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T-Mobile today announced that it’s improving its One data plan for international travelers and expanding its reach to cover almost the entire globe. The One plan already provided subscribers with unlimited data and texting in more than 140 countries. T-Mobile has now expanded that coverage to over 210 countries and destinations. This means that subscribers get unlimited data, text, and low rate calling virtually everywhere in the world.
No doubt that subscribers get unlimited data when traveling but it has a base data speed of 128 Kbps. In this day and age, that’s not enough to get anything done. This is where the international data pass comes in.
The T-Mobile daily data pass will provide subscribers with high speed data and unlimited calling for $5 per day. Subscribers get 512MB of up to 4G LTE data and all unlimited calls they want to make in all Simple Global countries for up to 24 hours. They will be able to use up to 5GB of LTE data in Mexico and Canada for no additional charge.
Subscribers can purchase the passes from the T-Mobile app or call Customer Care. The new countries will be added to Simple Global on July 22nd whereas the data pass will be available for purchase starting August 1st.
Google first introduced Smart Text Selection with Android 8.0 Oreo. It has two core components. When the user taps on a word the feature automatically selects the entire phrase and it then suggests relevant actions based on what has been selected. For example, a link to Google Maps comes up with an address is selected. This feature will soon be available in Chrome OS as well.
It’s not surprising to see that this feature is making its way to Chrome OS given that the entire Android ecosystem is now available on Chrome OS. The flag for the Smart Text Selection feature is available in the latest Canary channel build of Chrome OS. The description mentions that the feature “shows quick actions for text selections in the context menu.”
Even though the chrome://flags/#smart-text-selection flag is now available in the Canary build, a report suggests that the feature doesn’t work even after the flag is enabled and the device is restarted. So it may take some time before Google enables this feature in the Canary build.
It’s going to take a bit longer for this feature to arrive in the stable build but at least this confirms that the feature will eventually make its way to all Chrome OS users.
If you’ve looked into low-end and mid-range smartphones then you may have discovered that many of them use chips from MediaTek. The company is well-known for its chips that are used in affordable devices. MediaTek today announced a new processor called the Helio A22 that’s meant to compete with the Snapdragon 400 series from Qualcomm.
The MediaTek Helio A22 is based on ARM’s Cortex-A53 cores. It combines four of them with a PowerVR GE-class GPU from Imagination. MediaTek says that this chip will be 30 percent faster and offer a 72 percent improvement in GPU performance compared to its direct alternatives. It doesn’t mention any “direct alternatives” in the press release, though.
The Helio A22 does have a maximum clock speed of 2 GHz that’s just 0.05GHz faster than the Snapdragon 429. The company’s new chip is compatible with both LPDDR3 and LPDDR4X memory types and can support up to 6GB capacity of each type.
It also brings improvements in the camera department. The Helio A22 has support for either a single sensor of up to 21 megapixel or a dual camera with 13 megapixel + 8 megapixel sensors. It even supports Face Unlock.
MediaTek has already started supplying the new chip to manufacturing partners, the Redmi 6A from Xiaomi is one of the first smartphones to be powered by the Helio A22. Expect other manufacturers to launch affordable Android smartphones powered by this chip in the near future.
The IFA 2018 convention is going to take place in a couple of months and many companies will be headed to Berlin in order to unveil their new products. Sony is likely going to be one of them as the Japanese company has confirmed that it’s going to have a press conference at IFA 2018 on August 30th. The company hasn’t said what it’s going to talk about at the press conference, though.
Sony has stuck to its twice per year upgrade cycle over the past few years so it’s possible that it will stay the course in 2018 as well. If that’s the case, we may see the successors to the Xperia XZ2 and Xperia XZ2 Compact at IFA 2018. Those handsets were unveiled earlier this year at the Mobile World Congress 2018 in Barcelona back in February.
Recent reports suggest that Sony has the Xperia XZ3 and Xperia XZ3 Premium in the pipeline and that it’s going to unveil the handsets at IFA 2018 in Berlin. The new flagship may tout four cameras – two front and rear each – alongside a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chip coupled with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.
Only Sony knows what it’s going to be unveiling at the press conference so we’ll have to wait until August 30th to find out for sure.
IBM has decided to experiment with a digital currency that’s pegged to the United States dollar. The cryptocurrency stablecoin is tied to the government-backed currency that is the USD. The idea behind tying up the cryptocurrency with an existing currency is to reduce the volatility that’s often seen with digital currencies.
IBM has confirmed that this cryptocurrency, called Stronghold USD, is backed by Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation-insured U.S. dollars. The reserves are held by blockchain-focused asset manager Prime Trust.
IBM is experimenting with this digital currency as it wants to explore ways to help banks and financial institutions process payments faster and more securely. It has decided to do that with Stronghold USD because it’s pegged to the USD and won’t suffer from the drastic volatility that’s often seen in other cryptocurrencies, at least in theory.
Stronghold’s stablecoin is going to use the platform that was developed by Stellar, a company co-founded by former Ripple executive Jed McCaleb four years ago. This blockchain protocol will be used to issue and transaction Stronghold USD. Access to liquidity will be provided through its institutional exchange services.
The IBM blockchain itself is different from the original one used for Bitcoin. That blockchain allows anyone to participate while IBM’s blockchain will only allow trusted parties to use it.
Netflix launched a new, free, and fast way for people to check their internet speeds a couple of years ago. The tool was simply called Fast.com and it didn’t require you to do much else than punching in the URL into your browser of choice. Netflix has said that the site has seen “incredibly strong” organic growth in the past couple of years so it’s adding more functionality to the site now.
Netflix says that the usage of Fast.com has doubled over the past seven months and that the site has generated over half a billion speed tests from across the globe. Users have asked to see more information about their internet connection and Netflix is now obliging them. The site has got the ability to measure connection latency and upload speed now.
The upload speed measures the speed of the connection for uploading data from a user’s device to the internet. Latency refers to the time that it takes for data to go from the user’s device to a server and back. Both will be measured on unloaded and loaded connections.
Netflix has promised that it will continue to take the feedback from Fast.com users into account and ensure that its tool remains valuable and useful. It has also promised to always keep the design of the website clean and ad-free.
Amazon created its own online shopping event called Prime Day a couple of years ago. It promises Prime members a wide variety of deals on millions of products on Prime Day. Naturally, many look forward to the online shopping event to save some money. However, as soon as Prime Day 2018 began, Amazon’s website crashed for a short while.
The online retailer’s website had crashed due to heavy traffic which showed just how many people were willing to spend their money on Amazon on this day. Prime Day officially began on 12 PM PT and while there had been reports of service disruptions before then, a large spike in reports about the website crashing was seen after Prime Day began.
The outage largely appeared to be restricted to the United States and even after a few hours when the load balanced out a little, large parts of California and New York remained affected by the downtime even by 5 PM ET.
This obviously made it very difficult for people to find deals and spend their money on Amazon. The company acknowledged the downtime at 5 PM ET in a statement which said that “some customers” were facing difficulties while shopping and that it’s working to resolve the issue quickly.
Deezer’s High Fidelity lossless audio service will now be available on select soundbars and speakers from Samsung, the Korean company confirmed today. Its partnership with Deezer will enable Samsung customers to stream music and listen to tracks in the original quality on the company’s soundbars and wireless speakers. Only select Samsung products will be able to offer this to users.
Conventional music streaming services compress the music which leads to a reduction in the overall sound quality. Deezer doesn’t do that. It offers HiFi music streaming at 16-Bit/ 44.1 kHz in lossless audio. It does that to ensure that highest quality sound so that music lovers can get to hear the track in the way it was originally intended by the artist.
Deezer HiFi also includes Flow which is a personal soundtrack that users smart data to play familiar favorites and new recommendations for users. They also get ad-free listening, unlimited music play, and access to a substantial library of albums, playlists, genres, and more.
Users can access more than 36 million HiFi trackers on Deezer in more than 180 countries across the globe. The service will be available for those who own a compatible Samsung soundbar or wireless speaker device.
“We are driven by our commitment to providing a listening experience that’s unrivaled by our competitors, and our partnership with Deezer speaks directly to our mission to produce the best sound quality in the market,” said Taeho Park, Vice President of Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics.
Valve had been warning developers whose games include adult or violent content to remove the explicit themes if they want the games to be allowed on Steam. It later adopted a slightly lenient content policy which allowed controversial content through as long as it wasn’t illegal. However, according to one developer, Valve hasn’t completely ended its moderation practices.
Valve is reportedly holding back some games from Steam that feature adult content. This was first claimed by Shining Song Starnova creator Love in Space through Twitter after its title was withheld from Steam until the developers satisfied new requirements. Valve later confirmed to Gamasutra that “Yes, some titles are being held. We will have more info on this soon.”
The company has added that it’s working on new features which will provide users with more control over the content they see. It’s unclear what Valve considers as a violation of its content policy and it’s yet to provide any information about the new features.
Many developers who have submitted games like Love in Space for listing on Steam are effectively in limbo right now. Valve hasn’t told them when it will allow the withheld games to be listed on Steam so until that happens, the developers are essentially flying in the dark.
The first few days after buying a new car are very special for many of us. We don’t drive the new car in a rash manner and take extra care to ensure that we don’t scratch the shiny new paintwork. One can only imagine how it must feel totaling your brand new car just the day after you’ve bought it, particularly when it’s a McLaren 720S sports car worth close to $300,000.
The Fairfax County Police Department revealed over the weekend that a local driver totaled his shiny new 720S sports car in an accident merely one day after the car was purchased. The police department posted a picture of the crashed vehicle on its Facebook page as it warned people about the dangers of speeding. “Slow down, or it could cost you,” the department reminded everyone.
The Facebook post mentioned that the car was destroyed in Great Falls which is about 15 miles northwest of Washington D.C. The driver was said to be speeding in his almost $300,000 purchase.
Even though he totaled his car, the driver only received non-life threatening injuries and was taken to the hospital after the accident for medial attention. Fortunately, no other road user was injured in this accident as well.