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The Next Web

Google’s $349 Pixel 4a is finally here — but is it too little too late?


After waits of eons and tons of rumors, Google‘s mid-range Pixel 4a is finally here. The company announced the device today with a starting price of $349.

Google’s naturally banking on its renowned camera tech along with nifty and clean Android experience to entice users. Before we talk more about the device, let’s have a look at the device’s not-so-impressive spec sheet.

Specifications

  • Screen: 5.81-inch full HD+ display
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Rear camera: 12-megapixel single camera with f/1.7 aperture
  • Front camera: 8-megapixel single camera with f/1.7 aperture
  • Internal storage: 128GB
  • Battery: 3,140mAh
  • Charging: 18W USB-PD fast charging. 
  • Software: Android 10

The company is releasing just one size this time, so there’s no Pixel 4a XL. It says that the design team managed to cram 5.81-inch of the screen in a relatively smaller body. So there wasn’t any need for a larger phone. Even after that, thick bezels on the front are visible and daunting. Read More

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Mashable

‘Ghost of Tsushima’ got me to watch streamers. I finally get the hype.

Five months into self-isolating alone in a one bedroom apartment, I’ve accepted that my expectations of how all this was going to go were unrealistic. I don’t mean that in reference to the physical reality of the COVID-19 pandemic or even the whiplash unpredictability of the time loop that is 2020 — I mean my expectations for me, personally. I have not baked a single loaf of bread, planted no herbs, and completed exactly zero virtual yoga classes.

The reality of my isolation is that trying new things is hard and I’m tired. The paradox of being exhausted from a surfeit of nothing is not lost on me, but I’ll be damned before I spend my energy on something I’m not even sure I’ll like. As someone who works full time reviewing television and video games, I’m more comfortable letting things I like come to me.  Read More

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The Verge

Brace yourselves: Google’s Pixel 4A is finally, probably coming Monday


With a rumored $349 price, OLED screen, Google’s great camera, and a good-enough processor, the upcoming Pixel 4A sounds like it’ll be a tough deal to beat for those who don’t need a premium phone. And it looks like the phone will finally be launching on August 3rd.

Google has officially confirmed that a new Pixel phone is coming this Monday, and while there’s a slight possibility it could be a different phone, Google itself had also leaked a picture of a phone last month that matches up with everything else we’d heard. Now, more renders of the phone have been leaked that appear to confirm a lot of the earlier rumors. Ishan Agarwal posted an image of the phone similar to ones we’ve seen previously and apparent confirmation of the phone’s specs. Read More

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The Next Web

Epic is finally adding achievements to games sold in its Store

The Epic Store is finally getting one of the features both its fans and detractors have long said it lacked: achievements. While its achievements are rolling out in a limited form, it’ll still be fun to see them in our Epic-owned titles, considering it’s a feature almost every other gaming platform offers.

Epic revealed the feature in a tweet, adding that it’s still tinkering with the feature. The tweet shows an image of what achievements will look like using ARK: Survival Evolved as an example. It appears the achievements will be listed in a side panel, and you’ll be able to see your progress towards certain objectives (it’s a bit hard to see in the clip, so it’s rather speculative on my part). Read More

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The Verge

Beloved Nintendo president Satoru Iwata’s tribute book is finally coming out in English


A tribute book for Satoru Iwata, the beloved president and CEO of Nintendo who died in 2015, is getting an English release this spring, publisher VIZ Media announced today. The book, Ask Iwata, is a translation of Iwata-San, which was first published in Japan last year.

“In this motivational collection, Satoru Iwata addresses diverse subjects such as locating bottlenecks, how success breeds resistance to change, and why programmers should never say no,” according to a summary of the book that VIZ Media shared with The Verge. “Drawn from the ‘Iwata Asks’ series of interviews with key contributors to Nintendo games and hardware, and featuring conversations with renowned Mario franchise creator Shigeru Miyamoto and creator of Earthbound Shigesato Itoi, Ask Iwata offers game fans and business leaders an insight into the leadership, development and design philosophies of one of the most beloved figures in gaming history.” Read More

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The Verge

Quibi will finally let you screenshot, but it’s a little bit complicated


One of the biggest complaints Quibi received upon its initial launch was subscribers being unable to screenshot what they were watching and share it with the world. For a mobile-first streaming service, it seemed like a bit of an oversight. Now, Quibi has introduced screenshot capabilities, but it’s not as easy as holding down the right buttons on your iPhone.

Quibi built its own screenshot tool inside the app that subscribers must use to get the image they want instead of the blacked out photo that would appear in their photos folder otherwise. To use it, users have to touch and hold the screen until a pop-up menu appears. There’s an option to take a screenshot, and sliding your finger over to that option will produce the screenshot people want to take. Quibi’s chief product officer, Tom Conrad, tweeted a photo of the screenshot tool, seen above. Read More

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Mashable

TikTok will finally pay its biggest creators directly


TikTok is finally going to start paying its most influential creators directly.

The app announced that it has started a $200 million “Creator Fund” to support “ambitious creators who are seeking opportunities to foster a livelihood through their innovative content.” In a statement released Thursday, TikTok said the fund is for U.S.-based creators only.

TikTok has fostered the rise of major influencers like the D’Amelio sisters, members of the Hype House, and more. But until now TikTok creators had to monetize their content themselves. Creators could only earn money off their content through partnerships with third-party brands. Whereas YouTube directly pays its creators a cut of ad revenue. Read More

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TechCrunch

Let’s close the gap and finally pass a federal data privacy law – TechCrunch



Jerry C. Jones is the EVP, Chief Ethics and Legal Officer of LiveRamp (NYSE: RAMP), where he leads the legal and data ethics teams and assists in the strategy and execution of the company’s strategic initiatives.

My college economics professor, Dr. Charles Britton, often said, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” The common principle known as TINSTAFL implies that even if something appears to be free, there is always a cost to someone, even if it is not the individual receiving the benefit.

For decades, the ad-supported ecosystem enjoyed much more than a proverbial free lunch. Brands, technology providers, publishers and platforms successfully transformed data provided by individuals into massive revenue gains, creating some of the world’s most profitable corporations. So if TINSTAFL is correct, what is the true cost of monetizing this data? Consumer trust, as it turns out. Read More

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The Verge

Dragon Quest 11 is finally coming to Xbox One


Ever since its debut in 2018, Dragon Quest XI has slowly been spreading to other platforms. It’s playable on the PC, PS4, and Switch — and now it’s finally coming to the Xbox One. During its Xbox Series X showcase today, Microsoft revealed that the “definitive edition” of the role-playing game is launching on its console on December 4th. It’ll also be available through Xbox Game Pass, and the definitive version will launch the same day on PS4 and Steam as well.

The news is particularly interesting because it marks the series’ debut on Xbox platforms. Despite being one of Japan’s most popular franchise, Dragon Quest has generally struggled in the West. That, coupled with the Xbox’s small presence in Japan, has made the two seem like an unlikely fit. Lately, though, Japanese role-playing games have seen a surge on the Xbox One, thanks in large part to the Final Fantasy series joining Game Pass. Read More

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The Verge

Microsoft’s AI-powered ‘Eye Contact’ feature is finally coming to the Surface Pro X


Microsoft’s AI-powered “eye contact” feature for the Surface Pro X is finally starting to roll out, months after it was originally announced for the ARM-powered Surface laptop last year.

The new feature is rolling out now as part of Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 20175, which means that it likely isn’t too far from a broad release.

According to Microsoft, the new feature relies on the “artificial intelligence capabilities of the Microsoft SQ1 processor” to adjust where your eyes are looking in a video call or chat to make sure that you always appear to be making eye contact with the camera — even if the lens is off to the side or you’re looking down at your display. When enabled, the eye contact correction will automatically apply to any app that uses the front camera (like Zoom, Skype, or Google Meet), although it only works when the Surface Pro X is in landscape mode. Read More