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5
Aug

How to watch the Rio 2016 Olympics on TV, online, mobile and in VR


The Rio 2016 Olympics are finally upon us and we can look forward to more than two weeks of action across a vast array of sports.

The Opening and Closing Ceremonies will also be streamed live around the world, with the former starting tonight, 5 August. So here is our guide on how to catch that and the rest of the sporting activities throughout the following 17 days.

You can catch it all on multiple formats, whether you are at home or out. Here’s how.

Rio 2016 Olympic Games timings

It is important to note, especially if you are in the UK, that Rio is in a different time zone so events will be on British TV screens four hours later than you’d expect.

The Opening Ceremony, for example, starts at 8pm in Brazil, but its UK showing will start at 8.30pm tonight for a midnight start and run into the early hours of Saturday morning, 6 August.

There will still be plenty of action throughout each day though, that you can catch at reasonable times.

How can I watch the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on TV?

The BBC has the rights to the entire Olympic Games in the UK and it will start its live coverage with the Opening Ceremony at midnight tonight, 5 August.

Some events have already begun, with some football matches having been played already, for instance. But the majority of sports will start tomorrow, Saturday 6 August, after the Games are officially opened during the lighting of the flame ceremony.

BBC One and BBC Four will be showing the best of the action each day, although will also be able to access extra live channels through the Red Button service, available across different TVs, set-top-boxes and platforms.

How can I watch the Rio 2016 Olympic Games online?

The BBC Sport website will also be hosting highlights and live channels all day every day of the event. Just head to bbc.co.uk/sport/olympics/rio-2016.

A daily round-up show will also be available on BBC iPlayer.

How can I watch the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on my smartphone or tablet?

The BBC Sport app for iOS and Android will provide all the news and details coming from the Games. You can also set it up to send you notifications of anything you want to keep track of. That includes Rio 2016 in general or any of the sports individually.

You can watch the live broadcasts through BBC iPlayer on your mobile device, streamed from BBC One and BBC Four, and links to specific live shows will appear in the BBC Sport app for you to scroll down to.

There will also be highlight packages available to watch each day.

How can I watch the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in virtual reality?

This year, the BBC is also offering Rio coverage in 360-degrees, so you can watch it on a VR headset and feel more like you are there.

  • Watch the Olympics like never before, BBC Sport 360 VR app puts you in the heart of the action

You need to download the trial version of the BBC Sport 360 app for Android or iOS and each day there will be an event shown in 360-degrees.

This footage will work with iPhone and Android VR headsets, and in the Samsung Gear VR.

Here’s a full schedule of what will be shown in VR and when:

  • Friday 5 August: 00:00-03:30 – Opening Ceremony
  • Saturday 6 August: 14:00-17:50, 19:30-20:20, 01:00-04:50 – Beach Volleyball
  • Sunday 7 August: 14:00-17:50, 19:30-20:20, 01:00-04:50 – Beach Volleyball
  • Monday 8 August: 15:00-18:00, 21:00-00:00 – Boxing
  • Tuesday 9 August: 15:00-18:00, 21:00-00:00 – Boxing
  • Wednesday 10 August 10: 20:00-22:45 – Artistic Gymnastics
  • Thursday 11 August: 20:00-22:10 – Artistic Gymnastics
  • Friday 12 August: 13:00-19:30, 21:00-23:50 – Fencing
  • Saturday 13 August: 13:30-16:50 & 00:00-03:15 – Athletics
  • Sunday 14 August: 00:20-02:30 – Athletics
  • Monday 15 August: 13:30-16:10 & 00:15-02:50 – Athletics
  • Tuesday 16 August: 13:30-16:40 & 00:15-02:50 – Athletics
  • Wednesday 17 August: 02:00-05:05 – Beach Volleyball
  • Thursday 18 August: 02:00-05:05 – Beach Volleyball
  • Friday 19 August: 19:30-21:30 – Basketball (Men’s SFs)
  • Saturday 20 August: 15:00-16:50 & 19:30-22:00 – Diving
  • Sunday 21 August: 15:30-17:30 & 19:45-22:05 – Basketball (Men’s Finals)
  • Monday 22 August: 00:00-03:30 – Closing Ceremony
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5
Aug

Facebook starts testing live photo and video filters


Facebook has launched a new, experimental feature for its mobile apps that adds Snapchat-esque live filters over the videos and photos you take. Before you get too excited, though, you should know two things: first, its “creative effects” filters are very limited, and the ones already out (which include masks and frames) are Olympics-themed. Second, only iOS and Android users in Canada, as well as iOS users in Brazil can access it at the moment.

If you’re in either country, you’ll see a notification asking you to give the creative photos and videos feature access to your camera when you launch the app. Once that’s done, a camera will be placed right on top of your News Feed to make it easy to capture new images.

Facebook says that just like Instagram Stories, the prominent camera placing and live filters are part of its strategy to become a “more video-centric network.” But since this is just the feature’s test run prior to its global rollout, it might look and work differently once it arrives in the US and other parts of world. Most people would expect a much bigger selection of creative effects, at the very least, before they make the switch from their more robust, standalone filter apps.

Source: Facebook

5
Aug

LinkedIn debuts ‘influencer’ videos for interview tips and more


Video has become a big part of the business strategy for social networks, including Facebook and Twitter. Now, LinkedIn is following a similar path by letting certain people share original videos on its platform. The new tool will only be available to over 500 “influencers” on LinkedIn, someone like the CEO or co-founder of a company. By letting you see these 30-second videos on your feed, LinkedIn says it hopes users can engage on a conversation about topics they’re interested in, such as getting advice on how to get hired for a job.

As it stands, LinkedIn doesn’t appear to have any plans to let everyone access this new feature, but that could change later on. Notably, this is the first major change to the social network since being acquired by Microsoft in June for $26.2 billion. And chances are there will be many more to come.

Source: LinkedIn

5
Aug

Watch the first gameplay from Bethesda’s ‘Prey’ reboot


Following its reveal at E3, Bethesda has shown the first gameplay footage from Prey. The new reboot is a divisive one, as it appears to abandon the character and spiritual powers that defined the original in 2006. Instead, you play as Morgan Yu, a human living in a space station called the Talos 1. Suddenly, in a plot twist that will surprise no-one, the ship is taken over by a sinister alien force. Yu is the subject of an experiment, however, that’s granted him unnatural, devastating powers. You’re tasked with battling through black, smokey monsters while uncovering larger mysteries.

The spaceship is styled after the 1960s, giving the trailer a Dead Space-meets-Bioshock vibe. While spooky, it’s a clear departure from the game developed by Human Head Studios. That team worked on a sequel for many years, called Prey 2, which was ultimately canned. (A teaser trailer was shown at E3 in 2012.) The new game, which “reimagines the franchise from the ground up,” is being put together by the Austin, Texas branch of Arkane Studios. It’s due out in 2017 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC. Bethesda will be hoping it can win over skeptical Prey fans before then.

Source: Bethesda (YouTube)

5
Aug

HTC’s Viveport is an app store for VR experiences


In a bid to highlight immersive virtual reality experiences outside of games, HTC has announced Viveport, a new app store for its Vive headset. While Steam will remain the place to go for Vive VR games, Viveport will serve as your one-stop shop for things like education, travel, news and a wide variety of other experiences. It’ll be available on the web, mobile, Windows and, of course, right from within the Vive. HTC is launching a developer beta for Viveport soon (sign up for access here), and it plans to release it to consumers later this fall.

“We strongly believe VR is going to change the world for the better, for both consumers and businesses alike,” said Rikard Steiber, HTC’s senior VP of virtual reality. “We believe it’ll democratize access to experiences, now anyone can travel anywhere and learn anything in any way.”

While many of the apps in Viveport are already available on Steam, they’re a bit tough to find among all of the games on that platform. The new app store also has a cleaner, more consumer-friendly interface than Steam. Based on a few screenshots, it looks vaguely reminiscent of the Oculus Store app, which is a good thing. Viveport has already soft-launched in China, Steiber says, and it currently features around 100 apps.

5
Aug

The best Bluetooth tracker


By Nick Guy

This post was done in partnership with The Wirecutter, a buyer’s guide to the best technology. Read the full article here.

Bluetooth trackers are small gadgets you attach to important items you’re worried about losing (such as keys or a bag) that let you use an app on your smartphone to locate those items—usually with an audible tone on the tracker itself and a map on your phone’s screen. After 10 hours of research and another 10 hours of hands-on testing, we found the best Bluetooth tracker for most people is the second-generation Tile. Not only is it the least expensive of the trackers we tested—with an even lower price if you buy multiple Tiles—but it also has the longest range, making it the most useful for finding your stuff.

How we picked and tested

The Bluetooth trackers we tested. Photo: Nick Guy

After checking Amazon and Google for major players in this category, we used comparative reviews from The Wall Street Journal and Yahoo to compile a list of five models to test. We quickly dismissed the XY Find It (which has since been replaced by a newer version we haven’t yet tested)​ because it can’t ping your phone, and the Pebblebee Honey because it uses a silent push alert that’s all but worthless. We were left with three models: Tile, Protag Duet, and TrackR Bravo.

We went to a park to test how far away we could move a connected smartphone from each tracker before the Bluetooth connection was lost; longer ranges are better because your phone is more likely to stay connected to the tracker and thus help you find your lost item. After ensuring that only one tracker was paired to the test phone at a time, we set that tracker down on a bench, then we walked away while measuring the distance using a measuring wheel. Once the tracker’s app showed the tracker as out of range, we recorded the distance before walking back toward the tracker until the connection was reestablished, and then recorded that distance. We also tested the loudness of each tracker’s alarm and incorporated those findings in our recommendations.

Our pick

The Tile in its natural habitat. Photo: Nick Guy

The best Bluetooth tracker for most people is the second-generation Tile. It maintained its connection to a smartphone at the longest range, and reconnected from the farthest distance. We got about 120 feet away before the connection was lost with the Tile, while the Protag Duet disconnected at 84 and the TrackR at 56. As for how close we had to be before the tracker and phone reconnected, the Tile at 40 feet was right behind the Duet at 42 feet. The TrackR came in a distant third at 19 feet.

Though the Tile’s alarm isn’t the loudest—the Protag Duet was louder in absolute terms by about 7 decibels—we could hear it better in a quiet park than we could hear the competition thanks to the tone sequence the company uses. Specifically, we could still hear the Tile’s alarm from about 100 feet away in the park, whereas we couldn’t hear the Protag Duet from more than about 40 feet away. We also like that the Tile keeps making noise until you manually turn it off, whereas the Duet’s tone plays for only 10 seconds. The Tile also has a crowd-finding feature that lets other users of the Tile smartphone app help you locate items that are out of Bluetooth range.

Finally, setup is as easy as it gets, thanks to Tile’s use of Bluetooth LE, which makes connecting devices easier and also extends battery life.

Flaws but not dealbreakers

Perhaps the biggest downside to the Tile is its lack of a replaceable battery. When the charge runs out after a year, the hardware is dead. Tile does have a replacement program that’s a pretty good deal: For $12 per Tile–about half the price of a fresh purchase–the company will ship you a replacement, and it’s the most current version of the hardware at that.

The company will include an envelope for you to mail back the old Tile for recycling, which we’re happy to see. Yes, it’s more expensive than just putting a new battery in one of the competing trackers, and it’s more wasteful than if you could simply replace the battery, but getting new hardware every year is a big plus.

The competition

Although the Protag Duet was the runner-up in our distance test and a favorite among reviewers, we can’t recommend it based on both our own testing and really, really bad Amazon customer reviews. For example, when we paired the Duet with a Galaxy S6, the Protag app showed the device’s location in Africa, instead of our actual location of Buffalo, New York; and one of our review units also made a weird clicking noise. On Amazon, 49 percent of the 154 reviews are one star. We rarely see any sort of product with ratings that bad. Most of the complaints are about the build quality, reliability of the Bluetooth connection, false positives (the tracker’s geofencing alarm going off even when the Duet is in range), and poor geolocating.

TrackR released a new version of the Bravo at the beginning of October 2015. It supposedly had improved range and a louder alarm than the previous version. In our testing, however, the Bluetooth range was poor, even with the new hardware: The TrackR Bravo disconnected from our test phone at less than half the distance of the Tile (56 feet) and didn’t reconnect until it was only 19 feet away. These results were terrible compared with the other models we tested.

We also considered testing the Pebblebee Honey and the XY Find It. The Pebblebee Honey has some great attributes, at least at first glance. The battery is replaceable, and the tracker has a crowd-finding feature. Unfortunately, when you press the tracker’s button to trigger an alert on a missing phone, it sends a silent text alert, rather than playing an audible tone. A message popping up on the screen doesn’t do much good when you’re looking for the handset.

The XY Find It, on the other hand, offers proper geofencing, something most of the competition lacks. But the tracker has no way of pinging a paired phone, disqualifying it from a top spot.

This guide may have been updated by The Wirecutter. To see the current recommendation, please go here.

5
Aug

Twitter wants you to DM brands about your problems


Ever since brands started proliferating on Twitter, angry users have been shouting at them when they have problems. Naturally, brands have long Twitter accounts dedicated to supporting users with problems, but most of those interactions were publicly seen on Twitter for everyone to see. Now, Twitter has made a slight change to the way profiles are displayed on mobile to encourage users to use direct messages rather than public tweets.

Some users (including this one) see a large, prominent “message” button when visiting the support accounts for brands including Apple, Beats, Uber, Activision and a few others. According to TechCrunch, this isn’t rolling out to everyone yet — it’s just a design test.

There’s also a new detail included in the profile page that says when the companies are most responsive, a handy thing to know if you’re trying to get help quickly. Apple’s support account says its most responsive from 5AM to 8PM PT, for example.

We’ve reached out to Twitter to see if it has any other details on its new profile feature, including when it’ll roll out to more support accounts and when more users will start seeing it.

Via: TechCrunch

5
Aug

Google tag-teams with Facebook on eco-friendly servers


Google recently friended arch-rival Facebook’s Open Compute Project (OCP) to help it with power-sucking data centers, and that relationship is already paying off. Google revealed its first contribution to the project, Open Rack 2.0, a design for shallow, 48V racks that fit into data centers with limited space. Google has used a similar spec since 2010, and “saved millions of dollars and kilowatt hours” compared to 12V systems, it said.

The spec includes details for the 48V power shelves, tool-less service access, “vanity-free” cases, recycled components, battery backups and high-efficiency rectifiers that convert AC to DC power. The entire system, Google says, has been perfected over the years in cooperation with its partners. (Though not part of the Open Rack proposal, the search giant builds its own computing hardware using off-the-shelf parts from Qualcomm and others, rather than leaning on standalone switches from the likes of Cisco.)

Google says its Open Rack 2.0 is “ready-to-use” for companies that want to transition to more efficient servers. It’s pitching the project to the OCP community at a conference next week, and industry players including Microsoft, Intel, Facebook and IBM will vote to accept it. If that goes as planned, Open Rack 2.0 will form part of the OCP spec and others manufacturers will be urged to adopt it.

Via: Business Insider

Source: Google

5
Aug

Fully Functional iPhone 7 Lightning EarPods Shown Off in New Video


Over the past few weeks, images have claimed to show Apple’s upcoming Lightning-enabled EarPods, but most were found to be fake as the design language of the headphones largely deviated from Apple’s usual aesthetic, especially in regards to not having a thin, rectangular Lightning plug. Today, MobileFun posted a video of a working pair of Lightning EarPods, and the overall look of the accessory appears more in line with Apple’s design than any of the previous leaks.

As is expected, the headphone part of the new EarPods is structured the same as the EarPods currently being sold by Apple, with a clean, white design, right and left markers on each earpiece, and in-line volume and play/pause controls. Interestingly, the in-line controls are placed farther down on the EarPods, directly below the right/left split in the cable design. If real, this would mark a design change from the current generation, which places the volume rocker along the right cable, above the bifurcation in the cord.

The most notable part is, of course, the long-rumored addition of the Lightning plug onto the EarPods, adapted to take advantage of the removal of the 3.5 mm headphone jack from the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. The plug on the Lightning-enabled EarPods appears slightly bigger than Apple’s traditional Lightning adapters thanks to the inclusion of a digital-to-analog converter needed for music playback and not just straightforward charging.


In the video, the EarPods are proven to be completely functional through the playing of a few songs as well as using the in-line controls to play, pause, and skip some tracks. MobileFun concluded to its viewers, “as you can see, these are fully working, they aren’t just a mock-up of what you might receive,” believing that the working headphones will be what Apple sells alongside the new generation of iPhone in September.

Multiple solutions for the removal of the 3.5 mm headphone jack have sprouted up over the past few weeks, with one of the most prevailing alternatives centering around a Lightning to 3.5 mm dongle that the company could potentially bundle into the box of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus to cushion the transition for customers. More recently, it was reported that Apple could be working on completely wireless “AirPods” as an option for iPhone users, allowing simultaneous iPhone charging and headphone music playback, which is one of the most commonly occurring grievances surrounding the loss of the 3.5 mm headphone jack.

Previous Coverage: Lightning Headphones: Are They Better or Just an Inconvenience?

Related Roundup: iPhone 7
Tag: EarPods
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5
Aug

Facebook Begins Testing MSQRD Live Filters in Brazil and Canada


After acquiring live filter app MSQRD back in March, Facebook today has begun officially integrating its capabilities into the main Facebook mobile app, focusing first on a soft rollout in Brazil and Canada (via TechCrunch). The Olympics-themed launch will greet users with an open, front-facing camera window when first jumping into Facebook, letting them swipe between various filters that add animations and graphics onto their face, which they can then take a photo or video of and then post directly to their feed.

For now, Brazilian and Canadian users will only see filters inspired by the Rio Olympics — like Brazilian flags and a “Go Canada!” motto — that attach to the user’s face and move around with them, similar to Snapchat’s popular camera filters. Facebook is also introducing static banners in its rollout, with similar country and team-supported messages that attach to any picture or image.

“The way that people share has changed a lot” Facebook Product Manager Sachin Monga tells me. “12 years ago, most of what was shared was text” so Facebook’s status composer with a big white text box. “Now, mobile changed things a little bit, but we didn’t really change our tools. If you look at what people are sharing, now it’s mostly photos, and soon it will be mostly videos. Our strategy is really simple. We want to make it really easy to share photos and videos” Monga explains.

Facebook has long been pushing its video content, whether created by media companies or everyday users, as a main focus of the social network in the future. Although the company didn’t confirm a wider launch for the new MSQRD features, it seems like the new live filter abilities would be a logical next step for the company to make in the video space. In a different vein, but still edging closer to the popularity of Snapchat, Instagram recently debuted a “Stories” feature with posts that disappear after a day.


Users on iOS and Android within Canada, and iOS in Brazil, will start seeing the new update rolling out to the Facebook mobile app today, and it will “run through the end of the Olympics.” Facebook is available to download from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Tag: Facebook
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