The last 24 hours have been filled with some interesting keys with rumors of a Walmart game stream and Facebook's erroneous password storage, but that's just the beginning. Here's a look at the biggest stories from March 22, 2019.
Apple News: AirPower … Maybe
It's been a surprisingly busy week for Apple, with new iPad, new iMacs and new AirPods that all hit on the stage in front of the Company's big announcement on Monday. It's been quiet on the Apple front this morning, but there are a few rumors about talking about.
- Apple secured the trademark of "AirPower", the company's long-awaited multi-device wireless charging mats. [MacRumors]
- The better news? We might see it launch "at the end of March" (finally). Have come a long time. [Digitimes]
- In New Unrelated to AirPower, Apple Music got a nice little update and makeover to the Browse section that would make it easier for users to find new songs. Dig it. [MacRumors]
AirPower is an unusual product for Apple because it was originally announced back in 2017 with an expected 2018 launch. It hasn't been anything concrete from Apple ever since, which is quite unusual for a company as consistent and reliable as it is. Still, it is something that most Apple users have longed for, and it seems that time can finally be close. Maybe, anyway.
Microsoft and Windows News: Clippy
Return (and Demise) It seems that there is at least one Microsoft related thing worth talking about. Today, it is Clippy, the long-standing talking (and annoying) paperclip from the back of the day.
- Microsoft returned Clippy as part of an animated sticker package for its teamwork and chat program. Then it quickly killed. The little guy can't get a break. [The Verge]
It turns out that after taking Clippy back, the "brand police" was not satisfied. Even in something so simple and otherwise harmless as a sticker package, I suppose Clippy is still so interrupting that no one wants to see their stupid little face ever again. Bad Clippy.
Google and Android News: Hidden video ads and drained batteries
Ah, Google. Even when it seems that nothing else happens in the technology world (even though there is always something), we can all count on Google and Android news to watch and think about.
- There is a new scam that lets advertisers run hidden video ads in the background, making them dollars by you while killing the phone's battery. What time to live in. [The Verge]
- Android Auto recently received a widescreen headunit update that allows two apps to appear in split-screen format at the same time. This is such a killer update I am jealous of anyone who gets it and is not me. [9to5Google]
- Google releases IFTTT support in Gmail as part of a program to increase privacy and security. This will undoubtedly come as a meeting for anyone who is dependent on IFTTT for automation in their email. Support will be removed on March 31. [9to5Google]
- There was an update to Samsung's "Notification" app, which apparently disturbed some people? Appears, it's good. Like, good. [Android Police]
- Samsung's upcoming Galaxy A90 – which should be announced at the company's April 10 event – is said to have an "infinite infinity screen". So … where will the front camera be? [The Verge]
- eBay Supported Google Pay on Android and the Web. I think it's cool. [9to5Google]
The most troubled thing here is the whole "video ads in the background" garbage. Apparently, this is no fault of the developers of the concerned apps, but it is an ad company that makes shady commercials. According to Buzzfeed, the source of this shit was traced back to OutStream Media. At this point, a developer using OutStream for ad services should probably find a new ad provider, as this is pure junk. If you experience the problem, it is best to let the developer know what is happening and realize that they probably do not know.
Review Roundup: Nintendo Labo VR
The Nintendo Labo VR headset was handled from a handful of different sites, and the answer was overwhelmingly positive.
- Tom's Guide said Labo VR is "exactly what virtual reality needs", which is a pretty strong recommendation. [Tom’s Guide]
- PC Mag called it "more Google Cardboard than Virtual Boy", which just makes sense. [PC Mag]
- Verge went out with the Labo VR review. Seriously, it is exhaustive. [The Verge]
- Engadget said it is "the perfect gateway to VR". It makes sense to me. [Engadget]
- Gizmodos ta was fun and frivolous (as Giz is often), but still offers all the information you want. It's a good reading. [Gizmodo]
Real Speech: The idea of keeping a shift in the face for a long time to play VR games was understandable to me, but as it turns out, Nintendo may actually be on something here. It is, of course, similar to the Google Card, but it is so much more than that with all the crazy accessories and additions. What Nintendo does with the Labo stuff is so cool.
Everything Else: Walmart's Game Streaming Service and Terrible Facebook Password Storage Practices
Generally, I find the "everything else" category one of the more subtle sections of this daily news feed. Today, however, it probably contains the biggest news in the last 24 hours.
- Facebook stored millions of passwords in plain text, allowing "as many as 20,000" employees to see your password. If you use your Facebook password elsewhere, probably time to change it. [The Verge]
- The next big thing in games comes … from Walmart? Apparently, the store hates everyone, but still goes on, thinking of offering its own game flow service. Good. [The Verge]
- Steam's library gets a makeover that sucks so much less than it does now. It should give a much better overview of what haps with your installations. I like it. [Engadget]
- Unfortunately, people in India really love PUBG. So much, in fact, a limit of 6 hours per day is tested by the developer. Wow. [The Next Web]
- Thousands of Medtronic defibrillators can have a vulnerability that makes them open to hacks. This is a life-saving equipment found in a person's body, and someone else could literally take control of it. If it's not scary, I don't know what it is. [Gizmodo]
So let's talk about this Facebook thing for a minute. First of all, storing passwords in this way is completely in bad shape for a company that is big like Facebook and that should have felt better. Period. Secondly, if you use your Facebook password elsewhere on the web, it's time to stop doing it. In fact, it's time to stop reusing passwords somewhere. Get a good password manager, thank you. Third, you should probably enable 2FA on Facebook. You know, just in case.
But I also want to touch the Walmart game thing. The biggest question that comes up is: why? On the surface, the answer is clear – for money, that's why. But who in the world wants to give Walmart money to let them stream games? It just seems like such a strange service for the company to get into. It made a name for itself as a store where you can go and buy all the junk you need (or don't need) all under one roof at a price like other places can't match. I do not understand how a transition to a gaming service also starts to make sense. I don't mind buying my copy of Days Gone at Walmart when it hits the scene, but I'm not the least bit interested in giving them one month's amount of money for any other game related. I'm waiting for Stadia or nothing at all, thank you.