhone (or iPad and Apple Watch). For instance, HomeKit lets you create “scenes” to control your accessories in different combinations. You could create a scene called “Leaving home” that might turn off your smart lights, lock all your doors, and lower your smart thermostat – all with a single command.

Siri can recognise any HomeKit-enabled accessory you have in your home, so you can ask Siri to turn an accessory on or off. Again, Pocket-lint has explained how all this works already, but if you’re interested in exactly which HomeKit-enabled accessories are now available, we’ve listed them all below. We’ve also included information about how to tell if something officially supports HomeKit.

What are HomeKit-enabled accessories?

Apple

HomeKit-enabled accessories are smart devices with built-in support for Apple’s HomeKit technology. Accessories can be lights, locks, thermostats, plugs, switches, sensors, shades, etc. Over 50 brands worldwide make accessories that work with HomeKit. 

What accessories work with HomeKit?

Apple

HomeKit works with select accessories reviewed and approved by Apple. Some of these accessories come from August, ConnectSense, Ecobee, Elgato, First Alert, Haier, Honeywell, iDevices, iHome, Incipio, Insteon, Koogeek, Lutron, Nanoleaf, Netatmo, Parce, Philips, and Schlage. Apple offers this FAQ page with more information about which HomeKit-enabled accessories are now available.

  • You can also shop this Apple site for HomeKit-enabled products.

How can you tell if something is HomeKit-enabled?

Look for this badge on the accessory’s product packaging:

Apple

Why do you want HomeKit-enabled accessories?

Apple

With HomeKit-enabled accessories, you’ll have home automation. That means you can control all the accessories – like thermostats and lights – in your home from a mobile device anywhere in the world. It also means that everything – lights, appliances, electrical outlets, heating and cooling systems, doors, windows, locks, smoke detectors, surveillance cameras – are hooked up to a single remotely controllable network.

Home automation also refers to the ability to program and schedule events for the accessories on the network. You can program time-related commands, such as having your lights turn on or off at specific times each day. It can also include non-scheduled events, such as turning on all the lights in your home when your security system alarm is triggered. Also, an advantage of home automation is energy savings.

Your smart thermostat can automatically govern your home’s heating and cooling system. It can also be programmed with different target temperatures in order to keep energy usage at a minimum during hours you’re least likely to benefit from the heating and cooling. And as we mentioned earlier, you are able to remotely control your smart thermostat and thus home temperature from anywhere in the world.

So, with HomeKit, you get home automation, meaning you can control your accessories from your mobile device, hook them up on the same network so that they work together, and you can reap massive energy savings from them.

That’s why you want HomeKit-enabled accessories. 

18
Jun

Learn photography from the pros with this Hollywood Art Institute Course and Certification


Do your Instagram and Snapchat filters leave you wanting more?

Likely so, given that these fun apps were never meant to be a substitute for true quality photography. And while smartphones and their accompanying apps bring a world of convenience and fun to photography, you’re taking a serious quality cut without proper gear and technique.

When you’re ready to take frame-worthy shots every time you pick up a camera, the Hollywood Art Institute Photography Course and Certification will set you on track for a sharp upgrade in know-how and end results in your photography. You’ll even get a certification upon completion! Get started today for just £14.02 ($19.99) from Pocket-lint Deals.

Dive into 22 modules designed to immediately begin improving your photographic techniques. You’ll learn from some of the industry’s most respected photographers – Level 3 certified pro tutors – as you move through a series of videos, video tutorials, articles, flashcards, quizzes and more. You’ll even receive a free 5-year subscription to the Pro Article Database, keeping you on the inside track of knowledge and developments.

With a professional certification upon successful completion of the course, you’ll not only have the skills to take the shots that wow your friends and family, you’ll have documentation to prove it! The only downside is how much you’ll want to invest in frames when you’re ready to put your work on display!

Capture your memories the way they were meant to be seen. Pick up the Hollywood Art Institute Photography Course and Certification today for over 90 per cent off from Pocket-lint Deals.

18
Jun

The gadgets and costumes of Suicide Squad in pictures: Harley Quinn, The Joker and more


After a busy E3 in Los Angeles, we were invited to end the week with a trip to Warner Bros Studios in Burbank to undertake a tour of the lot and get up and close to a whole host of props and costumes.

We saw plenty of items from past and present, including every working Batmobile from the 80s Batman through to the latest from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

However, the most exciting exhibit by far was a large selection of the gadgetry, props and costumes from forthcoming blockbuster Suicide Squad.

Harley Quinn’s saucy outfit was on show, as were several of The Joker’s disguises, plus the gear Will Smith wore when playing the role of Deadshot and more.

We appreciate that not everyone will get to check out the collection for themselves, so we took a bunch of snaps for you to enjoy. Hopefully, it’s almost like being there yourself.

READ: Best films to look forward to in 2016: Here are all the top movie trailers

Just flick through the images in out gallery above and get a better feel for how the different Squad team members and major villains will shape up in the film itself.

We particularly like The Joker’s purple handgun.

Suicide Squad is out on 5 August, so you won’t have too long to wait in order to catch it in cinemas.

Now repeat after us, “Please be good, please be good, please be good…”

18
Jun

The Public Access Weekly: Come out and play


Okay y’all. We have been up to our eyeballs in E3 and WWDC and Microsoft announcements and Sony announcements all week, and I’m still pretty bummed about what went down last night in Game 6 so let’s just dive right in, shall we?

Monday is going to be a big day for community news: The Q&A contest post will go up (if it kills me), and we’ll have some additional news about the future of the comments section (hint: It still has one). For those of you who missed the mention a few weeks back, user history is now live so clicking on a commenter’s user name will get you a pop-up box displaying all their comments. We’re still working on avatars and profiles; notifications are next in line. Additionally — and this one is pretty useful — comments can now get flagged as either “Technical Issue” or “Correction Needed” to get the attention of our editors.

Also, and I feel like I shouldn’t have to specify this, but Public Access is for your stories and thoughts and opinions and tales and experiences on technology. While we are really flexible about what falls under that giant umbrella, we cannot accept stories that are about say….who you should hire as your guide for a trek through Nepal or a profile of all twenty-four soccer teams that will be competing in France. Those are great topics, we’re sure, but they’re for a different website. People come here to read and discuss stories about computing or internet culture or science or gadgets. So, please keep that in mind when selecting topics and publishing articles to Public Access. I won’t delete your post (that would be rude), but I will push it to draft status and send you an email explaining why. And hey, if you want help on a topic or have a question about whether something qualifies, you can always send us an email. We’re super helpful.

Looking for something to read? Check out:

Some of our most popular E3 posts — Like this OnePlus 3 review! Our reviewer, Chris Velasco, calls it “beautiful…sleeker and more elegant than you might expect from a phone with this big a screen.” In contrast, some commenters are saying that earlier version left them disappointed by poor battery life and aggravations with the Cyanogean mod OS. (Just a reminder: If you snag one and want to submit your own review, you can do that here.)

True story: I have probably 100 LinkedIn notifications, messages or alerts that I just have not responded to. But Microsoft’s recent acquisition of the company is a pretty intriguing change, and Devindra does a good job of breaking down why this could be a great move for both companies.

Alibaba has a counterfeit problem, and this probably isn’t news to you (or anyone). While the company has been under pressure to address the issue, founder and chairman Jack Ma recently got some heat for appearing to endorse the counterfeits saying they were manufactured from the same materials and often in the same factories. This has provoked quite a discussion in the comments.

Looking for something to write about? Mull over:

This article about Microsoft’s E3 Xbox announcements dares to ask: Why would anybody buy an Xbox One S? Did Microsoft err by announcing Project Scorpio, and will that announcement hurt sales of the One S? Is VR support that big of a draw? Is Sony’s Neo announcement really any different? Folks in the comments had plenty to say, so if you’ve got a bone to pick, now’s your chance.

Over on the PlayStation side we have this piece which argues that Sony didn’t even really need to debut a new console this year, because their software game is just that bad-ass. Plus, it’s got the PlayStation VR release upcoming, so it didn’t need to muddy the waters by demoing hardware. People in the comments had a lot to say, from touting Microsoft’s “decent line up” to comparing the presentation times. Did one company ‘win’ E3 this year? If so, which one and why? More importantly, which console announcement are you most excited about?

Remember when everyone used to say “There’s an app for that” all the time? You know, before everything was “An Uber for” something or “A Keurig for” something? Yeah. I’m glad that’s over too. However, my question to you is: What ISN’T there an app for? Can you think of something that couldn’t be (in some way) served by a smartphone app? Alternatively, what do you just simply not need an app for?

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