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Updated: 5 min 57 sec ago

O2 now offers Apple Watch contracts with six months free airtime

Fri, 06/14/2019 - 01:00

Previously an exclusive to EE and Vodafone in the UK, you can now buy the LTE version Apple Watch as part of a contract with O2.

From today, O2 will be selling both the Apple Watch Series 3 and Apple Watch Series 4. Each will be the LTE variants, and there's no sign of the network selling the standard versions.

It'll allow you to connect the Apple Watch with your existing phone contract on O2, or if you're switching to the network it's also available on a new contract too.

An alternative provider

The Apple Watch 4 price is £14.50 a month, £20 upfront and the rolling internet plan costs £5 a month. You'll get the first six months of airtime free, but it's a 36 month contract, so you'll be paying for the next 30.

Over that three year period, this deal for the Apple Watch 4 is set to cost you £692.

The Apple Watch Series 3 is cheaper, and it has a similar deal with your first six months of airtime offered for free. The device is £9.99 a month, and its upfront cost is also £20.

Again, this is only offered on a 36 month contract, which would end up costing you just under £530 over the lifetime of the device.

Categories: Tech News

Huawei has reportedly filed trademarks for its Android replacement OS

Fri, 06/14/2019 - 00:47

The US trade ban has taken an extensive toll on Huawei, with the Chinese phone manufacturer having to swiftly find an alternative to the Android mobile operating system it currently relies on due to Google being a US company.

While the company has been reportedly working on its own Hongmeng operating system since 2012, the pressure has built considerably in recent months to present a finished and viable alternative to Android.

Do Androids dream of Hongmeng?

Huawei representative Andrew Williamson has spoken of the readiness of this operating system in an interview in Mexcio City, stating that “it’s not something Huawei wants [...] but Hongmeng is being tested, mostly in China”.

Williamson also claimed that he believes “it is already being rolled out over a million devices”, and Reuters has reported that Huawei has filed “Hongmeng” trademarks in the EU as well as multiple countries, including Canada, South Korea, New Zealand, Cambodia, and Peru.

Huawei would obviously prefer to stick with Google’s Android system, and would put the brakes on the Hongmeng roll-out if the US Government’s decision is revoked, but its backup OS will be ready to launch “in months”, according to Williamson. 

A Play Store by another name

One of the major drawbacks Huawei would face from having to leave behind Google’s Android mobile OS is its loss of access to its Play Store and the vast collection of verified and trusted apps that come with it.

The Chinese company has its own app store – Huawei AppGallery – but it currently doesn’t feature anything close to the range of apps as Google or Apple’s counterparts.

As such, the company has reached out to developers that currently have apps on the Play Store, according to a leaked email shared with XDA Developers, in order to request they also publish their popular apps over in the AppGallery and help boost its catalogue.

The email suggests that AppGallery has 560,000 developers currently in the community, and that the platform comes preloaded on every Huawei phone sold globally, reaching 270 million monthly active users.

FCC complaint

On top of all this, the Chinese communications giant has also filed an official complaint with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding the banning of its network technologies on the grounds of national security.

The letter claims that “banning particular vendors on grounds of ‘national security’ will actually do little or nothing to protect the security of America’s telecommunications networks. Rather, forcing network operators to rip out and replace their existing equipment would pose a greater threat to network stability and security.”

Furthermore, Huawei claims that, despite its efforts, Federal Commissioners have refused to meet with company representatives in order to explain the accusations of threatening national security, and the Chinese company is “therefore handicapped to respond”. 

Categories: Tech News

Spotify's library section gets streamlined with updated mobile interface

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 23:29

From today, Spotify Premium users with the latest version of the streaming music app may notice a refreshed and reimagined 'Your Library' section that's been designed to get you to your music and podcasts faster.

Instead of having your saved content housed on separate screens, which you had to do previously, Spotify's new streamlined library keeps everything on a single screen with Music and Podcasts split over two tabs – each with their own subsections. 

From there, users can either swipe back and forth through the tabs and subsections, or tap on them to access them directly. 

The Music tab holds Playlists, Artists and Albums, while the Podcasts tabs are split into Episodes, Downloads and Shows.

Things changed, and that's the way it is

You'll also notice that Spotify has included a new playlist at the very top of the Playlists section called 'Liked Songs'. As the name would suggest, the playlist includes all the songs you've ever liked. 

Of course, entire albums that you've liked will also show up in this list, so it's probably best to listen to the Liked Songs playlist in Shuffle play mode.

Additionally, the Episodes subsection under the Podcast tab has been designed to display shows you've already started listening to first, making it easier to resume where you left off, followed by quick access to the newest episodes of each podcast just below that.

You can check out how the redesigned library works in the video below.


The new simplified Your Library section on Spotify is rolling out now for both Android and iOS devices. 

Categories: Tech News

Google and VPN services could be fined $77k by Russia

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 20:06

As Russia looks to tighten its grip on the content its citizens can access online, a new bill could affect how Google and other search engines, VPN services and web resources operate in the country.

Just as China's Great Firewall does, Russia too blocks access to prohibited content and the Russian search engine Yandex often omits certain search results from being seen by the country's users.

However, Google has only recently started to do so and Russian consumers are growing increasingly aware of the fact that they can skirt the country's censorship by using a VPN.

This is why a group of Duma deputies from Russia's lower house have proposed a bill which would impose fines of up to $77k on foreign services that further refuse to filter prohibited content in the country.

Comply or be fined

Back in March, the Kremlin's communication watchdog, Roskomnadzor, sent out letters to popular VPN providers informing them that their services would soon be blocked in Russia unless they complied with local laws. While most of the VPN services have refused to connect their services to the Federal State Information System (FGIS), only Kaspersky Secure Connection complied with the government's requests.

An anonymous source provided further details on the proposed bill to the Russian news site Interfax, saying:

"This bill will be an efficient mechanism of influence. It may affect such resources as Google and VPN services in the case of repeat refusal to filter.”

The bill has yet to be signed into law but if it is, it could lead to more foreign tech companies pulling out of Russia over ethical concerns.

Via Interfax

Categories: Tech News

Evernote security flaw could have exposed data of millions of users

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 18:37

Security researchers have discovered a critical flaw in the Evernote Web Clipper Chrome extension which could allow potential attackers to access a users' personal information from third party services online.

The vulnerability, a Universal Cross-site Scripting (UXSS) referred to as CVE-2019-12592, was discovered by the security company Guardio as part of its ongoing security analysis efforts using a combination of its own internal technology and researchers.

After the discovery, the firm immediately disclosed the vulnerability to Evernote and the note taking service quickly rolled out a complete fix in less than a week.

However, due to the Evernote's widespread popularity, the issue could have potentially affected the 4.6m consumers and businesses that use its Chrome extension.

Web Clipper extension

Before Evernote fixed the issue, the logical coding error in the Web Clipper extension could have allowed an attacker to bypass Chrome's same origin policy which would have granted them code execution privileges in Iframes on other site's besides Evernote.

Without Chrome's domain-isolation mechanisms, code could be executed that could allow an attacker to perform actions on the user's behalf as well as grant access to sensitive user information on affected third-party web pages and services including authentication, financial details, social media conversations, personal emails and more.

Guardio's CTO Michael Vainshtein explained why browser extensions need to be scrutinized thoroughly, saying:

"The vulnerability we discovered is a testament to the importance of scrutinizing browser extensions with extra care. People need to be aware that even the most trusted extensions can contain a pathway for attackers. All it takes is a single unsafe extension to compromise anything you do or store online. The ripple effect is immediate and intense." 

Via Bleeping Computer

Categories: Tech News

Raptors vs Warriors live stream: how to watch Game 6 of 2019 NBA Finals online from anywhere

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 17:49

They were so close! The Toronto Raptors were within a point of claiming their first ever NBA championship on Monday, but the Warriors survived and now bring their Canadian opponents back to Oakland for Game 6 in the 2019 NBA Finals. You’ve come to the right place if you're looking for a Raptors vs Warriors live stream. Keep reading and we’ll show you exactly how to watch the 2019 NBA Finals online wherever you happen to find yourself in the world.

The Golden State Warriors, swept the Portland Trail Blazers 4-0 in the Western Conference Finals to advance to the final round.The Warriors are back in the Finals for the fifth straight season and the team will be shooting for their third title in a row. If they can pull it off, they’ll be the first team to three-peat since the Los Angeles Lakers pulled off the feat back in 2002.

The likes of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson have come up big this series so far, but are the Warriors one Kevin Durant away from their very best? The one thing they have to focus on is the disappointment they felt when the Cleveland Cavaliers turned around a 3-1 deficit against the Warriors back in 2016.

For the first time in franchise history, the Toronto Raptors have advanced to the NBA Finals. The team may have lost two games to the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference Finals but thanks to a run led by Kawhi Leonard, the Raptors managed to earn themselves a spot in the Finals. He really is their key man and he'll be desperate to unlock an NBA Championship crown. And Serge Ibaka's display from the bench in Game 4 showed that the Raptors have strength in depth, too.

Whether you’re rooting for Golden State or Toronto, we’ll show you how to tune into all the action either on your TV or online. Get the info you need in this Raptors vs Warriors live stream guide.

How to watch the 2019 NBA Finals online from outside your country

Living in the US, UK or Australia and want to catch the Raptors vs Warriors? Scroll further down the page and we'll explain how to watch a 2019 NBA Finals live stream, whether or not you have cable.

But if you can't watch because you're not in your home country and so your coverage is geo-blocked then we can suggest a clever alternative (and no, it doesn’t involve finding some dodgy feed on Reddit). Using a VPN - or Virtual Private Network - you can change the IP address to one in a different state or country which does have the stream so that you can watch the series from anywhere in the world. The process is very straightforward… 

Watch the NBA Finals on TV in the US: Game 6 live stream

If you've already signed up for an NBA League Pass then we're afraid that won't help you get a live stream of the Raptors vs Warriors. The NBA's own streaming service doesn't show any NBA Finals games live online. The best it can do is to show the games on replay three hours after they air on TV. 

To watch on TV then, ABC is your only option as the network has secured the rights to broadcast the NBA Finals live.

We wish watching the NBA Finals was easier on TV but you can get around network exclusivity deals by opting for a streaming service that gives you access to every channel showing the playoffs and all of which coming with some kind of free trial.

  • fuboTV $44.99 for the first month - fuboTV doesn't include ESPN but you do get access to TNT, NBA TV and ABC in most markets. The service also includes Cloud DVR so you can record games to watch them later and if you forget to record a game, the company's 3-day replay allows you to replay nearly any game, show or movie that aired in the last three days. FuboTV even offers a free 7-day trial so you can test out the service.
  • Hulu with Live TV $44.99 per month - Hulu with Live TV gives you access to ESPN, TNT and ABC in most markets but the service doesn't include NBA TV. The service supports a wide variety of streaming devices and even includes its own Hulu Originals in case you want a break from watching sports.
  • Playstation Vue starting at $44.99 per month - Playstation Vue has four plans: Access, Core, Elite and Ultra but you'll need to opt for the Core plan at $49.99 per month to watch sports. The service's base plan gives you access to ESPN, TNT and ABC in most markets but you'll need to check to see if the plan you choose has NBA TV. There is also a 5-day free trial available.
  • DirecTV Now $50 per month - DirecTV Now gives you access to ESPN, TNT and ABC in most markets but only some plans offer NBA TV. You can stream on up to three screens simultaneously and with the DirecTV Now app you can watch live TV on the go. New customers can take advantage of a 7-day trial but you'll have to purchase on of DirecTV Now's packages first.
  • Sling TV starting at $15 per month - Sling TV's Sling Orange or Sling Blue packages each cost $15 or you can combine them for $25 per month. However, each package contains different channels so make sure the one you choose has the channels you want to watch. Sling TV gives you access to ESPN, TNT and ABC in limited markets with NBA TV available as an add-on.
  • YouTube TV $49.99 per month - YouTube TV gives you access to ESPN, TNT, NBA TV and ABC in most markets. The service also offers NBA League Pass. With YouTube TV you get free unlimited DVR storage space to record games for later and you can stream the service on three devices simultaneously. A free 14-day trial is also available so you can test it out for yourself.

- Discover our pick of all the US's best sports streaming sites

How to watch the Warriors vs Raptors in the UK 

Basketball fans in the UK will be able to tune into the NBA Finals on Sky Sports. The service will air the majority of the Warriors vs Raptors games at 2am BST.

If you’re not already a Sky Sports subscriber and don’t feel like paying for the service just to watch the NBA Finals, don’t worry as you can buy a daily, weekly or even monthly Sky Sports Pass on Now TV. This will allow you to watch the NBA Finals and all other sports shown on Sky.

When it comes to streaming basketball online our first choice is NBA.com.  With the NBA League Pass you you can watch hundreds of Live and On-Demand games on all of your favorite streaming devices including Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Xbox, Playstation and even on mobile. It costs £39.99, and will give you access to all remaining NBA games live.

And if you find yourself outside the UK at any stage during the playoffs then don't forget that you can always use a VPN to change your IP address back to the UK and watch any of these streaming services as if you were back at home.

How to get an NBA Finals live stream in Australia

If you're up for a bit of morning NBA watching Down Under (the games are due to start at 11am AET), there are plenty of options on TV and online.

If you have Fox Sports, then you'll want to turn to channel 508 for the ESPN channel.

If it's a phone or laptop you'd sooner watch from, then there's the ESPN Player instead. Or you can live stream NBA action via the Kayo Sports streaming service, which features no lock-in contracts and also includes access to over 50 sports, both live and on demand.

Kayo Sports Basic Package costs $25 per month and allows users to stream across two devices simultaneously. Alternatively, the service also offers a Kayo Sports Premium Package, which provides three concurrent streams for $35 per month.

The Foxtel Now and Kayo Sports apps means you can access this from your chosen device wherever you are (although you'll need a VPN if you're taking that abroad).

Categories: Tech News

iPhone users can now use Android tech to unlock their devices

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 17:44

Google is making it easier for iPhone and iPad users to verify sign-ins with the announcement that Apple device owners will now be able to use their Android device as a security key.

The search giant recently revealed that it had developed a new Bluetooth-based protocol which allows smartphones running Android 7.0 or later to act as a security key for two-factor authentication. 

According to Google, 100,000 users have already started using their Android smartphones as security keys.

The technology is currently limited to Chrome sign-ins but now Apple device owners will be able to utilize their Android smartphone to sign-in without the need for a physical security key.

Security keys

Security keys offer extra protection to users that are concerned their devices might get hacked and even Google's own employees used them to prevent phishing attacks.

When the company announced that modern Android smartphones can now be used as security keys, it also highlighted the fact that its OS is now FIDO2 Certified. FIDO2 is already supported by the world's leading browsers including Chrome, Microsoft Edge and Mozilla Firefox with preview support available on Apple's Safari.

iPhone and iPad users looking to use their Android device as a security key must first have the Google Smart Lock app installed on their iOS device. However, for now Google's Android security key can only be used to sign-in to Chrome but the company could extend this functionality to other apps and services down the road.

  • We've also highlighted the best antivirus to help keep your devices protected online

Via TechCrunch

Categories: Tech News

Bluetooth device suddenly not working with Windows 10? This might be why

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 16:37

Bluetooth has become an incredibly popular tool for connecting devices, whether it's the best smartwatches or the best wireless headphones. But, not all Bluetooth devices are created equal, and a new security update from Microsoft may break Bluetooth connection for some devices on Windows 10. 


The new security update arrives in a number of Windows cumulative updates, including the update for June 2019. But, it goes beyond that, so it won't just be computers getting the latest major update that are affected. The security update and Bluetooth changes will effect Machines running even Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 12, as discovered by Windows Latest

The security update isn't breaking Bluetooth connections on accident, though. The change is intentional, and it aims to block potentially dangerous devices from connecting to Windows computers. What Windows is doing in this case is blocking connections from Bluetooth devices that use well-known encryption keys. 

You can find more details on all the affected updates from Microsoft here.

What you can do

In most cases, this security update is not going to affect you. Popular Bluetooth devices from major manufacturers aren't likely to have launched with well-known encryption keys. And, in cases where they have, the companies may have updates available to remedy the issue.

If a Bluetooth device you've attempted to connect can't connect, you can check in the Windows Event Log for an error to see if this update is the cause. The error will show up with "BTHUSB or BTHMINI" in the Event Source field, "22" in the Event ID, and "BTHPORT_DEBUG_LINK_KEY_NOT_ALLOWED" in the Name field. 

It will also include the Event Message Text: "Your Bluetooth device attempted to establish a debug connection.  The Windows Bluetooth stack does not allow debug connection while it is not in the debug mode."

If your device is not connecting because of this error, you can either try to update the Bluetooth device or roll back the update. The the other alternative is to replace the Bluetooth device itself. Since future updates of Windows are likely to keep this change to Bluetooth security, keeping insecure Bluetooth devices is likely a fraught option.


Categories: Tech News

Napster founder's Wi-Fi hotspot startup gives away free money

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 15:24

Consumers already pay a large monthly bill for both their home internet and mobile plans which is why Napster's co-creator Shawn Fanning, Sproutling founder Chris Bruce and Amir Haleem set out to develop a fee-free peer-to-peer network for internet of things (IoT) devices.

Their company, Helium has released its IoT wireless hotspot to provide wireless connectivity to the internet through a blockchain-based incentives program.

A single Helium Hotspot retails for $495 and can provide coverage to around 1/50 or 1/150 of a city according to the company's research. The device uses close to the same amount of power as an LED light bulb at 12 watts to provide wireless internet to nearby devices.

The Helium Hotsspot plugs into a user's home network and encrypts traffic from the device to the cloud using onboard blockchain technology to add and validate devices.

Helium Hotspot

The device can reach 200 times farther than conventional Wi-Fi routers as it uses the LongFi protocol and according to the company, just 50-100 hotspots are required to cover an entire city.

Helium has also developed an Arm-based, battery-powered chip which can be attached to pet collars, water and air quality sensors and even ride-share scooters to provide them with an internet connection from nearby Helium Hotspots at a data transfer rate of 5 kilobits per second.

By sharing their internet connection with these chips, Hotspot owners can earn free cryptocurrency which can help offset their initial investment. Each hotspot acts as a mining node within Helium's blockchain through a proof-of-coverage challenge-response protocol that is used to authenticate other devices on the network.

The company's list of launch partners already contains some big names such as ride-sharing scooter company Lime and beverage company Nestle. At the same time, pet product company InvisiLeash is working together with Helium to build a line of connected pet products starting with collars.

According to Helium, the company has already sold out 80 percent of its hotspots in its launch market of Austin, Texas and thousands of people have joined its global waiting list.

Via VentureBeat

Categories: Tech News

A wild 64-core Ryzen Threadripper 3rd Generation processor leak appears

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 15:17

We've seen plenty about AMD Zen 2 recently, but word on the street is that AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3rd Generation processors (CPUs) will feature up to 64-cores and 128-threads.

Now, right out of the gate: this is an unsubstantiated rumor from WccfTech, so you should take it with a giant grain of salt, no matter how exciting it is. Still, a 64-thread Threadripper processor may see the light of day in Q4 2019, or between October and December of this year.

This would be earlier than we were previously expecting: we heard a while ago that AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3rd Generation processors would be delayed until early 2020

Still, it shouldn't be too surprising that the next generation of Threadripper would see core counts double, as that's exactly what happened with AMD Ryzen 3rd Generation back at E3 2019. 

This Wccftech leak also describes the next-generation X599 HEDT platform, which will support Threadripper processors up to 64-cores. This isn't terribly surprising either, but the rumor that next-generation Threadripper processors will still be supported by TR4 motherboards should make upgrading to these likely expensive processors easier.

Either way, this is a very early leak, so we wouldn't expect to hear anything official from AMD about the next generation of Ryzen Threadripper for a while. The leaker mentions that these processors will be announced before CES 2020, so maybe we'll hear word of next-generation Threadripper at IFA 2019 – don't hold your breath, though.

Categories: Tech News

A wild 64-core Ryzen Threadripper 3rd Generation processor leak appears

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 15:17

We've seen plenty about AMD Zen 2 recently, but word on the street is that AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3rd Generation processors (CPUs) will feature up to 64-cores and 128-threads.

Now, right out of the gate: this is an unsubstantiated rumor from WccfTech, so you should take it with a giant grain of salt, no matter how exciting it is. Still, a 64-thread Threadripper processor may see the light of day in Q4 2019, or between October and December of this year.

This would be earlier than we were previously expecting: we heard a while ago that AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3rd Generation processors would be delayed until early 2020

Still, it shouldn't be too surprising that the next generation of Threadripper would see core counts double, as that's exactly what happened with AMD Ryzen 3rd Generation back at E3 2019. 

This Wccftech leak also describes the next-generation X599 HEDT platform, which will support Threadripper processors up to 64-cores. This isn't terribly surprising either, but the rumor that next-generation Threadripper processors will still be supported by TR4 motherboards should make upgrading to these likely expensive processors easier.

Either way, this is a very early leak, so we wouldn't expect to hear anything official from AMD about the next generation of Ryzen Threadripper for a while. The leaker mentions that these processors will be announced before CES 2020, so maybe we'll hear word of next-generation Threadripper at IFA 2019 – don't hold your breath, though.

Categories: Tech News

Amazon home security systems: the Blink home security camera gets a price cut

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 14:54

Secure your home and snag a killer with the best-selling Blink Indoor Home Security System at Amazon. For a limited time, you can get the two-camera kit on sale for $111.99. That's a $28 discount and the best price we've seen for the top-rated home security system.

The Blink home security system allows you to secure your home at an affordable price with free cloud storage and no monthly subscription fee. The wire-free security system will send alerts to your smartphone when motion is detected with a video link attached so you can decide how to respond. The Blink security system works with Amazon Alexa and offers a "Live View" streaming mode so you can watch your home in real time. The indoor security system includes two Blink cameras and mounting kits, a quick start guide, and a pair of AA lithium batteries that offer an impressive two-year battery life.

Like we mentioned above, this is the lowest price we've seen for the best-selling Blink cameras, so if you've wanted to add extra security to your home - now is a perfect time.

Shop more Amazon deals with our guide to Amazon Prime Day 2019.

You can find more home security sales with the best cheap home security camera deals that are currently available.

You can also shop more smart home deals with the best cheap smart home devices and gadget deals.

Categories: Tech News

Xbox Project Scarlett vs PS5: what we know so far

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 14:15

And so it begins. The dawn of a new console war, as two gaming titans re-enter the ring for another dust-up. Our combatants? Xbox Project Scarlett vs PS5. Microsoft vs Sony.

Alpha and Omega. Beginning and End. 

Yes, we take gaming very seriously. So, with both companies having shown the first cards in their hands in the race to be the next console kings, we’re putting their early reveals under the microscope. It’s inevitable that both the Xbox Project Scarlett (whether it’s launch name becomes the Xbox Two or otherwise) and the PlayStation 5 are going to cost a pretty penny at launch. But which one should your prettiest of pennies be going towards? Here’s what we think so far.

[Note that there is still much to be revealed about both consoles. This piece acts only as a barometer of the direction each company is taking. And, at first glance, they seem surprisingly similar…]

Xbox Project Scarlett vs PS5: key facts

Image credit: Sony

  • What are they? Xbox Project Scarlett, or Xbox Two, and the PS5 are the expected names of the forthcoming next-gen games consoles from Microsoft and Sony, set to deliver more ambitious and graphically impressive gaming experiences than ever before.
  • Xbox Project Scarlett and PS5 release date: Though specific dates are yet to be confirmed, Microsoft has given Xbox Project Scarlett a launch window of "Holiday 2020". Sony has yet to offer a launch date for its next console, but we’d expect it to be roughly the same time.
  • What can I play on it? So far, we’ve only a single game confirmed for either console, and that’s Halo Infinite for the Xbox Project Scarlett. But that console will also be comprehensively backwards compatible, while we’re expecting games like Cyberpunk 2077 to make an appearance on both machines.
Xbox Project Scarlett vs PS5: specs so far

Though it was Sony to make the first move, giving the first concrete details about its PS5 back in April 2019, Microsoft’s E3 2019 showcase showed that both companies appear to be singing from the same hymn sheet with their new machines’ internal specs. Note, however, that never have revealed what their consoles look like – this is purely a sneak peek under the hood at this stage.

The PlayStation 5 will run off a custom-built version of the third generation AMD Ryzen chipset, packing in 8 cores with the company's new Zen 2 architecture and Navi graphics. It’s a system that will be able to support ray tracing – a performance-intensive lighting technique that has previously been the reserve of expensive high-end PC GPUs. Sony has also talked of the console setting a new “gold standard” in immersive, 3D audio, particularly for those using a headset whilst playing.

The PS5 will also support screen resolutions of up to 8K – far higher than the standard 1080p HD of most people’s televisions, let alone that of the increasingly popular 4K. It’ll also work at 120Hz refresh rates, allowing for super-smooth movement in games. These are incredibly performance intensive specs, so we wouldn’t expect a game to hit these standards regularly (not to mention requiring an expensive TV that will support them), but it’s good to see what Sony is aiming at.

Perhaps the most interesting element of the Sony build is its commitment to using SSD storage. The solid state drive in the PlayStation 5 will again be a custom-built piece of hardware, and Sony has already been showing off its technical prowess with a demo of its existing Spider-Man PS4 game. On PS5 hardware, the game is able to race around an incredibly-detailed New York City at incredibly high speeds without any delay in geometry loading or texture streaming, something that would never be possible on PS4.

The Xbox Project Scarlett, at this stage, is looking startlingly similar.

It too will use custom AMD internals using the same Zen 2 and Navi architecture of the PS5, making it 4x more powerful than the Xbox One X – this generation’s most technically-impressive gaming hardware.

It too will be able to run content (if not games) at an 8K resolution, and it too will support 120Hz refresh rates. The Xbox Project Scarlett will match the PS5 by offering ray tracing capabilities, and it’ll have an SSD too, here also used as virtual RAM to lift load times by up to 40x. Standard RAM will be of the GDDR6 variety, in an amount yet to be determined.

The Xbox Two will also be backwards compatible with the Xbox One’s supporting hardware accessories, meaning that you won’t have to rush out and buy new pads and headsets to accompany the console at launch. And, if you’re a sucker for buying boxed games over making digital purchases, it’s already confirmed to have a physical disc drive included.

It’s worth mentioning that rumors surrounding the Xbox Project Scarlett have also involved the possibilities of their being two complimentary consoles launched, codenamed Anaconda and Lockheart. The theory here is that the former will be a high end machine, likely what’s described above, while the latter would be a budget option focussing on streaming. At this stage however, they remain merely rumors, as Microsoft is yet to confirm or deny the existence of a duo.

Xbox Project Scarlett vs PS5: games we expect to see

Image credit: CD Projekt Red

It’s early doors for the new next-gen consoles, but already we’re getting a picture of the sort of experiences you can expect to see on the Xbox Project Scarlett and the PS5. 

Let’s kick off with the Xbox, as Microsoft has been a little more open with its line up upfront. First off, Microsoft has confirmed that Halo Infinite, aka Halo 6, will be a launch title for Xbox Project Scarlett. The Halo franchise is a unit shifter for Microsoft, a big-budget FPS series that will have been left on a bit of a cliff hanger for five years come the ‘Holiday 2020’ release of Halo Infinite. This is a very big deal.

Perhaps just as much of a big deal is the fact that Xbox Project Scarlett will be backwards compatible with all existing Xbox platforms. If you have games for the original Xbox, the Xbox 360 and the Xbox One, there’s a good chance they’ll work on Project Scarlett – especially your Xbox One library. How deep Microsoft goes on the libraries of the other generations remains to be seen, but it’s been relatively generous in their support during the Xbox One’s lifetime.

Sony has also confirmed that its PS5 will be backwards compatible, at least with your PS4 game library. How far back it will support the PlayStation family’s game history remains to be seen, but it’s been a little less supportive in this regard during the current generation, aside from within its paid-for PlayStation Now streaming service.

Which brings us onto the conversation surrounding game streaming. With Google entering the gaming fray with its Google Stadia game streaming platform, Microsoft and Sony have actually entered a partnership to share and collaborate on game streaming technologies for the next generation. Exactly how this will play out remains to be seen. But with Sony already hosting PlayStation Now, and Microsoft pumping cash into its Project xCloud, don’t be surprised if a good chunk of your game playing time is streamed in over the web during the next generation.

As for other titles? We can make some educated guesses that some of the more ambitious games that are currently slated as swansongs for this present generation of consoles will make their way over to the newer machines in "remastered" or "definitive" editions. The future-noir stylings of Cyberpunk 2077 seems far too ambitious for the current generation, for instance, as does Sony's Hideo Kojima project Death Stranding for PS4. Likewise, it's been very quiet around Ghost of Tsushima, which would cause no surprise to later be repackaged as a PS5 launch title.

Xbox Project Scarlett vs PS5: price expectations

Image credit: Microsoft

At this point, talking about the price of Xbox Project Scarlett or the PS5 cost is an exercise in speculation. It’s simply too early to tell, and there are too many missing factors in their make up for us to make an informed decision on the specifics of their final price. 

But what we can say for certain is that the specs teased above don’t come cheaply. These are going to be high-end machines at launch, and will have significant price tags attached as a result.

What we can do, however, is look back at the comparative pricing of the Xbox One and PS4 at launch. One of the reasons the PS4 proved the more popular console during this generation was the fact that it launched at the more attractive price point of $399.99 / £349.99. That was a relative steal compared to the $499 / £429 Xbox One, which at launch had to factor in the cost of its ill-fated (and relatively short lived) Kinect motion tracker. The Kinect was initially hailed as one of the key differentiators between the consoles, but proved unpopular with both developers and gamers, leading to Microsoft slowly phasing it out in an effort to drive the price of the overall package down with later console revisions.

Microsoft will not want to make similar mistakes again – its launch pricing (along with its strange initial focus on entertainment capabilities over gaming software), were key factors to its initial struggles, which it’s spent this entire generation fighting against. One company will inevitably undercut the other, but with specs at this stage looking so similar, don’t expect it to be so dramatic a difference this time around.

Gut feeling

Image credit: Sony

There’s so much yet to learn about the PS5 and Xbox Two, or Project Scarlett (or whatever it ends up being called). But at this early stage, the similarities between the two consoles are striking.

The commitment to SSD tech, suggests a parity across both consoles for third party developers to work with. Both consoles will be making great efforts to offer deep backwards compatibility across their archives. And the astonishing fact that they’ll be sharing streaming technologies is the sort of collaboration that would once have been unheard of. Microsoft and Sony have clearly been listening to their fanbases – people don’t care about inter-company politics, they just want the best gaming experience possible.

But there’s still a tribalism among the fans, and so, as ever, first party gaming content is going to be perhaps more important than it’s ever been. With so many ways to play, from remote access to streaming, the hardware becomes far less important than the experiences they offer – especially when the two platforms are looking increasingly similar. Microsoft is the first out of the gate to announce a platform exclusive title with Halo, but Sony absolutely destroyed the competition in the PS4 generation with its exclusives. Hope for, and expect, nothing less in the console wars to come.

  • PS5 games: all the titles confirmed and expected on the PlayStation 5
Categories: Tech News

La Liga app spied on users to catch illegal streamers

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 14:14

Spain's top professional football league, La Liga, has been fined $284k by the country's data protection agency for using the league's mobile app to spy on its fans.

The app, which has been downloaded on millions of devices, was reportedly used by La Liga to monitor bars showing football matches in an effort to catch establishments that showed games on television without a license.

Fans that downloaded the app did so to stay up to date with schedules, player rankings, statistics and league news but few realized that it also was able to determine when and where they're watching games.

The Spanish newspaper El País reported that the league informed authorities that the app detected when users were in bars and would then use the microphones on their smartphones to record audio. By using a technology similar to the app Shazam, the La Liga app would then use the recording to determine if the user was watching a soccer game. If so, officials would use the location of their device to determine if the bar they were in had a license to play the game.

Fighting piracy

La Liga has become aggressive in its fight against illegal streaming in recent years and through its app, it found a way to have fans unwilling participate in its crusade.

However, the league insists that users did have the option to opt-out of allowing its app to track the location of their smartphone and use its microphone. For instance the app's privacy policy goes into further detail, saying:

“If you accept the specific and optional box enabled for this purpose, you consent to the access and use of your mobile device’s microphone and geopositioning functionalities so that LaLiga knows from which locations football is being streamed and thus detect any fraudulent behaviour by unauthorised establishments. Activation of both the microphone and geopositioning of your mobile device will require your prior acceptance of our pop-up window.”

While La Liga did inform users in its privacy policy, few consumers actually read through it and the data protection agency ruled that the league did not properly inform users and thereby violated their privacy.

The agency has fined La Liga for violating EU data privacy laws and has also ordered the league to take down the app by the end of June.

  • We've also highlighted the best VPN

Via Gizmodo

Categories: Tech News

Nikon reportedly launching mid-price mirrorless camera this year

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 14:04

Is the Nikon Z1 or Z5 set to land this year? Rumors of a more affordable alternative to the company's Z6 (above) and Z7 mirrorless cameras have been swirling for some time – and now a report from Japanese business publication Nikkei appears to confirm that something is on the way.

In an article entitled 'Nikon launches mirrorless for mid-price range', Nikkei claims that the company will introduce a mid-price mirrorless camera in 2019, at a price expected to be in the 100,000 Yen range. That works out at around $920 / £730 / $AU1,330, which is considerably cheaper than the current cheapest option, the Z6.

It also describes the current flagship Z7 as the upcoming camera's "sister model", which means it would be in the same line, although it's unclear whether Nikon will be able to equip the model with a full-frame sensor in a body priced so competitively. 

The prospect of an APS-C model using the same Z mount hasn't been ruled out by Nikon. The article goes on to state that the aim of the new camera is to "develop the demand of users other than existing enthusiasts".

Nikon's cheapest current full-frame cameras are the D610 and D750 DSLRs, although the former's low availability suggests that it's reaching the end of its life. The D750 is hardly new either, which is possibly why additional rumors of a Nikon D760 model show no sign of going away.

Categories: Tech News

Telegram hit in major DDoS attack

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 13:15

The encrypted messaging app Telegram was hit by a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack while protesters used the app to communicate during recent protests in Hong Kong.

The DDoS attack also appears to have affected the messaging service's 200m users across the Americas as well as in some other countries according to a tweet sent out by the firm in which it also confirmed that user data was safe.

As opposed to a typical cyberattack which aims to gain access to a company's systems or its data, DDoS attacks are designed to take a service offline by flooding it with traffic thus making it unusable. Telegram compared a DDoS attack to ordering a Whopper from McDonald's in a tweet, saying:

“A DDoS is a “Distributed Denial of Service attack”: your servers get GADZILLIONS of garbage requests which stop them from processing legitimate requests. Imagine that an army of lemmings just jumped the queue at McDonald’s in front of you – and each is ordering a whopper. The server is busy telling the whopper lemmings they came to the wrong place – but there are so many of them that the server can’t even see you to try and take your order. There’s a bright side: All of these lemmings are there just to overload the servers with extra work – they can’t take away your Big Mac and Coke. Your data is safe.”

Origin of the attack

Despite Telegram explaining the DDoS attack it suffered in a humorous way on social media, there is actually a more sinister side to the attack. According to Telegram founder and CEO Pavel Durov, most of the IP addresses behind the attack originated from China as he explained in a tweet, saying:

“Historically, all state actor sized DDoS (200-400 GB/s of junk) we experienced coincided in time with protests in Hong Kong (coordinated on @telegram). This case was not an exception.” 

The protests in Hong Kong started out peacefully but things became violent when several hundred protesters clashed with police outside the city's parliament. 

The protests themselves were organized on Telegram, WhatsApp and other similar apps. However, Telegram has shown to be quite useful in these situations due to its encryption and the fact that users can create groups of up to 200,000 people as well as broadcast to an unlimited audience.

The South China Morning Post first reported on the role the messaging app played in the protests when a Telegram group administrator was arrested for conspiracy to commit public nuisance. The man allegedly had been communicating with 30,000 users who were planning to charge the Legislative Council Complex and block the roads that led to the building.

We will likely learn more once a full investigation is conducted but if China is behind the DDoS attack it shows that the country is willing to interfere with foreign services to keep its populace under control.

  • Need to access the internet without restrictions? Check out the best VPN

Via Forbes

Categories: Tech News

Australia vs Brazil live stream: how to watch today's Women's World Cup 2019 match from anywhere

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 13:07

Australia need to bounce back quickly to avoid an early exit from the 2019 Women's World Cup in France, after a shock 2-1 loss to Italy. Can they get back on track against the samba stars? Read on to find out how you can catch a Australia vs Brazil live stream from anywhere around the world with our instructions below.

In contrast to the Aussies' bad start, Brazil eased past Jamaica in their opening game with a 3-0 win in a match that saw Cristiane become the oldest person to score a World Cup hat-trick. Despite their opening match win Brazil remain underdogs with the bookies for this match, thanks in part to their poor run of form going into the tournament.

Having been on the receiving end of the biggest shock in the 2019 Women's World Cup so far, with a less than reassuring defensive performance, Australia coach Ante Milicic has nevertheless insisted his side will maintain the attacking philosophy that the Matildas are known for.

Ranked nine places below their opponents today, Brazil lost their last encounter with Australia 3-1 and were also knocked out by them in the second round of the last World Cup following a 1-0 defeat. Nevertheless the South Americans appear to have picked up their form at the right time following a string of nine straight losses.

It's a crucial match for both teams and you can ensure you don't miss any of the action by following the instructions below and grabbing a live stream of Australia vs Brazil wherever you are in the world.

Watch a FIFA Women's World Cup 2019 live stream from outside your country

If you're in UK, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, we've got your viewing options listed below. If you're out of the country for today's match, you may find that geo-blocking will prevent you from watching your regular domestic coverage from abroad. You don't have to risk watching the match on a dodgy stream, however.

With the option of using a VPN service, you can tune into the match no matter where you are in the world, and its super easy to set up.

How to watch a live stream of the Matildas match in Australia

Live stream Australia vs Brazil in the US

- Discover our pick of all the US's best sports streaming sites

As well as opening up your viewing options for the Women's World Cup, using a US VPN allows you to watch all your domestic sports coverage from abroad.

How to stream Australia v Brazil live in the UK 

How to watch FIFA Women's World Cup: Canada live stream 

How to watch an Australia vs Brazil live stream in New Zealand 

Categories: Tech News

Australia vs Brazil live stream: how to watch today's Women's World Cup 2019 match from anywhere

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 13:07

Australia need to bounce back quickly to avoid an early exit from the 2019 Women's World Cup in France, after a shock 2-1 loss to Italy. Can they get back on track against the samba stars? Read on to find out how you can catch a Australia vs Brazil live stream from anywhere around the world with our instructions below.

In contrast to the Aussies' bad start, Brazil eased past Jamaica in their opening game with a 3-0 win in a match that saw Cristiane become the oldest person to score a World Cup hat-trick. Despite their opening match win Brazil remain underdogs with the bookies for this match, thanks in part to their poor run of form going into the tournament.

Having been on the receiving end of the biggest shock in the 2019 Women's World Cup so far, with a less than reassuring defensive performance, Australia coach Ante Milicic has nevertheless insisted his side will maintain the attacking philosophy that the Matildas are known for.

Ranked nine places below their opponents today, Brazil lost their last encounter with Australia 3-1 and were also knocked out by them in the second round of the last World Cup following a 1-0 defeat. Nevertheless the South Americans appear to have picked up their form at the right time following a string of nine straight losses.

It's a crucial match for both teams and you can ensure you don't miss any of the action by following the instructions below and grabbing a live stream of Australia vs Brazil wherever you are in the world.

Watch a FIFA Women's World Cup 2019 live stream from outside your country

If you're in UK, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, we've got your viewing options listed below. If you're out of the country for today's match, you may find that geo-blocking will prevent you from watching your regular domestic coverage from abroad. You don't have to risk watching the match on a dodgy stream, however.

With the option of using a VPN service, you can tune into the match no matter where you are in the world, and its super easy to set up.

How to watch a live stream of the Matildas match in Australia

Live stream Australia vs Brazil in the US

- Discover our pick of all the US's best sports streaming sites

As well as opening up your viewing options for the Women's World Cup, using a US VPN allows you to watch all your domestic sports coverage from abroad.

How to stream Australia v Brazil live in the UK 

How to watch FIFA Women's World Cup: Canada live stream 

How to watch an Australia vs Brazil live stream in New Zealand 

Categories: Tech News

Amazon Prime to show 20 Premier League fixtures - and you can watch them all for free

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 13:05

Prepare to set your time machine for early 1992, as top flight English football is about to return to your screens without costing you a penny – and no, we're not counting those grainy live streams you find on Reddit.

Ok, so it will only be for 20 games in December and you'll need to take out an Amazon Prime free trial (if you're not already subscribed), but still...free Premier League football!

It was announced last year that Amazon Prime Video had bought the rights to show a number of games in the 2019/2020 EFL season. We now know that the TV streaming service has exclusive rights to show all 10 fixtures across December 3-5 and in the traditional Boxing Day slot. Between them, they include some tasty fixtures, such as Manchester United vs Tottenham Hotspur and the Merseyside derby.

Football for free

That's fantastic news if you already pay the £7.99 per month for a Prime membership (super handy with the Prime Day sales extravaganza just around the corner).

But, if you've never been a Prime member before, you can take the opportunity to time a 30-day free trial at the start of December and get all 20 matches without paying a single penny. You may even discover that it's useful for your Christmas shopping around that time.

And, if you're cursing your luck because you've booked yourself a Christmas-time holiday, there's still a way to watch. Grab yourself a VPN and then login to Amazon Prime Video as if you were back in the UK.

Categories: Tech News

Amazon Prime to show 20 Premier League fixtures - and you can watch them all for free

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 13:05

Prepare to set your time machine for early 1992, as top flight English football is about to return to your screens without costing you a penny – and no, we're not counting those grainy live streams you find on Reddit.

Ok, so it will only be for 20 games in December and you'll need to take out an Amazon Prime free trial (if you're not already subscribed), but still...free Premier League football!

It was announced last year that Amazon Prime Video had bought the rights to show a number of games in the 2019/2020 EFL season. We now know that the TV streaming service has exclusive rights to show all 10 fixtures across December 3-5 and in the traditional Boxing Day slot. Between them, they include some tasty fixtures, such as Manchester United vs Tottenham Hotspur and the Merseyside derby.

Football for free

That's fantastic news if you already pay the £7.99 per month for a Prime membership (super handy with the Prime Day sales extravaganza just around the corner).

But, if you've never been a Prime member before, you can take the opportunity to time a 30-day free trial at the start of December and get all 20 matches without paying a single penny. You may even discover that it's useful for your Christmas shopping around that time.

And, if you're cursing your luck because you've booked yourself a Christmas-time holiday, there's still a way to watch. Grab yourself a VPN and then login to Amazon Prime Video as if you were back in the UK.

Categories: Tech News

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