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Sen. Marco Rubio announces Congress’ first big push to regulate tech

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) announced a new data privacy bill today, marking the first real push from Congress to regulate big tech companies in the new year. The bill, initially reported by Axios, does little to quell Democrats’ regulatory desires, and it would effectively remove individual states’ authorities to write their own, perhaps stricter, rules.

The bill is called the American Data Dissemination Act, and it would direct the Federal Trade Commission to write privacy rule recommendations for Congress, proposing a framework for companies like Facebook, Twitter, and Google. If Congress does not pass a bill within two years, the FTC would be able to write its own rules for companies, something the agency has been unable to do since the...

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How to choose a photo storage service

Unhappy with Flickr’s new policies? If you’ve decided you’re done with Flickr, and have downloaded all of your photos, you now have a decision to make: where do you put them now? You can, of course, simply keep them on a hard drive, but that isn’t ideal, especially if you want to be able to share your work with family and friends, or exhibit it for sale or reuse. You can also back them up to one of the popular cloud storage services, but again, most of those aren’t ideal for exhibiting your photos.

You’re not without choices. What follows is a quick list of some of the top cloud services for photographers to store, show, and even sell their work — starting with Flickr itself.

Flickr

Flickr isn’t going away, by any means —...

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Leigh Alexander on finding joy and connection online

In “Online Reunion,” author Leigh Alexander imagines a world in which a young journalist is struggling with a compulsive “time sickness,” so she sets out to write a tearjerker about a widow reconnecting with her dead husband’s e-pet — but she finds something very different waiting for her in the internet ether. A self-described “recovering journalist” with a decade of experience writing about video games and technology, Alexander has since branched out into fiction, including an official Netrunner book, Monitor, and narrative design work for games like Reigns: Her Majesty and Reigns: Game of Thrones.

The Verge spoke with Alexander about finding joy and connection online, preserving digital history, and seeing the mystical in the...

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An e-pet reunion takes an unexpected turn in “Online Reunion”

A story from Better Worlds, our science fiction project about hope

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Westworld mobile game is shutting down following lawsuit settlement

The official Westworld mobile game has been removed from Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store just one month after its publisher settled a lawsuit over the game being “a blatant rip-off” of Bethesda’s Fallout Shelter.

A message now appears in-game announcing its shutdown, adding that people who already have the game installed can continue playing until March 16th, 2019. The message, seen below, also tells players to use all of their in-game currency before the game goes offline completely.

Image: Warner Bros. Interactive
Message in Warner Bros.’ Westworld game.

Bethesda Softworks, the publisher behind Fallout Shelter, filed a lawsuit in June 2018 against the Westworld game’s publisher and developer,...

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Motorola’s RAZR is returning as a $1,500 folding smartphone

The legendary Motorola RAZR might be making a comeback as a $1,500 foldable screen smartphone, and it could launch as early as February, according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal.

The original RAZR was one of the most iconic cellphones ever made, and it seems that Motorola’s parent company Lenovo is looking to cash in on that branding with an updated foldable phone (similar to the one that Samsung has teased for later this year). Per the WSJ, the new RAZR will be exclusive to Verizon in the US with a planned February launch, although the device is still in testing and details have yet to be finalized.

Also unknown is nearly any concrete information about the phone....

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Mysterious PS4 game Vane doesn’t tell you anything, and that’s the

Vane is a hard game to put into words, which is appropriate since it doesn’t have any in it. Initially, it plays like the descendant of The Last Guardian and other works from acclaimed director Fumito Ueda, but it slowly takes on a more sinister vibe. There’s a synth-heavy soundtrack with an industrial edge and unsettling, unexplained scenes that are reminiscent of Playdead’s macabre side-scroller Inside. Over the five-or-so hours the game lasts, it gets stranger and darker, but one thing remains consistent throughout: Vane will frustrate and confuse you, and it has no interest in telling you what to do. Patience is required to get the most out of this gorgeous, atmospheric experience.

Things open with a terrible storm amid a ruined...

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Why screen time studies can’t measure the effect of smartphones on o

What is the correlation between screen time and adolescent well-being? It’s an important question for which we have limited and often contradictory answers. A story in Wired this week all but let our phones off the hook for any negative consequences — but I wonder if the study fully understands the way we live now.

Much of the research to date on the potential effects of screen time on well-being relies on self-reported data from massive surveys, Wired reports. The sheer amount of data available means that creative scientists can make nearly any argument about correlations, leading to widespread confusion about the truth.

In the latest issue of Nature Human Behavior, researchers Andrew Przybylski and Amy Orben apply a novel statistical...

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Roku pulls Infowars channel citing complaints from ‘concerned partie

After an intense social media backlash, Roku has backtracked on its decision to allow the Infowars channel on its service. In a tweet announcing the move, the streaming platform said that it had taken the decision after hearing from “concerned parties,” and that deletion of the channel should be completed shortly.

After the channel’s presence on the platform came to light, Roku initially sought to justify its decision by saying that it did not “curate or censor based on viewpoint.” While it said that it had policies to prevent content that is “unlawful, incited illegal activities, or violates third-party rights,” it said that Infowars was not in violation of those policies.

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Oppo confirms 10x zoom camera for smartphones

Oppo has confirmed that it’s developing a smartphone camera system with a 10x zoom lens, as rumored. The tech is similar to the 5x zoom prototype the company showed off a couple of years ago, making use of the phone’s lateral width to enable the necessary physical depth through the use of a periscope-style prism.

This time around the camera is 15.9-159mm-equivalent, meaning it’ll start with an ultrawide perspective and zoom into medium telephoto. It’s essentially three prime lenses in one, so Oppo’s claim of “lossless” zoom might not quite be accurate throughout the entire zoom range, but it should be considerably flexible nonetheless.

The system has optical image stabilization, but so far Oppo isn’t saying anything about aperture,...

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