Skip to content

Archive for

30
Jul

Chernobyl site could be rebuilt as a massive solar farm


A new proposal from the Ukrainian government hopes to turn part of the wasteland around the world’s largest nuclear disaster into a 60 square km solar and renewable energy park. As the Guardian reports today, the Ukraine is currently seeking funding to transform unused — and dangerously radioactive — land into a power plant that could generate about 1,400MW of power, or about a third of what the nuclear plant could churn out before experiencing its notorious accident.

The proposal claims about 1,000MW of that power could be generated in a massive solar park, which would make it the largest solar farm on the planet. For comparison, Longyangxia Dam Solar Park covers around 23 square kilometers and has a capacity of about 850MW. Meanwhile, Ivanpah Solar Power Facility, which uses concentrated solar thermal power instead of photovoltaic cells, covers about 14 square km and has a capacity of about 392MW.

Working to the project’s advantage: the land within the 1,000 square km exclusion zone is obviously cheap and abundant. Plus, it reportedly gets strong sunlight and the power grid infrastructure left over from the Chernobyl plant is still mostly intact. On the other hand, the proposal does not detail how the solar panels will be built and maintained in an area that is still considered to be uninhabitable.

Regardless, one major bank has signed on, at least tentatively for now. As spokesperson for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, which also built the $500 million sarcophagus around the original power plant, told the Guardian it “may consider participating in the project so long as there are viable investment proposals and all other environmental matters and risks can be addressed to the bank’s satisfaction.”

Advertisements
30
Jul

NASA orders a second ISS crew delivery from SpaceX


It’s been awhile since NASA has sent an astronaut to the stars from domestic soil, but it could be come commonplace soon enough. Today, the space agency announced that it ordered a second ISS crew rotation mission from Elon Musk’s SpaceX. This is the fourth flight NASA has ordered through its Commercial Crew Transportation Capability contracts, and a big step forward towards eliminating the space agency’s reliance on Russia for crew rotation.

Right now, all US astronauts heading to the ISS need to hitch a ride with Roscosmos — and every flight with the Russian space agency costs NASA millions of dollars. In contrast, the Commercial Crew Program offers NASA a lot of flexibility. “With the commercial crew vehicles from Boeing and SpaceX, we will soon add a seventh crew member to space station missions,” Julie Robinson, NASA’s ISS chief scientist says. “Which will significantly increase the amount of crew time to conduct research.”

SpaceX fills out the last of the guaranteed mission orders NASA provisioned for the Commercial Crew program — but it’s still not clear when the Dragon crew capsule will fly. The first of the CCP missions is scheduled for sometime in 2017, but NASA has yet to announce if that mission will be filled by SpaceX or Boeing. Either way, it sounds like Florida’s space coast is back in business. Check out NASA’s official announcement at the source link below for more details.

Source: NASA

30
Jul

Host other people’s Twitch streams from your mobile device


The line between using Twitch on mobile and desktop is getting even more blurry. The live-streaming juggernaut recently announced that now, you can host another channel’s broadcast from the mobile app. Twitch writes that all you need to do is tap the gear button in the app, hit “Host” and you should be good to go. It’s available for everyone on iOS at the moment, and will be rolling out slowly for Android. Need to update? Hit the source link below if your iDevice hasn’t updated yet.

Source: iTunes

30
Jul

17 Facebook Messenger tips and tricks you likely didn’t know


Facebook recently announced there are more than a billion people using Messenger, so Pocket-lint thought we’d round-up some of the most interesting things you can do with the messaging app that’s clearly taken over the world.

However, we’re not going to cover basic things like how to send a message, photo, video, sticker, or emoji – nor are we going to discuss how to place a video/voice call. Those are functions that pretty much everyone knows how to use at this point. Instead, this handy guide, which is for the Android and iOS app, is all about those hidden tips and tricks, such as how to start a game of chess or interact with a bot.

Let us know in the comments if you know other tips and tricks worth including, as we plan to update this piece over time.

Facebook Messenger: All the best tips and tricks

Share your location

iPhone

Jump into a chat with a friend, then tap the More button (three horizontal dots) in the toolbar above the text field, and select Location. You may have to allow access to your location. From there, send your current location. Your friend will immediately get a map showing your exact location.

Android

Jump into a chat with a friend, then tap the More button (three horizontal dots) in the toolbar above the text field, and select Location. You may have to allow access to your location. From there, send your current location. Your friend will immediately get a map showing your exact location.

Give your friend a nickname

iPhone

Jump into a chat with a friend, then tap his or her name at the top of the chat, and select Nicknames. You can then tap your friend’s name again to begin setting a nickname. The friend will see his or her new nickname in the chatbox, however.

Android

Jump into a chat with a friend, then tap the “i” button at the top of the chat, and select Nicknames. You can then tap your friend’s name again to begin setting a nickname. The friend will see his or her new nickname in the chatbox, however.

Change the name of group chats

iPhone

Jump into a group chat, then tap the names at the top of the chat, and select the names at the top. You can then change the name of the group chat to whatever you want. Again, all your friends in the chat will see the new name.

Android

Jump into a group chat, then tap the “i” button at the top of the chat, and select the names at the top. You can then change the name of the group chat to whatever you want. Again, all your friends in the chat will see the new name.

Change the photo of group chats

iPhone

Jump into a group chat, then tap the names at the top of the chat, and select the names at the top again. You can then change the photo of the group chat by taking a new picture or adding a photo from your camera roll. Again, all your friends in the chat will see the new photo.

Android

Jump into a group chat, then tap the “i” button at the top of the chat, and select the Extra Settings button (three vertical dots) button at the top. You can then change the photo for the group chat to whatever you want. Again, all your friends in the chat will see the new photo.

Customise your chat theme

iPhone

Jump into a chat with a friend or group, then tap the name at the top of the chat, and you’ll see a list of options that let do things like mute notifications for a set period of time, add a nickname, select a colour or emoji for the conversation, and add more people. Tap the nickname, colour, or emoji options to customise the look and theme of the chat.

Android

Jump into a chat with a friend or group, then tap the “i” button at the top of the chat, and you’ll see a list of options that let do things like mute notifications for a set period of time, add a nickname, select a colour or emoji for the conversation, and add more people. Tap the nickname, colour, or emoji options to customise the look and theme of the chat.

Play chess with a friend

iPhone

Jump into a chat with a friend, then type “@fbchess play” in the text field to start a chess game. To make a move, you’ll have to type your move, such as “@fbchess Pb4” to move a pawn in column B to row 4. Type “@fbchess help” for help about how to play chess in Messenger.

Android

Jump into a chat with a friend, then type “@fbchess play” in the text field to start a chess game. To make a move, you’ll have to type your move, such as “@fbchess Pb4” to move a pawn in column B to row 4. Type “@fbchess help” for help about how to play chess in Messenger.

Play basketball with a friend

iPhone

Jump into a chat with a friend, then find and send them a basketball emoji from your keyboard. From there, long-press on the emoji to open up a new screen where you can shoot hoops. Your friend will get a message asking them to play.

Android

Jump into a chat with a friend, then find and send them a basketball emoji from your keyboard. From there, long-press on the emoji to open up a new screen where you can shoot hoops. Your friend will get a message asking them to play.

Send some random cuteness

iPhone

Jump into a chat with a friend, then type “@dailycute” in the text field to someone a dose of cuteness (aka a cute image from the web).

Android

Jump into a chat with a friend, then type “@dailycute” in the text field to someone a dose of cuteness (aka a cute image from the web).

Send a bigger thumb-up

iPhone

Jump into a chat with a friend, and then hit the thumbs-up button in the toolbar above the text field. If you tap that button, you’ll send a quick thumbs-up to your friend, but if you hold down on it before releasing, you’ll enlarge the thumbs-up and can send that instead.

Android

Jump into a chat with a friend, and then hit the thumbs-up button in the toolbar above the text field. If you tap that button, you’ll send a quick thumbs-up to your friend, but if you hold down on it before releasing, you’ll enlarge the thumbs-up and can send that instead.

Send or request money

iPhone

Jump into a chat with a friend, then tap the More button (three horizontal dots) in the toolbar above the text field, and select Payments. You can then toggle between pay or request to either send money or ask for money, respectively. Just enter the amount, add a note, and click next/request to send. You can also swipe left in this area to change the theme (to, like, a Christmas theme, for instance).

You’ll need to make sure you have a payment card setup, though. Open Messenger, then tap the Me/profile button in the menu bar, and select Payments. You’ll then see options to add a new debit card. You’ll also see your transaction history, with the ability to cancel sent requests.

Android

Jump into a chat with a friend, then tap the More button (three horizontal dots) in the toolbar above the text field, and select Payments. You can then toggle between pay or request to either send money or ask for money, respectively. Just enter the amount, add a note, and click next/request to send. You can also swipe left in this area to change the theme (to, like, a Christmas theme, for instance).

You’ll need to make sure you have a payment card setup, though. Open Messenger, then tap the Me/profile button in the menu bar, and select Payments. You’ll then see options to add a new debit card. You’ll also see your transaction history, with the ability to cancel sent requests.

Check message requests from non-friends

iPhone

By default, you only get messages from your friends and contacts. To see messages sent from a stranger, open Messenger, then tap the Me/profile button in the menu bar, and select People. From there, tap Message Requests to see who’s messaging you. At the bottom of this list of hidden messages, there’s may be anothe button for “filtered requests”. These are messages Facebook has detected as spam.

Android

By default, you only get messages from your friends and contacts. To see messages sent from a stranger, open Messenger, then tap the Me/profile button in the menu bar, and select People. From there, tap Message Requests to see who’s messaging you. At the bottom of this list of hidden messages, there’s may be anothe button for “filtered requests”. These are messages Facebook has detected as spam.

Adjust notification preferences

iPhone

If you’ve ever been in an active group chat, you’ve been inundated with notifications for every single message received. Fix the problem by muting the entire group chat (you can also do this for individual friends). Just jump into a chat with a friend or group, then tap the name at the top of the chat, and select Notifications. You can choose muting options like 15 minutes, 1 hour, 8 hours, 24 hours, or until you turn notifications back on.

You can also adjust sound and vibration settings. Open Messenger, then tap the Me/profile button in the menu bar, and select Notifications. On iPhone, you’ll see a Notifications in Messenger option. Tap it, and from this area, you can enable/disable sound and vibrations.

Android

If you’ve ever been in an active group chat, you’ve been inundated with notifications for every single message received. Fix the problem by muting the entire group chat (you can also do this for individual friends). Just jump into a chat with a friend or group, then tap the “i” button at the top of the chat, and select Notifications. You can choose muting options like 15 minutes, 1 hour, 8 hours, 24 hours, or until you turn notifications back on.

You can also adjust sound and vibration settings. Open Messenger, then tap the Me/profile button in the menu bar, and select Notifications and Sound. On Android, you’ll then see options to adjust your sound and vibration preferences.

Remove notification previews

iPhone

To stop notifications from showing up on your lock screen, open Messenger, then tap the Me/profile button in the menu bar, and select Notifications. You’ll then see a Show Previews options that lets you show or hide message previews in alerts and banners.

Android

To stop notifications from showing up on your lock screen, open Messenger, then tap the Me/profile button in the menu bar, and select Notifications and Sound. You’ll then see a Notifications Previews options that lets you show or hide message previews.

Draw on or add text to photos

iPhone

Jump into a chat with a friend, then tap the Camera button in the toolbar above the text field, and swipe through the photos in your camera roll. Choose a photo, then long-press on it, and tap Edit. You’ll then see options at the bottom of the photo preview that let you add text or doodles.

Android

Jump into a chat with a friend, then tap the Gallery button in the toolbar above the text field, and swipe through the photos in your camera roll. Choose a photo, then long-press on it, and tap the Pencil button. You’ll then see options in the photo preview that let you add text or doodles.

Create a shortcut

Android

This one is for Android only. If there is a Messenger conversation you want to access quickly, you can create a quick-access shortcut on your home screen. Just long-press on any conversation under the Home tab to prompt a pop-up menu, where you’ll find the option to “Create shortcut”, Select that to create a shortcut on your phone’s home screen. It basically makes that Messenger conversation just a tap away.

Interact with a bot

iPhone and Android

Earlier this year, Facebook said bots were coming to its Messenger app. Well, you might not have realised this, but they’re already available.

Many bots have actually been available for months. It’s hard to tell, however, because they’re buried in the Messenger app and hard to locate. But they aren’t hard to use. You can use them to play trivia and games like hangman. You can also order flowers or hail an Uber. The possibilities are endless. Bots are designed to bolster your chat experience and make your life easier.

Check out Pocket-lint’s step-by-step guide to find out more about Messenger bots, including what they are and how you can find them.

Use the standalone Messenger site

If you work in front of a computer most of the day, you can use Messenger without going to the Facebook.com homepage. Just go to Messenger.com. Unfortunately, this web app doesn’t pack all the functionality of the mobile app.

30
Jul

Google is turning on HSTS encryption on its domain


Google has taken additional measures to strengthen its data encryption by implementing HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS).

While most of Google’s data is already encrypted, Google’s utilization of HSTS goes a step further by preventing users from mistakenly heading to HTTP URLs by converting potentially unsafe HTTP URLs into more secure HTTPS URLs. For instance, you might accidentally type in a URL without protocols and find yourself redirected to an unsafe destination. HSTS help curb those issues, especially among less internet-savvy users.

Google is looking to deploy the changes as soon as possible, but there’s still some additional work to be done before it’s ready to go. HSTS is now active for Google’s domain, however, in the meantime. It will be extended to additional domains and Google products soon.

Source: Google

30
Jul

SwiftKey leaked user email addresses as text predictions


Autocorrect mistakes are supposed to be funny, but a new SwiftKey glitch turned out to be sort of alarming. For the last week, some SwiftKey users have been offered predictive text for slang they’ve never used before, words in other foreign languages and, most concerning, email addresses and phone numbers they’ve never seen.

The trouble, it seems, was with the third-party keyboard’s cloud sync service. Users were somehow receiving data from other user’s SwiftKey language models — providing them with text entry predictions intended for someone else entirely. On a surface level, the glitch sounds harmless enough, but commonly used contact information can wind up in your Swiftkey database. Users on Reddit reported finding email addresses they weren’t familiar with offered to them on login pages, and some users even received phone calls from folks who found their number through SwiftKey’s predictive text. That’s a really weird way to have your contact information leaked.

SwiftKey says that the issue only affected a small number of its customers, and has temporarily disabled its cloud sync service and removed email address predictions from its apps. The company asks users who think they may still be experiencing the problem to contact them at reviews@swiftkey.com. As for the rest of us? We’ll probably text a little more cautiously. Autocorrect errors may be a meme, but not everybody wants to be a part of the joke.

Via: Telegraph

30
Jul

‘Disney Infinity’ goes offline in March 2017


Disney Infinity is done and it’s nearly time for Avalanche Software to pull the plug. The game will wind down in stages, starting today with the discontinuation of in-game purchases in the PC, iOS, Android and Apple TV versions of Disney Infinity 2.0, though in-game purchases are still available (for now) in the Steam edition of Disney Infinity 3.0.

On September 30th, the PC, iOS and Android versions of Disney Infinity will disappear from their respective stores and current players will no longer be able to log into the game. Apple TV players will still be able to access the game, but it will be removed from the actual App Store. Disney Infinity 2.0 and 3.0 will remain available on Steam, though online and community features will be disabled. Most importantly, Toy Boxes will be no more — the Community team will cease reviewing and accepting new Toy Boxes across all console, mobile and PC versions. However, Apple TV and Windows 8 or 10 players will be able to download existing Toy Boxes through March 3rd.

In-game purchases will disappear from Windows 8 and 10 editions on January 3rd. And then comes the big shutdown: On March 3rd, Apple TV and Windows versions will no longer be playable or available, and all online services for all installments will be discontinued. Console versions of Disney Infinity games will still function, though they won’t have access to online or community features.

Disney Infinity was Disney’s final stab at making video games in-house, and the series was a success overall — just not enough of one. Infinity single-handedly turned Disney’s gaming sector around, making the division profitable for the first time in years. But, it seemed Disney was betting against the series from the beginning. Add to that Disney’s long history of selling off its gaming properties and the huge influx of cash from licensed franchises like Star Wars: Battlefront, and it feels like Infinity didn’t stand a chance.

Source: Disney Infinity

30
Jul

AT&T is raising data caps to 1TB for U-verse subscribers only


Folks who have signed up for AT&T’s U-verse service, your data ship has come in: The telecom is increasing your data cap to 1TB per month and providing unlimited home internet data at no additional charge to customers subscribing to its GigaPower 1Gbps service. But those still using their DSL services will see no benefit and remain capped at 150GB per month.

That terabyte limit applies to every account holder, unlike last May’s increases, which boosted ceilings up to 300MB, 600MB, and 1TB depending on speed tier. Only the fastest, at 1Gbps, gets unlimited home data.

But the telecom’s kept its sweetheart deal introduced a few months ago to dissuade cord-cutters, offering the limitless data to patrons who pay for both their DirecTV or U-verse TV and internet on the same bill. Nothing has changed for all other account holders, who can get access by paying an additional $30 fee. Similarly, overage fees remain at $10 per 50GB beyond the cap, to a maximum of $100 per month.

Via: Ars Technica

Source: AT&T blog

30
Jul

How to sign up for Google Play Family Library


family-library-sharing-google-play-store

How can I share all my Google Play apps, movies and music with my family?

Sharing your Google Play apps and media with your family has never been easier, thanks to Google Play Family Library. It lets you connect up to five of your family members to a shared library of content, including a shared family-use credit card, so everyone can share their favorite movies, TV shows, music, books and apps.

While this was designed for families, you should also be able to create a shared library of content between your group of best friends, so you can all stay caught up with your favourite movies and TV shows, and play that cool new game your friend has been raving about.

Setting up a Google Play Family Library is an easy process, you just need to ensure you use your personal gmail account. Google accounts for Business are unable to be used for creating a Google Play Family Library.

  • How to sign up and get started with Google Play Family Library
  • How to accept a Google Play Family Library invitation
  • How to access content from your Google Play Family Library

How to sign up and get started with Google Play Family Library

Launch the Google Play Store from your home screen or app drawer
Tap the Menu icon. It’s on the left side of the search bar.

Tap Account.

Google-Play-Family-Library-signup-screen

Tap Family.

Tap Sign up for Family Library.

Tap Sign up.

Google-Play-Family-Library-signup-screen

Tap Continue to set yourself as the Family manager.

Tap Continue. Doing so accepts the Google Play terms of service and Google’s -privacy policy.

Tap Set up to set up a family payment method.

Google-Play-Family-Library-signup-screen

Confirm your preferred credit card is selected and tap Accept. (Editors note: Google Play won’t let you take a screenshot on screens related to credit cards)

Tap Continue to begin adding things to your Family Library.

Decide whether you want to add all eligible purchases now, or add them individually later, then tap Continue.

Google-Play-Family-Library-signup-screen

Tap Continue to invite family members to your group. They must be 13 years old or older with a personal google account to join. Alternatively, you can tap Skip and add family at a later date.

You’ll be asked to verify the CVC for the credit card you entered in step 10. Enter the three digit code found on the back of your credit card, then tap Verify.

It’s time to start sending invitations! Swipe to scroll through your Contacts and find the family (or friends) you wish to add to your share group. Alternatively, tap Add recipients at the top to search or manually enter a Gmail address.

Google-Play-Family-Library-signup-screen

Tap Send once you’re ready to send your invitations.

Tap Got it to complete the setup process.

Google-Play-Family-Library-signup-screen

You’re all set up! Once you’re family members (or friends) accept their invitations, you’ll all be able to enjoy your shared Google Play content.

How to accept a Google Play Family Library invitation

If you’ve been invited to join a Google Play Family Group, you will have received an email invitation. We’ll start with accepting the invitation via the email on your phone.

Launch the Gmail app from your home screen or app drawer
In the invitation email, tap Accept Invitation. This will launch Chrome.

Tap Get Started.

Google-Play-Famiy-Library-join-screens-0

Enter your account password and tap Sign in to login to your Google account. This will launch the Google Play Store.

Tap Use account to confirm you want to use this account to join the Family group.

Tap Join. This also accepts the Google Play terms of service and Google’s privacy policy.

Google-Play-Famiy-Library-join-screens-0

Tap Continue to add your previously purchased items to your family library.

Decide whether you want to add all eligible purchases now, or add them individually later, then tap Continue.

Tap Got it.

Google-Play-Famiy-Library-join-screens-0

You’re now set up for the Google Play Family Library. Next, we’ll show you how to check out the shared content available.

How to access content from your Google Play Family Library

Once you’ve got your Google Play Family Library set up and everyone has joined and added their personal content to the shared folder, it’s easy to access and install them right from the Google Play Store on your phone. For this example, we’ll access the shared apps and games.

Launch the Google Play Store from the home screen or app drawer
Tap the Menu icon. It’s on the left side of the search bar.

Tap My apps & games.

Google-Play-Family-Library-access-screen

Tap the Family Library tab.

You’ll see the list of apps and games available to your entire family group.

Google-Play-Family-Library-access-screen

From there, it’s as easy as tapping the apps you want and going through the standard installation process.

30
Jul

MrMobile gets all nostalgic with the Motorola RIZR Z8


With the two newest Droids officially hitting the market as this post goes to press, it’s been a big month for the company formerly known as Motorola. So let’s take a break from Moto Z mania for a quick look back at one of the company’s most interesting efforts: the original “Banana-phone.”

The Motorola RIZR Z8 was announced in February 2007, and it bore the design language of a company that still had plenty of swagger. The RAZR, PEBL, and SLVR families were selling like gangbusters in the States, but the RIZR Z8 set itself apart with its characteristic kick-slide hinge that let it cradle your cheek when you were talking on the phone … and lay flat when you weren’t. That combined with the 2MP camera, Symbian UIQ interface and bold black-and-green paint job made for a distinctive package that I coveted from afar – but never managed to get my hands on.

That is, until today. Join me for a look at a mint-condition Bourne Identity edition of the Motorola RIZR Z8! We’ll celebrate its no-holds-barred industrial design, lament the loss of devices like it in today’s landscape, and even catch a second or two of Jason Bourne moping on a fishing boat … before checking in with Erica Griffin for her thoughts on carrying a dumbphone in 2016!

It may not be an Android phone, but the RIZR Z8 is a Motorola from a period we all remember and many of us cherish … and I think you’re gonna like this retro review. Enjoy!

Get social!

  • YouTube
  • Le web
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Snapchat
  • Instagram

Erica Griffin

  • Website
  • YouTube
  • Twitter

%d bloggers like this: