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Google Glass, Google’s super expensive face computer last received a software update back in September 2014. But today, out of nowhere, almost three years later, Google has rolled out a new firmware (XE23) update for the device, with a list of ‘bug fixes and performance improvements’, and strangely enough, Bluetooth support.

 

There’s also been an update to the ‘MyGlass’ app, Google Glass’ Android companion app. After three years of neglect, the app has now been updated to Android 5.1 compatibility, and it even has Notification Listener Service. This allows the app to sync notifications from the phone to the device, just like Android Wear. It has also been updated to prompt the user to disable the battery-saving Doze mode for the app so it can work when the phone is asleep.

 

 

Public transportation is set to be revolutionized yet again thanks to Seabubbles, whose goal is to be the water taxi equivalent of Uber. Its prototype was unveiled at the Viva Tech Conference in Paris, and its design resembles a futuristic egg.

 

Founders Alain Thebault and Anders Bringdal are working to raise 20 to 30 million Euros (approx. RM95 to RM143 million) to turn their concept into a reality. Apart from greatly reducing road traffic, these water taxis are 100 percent electric and emit no CO2, utilizing a battery system that runs on clean energy. There is also a self-charging dock which also ensures the cleanliness of the waterways. Similar with Uber, Seabubbles will have its own mobile app that riders can use to book rides online.

 

The current version of the Bubble has five seats, inclusive of the pilot seat. The Bubbles are designed to prevent seasickness alongside producing zero noise and zero waves. The taxis were created as a joint effort between the car industry, the nautical industry and the aeronautic industry. They will begin their demo roll-out in selected cities next year.

 

You can check out the company’s site for more information on Seabubbles.

 

A mysterious ‘Sponsored Content’ opt-out setting was recently spotted on Spotify’s free tier by U.K. sound artist Liam Maloney, and TechCrunch has been able to confirm with the streaming company what it’s all about. As it turns out, Spotify is currently testing a new ‘Sponsored Song’ ad unit that is “a product test for labels to promote singles on the free tier,” according to a Spotify spokes person.

 

What this means is that labels could pay to have certain songs injected into your playlists or whenever you’re using the service for free, instead of an obvious ad banner that says something like “listen to this new album by this new artist” the way other ads for external apps and sites do. This means that Sponsored Songs can help it earn some money off the free tier, even if it’s not paid by the consumer. That said, it’s not yet clear if Spotify will charge labels based on cost per impression, action, listen, or some other method that differs entirely from web advertising.

 

Done well, you may not even notice if a particular song is sponsored. The feature is said to use a method similar to one of Spotify’s best features: Discover Weekly. This uses personalized, weekly-updated playlists that tries to understand your taste in music, and gives you a playlist that Spotify thinks you’d make on your own every week, as well as attempt to introduce you to new artists. If a sponsored song is injected into the Discover Weekly playlist, then not only will you not notice that you’re listening to an ad, but when you finally do, it’s with the hopes that the particular song is one that you like very much, and that you’ll support the artists directly by other means like buying albums or concert tickets. We’re guessing if it’s done as well as the Discover Weekly playlist, then even paid users wouldn’t mind being given a sponsored song or two.

 

All that said, Sponsored Songs are still in testing. If and when they roll out officially, it would still only appear to users on the free tier, according to what Spotify has told TechCrunch. Which makes sense since it’s going to work the same way Discover Weekly does anyway, and there’s little sense in making labels pay for songs being listened to by paying subscribers.

 

 

Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing branch of China-based ecommerce company Alibaba, has unveiled plans to open data centres in Mumbai and Jakarta.

 

The expansion into Indonesia follows the country’s 1,000 Start-ups Movement initiative to establish 1,000 new ventures by 2020 with a target valuation of USD 10 billion.

 

Alibaba says that both data centres should be up and running during the current fiscal year, which ends on 31 March 2018. The initiative will boost the ecommerce company’s computing resources in Asia and worldwide. The two new data centres will join Alibaba’s global networkwhich currently has 17 locations in mainland China, Australia, Germany, Japan, Hong King, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates and the US.

 

Alibaba entered the cloud computing industry in 2009, three years after Amazon launched its AWS cloud division.

 

If you’ve ever wanted to be the proud owner of either a gold or silver color PlayStation 4 (PS4), Sony may have just made your dream come true with its ‘Days of Play’ event.

 

In conjunction with the event, Sony released its PS4 in two new color variants, gold and silver. In addition, Sony will also be offering discounts of up to 75 percent on its PlayStation Store (PS Store) on selected titles, such as Horizon Zero Dawn, The Last Guardian, The Last of Us, Final Fantasy XV, and many more.

 

Sony’s ‘Days of Play’ event began on June 9, 2017 and will conclude its run on June 21, 2017. The new gold and silver variants of the PS4 will be both be retailing at all authorized Sony resellers at an SRP of RM1,239.

 

 

 

 

 

Initially rumored to debut in the Apple Watch Series 2, micro-LED display technology could debut on future  Apple Watch devices next year.

 

Citing information from one executive source, Nikkei Asian Review reports that “Apple is working very hard to foster the Micro LED technology” and the use of the new display technology could be introduced “as early as next year” beginning with wearables. 

 

However, micro-LED technology is still at an early stage of development with high costs, low yield rate and technical issues. Therefore, it is unlikely that Apple will push the micro-LED technology into smartphones anytime soon. As and when the display technology matures, micro-LED could be the key for Apple to cut its reliance on Samsung to supply OLED panels for its devices.

 

If you’re one of the many users of Amazon’s cloud storage service, Amazon Drive, bad news. The e-commerce site just killed off its unlimited cloud storage deal, effective immediately.

 

Before this, Amazon customer only needed to pay up to US$60 (approx. RM256) year to gain access to the service, but as per The Verge’s report, Amazon will now instead be offering two subscription tiers, 100GB for US$11.99 (approx. RM51.50) a year, and 1TB for US$60 (approx. RM256) a year. If you’re looking to top off your storage space, you can do so for an additional US$60 a year per terabyte, but each user will only have a maximum top up limit of 30TB.

 

The new changes have already been implemented with immediate effective, but Amazon Drive subscribers who had paid the unlimited storage fee prior will still be able to keep the offer until the deal’s expiry date (expiration dates differ from subscription to subscription). If they still have their auto-renew turned on for the service, the plan will then be automatically changed to the new plan once their previous plan expires.

 

While this news might sound a little perturbing, there is a bit of good news for Amazon customers. Consumers signed up on Amazon Prime will still get unlimited photo storage as part of their membership, while Amazon Drive subscribers will also get 5GB of photo storage space for free.

 

Amazon isn’t the first company to kill off its unlimited cloud storage option. Back in 2014, Microsoft themselves made the same decision with its OneDrive cloud storage platform, citing that some customers took advantage of this service to its fullest potential, with some having exceeded the 75TB marker.

 

Amazon users taking advantage of the unlimited storage deal, take heed: if you have no intention of paying for either one of Amazon’s storage plans, you’ll be given a grace period of 180 days to download or delete your data. At the end of that allotted time, Amazon will then start deleting content (starting with the most recent uploads) until your account’s capacity is within the new limits.

 

 

Why bother tediously flooding the caption of your Instagram photos with a million hashtags just to attract more likes, when you can easily achieve the same objective by sparing some pocket change instead?

This is exactly the rationale behind vending machines such as the one above, which dispenses Instagram likes instead of chilled beverages. For a very reasonable sum of 50 Russian rubles (approx. RM3.75), you will be able to purchase yourself 100 likes on Instagram! Because likes are fleeting and followers are forever, you can also purchase 100 Instagram followers for an equally affordable price of 100 Russian rubles (approx. RM7.50).

Apart from dishing out Instagram likes and followers, the vending machine – which can be found in the Okhotny Ryad shopping center in downtown Moscow – can also capture selfies on the spot, and print out your Instagram photos.

While speaking to Motherboard, the manufacturer of the vending machine, Snatap, mentioned that there are more than 20 of these machines scattered throughout Russia, and a handful of them in countries like Germany, Poland, and the Czech Republic.

Interestingly, those of you who thrive on Instagram likes like how plants survive on sunlight can actually rent the vending machine for an unspecified period of time for 14,000 rubles (approx. RM1,049).

Concardis, a payment service provider, has announced that it will support Alipay payments in Austria and Switzerland.

 

In Austria, Gössl is the first merchant that allows Chinese consumers to pay using their smartphones with the Alipay app. The clothing brand will start by supporting the app in 20 stores in Austria and plans to extend the service to seven other stores in Germany.

 

Concardis also intends to launch the Chinese payments app in Switzerland by October 2017. The first integration will take place with jewellery merchants like Wempe, TOD’s and Timberland.

 

The payment service provider has already managed to launch Alipay in Germany, where the payment method is accepted at several hundred store locations. Most recently, football club Borrusia Dortmund, which has a large fan base in Asia, has implemented the Chinese payments app in its souvenir shops.

 

Australia Post has announced that it will update its financial services solutions through i2c’s payments platform.

The platform is called Agile Processing and allows Australia Post to support advanced digital payments functionality and financial services for its Load&Go General Purpose Reloadable (GPR) Visa card, gift, multicurrency travel, China travel, and corporate incentive cards.

The new implementation assists in Australia Post keeping up with the Australian market, which has one of the highest levels of contactless mobile payments penetrations in the world. The i2c platform supports a wider variety of payment methods, including ewallets and credit cards. Furthermore, the product can be configured to offer loyalty programs and other payments options to attract customers.

i2c is a global provider of smarter payments and integrated commerce solutions for financial institutions, corporations, brands, and government around the world. The company’s single global cloud platform supports a wide range of card payments.