Spotify tests Snapchat-like stories for playlists

Nov 30, 2020 - 2:03 PM - by Reverend
Spotify is testing a new Snapchat-style Stories feature alongside some of its playlists. On its Christmas Hits playlist, for example, a series of artists including Jennifer Lopez, Kelly Clarkson, and Pentatonix use a series of short video clips to share personal anecdotes about the festive period and their songwriting processes. Engadget notes that similar stories have been spotted on the Tear Drop emo rap playlist, and a version of Megan Thee Stallion’s album Good News.

The videos can be accessed from an icon on the top left of each supported playlist. Tapping it reveals an interface that’ll be familiar to anyone who’s ever watched an Instagram or Snapchat story, allowing you to tap on the left or right of the screen to skip through a collection of short video clips.

Spotify confirmed the new feature in a statement provided to Engadget, but said it was a test and stopped short of confirming a wider release. “At Spotify, we routinely conduct a number of tests in an effort to improve our user experience,” a spokesperson said. “Some of those tests end up paving the path for our broader user experience and others serve only as an important learning. We have no further news to share on future plans at this time.”

Since debuting on Snapchat, Stories have become an increasingly common sight across numerous social networks and other services. Instagram’s implementation of the format is one of the best known, but other services including YouTube, Twitter, and even LinkedIn have implemented versions of the feature. This isn’t even Spotify’s first stories test, following an experiment with a feature called Storylines back in 2019.

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PS5 photo scams force eBay to issue stern warning

Nov 30, 2020 - 1:59 PM - by Reverend
History is full of examples of people ready to take advantage of their follows given the opportunity, even during times of crises and misfortune. The launch of new hot products is easily one such opportunity and the new PS5 and Xbox Series X|S consoles are no exception, with eager and desperate buyers becoming easy prey for scalpers and scammers. One odd scam even involves trying to dupe people into buying what turns out to be just photos or the PS5 on eBay. Unfortunately, the low price seems to have successfully conned not a few interested bidders.

It’s one of those cases where you won’t notice anything amiss if you don’t read carefully. These listings on eBay do indicate they are photos or images only, or boxes only, as if the four-digit price tags weren’t enough of a giveaway. Others do offer unbelievable prices for what some mistake for the actual console, leading some to actually bid on the item.

Regardless of outright warning or absurdity, these are clearly scams designed to trick people out of their hard-earned money. They are also, of course, in violation of eBays policies. Given the rising number of such listings, the e-commerce site issued a statement condemning “opportunistic sellers” and are working to remove such items from the site.

Unfortunately, these scams pop up faster than eBay can probably remove them. There are also a few listings trying to sell raffle tickets to win a PS5 or even a cardboard box.

These scams, however, are just the tip of the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S supply problems. Scalpers have held stocks of the new consoles for ransom, quickly swiping them off retailers even before buyers can get their hands on them. This problem isn’t new, of course, and the industry definitely needs to step up their game to keep such practice at bay.

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Microsoft could bring Android apps to the Windows desktop in 2021

Nov 26, 2020 - 2:33 PM - by Reverend
Microsoft is rumoured to be considering adding Android apps to Windows in 2021. Although runtime apps such as Bluestacks can offer Android emulation, the move from Microsoft would see apps available to download and run, alongside UWP and Win32 apps. According to a report from Windows Central, internal talks are ongoing over whether it would be possible to add an Android runtime to Windows 10, probably in time for a major revamp of Microsoft’s operating system, expected in the Fall of 2021.

Microsoft first adopted Android as its preferred mobile operating system when Windows 10 Mobile was all but abandoned in 2017. The company already offers a mobile version of most of its apps for Android, and users of the Windows Your Phone app are able to run multiple apps from compatible smartphones on the desktop, but this service is currently limited to Samsung users. Adding direct access to Android apps would be a major upgrade to Windows 10, putting it on a direct collision course with Google’s Chromebook range which can run ChromeOS, Android apps, and Linux packages simultaneously. With access to the Chrome browser, and rumours of a GUI for the Linux runtime in the pipeline, the addition of Android apps would make Windows a near-universal operating system.

Meanwhile, the company is said to finally have Windows 10X, a version of the OS that will eventually be aimed at multi-screen devices, ready to RTM before the end of the year, with an expectation that we’ll see products running it in early Spring of 2021. Windows 10X has been branded as Microsoft’s “Chromebook killer” and if Android apps were a part of the offering, that moniker might well have been earned.

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Android users will finally soon bid farewell to SMS

Nov 20, 2020 - 9:39 AM - by Reverend
Android users around the world will now have access to the new next-generation RCS texting standard as Google looks to finally do away with SMS once and for all.

While the concept for SMS was first developed by Friedhelm Hillebrand and Bernard Ghillebaert back in 1984, it wasn't until December of 1992 that the first text message was sent over the Vodafone GSM network in the UK. Now 28 years later, Google is trying to replace SMS with the open Rich Communications Services (RCS) standard.

The search giant has spent the past several years working with the mobile industry and device makers in countries around the world to provide chat features in its Messages app based on RCS. The upgrade from SMS to RCS will allow users to send and receive better quality photos and videos, chat over Wi-Fi or data, know when their messages are read, share reactions and participate in more dynamic and engaging in group chats.

In a new blog post, Messages product lead Drew Rowny announced that its global rollout of chat features that make RCS universal is now complete and Android users around the world (except in China and Russia) can begin leveraging the new texting standard.

Keeping conversations private and personal information safe is of the utmost importance to Google which is why the company works to continually improve security protections to safeguard user data in Messages.

To protect user's chats further, the search giant is rolling out end-to-end encryption for one-on-one RCS conversations between people using Messages. Implementing end-to-end encryption ensures that no one, including Google and third parties, can read the content of your messages as they travel from one phone to another.

End-to-end encryption for RCS will begin rolling out to beta testers beginning this month and... [Read More]
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Apple iTunes 12.11.0.26

Nov 19, 2020 - 10:17 AM - by Reverend
You can use iTunes to create your own personal digital music library and easily organize and listen to your collection of digital music files. You can also create your own custom audio CDs and transfer your music to an Apple iPod portable digital music player.

32-bit | 64-bit

iTunes homepage
  0 Replies | 277 Views


TikTok gives parents more control over what their teens can view and post

Nov 19, 2020 - 10:10 AM - by Reverend
TikTok is giving the parents of its millions of teenage users more options to restrict what their children can see and share.

The short-form video app announced a host of new parental controls on Tuesday, including the ability to decide what content teens can search for on TikTok, who can comment on their profiles, who can see what videos they've liked and whether their profile is public or private.

"Our aim is to strike a balance between safety and autonomy for teenagers as we work to create a safe and supportive place for self-expression," Tracy Elizabeth, the company's head of global minor safety policy, and Alexandra Evans, its head of child safety public policy for Europe, wrote in a blog post.

The new measures are part of TikTok's Family Pairing feature rolled out to certain European countries in February this year, which allows parents to link their account to their teenager's. The feature, previously called Family Safety Mode, allowed parents to set limits on how much time their children spend on TikTok every day, what kind of content they can view and the ability to limit or turn off direct messages.

TikTok is now expanding those features and making them available worldwide.

"As young people start to build a presence online, we believe it's important to give families tools so parents and teens can set guardrails together," Elizabeth and Evans said.

CNN
  0 Replies | 225 Views


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