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SlashGear Week in Review – Week 30 2009

Anyone with even the simplest of home theaters today probably has several remote controls lying around. If you do I am betting you are probably the only one capable of working the system in your house. A cool universal remote called the MX-5000 with a haptic touchscreen was unveiled that supports Wi-Fi and RF communication. Sounds cool right up until you get to the part where the price is going to be $1,500. I’ll take a Harmony One thank you. Early this week HP also debuted a new ProBook 4310s notebook that starts at $779.The machine has some nice options and specifications for those looking for more power than a netbook has to offer.

Windows Mobile 6.5.1 ROM was demoed on video this week and the new mobile OS has been tweaked to support touch screens, something we can agree is needed today. Intel launched some very nice new SSDs this week that are cheaper and have better performance than its previous SSDs. A new SSD with 320GB of storage is set to debut at the end of July according to some rumblings we heard. Yeah, it will be expensive.

We got our hot little hands on the Orange Toshiba TG01 for a full review this week. The handset has a nice big screen and runs the Snapdragon platform. In the end the TG01 is hard to live with by our estimations until some fixes are issued. The coolest surge protector ever tipped up Tuesday from TRC called the ElectraShield. The protector is an in-line device that fits between the AC cord and the boxy power supply of your notebook.

Sadly a Foxconn employee committed suicide this week after losing a prototype 4G Apple iPhone. Reports say the employee jumped from his apartment window after being physically abused and illegally detailed by investigators from Hon Hai — Foxconn’s majority stockholder. On a more positive note, the Plastic Logic eReader will be powered by Barnes & Noble. The bookseller will be the exclusive provider for content on the reader when it launches.

LG announced an odd netbook this week called the Xnote Mini X120 in partnership with Levi’s. The netbook has a lid with an image of the back pocket of a pair of jeans on it and it comes with a denim cover. It’s a very odd product tie in to me. Intel’s Core i5 750, i7 860, and i7 870 CPUs may be coming on September 6 according to information we found. The parts will have a price tag of up to $562.

WiMax hit Las Vegas this week and brought the Samsung Mondi with it. Clearwire still has a long way to go before it has service in enough areas to support the nations 4G jones and the Mondi itself is said to be not that great. Intel debuted speedy 34nm X25-M SSDs this week with capacity up to 160GB and prices for lots of 1,000 of $440.

We gave the T-Mobile myTouch 3G a through video unboxing this week. It’s a tough job being a professional geek, but someone has to do it. The Samsung S9110 watch phone will hit France soon and is called the world’s thinnest watch phone. You can finally live up your Dick Tracey fantasies without looking like you are wearing that massive 80’s calculator watch you had as a kid. That persistently rumored Apple tablet/netbook has a new update to its rumor wagon that has it launching this holiday season with a Verizon data subsidiary.

Microsoft insiders say that a new Xbox 360 with the Project Natal motion sensing tech will be offered in the second half of 2010. Microsoft says the tech will also come in Windows as well. Wednesday had a video hands on of a couple new Blackberry Storm 2 prototypes being unveiled. The prototype devices were said to be early versions and newer versions are supposed to be floating around already. Plastic Logic announced Wednesday that its coming eReader would connect to the AT&T 3G network and offer integrated Wi-Fi.

Renders supposedly of the HTC Leo were first seen this week and the device could be the Touch HD successor. The phone runs Windows Mobile 6.5 and looks like it will be a nifty mobile. Sprint started selling the Palm Pre online this week. I hardly think anyone really wants a Pre has been holding out until they could buy it online. Walmart announced a new laptop from Compaq selling for a bargain price of $298. The coolest part is the machine isn’t a netbook; it’s a full notebook with 3GB of RAM, 160GB of storage, a 15.6-inch screen, a 2.10GHz AMD Sempron and NVIDIA 8200M graphics.

I have had my hands on a few pico projectors since they first started to hit the market and the biggest problem with most of them is low resolution. The CTO of Syndiant said Thursday that pico projectors with 1080p resolution would be available in the next three years. I hope they are brighter as well. The Garmin/Asus nuvifone G60 and M20 will hit Taiwan this month and early next month. The devices are set to come to the U.S. sometime later this year.

Palm and Apple are having a bit of tug-o-war over the ability to synchronize the Pre to iTunes. Last week Apple killed the sync capability of the Pre with an update and Friday Palm fixed the Pre’s sync capability. We can bet that another Apple update is coming soon to kill the new update ability. One of the things that I have long disliked about portable mice is that they offer little in the way of sensitivity. Razer fixed that pet peeve this week when it announced the new Orochi Bluetooth gaming mouse. The mouse has 4000dpi resolution and is ambidextrous all for $79.99.

Well, that’s it for another week in review. I’ll see you next week at the same geek time, same geek channel!

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Slashgear 101: Does Instagram Own My Photos?

SlashGear 101: Does Instagram own my photos?

The short answer is no, Instagram doesn’t own anything of yours (at the moment) – but once January 16th, 2013 rolls around, there’s a few more words attached to that simple assurance. What we’re talking about today is the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy updates to Instagram laid down this week that’ll be taking effect on the 16th of January, 2013, many of them put in place to better tie them up with Facebook as their new owner. What many have found right out of the box is a few key phrases that appear very much to have Instagram taking control of the entirety of your library of photos hosted with them – we’re going to talk briefly here about what their jargon actually has to say.

This means first that you, by signing into Instagram, agree that you’re posting your content publicly. The follow-up clause there simply states that users other than yourselves also have the right to access the content you share “consistent with the terms and conditions” of the Privacy Policy and the Terms of Use – this is vague enough to fit many, many different models as the rest of the Privacy Policy text as well as the Terms of Use say many different things about your content that, taken alone, could mean very different things. Next is a piece of the 1 INFORMATION WE COLLECT segment of the Privacy Policy, right under “Information you provide us directly:”

This means, basically, that Instagram acknowledges the fact that they host the photos you post. Also in the Privacy Policy is a rule about what Privacy actually means, hinging it on the ability of an app (whichever app you’re using) to make it “private” and leaving it at that – this alleviates Instagram from fault should the app you’re using make your photo public on accident – or if Instagram prefers, public because the app in question hasn’t agreed with them on what “private” really means.

“Any information or content that you voluntarily disclose for posting to the Service, such as User Content, becomes available to the public, as controlled by any applicable privacy settings that you set.”

Added in this privacy section is a note on how your photos will likely live on forever, no matter what you do:

Then there’s the big doozy: in the Rights section in Instagram’s new Terms of Use, number one on the list essentially grants Instagram (and Facebook) rights over your photos from top to bottom. Note the vagueness of the limits and the pointing back toward the Privacy Policy which, again, is vague in and of itself enough to have you speaking in legal circles.

Then there’s the lovely pointed length of text guaranteeing the Instagram and Facebook team the right to use not only your photos, but your own likeness, name, username, and metadata as well to sell to “a business or other entity” of any kind “to help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions.” That’s the part where Instagram and Facebook own (and can sell) all of your photos.

And just for good measure, Instagram has made it clear that they don’t have to tell you when they’re working with paid services, sponsored content, or anything of the like:

“You acknowledge that we may not always identify paid services, sponsored content, or commercial communications as such.”

What do you think? Sound like a set of rules that might have you thinking twice about taking photos of your prized unique napkin drawing? Or do you just take photos of objects and people you don’t mind being sold without your consent and for profit with no monetary compensation given to you for the work?

This Week In Games: A Cities: Skylines Com

Here’s the bad news: Netflix’s Witcher adaptation still looks ridiculous.

This is gaming news for July 15 to 19.

Free games galore

This week’s Epic Games Store giveaway isn’t much to get excited about, unless you somehow missed Limbo for the entirety of the last decade. I’m sure there are some of you, but it seems almost impossible. But Epic’s redoubling its efforts next week, giving away both Moonlighter and This War of Mine. That’s right, Epic started the year giving away a game every two weeks, then went to one per week, and now we’re getting two in a single week. That Fortnite money, eh?

Subscription expansion

Less free, but sort of “free” if you’re a subscriber: Microsoft announced four new games for the PC version of its Game Pass subscription service. Night Call and The Banner Saga 3 both hit this week, with the former especially noteworthy as it also released this week, period. Killer Instinct and For the King are set to arrive next Wednesday. That should get you through these slow summer months.

…and Subscription Plus

Speaking of subscriptions, Ubisoft dolled out more details about its upcoming Uplay Plus service this week—specifically, the games they’re including at launch. When Uplay Plus goes live in September you’ll have access to more than 40 games, including brand-new releases like Anno 1800 and upcoming releases like Ghost Recon: Breakpoint. Ubisoft’s slate of live service games are also included, many of them with season pass content folded in, i.e. Rainbow Six Siege with all four years of Operators unlocked. It seems like a pretty decent deal for $15 a month, provided you play one or two Ubisoft games per year.

Less unknown, I guess

Did Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds need a well-defined story? Was that something people wanted? Were we all dying to know the background behind Pochinki? Because PUBG’s new season starts next week and there’s a cinematic trailer that really, desperately wants to make you care about the story behind 100 idiots being airdropped onto an island full of guns. This is Dead Island levels of absurd, given the disparity between this melodramatic trailer and your average PUBG match.

Dare I say it?


I was hoping it would happen, and it happened: Tetris Effect is finally making its way from PlayStation 4 over to PC. It’s classic Tetris, but led by Tetsuya Mizuguchi of Rez and Lumines fame—meaning it’s also a visual and auditory feast. I’ve heard it’s one hell of a VR experience, and a fantastic Tetris iteration in its own right, and I’m excited to try it out next week.

Watch this

And hey, if you’re still playing, the annual Summer Games event is running right now.

Totally new war


As far as user-built content goes, this is one of the weirdest I’ve seen. A certain Daniel Bali has created a working (albeit simple) calculator in Cities: Skylines by constructing an incredibly complicated sewer system. Yes, sewer system. You can read more about the project here—my favorite part is that “one 4-bit addition took roughly 15 months in game which is about 20 minutes in real life”—or just stare in disbelief at the video. (Via PC Gamer)


Lastly, another look at Netflix’s adaptation of The Witcher, which continues to look like a strange and somewhat expensive (but not expensive enough) cosplay shoot for Henry Cavill. This week we got a look at Henry atop his steed, Roach, a normal-looking brown horse.

The Week In Numbers: The Fastest Human, Nerf’s Longest

5 hours and 39 minutes: the time, from launch to docking, it took this week’s Soyuz crew to get from Earth to the International Space Station. A new world record!

9.48 seconds: the limit to how fast a natural human could possibly run the 100-meter race, according to a Stanford biologist. That’s 0.10 seconds faster than Usain Bolt’s current world record.

8 percent: the portion of humans that still have the bendy, chimp-like feet of our tree-dwelling ancestors (yes, 1 in 13 people!)

Funky Feet

1,100 degrees Fahrenheit: the heat produced by the Beam Down Tower in Masdar City, a fascinating experiment in concentrated solar power

Concentrated Solar Power

$1 million: the money asteroid mining company Planetary Resources hopes to raise on Kickstarter to build an orbiting space telescope that ordinary people can control from Earth

Under Construction

Planetary Resources engineers assemble an ARKYD 100 prototype.

100 feet: the firing range of Nerf’s newest gun, which shoots MEGA darts nearly 55 mph

27 hours: the time this Australian police department spent making a 3-D printed pistol. The plastic gun exploded.

The remains of a failed 3-D printed Liberator gun

1953: the year a botched lobotomy left Henry Molaison unable to form new memories. His personal tragedy would eventually revolutionize neuroscience.

Henry Molaison

$979: the price of the first office chair engineered to support the slouched backs and roving elbows of smartphone and tablet users

Steelcase Gesture

$5 million: the cost to produce a floating generator that harnesses energy from ocean currents

Aqua Turbine Teaser

30,000: the number of homes this awesome wave farm will be able to power

A Yellow Oyster 800 Wave Machine in Orkney, Scotland

How To Watch Only Murders In The Building A Week Early

Only Murders in the Building stars Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez. The series follows three people who live in the same apartment complex in New York and are drawn together by their mutual love of true crime podcasts. When a neighbour mysteriously dies, the three team up to try and figure out what really happened.

The first season wrapped last year, and now the trio are back once again when another murder rocks the residents of the Arconia Building. If you want to watch new episodes as soon as they are released, then here is what you need to know.

You can also check out our opinion piece on why Only Murders in the Building’s streaming success is in the editing.

How to watch Only Murders in the Building in the UK

Episodes of Only Murders in the Building season two are rolling out now on Disney Plus in the UK. If you’re not signed up, an account costs either £7.99 per month or £79.90 per year.

Make sure that you have 14+ content enabled, as this show is only available on the Star library. 

It is worth pointing out that the United States is a week ahead with this show. If you’re worried about being spoilt, then there is a way to watch it a week early.

How to watch Only Murders in the Building on Hulu in the UK

Only Murders in the Building season two is also available on Hulu in the US.

Hulu is geo restricted to users outside of America, but you can sign up for it with the help of a VPN. This can trick websites into believing that you’re accessing the internet from a different country. For streaming Hulu, this would be the US.

Of course, there is a disclaimer: this is against Hulu’s terms of service, as it violates the platform’s content licensing agreements. Proceed at your own risk.

There are many VPN options out there, but we recommend either NordVPN or Surfshark – and you should check out our full best streaming VPN ranking if you want to take a look at the rest of the competition.

To watch Only Murders in the Building, sign into your VPN service and select a US server – most VPNs should let you pick the location of your IP address – then head to the Hulu website.

Unfortunately, there is one more complication. Hulu sometimes blocks non-US credit cards – so if you don’t already have an account and want to set one up, it might reject your attempts to sign up.

If so, there’s an easy workaround though. Walmart sells Hulu gift cards, for either $25 or $50, which allow you to create an account with no credit card at all. Walmart simply emails the code to you, which you can then use to set up your account. You may also need to get a US address and phone number to sign up, but you can get hold of those for free online.

If the payment information goes through successfully, you should be able to sign into Hulu and watch Only Murders in the Building a week early.

This Week In Apple: Iphone 12 Launch Rumors As Well As Pricing Leaks

The top Apple news stories of the past week:

iPhone 12 series still on track, but just might be hard to get: According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, Apple’s planned launch of the iPhone 12 series is still expected to happen at the usual time (likely September). However, there might be production delays for the new smartphones, which means they could either land in retail stores later than usual or launch at the usual time — but just be very hard to get.

iPhone 12 series pricing leaked: Speaking of the iPhone 12 series, we have our first pricing leak related to the new phones. According to Front Page Tech (via MacRumors), the lowest-priced iPhone in the new series will start at $649 — that’s $50 less than the lowest-tier iPhone 11. This is notable because we are fairly certain the $649 iPhone will have an OLED panel, which would make it the cheapest OLED iPhone ever.

Apple announces quarterly earnings, services big winner: Apple’s earnings report for the previous quarter showed that its bet on services such as Apple TV Plus is paying off. However, YoY the company didn’t do much better than 2023, which is unusual for the brand. One can only imagine what Apple’s next quarter will look like, but the company isn’t issuing an updated investor guidance — yet.

In-display fingerprint rumor pops up again: The old rumor of Apple possibly bringing an in-display fingerprint sensor to a high-end iPhone popped up again through Chinese news site Economic Daily News. While it does seem likely that Apple will eventually bring the tech to an iPhone, it doesn’t seem likely that it will be this year, despite the claims of this report. Instead, we expect to see it in 2023. Nothing’s set in stone, though.

The iPhone SE really is just a rebranded iPhone 8: Venerable teardown site iFixit tore apart the iPhone SE and found that certain major components of the budget smartphone are actually completely compatible with iPhone 8 parts. That means you could buy an iPhone 8 for cheap and use some of its parts in your new iPhone SE, should that be necessary.

iPhone 11 sales strong in India: Despite Apple’s historic habit of brushing off emerging markets, it looks like the iPhone 11 is making some headway in India. According to Counterpoint Research, Apple was the third-fastest growing brand in India’s smartphone market in the first quarter of this year.

Exposure notification now in an iOS beta: Apple and Google are teaming together to offer developers easy API access to smartphone data to help with the creation of exposure notification apps for the COVID-19 pandemic. That API is now starting to trickle out in a beta form.

How to switch from iPhone to Android: Sync your contacts, photos, and more!


The best place to start would be our guide on how to switch from iPhone to Android, which goes over all the basics. We also have more specific guides, such as how to transfer your calendar from iPhone to Android. We also have app guides that will give you the best alternatives to iOS staples, such as our list of best alternatives to FaceTime on Android.

If you’re looking for a great Android device to replace your iPhone, consult our list of the best Android smartphones available now.

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