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How to Update Your Samsung Phone Using Smart Switch


There is another way.

We all have plenty to complain about when it comes to software updates landing on our Samsung phones. But sometimes it isn’t Samsung’s fault that you don’t yet have the latest update — issues with carriers and even the current software on your phone can prevent your phone from downloading an update even when it’s actually “available” to your model.

That’s where Samsung’s own desktop software, Smart Switch, comes in. Despite its core feature being backing up and restoring data when switching phones, it has the added benefit of being able to download and update the software on your Samsung phone. Here’s how it works.

How to manually update your Samsung phone using Smart Switch


Go to Samsung’s Smart Switch website and download for PC or Mac.
Install and open Smart Switch on your computer and connect your phone via its USB cable.
If you haven’t plugged in to your computer before, tap Allow on the pop-up on your phone to give it access.

  • If Smart Switch doesn’t recognize the phone, click the menu in Smart Switch and click Reinstall device driver then restart.

After a few moments, your phone will be recognized by Smart Switch and you’ll see several options on the main screen for backing up and restoring. You do not need to back up or restore your phone to initiate an update.
A software check is performed when you plug in, and Smart Switch will list your current software details. If there is a software update available for your phone, you’ll be notified on the main screen.
If available, Click Update to install the latest software. It will download first to your computer, then sideload to your phone.

  • The phone will reboot, and the process will take roughly 10 minutes.

If this will be your preferred update method going forward, click the menu (Preferences on Mac) in Smart Switch, click Software Updates and check the box for Update Pre-Download.

  • When a new software version is available for your phone, Smart Switch will download it and then apply the next time you plug in.

To be clear, this isn’t going to force an update onto your phone that Samsung has yet to release. Unless Samsung and your carrier (where applicable) have signed off on and released an update for your exact phone, there’s no way to get it. Hooking up to Smart Switch can get you an update quicker, though, in cases where your carrier is slowly rolling out an update over the air (OTA) or the update checker on your phone for whatever reason won’t download an update.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

  • Galaxy Note 8 review
  • Galaxy Note 8 vs. Galaxy S8+
  • Which Note 8 color is best?
  • Complete Galaxy Note 8 specs
  • Join our Galaxy Note 8 forums

Best Buy


Best Wallet Cases for Samsung Galaxy Note 8


What are the best wallet cases for the Galaxy Note 8

With a wallet case, you can cut down on your daily carry by keeping your most important cards and cash all with your Galaxy Note 8. Coupled with Samsung or Android Pay, it’s really all you’d need anyways to pay for most things in your day-to-day life. So ditch your old wallet and get a wallet case for your phone!

  • Samsung LED Wallet Cover
  • Spigen Slim Armor CS
  • ProCase Genuine Leather Wallet Case
  • Griffin Survivor Clear Wallet
  • Spigen Wallet S
  • Ringke Slim Case w/ slot card holder
  • Story Leather cases

Samsung LED Wallet Cover


Samsung is always good for creating cases that feature some awesomely unique features for its phones, and few are as cool as the LED Wallet Cover.

This brilliantly designed case blends screen protection with functionality, allowing you to see the current time and view notifications via LEDs without exposing the screen — all you do is press the power button and presto! This case also features an interior pocket for storing your cash or cards, which can help you cut down on your pocket carry.

If you want a super sleek-looking wallet case that’s made by Samsung itself, you can enjoy this great case for just $60.

See at Samsung

Spigen Slim Armor CS


If you want the functionality of a wallet case that doesn’t look like a wallet case at all, you need to check out the Spigen Slim Armor CS ($16). From the front, it looks like a standard phone case, but on the back, you’ll find a hidden compartment where you can store two cards — say a credit card and your photo ID — or a reserve of cash.

It’s the best of both world for those who want a more traditional-looking case but also want the option to have some emergency cash on hand without needing to bring a whole wallet.

See at Amazon

ProCase Genuine Leather Wallet Case


The ProCase wallet case includes three card slots, but based on reviews, the slots can easily handle more than one card — and you might find your cards slip out too easily otherwise. But your phone will never slip out, thanks to the form-fitting inner shell, which should offer great protection from shocks and drops on the corners and edges.

Get yours from Amazon starting at $28 for the black leather model and up to $30 for the flashy red leather model.

See at Amazon

Griffin Survivor Clear Wallet


So maybe you like the added functionality of a wallet case, but hate how all the options out there cover up the phone’s design. It’s a valid concern, and one that Griffin Technology has addressed with its Survivor Clear Wallet.

On the back is a rugged TPU clear case that will keep your phone secure while the front cover, made of polycarbonate, features three card slots on the inside. It’s a great, minimalist option for someone looking for a slim case that also includes wallet features. Get yours for just $25!

See at Griffin Technology

Spigen Wallet S


Spigen also has a more traditional folio-style wallet case for the Note 8 and it’s a really solid option. Made with synthetic leather that feels pretty genuine, this case has all the features you’d want including three card slots and a sturdy polycarbonate shell that keeps your phone secure.

The front flap is kept closed with a magnetic strap, and can also fold over to become a kickstand for hands-free media viewing. You get get one for just $16.

See at Amazon

Ringke Slim Case w/ slot card holder


Ringke’s slim case for the Note 8 is pretty basic as you’d expect, but it has included a pretty nice accessory for cutting down your daily carry.

Along with this ultra thin case that only adds about 2mm of bulk to your phone, Ringke includes an adhesive card slot holder that’s capable of holding two cards — say your photo ID and a credit card. It’s the perfect accessory for traveling or going out to the bar if you want to keep your carry light.

This one-piece case is made of rugged polycarbonate, which keeps your phone safe from bumps and scuffs while keeping the sleek design intact. You can get it in classic black for just $8, or opt for a powder blue or salmon pink option for $10.

See at Amazon

Story Leather


The Note 8 is a premium flagship that deserves a premium case to match. If you’re looking for a hand-crafted wallet case made of genuine leather (and you’ve got money to burn), you need to check out Story Leather’s website.

It makes high-quality leather cases for smartphones including the Note 8 and they’re really something special. You get to chose between 50 different leather colors and textures, as you’re able to create a case that’s unique to you and your phone. There’s a ton of different styles to choose from, but because you’re here for a wallet case, we’ve linked to the book-style case here.

Starting at $99, it’s damn expensive, but you are paying for a handcrafted product here that’s custom-made to your specifications. Have your Note 8 stand out from the rest while also keeping it protected with a case from Story Leather.

See at Story Leather

What are your top picks?

These are our picks for the best wallet cases, but we want to know your thoughts. Have you tested a case that didn’t make our list? let us know in the comments below!

Update January 2018: Added the ProCase Genuine Leather Wallet Case and Ringke Slim Case with Card Holder to our list.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

  • Galaxy Note 8 review
  • Galaxy Note 8 vs. Galaxy S8+
  • Which Note 8 color is best?
  • Complete Galaxy Note 8 specs
  • Join our Galaxy Note 8 forums

Best Buy


YouTube TV will be the official broadcaster of LAFC soccer games

Basically, YouTube TV is taking the place of a traditional local broadcast station.

From expansions in new markets to launching a full-fledged smart TV app, YouTube TV saw some big improvements throughout 2017. As we’re getting ready to close out the first month of 2018, it’s been confirmed that YouTube TV will be the official broadcaster of all upcoming LAFC soccer games.


Even if you’re not into soccer like me (sorry, Andrew), this is a big step for YouTube TV. Rather than partnering with a local network station in Los Angeles (such as NBC or FOX), LAFC is partnering with YouTube TV instead. This means that 30 of the 34 LAFC games for this upcoming season will be shown on YouTube TV, and each will come with 30-minute pre and post-game shows.

Local LAFC broadcasts will be region-restricted to folks in Los Angeles, but you can still use YouTube TV (or any other television provider) to tune into the 16 nationally-broadcasted games that’ll air on ESPN, FOX, and FS1 no matter where you are in the U.S.

This is a big step forward for YouTube TV, and even though LAFC co-owner Chard Hurley is a co-founder and former CEO of YouTube, this is hopefully a sign of more things to come for the service.

You will need to subscribe to YouTube TV if you’re in LA and want to watch as many LAFC matches as possible, and this will cost you $35/month following a 7-day free trial. LAFC also reminds us that local subscribers will be able to access KABC 7, CBS 2, KTTV FOX 11 and KNBC 4 local stations, too.

YouTube TV already has 300,000 users less than a year after launch


GDC retracts award for Atari founder amid online outcry

Yesterday, organizers for the upcoming Game Developers Conference announced the lineup for the 18th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards, and topping that list were honors for a trio of men who helped build gaming as we know it: Vlambeer co-founder Rami Ismail (Ambassador Award), Double Fine founder Tim Schafer (Lifetime Achievement), and Atari founder Nolan Bushnell (Pioneer Award). But an outcry followed for the latter, and the hashtag #NotNolan surfaced anecdotes of sexual misconduct and harassment that Bushnell had encouraged in Atari’s offices during its heydey in the 70s — stories that he’d actually given in interviews. A day later, GDC officially retracted its award to Bushnell.

— Official_GDC (@Official_GDC) January 31, 2018

Unlike E3’s pure games showcase, GDC is more of an event by and for the industry, where devs gather to teach each other and celebrate accomplishments. The decision to award Bushnell seemed in especially poor taste after the #MeToo movement, developers and academics wrote on Twitter.

1/ GDC is choosing to honor Atari founder Nolan Bushnell this year, something I find wildly inappropriate with the #metoo movement.

Here are some facts about the sexual harassment Mr. Bushnell commited at Atari in the 80s.

— Brianna Wu (@Spacekatgal) January 30, 2018

As game developer and Congressional candidate Brianna Wu noted in her last tweet, “Bushnell is an important figure. But this isn’t the year to honor him.” GDC should give the award to women who helped build the games industry but were pushed out by men like Bushnell, tweeted game designer Elizabeth Sampat.

Bushnell earned his place in gaming history for founding Atari (and later, the company that would become Chuck E. Cheese’s). But books and profiles written in years and decades past have shown a pattern of sexual objectifying and harassment in Atari’s workplace. In the wake of last year’s reckoning of sexual harassment claims for celebrities and businessmen, this reframes Bushnell’s contribution as helping propagate a boy’s club norm that the gaming industry still hasn’t shaken off.

Assistant professor at Worcester Polytechnic Institute Gillain Smith tweeted a sentiment shared by many lamenting that the #MeToo movement hadn’t reached gaming: “While other industries are distancing themselves from the abusive and sexist behaviors of powerful men, GDC is giving a pioneer award to one of them.”

At least GDC’s organizing company UBM has responded swiftly to public response, but it still reveals a gap of cluelessness for those who chose Bushnell despite — or in ignorance of — his publicly-available past.

More important: Is the legacy we are honoring one we want to value? For GDC to pick someone with a professional legacy so steeped in sexism without even checking into that is depressing and infuriating and incredibly telling. They didn’t know because they didn’t check. The end.

— Carly Kocurek (@sparklebliss) January 31, 2018

Bushnell responded with a statement on Twitter applauding GDC for ‘ensuring that their institution reflects what is right, specifically with regards to how people should be treated in the workplace.’ He ended with a general apology to anyone he or his employees offended or caused pain.

A statement from me

— Nolan K Bushnell (@NolanBushnell) January 31, 2018

Via: Glixel

Source: GDC (Twitter)


How to Use Safari’s Private Browsing Mode and Delete Your Browsing History in iOS 11

This article explains how to use Safari’s Private Browsing mode, which prevents your browsing history from being logged on your Apple devices. It’s a useful feature if you’re buying gifts online for friends or family, for instance, and you don’t want anyone with access to your devices to find out what you’re up to.

Of course, if you’ve already been browsing where you shouldn’t have and didn’t use Safari’s dedicated privacy mode, don’t worry – we’ll also show you two different ways of deleting your existing browsing history on iOS 11. Keep reading to find out how.

Using Safari’s Private Browsing Mode

Enabling Private Browsing limits Safari in three important ways: It prevents the browser from creating a history of the pages you visit, it stops AutoFill information like website usernames and passwords from being remembered, and any tabs you open won’t be stored in iCloud.

Also, for added peace of mind when you browse privately, Safari automatically prevents cross-site tracking, and requests that sites and third-party content providers don’t track you as a rule. Additionally, the privacy mode stops sites from modifying any information stored on your iOS device, and deletes cookies when you close the associated tab.

To enable Private Browsing in Safari, follow these steps.

Open Safari on your iPhone or iPad, tap the Pages icon (consisting of two squares) to bring up the open tabs view, and then tap “Private”. Notice how the interface turns a dark gray.

Tap the “+” icon to open a private tab.

When you’re done browsing, return to the open tabs view, individually swipe any open tabs to close them, and then tap “Private” again. Your private browsing session is now cleared from memory.

Clearing Existing Browsing History

When you clear your browsing history on a device running iOS 11, the same logs are cleared on any other devices signed into your iCloud account. The following methods also clear all cookies and web data on the device you’re currently using, although AutoFill information remains unchanged.

Method 1

The first method outlined below allows you to either limit the clearing of history, cookies and website data to a specific timeframe, or to delete your existing web history altogether.

Open Safari and with a tab open, tap the Bookmarks icon (the open book) located at the bottom of the screen.

Tap the tab at the top of the screen with a clock symbol, and you’ll see a history of your browsing activity.

To remove instances of recorded visits to specific web pages, swipe leftwards across individual logs in the list and tap the red delete button that appears.

To delete the entire browsing history list, tap “Clear” and select the option you prefer from the following: The last hour; Today; Today and yesterday; and All time.

Method 2

The second method of wiping your browsing history might be considered the ‘nuke’ option, since it clears all history, cookies and website data on that device, regardless of when the sites were accessed.

Open the Settings app and scroll down to Safari in the list.

Tap the “Clear History and Website Data” option near the bottom of the menu. (Note that this setting might be grayed out if there’s already no history to clear or if parental controls are set for websites.)

Tap “Clear History and Data” in the popup overlay.
And that’s it. Note that these built-in Safari features only make you safer from discovery by other people in the same household.

If your privacy concerns extend to a desire for enhanced security and anonymity online, consider subscribing to a Virtual Private Network (VPN) service that offers an iOS client or supports OpenVPN (Private Internet Access and ProtonVPN are two popular options), and using a Tor-powered browser for iOS.

Related Roundup: iOS 11Tag: Safari
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Amazon’s Super Bowl ad tries subbing celebrities for Alexa

What would happen if Alexa lost her voice? According to Amazon’s Super Bowl commercial for 2018, the company would bring in famous people to fill in the gaps. The new Alexa spot features Jeff Bezos hesitantly approving a plan to substitute in celebrities like Gordon Ramsay, Rebel Wilson, Cardi B and Anthony Hopkins.

While this commercial is intended to be humorous, the focus on Alexa is certainly intriguing. We see the Echo on screen, but Amazon is clearly pushing its voice assistant. The company’s Super Bowl commercial last year teased the Echo speaker specifically, alongside Alexa. The choice to focus on the software, the voice assistant, rather than the hardware is an interesting departure especially when you consider all of the non-Amazon options that now harness the power of Alexa for voice control.

Source: YouTube


‘Nokia’ is introducing a 4G version of its old-timey phone

Nokia has been playing on our nostalgia with recent phones like the 3310 3G. Apparently, it’s been working well for them because the company is now introducing a 4G version of the phone in China. According to CNET the device will be available in February.

It’s not really clear why Nokia (or rather, HMD Global, which acquired the rights to produce Nokia-branded phones and tablets) chose to start with a 3G version of the 3310; after all, nostalgia for a “simpler” time usually doesn’t include achingly slow connectivity. This new phone includes faster 4G speeds and can function as a Wi-Fi hotspot. It also has a 2 megapixel camera with an LED flash, a headphone jack, a 2.4-inch polarized screen, Bluetooth 4.0 and 512 MB of storage with a MicroSD expansion slot. It will come in two colors, light blue and gray.

Introducing this phone in China makes sense, as the country’s large population is a great testbed for new phones. This particular model may be popular in rural areas and for people who need a more basic phone (or can’t afford one of the higher end models). There’s certainly a market for phones with fewer features, but this one at least balances modern-day speed with that familiar form factor.


Source: Nokia


Netflix resumes ‘House of Cards’ production without Kevin Spacey

Netflix’s production of House of Cards is back on track. The streaming service has resumed production on the political drama’s sixth and final season roughly four months after a series of sexual harassment allegations against co-star Kevin Spacey led to him being cut from the show. There’s no word yet on when the new season will premiere, but it’s reasonable to presume that the series won’t make its usual first-half-of-the-year release window.

Much of the cast will remain, including Robin Wright (aka Claire Underwood) — she’ll clearly be taking a more prominent role. The sixth season will have Greg Kinnear and Diane Lane playing as siblings, although there aren’t any more details for their roles beyond that.

This definitely isn’t the only show to be affected by sexual assault and harassment claims. Netflix alone has cut other roles and cancelled entire shows (including a Gore Vidal biopic starring Spacey), while Amazon has its own trouble. This doesn’t include allegations against executives, either. House of Cards is the most prominent example, however, and many will be watching to see how (and if) it recovers.

Source: Variety


Bournemouth bars have begun accepting a smartphone app as ID

I went to university in Bournemouth and remember fondly (and not so fondly) queueing for overpriced bars with housemates and other trainee journalists. Every Monday night was the same — I would stand outside in the freezing cold, slowly shuffling forward until someone in my group uttered the groan-inducing phrase: “I’ve forgotten my ID.” Oh, how times have changed. A bunch of nightclubs including Cameo, Halo, Truth, Yates and Walkabout have started accepting Yoti as an ID and proof of age. The smartphone app is supposed to be fast, secure, and more convenient because you can leave your passport and driving licence at home.

Yoti has a slightly confusing setup. First, you take a selfie with your phone and enter your mobile number so that Yoti knows which device is tied to your account. Second, you create a five-digit PIN so that your account is protected from anyone that might be thinking about nicking your phone. Third, you have to take a short video and then photograph your driving licence or passport. Phew. Photo IDs are verified with machine learning software and further checked by a security team. The video, apparently, is enough to thwart anyone who might be trying to cheat the system.

At the club, you simply need to take out your phone, unlock the app and scan the relevant QR code. (Some businesses will request a selfie at this point as an extra precaution.) Yoti says it uses “advanced hybrid encryption” (AES 256 bit) to protect your information. The company’s system stores and encrypts every part of your profile separately, making it harder for would-be hackers to steal your identity in one fell swoop. Private encryption keys are kept on the phone, which means Yoti cannot see or access your data once your account has been created. Ultimately, of course, you’re still trusting it to process and store your information properly.

Yoti is a young company based in London. Business Insider reported last November that two major supermarkets were testing the technology with self-service checkouts. The idea being that people could verify their identity and purchase alcohol and other age-related goods without calling over a member of staff. It’s unclear if and how the partnerships have progressed, however. Its adoption in Bournemouth, then, is a major milestone. In addition to nightclubs, Yoti will be accepted at tanning salon Sun Soleil, tattoo parlour Forever&ever and a handful of estate agents.

“The beauty of Yoti is that individuals only need to create their Yoti once and then have a secure digital identity they can use time and time again, in a variety of places,” Robin Tombs, Yoti chief executive said. “Bournemouth will be the first town in the world where people can prove their ID with Yoti on their phone to get into clubs, rent a flat or even get a tattoo.”

Via: Daily Telegraph


Google takes steps to combat fake news ‘snippets’

Google announced this week that it is revamping its “snippets” feature, which is the featured description you usually see at the top of search results when you input a question. Recently, the search engine has come under fire for displaying “fake news” as snippets. Now, the company is updating its Search Quality Rater Guidelines to help human raters more accurately flag hoaxes, conspiracy theories and false and/or offensive information. Additionally, it is adjusting its rankings to promote high-quality content and demote low-quality content.

The company is also improving the quality of results by displaying more than one snippet. After all, sometimes there isn’t one correct answer to a question. “There are often legitimate diverse perspectives offered by publishers, and we want to provide users visibility and access into those perspectives from multiple sources,” said Matthew Gray, the lead of the snippets team.

Google is also making it easier to provide feedback about snippets. This way, users can raise concerns about questionable snippets they see. A link at the bottom of the snippet box makes that quick and easy to do.

It’s good to see that Google is taking action on this troubling front. The additional features it’s putting into place (especially the rankings algorithm) will help prevent people from gaming the system in order to ensure that fake news is the first source that Google searchers see.

Source: Google (1), Google (2)

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