Category Archives: Articles

Amazon Alexa vs Google Assistant on the HTC U11 – Pocketnow

Alexa vs OK Google! A battle of software assistants! Well, not really. The HTC U11 now has full speech support for Amazon’s Alexa, so let’s see how it works opposite Google’s voice controls. Can two software butlers coexist on one smartphone?

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Alcatel Idol 5S Review: Recovering at a Lower Price?

Our Alcatel Idol 5S review! Last year was a tough year for the Idol brand. Many have criticized this company for taking a step away from the upper mid-range price tier. Can Alcatel recapture some of the magic of the ultra-cheap Idol 3S? Let’s take a look!

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Samsung Galaxy S8 vs OnePlus 3T: How much more phone do you get? – Pocketnow

This is our Samsung Galaxy S8 vs OnePlus 3T face-off.
Comparing a flagship against a mid-ranger is tricky. We should expect the more expensive device to win most of the comparison criteria, but the comparison has to be graded on a price curve. Samsung is making a terrific argument for the Galaxy’s growing price tag, but can a savvy shopper still score a deal with a phone from last year that costs $300 less?

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Is it time to give up on Android Diversity?


Rumors swirling about future operating systems from Google like Andromeda OS and Fuchsia OS, is it time to sacrifice “choice” to deliver better performance and more consistent updates?

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‘1984’ Tops Best Seller List, but You Can Get the eBook and AudioBook for Free!

For no specific reason that I can think of, George Orwell’s 1984 is topping best seller lists. Probably just a bunch people who enjoy dystopian literature randomly decided to buy it all around the same time. No reason. Certainly couldn’t have anything to do with the news or current events. Perish the thought.

For any folks interested in reading this novel about war and propaganda, you can buy it, but it’s also available for free as a PDF and as an Audiobook on Archive.org.

Download 1984 as a PDF and as an Audiobook.

Comparing the Fiio K1 USB DAC to a smartphone

We recently produced our first Real Audio Review, and we got MANY questions and comments regarding our testing procedure. Let’s answer some of those questions, and look at a USB headphone DAC we’ll be using for future comparisons!

Related Video

iPhone 7 Real Audio Review https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2cisS…

Readers unsubscribing from r/news after Reddit drama following terrorist attack

reddit banner

Reddit drama is a popular topic on this blog. With so much content being produced every day, sites like Reddit and Digg helped filter and verify relevant stories. Dubbed “the front page of the internet”, scanning the top stories of Reddit gave readers a glimpse of what was really popular around the web.

So it was something of a surprise when waking up this morning, and hearing of the terrible attack in Orlando, that there was little mention of the event on Reddit’s top news section. In fact the moderators of r/news seemed to be deleting posts and comments at an alarming rate. Other sub-reddits on the site picked up the slack, and discussions surrounding this tragedy were had on less than appropriate political and reaction forums.

Officially, this censorship was enacted to help focus discussion on the one major post used to consolidate discussion. This might have been understandable, as when news breaks like this, one would imagine a popular sub-reddit would be inundated with submissions. On a top post, the moderators of r/news claimed they were being brigaded by other communities seeking to spread an agenda of conflict with hate speech comments and posts.

/r/news was brigaded by multiple subreddits shortly after the news broke. This resulted in threads being filled with hate speech, vitriol, and vote manipulation.

We did a poor job reacting to the brigades and ultimately chose to lock several threads and then consolidate other big threads into a megathread.

Brigades are still underway and there is still a lot of hate speech prevalent in the threads.

While there were absolutely some less than civil comments being submitted, it’s somewhat disturbing to see a “kill it with fire” approach to post moderation. Eliminating all mentions of the shooters affiliation with terrorist organizations, and even disrupting discussions where folks were sharing information on emergency responses and pleas for blood donations.

Yet again we see the problems inherent to a business model which depends heavily on volunteer labor. Moderators of a news forum totaling almost 9 million subscribers are not paid. Building a small fiefdom, we see that either those individuals in charge are easily co-opted by outside interests, or are in a position of power where they can easily run an agenda. Adding gas to this fire, when questioned about these policies, one moderator for r/news not-so-helpfully suggested that a person seeking an explanation to this censorship should “kill yourself”.

I6duX4rIt would seem that posting about blood donations or questioning the mods is hate speech, but this moderator’s response to the situation has garnered no public disciplinary reaction.

These situations have become a bit more frequent of late for Reddit. We saw similar policing of content following the New Years Eve sexual assaults in Germany. The official response claiming protections against hate speech, yet using tools to recover banned and deleted comments finding little evidence for such draconian moderation.

In the wake of this story, a number of smaller “news” sub-reddits have been created to spread information, and in response to the initial backlash, r/news has reversed some of its policy on banning stories. Still, its not surprising to see the subscriber base for r/news slowly eroding. Over the time its taken to write this editorial, we’ve seen roughly 2500 people remove r/news from their feeds. That still puts r/news at around 8.9 million followers, but this debacle has certainly delivered all of Reddit a black eye.

If you can’t find relevant news on “the front page of the internet”, what is Reddit good for?

 

DirecTV Introduces BYO Internet Content Streaming Later this Year

directv logoThe future of multimedia is becoming more fluid. Consumers seek to stream content to any screen, at any time, anywhere they want.
With AT&T and DirecTV joining forces, it would make sense that the content offered through a satellite TV company would eventually find its way to home internet and mobile streaming devices.
Three new options will be delivered to subscribers later this year, and all three options are internet service agnostic. Regardless of carrier or ISP, media will be accessible to TVs, computers, phones, and tablets. The most basic option will be ad supported with limited content options, but higher tier plans (dubbed affordable by DirecTV reps) will allow for more access and content mobility. h
“We are looking at these offerings differently than others in the market. We often hear from customers who want more content from streaming services, or who can’t get or can’t afford a traditional pay-TV service,” said John Stankey, CEO – AT&T Entertainment Group.
Pricing and availability will be announced later this year. Full details on specific plan options in the press release below.

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