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Michael Potuck

May 17

Microsoft chasing Pokémon GO’s AR success with ‘Minecraft Earth’ for iOS and Android

Microsoft is working on a major new Minecraft game for iOS and Android that takes the highly popular platform into the real world. After teasing the title earlier this month, the company has unveiled Minecraft Earth which is set to arrive in beta this summer. The new mobile game will bring a Pokémon Go-style AR experience to let players collaborate with others in real time and cover “the entire planet in Minecraft.”

May 15

(Weak) Facebook Live restrictions introduced in response to New Zealand shooting video

Facebook Live restrictions have been introduced in response to the New Zealand terrorist attack, when the gunman live-streamed footage of the shootings, making good on a promise made back in March

May 14

UK 5G rollout begins in July with Vodafone in seven cities, with home router to follow

We’ve heard about the 5G plans of US carriers, but UK 5G rollout has so far remained an unknown. That changed today when Vodafone announced its launch plans …

May 9

Facebook cofounder: It’s time to break up company, gov oversight of social media needed

While there has been lots of talks about regulating Facebook and the tech industry as a whole, there’s so far been no real action. Now Facebook’s cofounder, Chris Hughes has published an opinion piece today in The New York Times, making the case for why Facebook needs to be broken up. But beyond that, he believes we need a new government agency to handle the growing tech regulation issues. Read on for the five main reasons Facebook’s cofounder believes the platform needs to be broken up.

US gaming now dominated by smartphones; spend up 20% year-on-year

Smartphones are now dominating US gaming, according to a survey of more than 4,000 Americans by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA).

The ESA found that while PCs and game consoles remain popular, 60% of gamers play on their smartphones …

May 1

Poll: What should happen to our digital legacy?

A study has raised an interesting question: what should happen to our digital legacy: the data we leave behind after we die?

The question was prompted by the calculation that, before the end of the century, Facebook will have more dead users than living ones …

ACLU claims US border officials are abusing powers to search smartphones and laptops

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) claims that US border officials are abusing the powers granted to them to search smartphones and laptops.

The ACLU was granted the right to review records and interview officials in order to pursue a lawsuit on behalf of eleven clients whose phones and laptops were searched when returning to the USA. Ten of the clients are US citizens, while the other has permanent resident status …

April 25

NSA reportedly tells White House phone-surveillance program no longer worthwhile

The National Security Agency (NSA) has reportedly told the White House that it no longer sees its phone-surveillance program as worth the effort it requires.

It follows a report last month claiming that the NSA had in fact abandoned the program last year …

April 11

FAA to award first drone delivery service license in the U.S. next month

A Federal Aviation Administration official said that the agency expects to award the first license to operate a drone delivery service next month. The spokesperson did not name the company that would be receiving the license but it seems that the only likely candidate is Wing Aviation LCC, a subsidiary from Google’s parent, Alphabet Inc. And, the same company that received approval from Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority to start making deliveries by drone in the northern suburbs of Canberra after a safety assessment.

April 10

How to cancel your YouTube TV subscription

Does the latest YouTube TV price hike have you considering ditching the service? Follow along for how to cancel your YouTube TV subscription.

T-Mobile enters television market in eight cities with pricey TVision Home, promising ‘BS-free TV’

T-Mobile has today announced its TV plans with the arrival of TVision Home. The new service is the carrier’s attempt to take on traditional cable providers and will be launching in eight cities next week. T-Mobile is touting TVision Home as “BS-free” with “no hidden fees, no bill creep or exploding offers, no annual service contracts and no crappy customer service.” However, the service comes with a high price that may not be too different from average cable bills.

April 9

New Facebook terms and conditions make it liable in any future Cambridge Analytica type case

New Facebook terms and conditions agreed with the European Union acknowledge that it would be liable in any future case like the Cambridge Analytica scandal … 

April 1

Fortnite aims to evolve into much more than a game, says developer Epic

Fortnite aims to grow into much more than a game, says the CEO of developer Epic Games …

March 28

Google, GM, and more than 300 other companies launch Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance

Google, GM, Facebook, Walmart, Disney, and more than 300 other companies have launched the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA), an organization that aims at making renewable energy purchases easier for large-scale buyers.

The Elder Scrolls: Blades launches on iOS and Android with an early access program

Popular game studio, Bethesda, announced its new Elder Scrolls title for iOS and Android last year at E3 and also demoed the game at Apple’s 2018 iPhone event. After some delays, the game is now available as an early access program.

Facebook bans white nationalism as Trump administration sues it for allowing racist ads

Facebook has announced that it is banning white nationalism from its platform following consultation with academics and others, concluding that it is no longer possible to distinguish it from white supremacy …

March 25

Telegram privacy features likely to prove controversial

Two new Telegram privacy features are likely to prove controversial. The first removes the previous 48-hour time limit for ‘unsending’ anything you wrote from the devices of both participants using the secure messaging app …

March 19

Instagram launches in-app shopping from major brands, incl. Burberry, Dior, Nike, Prada

US Instagram users can now buy products from more than 20 major brands from inside the app. The feature is known as Instagram Checkout.

Today, we’re introducing Checkout on Instagram. When you find a product you love, you can now buy it without leaving the app …

March 15

Facebook announces AI system to detect revenge porn, says accounts posting it will be deleted

Facebook first started trialling a system to combat revenge porn late last year, but it had one rather scary aspect: you had to upload your own nudes so the platform knew which images it should block. The social network has today announced a new AI-based detection system …

Third-party Snapchat games will be announced next month, says report

It’s long been rumored that Snap was working on a gaming platform, and a report today says that the company will announce third-party Snapchat games next month.

Games are expected to run inside the Snapchat app, and the company will reportedly show off examples from several developers …

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