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Apple’s next big thing could be a rival product of the Amazon Echo and Google Home.

According to well-known tipster Sonny Dickson, Apple is currently finalizing the designs for a product which will compete against the Amazon Echo and Google Home. He added that Apple is likely to market it as a Siri/AirPlay device which integrates “some form of Beats technology” and runs a variant of iOS. It is not known when Apple will launch this product. 

Amazon Echo and Google Home are smart speaker systems which respond to your voice commands and carry out tasks such as music playback, provide information, news, weather forecasts and control smart home devices. 

Facebook has allowed video creators to generate income from content that have been pirated by others.

Facebook users will utilize a ‘Rights Manager’ feature, which provides a video matching software that automatically identifies videos that were re-posted of ripped off. This allows user to generate some revenue by claiming a portion of the money generated from mid-roll ads in the video.

With Facebook developing its own TV App to become a premium video destination, it is important that they protect the users that post their videos through the social network giant. When ‘Right Manage’ was first released last year, users could only take down the pirated video or leave it be for additional reach.

YouTube has also implemented a similar measure through their Content ID that allows users to detect similar videos. Like Facebook, YouTube allows video creators to take down videos or monetize pirated ones as well.

If you’re an active Facebook user, chances are you’ve seen more than a couple of absurd news stories being shared by friends who have been duped into believing that these stories were real. To combat this, Facebook has launched a program called the ‘Facebook Journalism Project’.

As its name suggests, the program’s main aim is to increase the quality of news that’s being shared on the social network. More importantly, it will be a platform for the company to work with journalists to create better storytelling tools and find ways to monetize them. In addition, it will also train journalists to better use Facebook as a means to better disseminate their news. Last but not least, the program aims to promote better news literacy.

Campbell Brown, a former television journalist, is heading this effort, and to this end, has been hired as Head of News Partnerships for Facebook. Brown was previously an NBC News correspondent and CNN prime-time host. You can read more about this program here.

We’re not being melodramatic when we say that fake news is becoming an epidemic, so much so that even Facebook is taking the initiative to weed them out through its ‘Journalism Project’, whose main purpose is to improve the quality of news content that’s being shared on the social networking platform.

As a matter of fact, even the co-founder of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales, has decided to take matters into his own hands by launching a crowdfunded online news portal of his own – one that thrives on evidence-based journalism – called Wikitribune.

Because the platform is completely ad-free and its revenue comes solely from contributors, the portal isn’t obliged to conjure clickbait articles for the sole purpose of attracting traffic to appease advertisers. Better yet, since nobody has a vested interest in the platform, you should expect nothing but unbiased and truthful content.

Even if you don’t contribute to Wikitribune’s noble cause, you will still be able to read its content without any restrictions. You can even flag or fix an article and submit it for review should you find any errors – be it grammatical or factual.

But there really shouldn’t be a need to, since the journalists of Wikitribune will only write articles based on facts that they can verify. For added transparency, they will even disclose the full transcripts, video and audio recordings of their interviews. All articles that appear on Wikitribune are authored, fact-checked, and verified by professional and citizen journalists working side-by-side as peers.

Wikitribune is currently in the process of hiring its initial team of journalists using the money contributed by its supporters thus far. You can learn more about Wikitribune and support its campaign by visiting its official website, here.

All you aspiring YouTube content creators might want to take note of the updates that YouTube has recently made to its Partner Program.

For starters, from today onwards, YouTubers will need to have 10,000 views on their channel before ads will be displayed on their videos. Essentially, this means content creators will only be able to make money off their videos after their channel has accumulated 10,000 views in total.

In a blog post published earlier today, Ariel Bardin, the Vice President of Product Management at YouTube said that the new ruling will “give [them] enough information to determine the validity of a channel,” such as whether or not the content of the channel is abiding by their community guidelines and advertiser policies.

This would hopefully put an end to bogus channels stealing and re-uploading the content of other YouTubers as their own to make a quick buck.

In addition, YouTube will also be rolling out a review process for new creators who have applied to be in its Partner Program. Once the channel has reached the stipulated 10,000 views, the content of their videos will be screened in accordance with YouTube’s policies. If all goes well, the channel will be included in the Partner Program and will be served with ads for monetization.

To celebrate the partnership between Apple and Nike, both have collaborated on a new limited edition Apple Watch Series 2 called the NikeLab.

The NikeLab smartwatch has a built in GPS, water resistance up to 50 meters and a brighter display making this an ideal accessory for fitness conscious users. Image source: The Verge

 

Nike also announced that the NikeLab will only be sold through the company’s website and not Apple’s. The NikeLab will also be available at NikeLab locations and in Tokyo at Apple pop-up shops.

It will be available for interested buyers starting April 27, however, pricing has not been set.

In what sounds like the irony of all ironies, a Wall Street Journal report states that Google is planning to add an ad blocker to Chrome browsers – both desktop and mobile versions – and it’s likely that it will be turned on by default.

 

Google’s own ad blocker would filter out certain online ad types deemed to provide a bad experience for users when they’re surfing the web – things like popup ads, those that auto-play videos, and ‘prestitial’ ads – ads that cover the entire page, with a countdown timer before you can close it and actually read the content that you’re after. These standards are apparently defined by the Coalition for Better Ads, which deemed these kinds of ads “beneath a threshold of consumer acceptability.”

Now this all sounds really great to the average consumer, but it does raise a bit of suspicion that Google, which makes money for Alphabet mainly via advertising, would come up with its own ad blocker. This is especially when the company has been working hard to circumvent or even punish users of other ad blockers, the most obvious case would be on YouTube, where users with ad blockers will lose the option to skip ads, some of which are longer than the video they are trying to watch.

Perhaps the logic here is that Google comes up with its own ad blocker so as to quell the growth of other ad blockers. Google apparently pays to be part of an ‘Acceptable Ads’ program by the makers of AdBlock Plus, a popular ad blocking extension on its own Google Chrome browser. This obviously costs money, and maybe what Google’s top people have in mind is that their own ad blocker would stop users from using other ad blockers, saving them the cash that would otherwise be spent on paying to be an ‘acceptable ad’.

But on the flip side, if Google becomes an ad blocker itself, it could then charge other advertisers it makes money out of even more exorbitantly, once they have to also start paying to be an ‘acceptable ad’ in addition to just being an add taking up space on a web page. This sounds a tad hypocritical, and will likely be a step to be criticized by other advertisers.

All speculation aside, the Wall Street Journal’s sources say that details are still being ironed out, and if it comes to pass, Google could announce it within weeks. Google itself declined to comment when contacted by the Wall Street Journal.

 

MAPS.ME is an open source cross-platform offline maps application, built on top of crowd-sourced OpenStreetMap data. It was publicly released for iOSAndroid, Kindle and BlackBerry (You may view all store at here).

 

 

Maps.me cover all countries and all cities including the smallest island, not only that, the smoothly zoom in and zoom out and also the recommended place of interest is another big benefit for user. It’s also support the offline search for the location within the apps, and you can always bookmark it in order refer it back later on.

 

Another good news is if you are developer and you may contribute your self to make the apps better because the source code is completely open, you can download it from GitHub and contribute to it.

 

This apps is very useful when you travel to the country where the bandwidth for mobile phone is expensive or the mobile coverage it’s not fully cover, than this is a must have tools for your mobile phone or your tablet. As I just back from New Zealand for my 2 weeks holiday, I bookmarking all the location that I wish to go before I leaving my country and I really save up so much of data bandwidth throughout my whole driving journey.

 

 

 

But during my using, I found out there are some weakness for the apps where if you are looking for a very specific location such as your friend house, it’s may not 100% accurate, but if you searching for the tourism spot with a landmark, it’s really bring you to the right direction with the accurate estimation of arrived time. Because of it’s totally offline maps, so you may not get the estimation of the traffic flow for the location whereas Waze and Google maps can providing you such information.

 

If you really need to use to searching for a location especially house unit number, what I recommend is that you use Maps.me bring you to the nearest area and use either Waze or Google Maps to find exact location, so you can minimize the wasted for your mobile data bandwidth. 

 

 

You may have to wait a bit longer for Fitbit’s next smartwatch.

Yahoo Finance has learnt from two sources that Fitbit’s smartwatch project ran into issues which has led to the delay of its launch from spring to fall.

“In one of the more final prototypes, the GPS wasn’t working because the antennae wasn’t in the right place,” one of those sources told Yahoo Finance. “They had to go back to the drawing board to redesign the product so the GPS got a strong signal.”

The design team also had problems making the smartwatch fully waterproof. As to the design, the sources describe its aluminum unibody chassis as “very retro-looking” and “definitely not sexy”. The smartwatch reportedly has a color display with 1,000 nits of brightness, a built-in GPS chip, heart rate sensor, support for mobile payment, music playback and storage from Pandora, and four days of battery usage on a single charge.

There are also rumors about a pair of Bluetooth headphones from Fitbit which is similar to Apple’s Beats X. The headphones are said to be available in ‘Nightfall Blue” and Lunar Gray’.

Fitbit’s difficulties in designing a stylish and waterproof smartwatch seem odd considering that it should have the necessary talent to do so from its acquisition of Pebble and Vector. The mobile payment service on the next smartwatch is likely utilizing NFC payment solutions from Coin, a mobile payment firm that Fitbit acquired in May 2016.

webe has just announced a couple of updates to its tethering options, kept separate from the general data use. The existing option of getting two hours of unlimited streaming for RM6 is still here, now accompanied with a new paid option and another that’s free for existing and new webemobile user.

Starting with the free option, webe is giving 1GB of tethering data every month for the next three months to every webemobile user, both existing and new. If that’s not enough, then you can get 500MB more for RM8 as part of the MobileWiFi 500MB top-up option. This has a validity of 30 days, with a 60-day rollover period for any of it that’s unused.