After coming to Android TV last week, PlayStation view has arrived on Mac and PC browsers, meaning it’s available on just about every device you can think of. It’ll work on Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Microsoft Edge and even Internet Explorer 10+ browsers, Sony says. The web service has some “unique features,” including a mini-player that you can shrink to the corner of a browser window while you look for more content.
PS Vue is an streaming service that includes live TV channels from NBC, Fox, ESPN and others starting at $30 a month, though availability depends on your zip code. It’s much like Sling TV, though the basic Vue package is $10 more. However, you do get more stations in total, and can buy channels individually or upgrade your subscription to get more.
PS Vue arrived to Android and iOS earlier this year, but mobile viewing is blocked for some channels, and DVR’d shows and other features are restricted away from your home network. Sling, on the other hand, lets you watch programming on any device, anywhere in the US, and also works on Apple TV, unlike PS Vue. Despite those limitations, Sony’s service is catching on, as the company reportedly signed up over 100,000 subscribers just a few months after it launched in March.
No company likes to issue a product recall, but Samsung is having to deal with its fair share as of late. After going some way to reduce the damage following the disastrous launch of the Galaxy Note 7, the company has today made the headlines again after issuing an urgent recall on 2.8 million top-loading washing machines.
In a statement, the company said that it is working with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to recall 34 models produced between March 2011 and October 2016. The CPSC had previously warned customers that it had received reports of top-loading washing machines exploding, but Samsung has been forced to step in after owners noticed that the drums in their washers caused appliances to “lose balance, triggering excessive vibrations, resulting in the top separating from the washer.”
The US consumer watchdog says it has already collected 733 reports of Samsung machines experiencing excessive vibration or complete detachment, which resulted in nine injuries, including a broken jaw, injured shoulder and “other impact or fall-related injuries.” Samsung said in September that it believed the issues were caused by “bedding, water-resistant or bulky items” being placed on a high-speed spin cycle and recommended that owners simply use slower settings instead.
To remedy the situation, Samsung is offering two options. The first is a free in-home repair that will reinforce the washing machine’s top compartment. Owners will be given an additional one-year warranty if they choose that option, regardless of its age. The second is a rebate that will be applied to the purchase of a new Samsung or “other brand” washing machine. Anyone buying another Samsung unit will receive an extra $150 towards their purchase. If that sounds familiar, Galaxy Note 7 owners also get money off if they buy another Samsung phone.
Samsung has set up a new website to handle the recall, which lists the models affected and allows owners to check if their washer has been impacted.
Via: Samsung News
Source: Samsung Recall Page
Israeli forensics company Cellebrite helped the FBI access the contents of a suspect’s iPhone 5c following the shooting in San Bernardino last year. Now India is in talks to buy the company’s tech that will allow it to unlock phones and other devices. The Economic Times reports that India’s Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) is purchasing the tool and should have it in hand within a month. What’s more, the FSL says India will be “a global hub for cases where law enforcement is unable to break into phones.” In other words, the India government will lend a hand to other countries that need to crack encrypted devices.
The Economic Times reports that the Indian government has already enlisted help from Cellebrite in “a few cases,” but now it will have the encryption cracking tech on hand to use as needed. Details are scarce on if the country will be the exclusive owner of the technology or under what circumstances it will make the resource available to other governments around the world. It’s also not a done deal yet, but FSL officials seem confident the government will complete the purchase soon. There’s no word on how much the transaction will cost, but the FBI paid Cellebrite over $1 million for its services in the San Bernardino case.
Source: The Economic Times
WhatsApp is reportedly working on an ephemeral photo-narrative feature that’s in no way a rip-off of Snapchat. According to Mashable, the Facebook-owned messaging service is testing an image-sharing function called Status. The project was apparently uncovered by keen-eyed folks examining the most recent WhatsApp betas for iOS and Android. The plan appears to be that Status will slot in on the tab menu between Chats and Calls. There’ll even be the ability to create doodles and add text captions just like… you know.
Long before Snapchat was a huge deal, it was the subject of a buyout deal from Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg. Snapchat rebuffed the offer, and Facebook’s response has been to work relentlessly to undermine the object of its jilted affections. Instagram has been slowly drawing inspiration from its main rival, adding Instagram Stories to its core platform. In addition, Facebook tried to buy the “Asian Snapchat” this summer in the hope of curtailing its rival’s international growth. It’s a lesson to us all that if Mark Zuckerberg offers you $3 billion for something, maybe factor how much revenge he’ll exact if you say no.
Back in August, the Obama Administration announced a new policy that requires 20 percent of the federal government’s software projects be open source. To make all of that material easily accessible, there’s now a place for you to view all of the code. Code.gov is the web-based hub for the initiative and it features around 50 projects from 10 different agencies. Those projects include the White House Facebook chat bot, Data.gov and the “We the People” petitions API.
The recent policy change was aimed at reducing the cost of custom software purchases by allowing government agencies to share resources. Of course, the open-source initiative also gives folks outside of the government access to the code as well. “It’s a step we took to enable the brightest minds inside and outside of government to work together to ensure that federal code is reliable and effective,” explains US Chief Information Officer Tony Scott in a blog post.
In addition to streamlining software use in the federal government, the White House wants Code.gov and the wider open-source requirement to push state and local government to boost their services. Imagine if you could get an answer about a tax question or vehicle registration via a Facebook bot rather than having wait on hold for several minutes with a phone call or stand in line.
Source: White House Blog
This time last week, I was writhing in pain.
I had a minor surgery a while back that left me susceptible to infections. This doesn’t happen very often — four times over the past decade — but when it does, it’s not fun. One side of my face swells grotesquely, brimming with pus deep within. Positioned equidistant between my mouth and temple, this swelling brings on major headaches and makes eating painful. I get a black eye, and, if left unchecked, that eye gets forced shut. Without going into more detail, it’s very unpleasant.
In the past, I’ve caught these infections as they were brewing and managed to stop the worst of the symptoms from ever materializing, but last week I was certain I was just getting headaches. By the time swelling started to appear late on Thursday night, it was too late.
In addition to the rapidly growing pile of leukocyte corpses buried in my cheek, I had another problem: I recently moved to a new apartment. Because I’m bad at life, I hadn’t registered with a new GP (a general practitioner, the Brit version of a primary care physician). That meant two things: either travel back to where I used to live to see my GP, or register at a new clinic and wait a couple hours to be seen.
I’m based in London, and work the “overnight shift” at Engadget, making sure the site doesn’t catch fire while my US-based colleagues are asleep. That means I work with a smaller team than a writer in New York, and last Friday we had a couple other people out of the office as well. If I were dying, I’m sure they could have done without me, but taking three hours off work just wasn’t practical.
And so I sat, stuffed full of ibuprofen, paracetamol and codeine, yet inexplicably still in pain. Then my colleague Matt Brian suggested I see an “app doctor.”
Apps and sites that let you virtually talk with a medical professional are pretty common. After a little Googling around for comparison, I settled on “Push Doctor,” a UK service which had a couple of good writeups and (more importantly, if I’m being honest) a large introductory discount for what is a premium service. After registering, I booked an appointment, which was as simple as you’d expect: I was presented with a list of available slots, with the earliest in my case being eight minutes away (appointments run from 7AM to 10PM, seven days a week).
The appointment felt no different from a regular check-up.
With my slot reserved, I then had two options for the appointment: download an app on my phone or use my browser. I chose the latter. The actual appointment felt no different from a regular check-up. Through video chat, I explained my complaint and was asked the usual array of follow-up questions. When I registered, I gave the doctor access to my National Health Service (NHS, the UK’s public health authority) records, so I assume they were able to verify that this was a repeat condition. The only thing that didn’t happen was a doctor poking at the swelling, asking me how it felt, and so on. Instead, I was asked to do that poking myself, and report back on the sensation.
The “examination” and questioning took around five minutes. After asking more questions about allergies and if I was taking any other medication or recreational drugs, the doctor prescribed a short course of Metronidazole (an antibiotic / antiprotozoal medication often marketed as Flagyl). Upon doing so, a prompt popped up in front of the video stream, asking me to accept a prescription charge of £6.50 (around $8). I did so, and shortly after that the call ended. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure the video chat was necessary in this case — it’s not like I had a rash to show, or anything like that — but the “face-to-face” aspect did help build trust.
Around a minute later, I received a phone call from Push Doctor asking where I wanted to pick up my medication, and I chose a pharmacy around 350 yards from my desk. Fifteen minutes later, they called again to say my order was ready. I wandered to the pharmacy, paid another £8.40 ($10.50 — the standard UK rate that’s waived if you’re elderly or young or qualify in other ways) for the meds, and went home. The entire process — from booking the appointment to getting home and popping the first of many pills — took about 45 minutes, of which only 20 required me to put my deadline on hold.
How much did it cost? I paid a total of £15.90 (just under $20), including my meds. It would’ve been more expensive if I needed more medicine (the £6.50 fee wouldn’t rise, but pharmacy costs would have), and if I needed a referral to a specialist or a sick note for work there would’ve been additional fees (£12.50 / $16 each). Also, about that discount I mentioned: A consultation is usually £20 per 10 minutes. I paid £1.
£15.90 is considerably more expensive than seeing my regular GP, who wouldn’t have charged me anything, leaving me with just an £8.40 pharmacy bill. Take off the discount, and next time I try the service it’s likely I’ll be paying around £26.50 ($33) for the convenience. But it was so convenient. I didn’t have to spend several hours away from work, sit among sick people and be prodded by a stranger. I didn’t need to wait while the pharmacy saw to my paper prescription — it was just there waiting for me.
I’m not sickly enough to need it, but Push Doctor also offers a subscription service: £20 a month covers unlimited appointments, prescriptions, referral letters and sick notes. If I had an ongoing medical concern, I would definitely consider it, but I typically visit the doctor once a year, and my employer offers a yearly physical as a perk.
So here’s the thing: The UK has a public healthcare system that’s mostly funded by taxes. Visiting the doctor, hospital or a specialist is typically free, with nominal charges for prescriptions only. Right now, these apps offer private healthcare, when every UK citizen has public healthcare rights.
To be clear, many of the doctors on this and other services are NHS GPs, who are working out-of-hours to make some extra money. Push Doctor is, however, approved as a way for NHS doctors to give (free) remote consultations to their patients. There obviously isn’t a huge uptake for this yet, but online check-ups through the public health service could be commonplace one day.
I honestly don’t think I’ll see a GP in the flesh ever again.
In the US and other countries, apps like DoctorOnDemand, HelloMD and LiveHealth perhaps make immediate sense for more than just the rich or the overworked. If your insurance company will cover the cost of seeing a virtual doctor, there’s much less of a barrier to entry.
After my experience with a virtual doctor, I’m totally sold on the idea. I won’t always be this young, and at some point in my life, I’m going to be hospitalized. I’m going to see specialists. I’m going to need physical examinations. But for the regular malaise that strikes us all from time to time, or any condition that just needs a few pills to solve, I can’t see myself visiting a clinic.
I’m definitely going to try a few other services to see how they compare, hopefully taking advantage of some more introductory discounts while I’m at it. Maybe I’ll find a better service than Push Doctor, but the basic premise is likely to be the same. It makes elegant and intelligent use of everyday technologies like video conferencing and digital medical records to give me 24/7 (okay, 15/7) access to a doctor with just a few minutes notice, no matter where in the country I am. I honestly don’t think I’ll see a GP in the flesh ever again.
Oh, and by the way, my face is fine now.
Apple has been granted a patent for a folding iPhone, but it’s not the only company that wants to bring back this classic phone design.
Samsung on Friday unveiled the W2017, an Android-based premium flip phone with not one but two 4.2-inch touchscreens. Both screens are on the top section of the phone, while the bottom half houses a feature-phone style keyboard.
The device, which uses the clamshell design used on many pre-iPhone feature phones, is expected to cost a pretty penny. It’s only currently expected to go on sale in China, where GSM Arena says it’ll be priced at a whopping 20,000 Chinese Yuan. That’s about $2,950, £2,350 or AU$3,850.
The W2017 is powered by a Snapdragon 820, the same processor used in the Galaxy S7. It’ll be running behind the times on the operating system front, running Marshmallow 6.0.1 rather than the newer Nougat 7.0.
- Two 4.2-inch 1,920x,1,080-pixel Super AMOLED displays
- 12-megapixel rear camera, 5-megapixel front camera
- 2,300 mAh battery
- 4GB RAM
- 64GB onboard storage
Just about everything relies on some type of code nowadays. Cars are computerized; we use computers all day long; and we’re glued to our smartphones from sunup to sundown. Python is a major coding language for apps and it’s an excellent tool if you’re wanting to enter the field of software development, especially if you want to build apps for a living.
But you can’t just learn to code with Python over night. You need training, and Python may not be offered at your college of choice. Or, you already have a full-time job and don’t have the time to attend classes, day or night. You need online courses and you need to be able to take them at your leisure — even if that means it takes a couple years.
The Python Power Coder Bonus Bundle is a great way for you to get started and to learn to build apps from scratch and learn web programming, as well as other applicable skills that you can use to forge your career as an app developer or programmer. You’ll get lifetime access to eight courses, totalling roughly 70 hours of content, and you’ll build 17 apps during your studies.
Were you to go anywhere else for these courses, you’d end up paying $1075. But right now through Android Central Digital Offers, you’ll only pay $44 for the whole bundle. That’s eight courses, over 600 lessons, and about 70 hours of content for over 95% off.
It’s a great time to get into the world of app development and programming for the web, but you first need the tools to get a foot in the door. Python is one of the biggest coding languages when it comes to apps and learning to use it and use it well is an invaluable asset right now. But don’t pay over $1000 for courses. Get the Python Power Coder Bonus Bundle for only $44 through Android Central Digital Offers.
See at Android Central Digital Offers
Buying for kids isn’t easy, but this is a good place to start!
No two kids are alike, but chances are if they know you there’s a tech streak in there somewhere that will let you appreciate gadgets together. Sometimes that means playing a game together on your favorite console, and sometimes that means running around outside while a 360-degree camera grabs your failed cartwheel at just the right angle. Yeah, that one’s going on YouTube.
What about gear that’s just for the kids, though? Stuff that will not only be fun for them to use, but in some small way actually be good for them? That’s where this gift guide can lend a helping hand. You’ll find everything you could possibly want to gift that will make kids smile and think at the same time. Enjoy!
Everyone has had a toy that felt like your best friend, but Cozmo is the closest thing to a toy that actually tries to fit that description. It’s a small robot with an adaptive AI baked in that learns from playing games with you. Those learning sessions causes it to slowly build a personality based on your interactions with it, eventually creating a personalized Cozmo that both tries to outsmart you in a match four game and come to your side when you need a friend.
The only downside to Cozmo is that it requires a smartphone with the app in order to do all of the thinking and learning, so if your kid doesn’t have one of those you’ll need to be nearby during Cozmo playtime.
See on Amazon
Maybe a Smartphone?
Deciding to equip a kid with a smartphone is no small thing, and that decision has requirements that vary wildly from parent to parent. It doesn’t matter if your kid comes home and says they’re the only one in the class who doesn’t have a phone or that they’re the first, the choice is yours and there are some great options for younger users. We’ve assembled the perfect list of the best smartphones for kids, so you can make the most informed decision possible!
The Best Android phone for kids
littleBits: Rule Your Room Kit
Every parent wants to see their kid be a creator, and there’s never been more tech options available to help make that possible. Free programming apps are all over the place, digital drawing has never been more accessible, and then there’s littleBits. These are kits for the little engineer in your life, giving them the tools to build everything from simple alarm clocks to a pressure sensitive switch for whatever they can think of.
The Rule Your Room Kit comes with step-by-step instructions and all of the materials for eight different inventions, as well as access to a community of builders that have used this same kit to build a lot more.
See at Amazon
The Starter Smartwatch
Kids tend to emulate the adults in their lives, and if you’re walking around all day with a computer on your wrist there’s a good chance your kid wants one to be just like you. That’s not always a good idea, especially if your watch is one of the pricier Android Wear offerings, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t options out there built for kids to fill the need. Whether your kid has a smartphone already or just wants something colorful to be like you, there are some great smartwatches out there for kids. Here’s our take on the best available today!
The Best smartwatch for kids
There’s no such thing as being too young to enjoy a good gadget, and there’s no such thing as being too young to learn how you think about programming. The Fisher-Price Code-A-Pillar is proof of both of these statements, and it’s pretty great. The little wiggle worm “learns” the pattern you put in its back, and travels based on those instructions. This teaches kids how to think about step-by-step instruction assembly, which can be very helpful later on in life.
The standard Code-A-Pillar can be upgraded with expansion modules that add new instructions, so even if your kid quickly masters this critter there are ways to keep things fun and continue the education!
See on Amazon
View-Master Deluxe VR Viewer
Generally speaking, kids under 13 should be careful to not spend more than an hour in VR at any given time. That being said, there are some incredible VR experiences that you can manage by making them only available when you put your phone inside of their special headset. Mattel’s futuristic View-Master Deluxe is where you start, and everyone who uses it is going to fall in love.
This VR viewer comes with a couple of special educational discs for View-Master field trips to different locations all over the world, but it’s also a Google Cardboard viewer. That means you can watch 360-degree videos on YouTube, play VR games from the Google Play Store, and in this improved model connect whatever headphones you want for a more complete experience.
See at Amazon
Nintendo will launch the Switch games console at the beginning of spring 2017, reportedly on 17 March, 32 years after it introduced its first home games console, the Nintendo Entertainment System.
It is also about to release a mini version of the latter machine, pre-installed with 30 of its most loved games, essentially reminding people of the company’s humble beginnings.
However, the NES wasn’t Nintendo’s first consumer games machine, that accolade belongs to the handheld series Game & Watch, although it has come on leaps and bounds since then. Literally, in Mario’s case.
Game & Watch was a series of handhelds that only played a single game, and had either a clock, an alarm or in some cases, both. There were no cartridges or other games to download. Indeed, there was no internet to download them from. You bought a single game and stuck to it.
In the following years, Nintendo carved a niche for itself by being the quirky console manufacturer. Compared to the likes of Sony, Sega and Microsoft, it always took gaming in an odd but satisfying direction. And because of that that it became a company you can’t help but love.
We’ve taken a look back at Nintendo’s illustrious history, which has provided us with some of the most iconic games consoles and not to mention some of the greatest games franchises of all time.
Just have a flick through the gallery above to see all of the machines we have such fond memories for.
- Nintendo Switch: Release date, specs and everything you need to know