EE users get useful free gift today, make sure you take advantage
EE users get useful free gift today, make sure you take advantage

EE customers won’t face the nightmare of running out of data if they stream tonight’s Euro 2020 final on their phones. The UK network has announced that it is offering all of its users totally unlimited internet access from 6pm tonight until midnight.

That means anyone who uses EE can stream the entire game plus all the build-up and reaction without fear of a whopping bill arriving in the post. The data can also be used for all of those other online tasks such as making FaceTime calls, posting on social media and checking the web. EE says that recent games have driven record-breaking peaks on its mobile network as fans try and tune in to watch England’s success story.

Speaking about the freebie Marc Allera, CEO of BT’s Consumer Group: “Millions of fans across the country will understandably be glued to the final – whether that’s at home, out and about, or at Wembley Stadium connected by EE – and with emotions running high, the last thing you need concern yourself with is data running out. On Sunday evening, customers can rest assured that when it counts, you can count on our award-winning network – to stream every kick, capture every moment and share every roar when the Three Lions bring it home!.”

READ MORE: EE customers get one of the best upgrades in years but it does come with a warning

Along with this free boost, there’s more good news for EE customers with the network now offering a new option to help people stay online.

The UK network has just announced that all new or existing customers who upgrade their current plan will be treated to the firm’s ‘Stay Connected’ guarantee. This update means that anyone going over their monthly data allowance will still be able to connect to the web without needing to buy more access.

Now, for anyone who regularly runs out of data, it’s worth noting that this free internet boost won’t let you stream endless Netflix boxsets or download hours of music files on the move.

It’s been created to keep customers connected to emails and WhatsApp messages until their full allowance kicks in again at the start of a new month.

As EE explains, “the EE Stay Connected service automatically switches on once a customer has used their monthly data allowance and is fast enough for customers to send and receive data messages, check their emails on the go, and get where they need to with access to maps – helping them keep in touch.”

Source link

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate DLC review: Tekken’s Kazuya Mishima could just be the hardest character to master – Eugene Sowah
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate DLC review: Tekken’s Kazuya Mishima could just be the hardest character to master – Eugene Sowah

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate made a surprising appearance at E3, opening up Nintendo’s highly anticipated direct showcase. What was even more surprising was the character chosen to be the 81st character in SSBU’s Fighters Pass Vol. 2.

I don’t think anyone suspected that Tekken’s Kazuya Mishima would take the spotlight. But in a roster filled with the poster boys from classic titles it only makes sense that he be included.

Kazuya’s inclusion and Masahiro Sakurai’s declaration that there won’t be another fighter pass after the final character is announced, has certainly trampled some fans’ dreams to see their favourite characters appear in SSBU.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate DLC review: Tekken’s Kazuya Mishima could just be the hardest character to master – Eugene Sowah
Kazuya uses his Devil Gene ability in most of his attacks

If you haven’t played Tekken or heard of the infamous Kazuya Mishima, then you’re really missing out, as it’s one of the best fighting games ever.

Tekken was one of the first 3D fighting games that had a major impact on the genre with its exciting controls and strategic gameplay. Being one of the early release titles on the Playstation, made it a household name worldwide.

It’s still regarded as one of the best in the genre today after an amazing seven games

Kazuya Mishima was the original protagonist of the Tekken series but his turbulent story has seen him become one of its biggest villains.

Even though his time in the spotlight has gradually lessened with characters like Jin taking up the mantle, it wouldn’t feel right if the first winner of the Iron Fist tournament didn’t take centre stage.

He comes with attacks that fans will remember from past games

Kazuya is surprisingly a heavy character and has one of the lowest jumps in the game. Thankfully this also means he is harder to knock out and makes up for his jumps with his up special Devil Wing.

He is relatively slow, however, his attacks cause a lot of damage when they land, which can turn around fights very easily.

Kazuya is special because he has the most directional moves out of everyone in the game. Unlike the rest of the characters, he utilises eight directions on the joystick, with an attack assigned to each command giving him the most depth in the game in this regard.

If that wasn’t enough he has a ten hit combo, which can be executed by pressing or holding the attack button.

His depth makes him one of the hardest characters to master

It’s great to see this variation in his attacks, making him feel a lot more like he does in the Tekken series.

His Smash attacks are glorious as he always enters Devil mode when they are performed. His side smash “Glorious Demon God Fist”, is a heavy punch that is comparable to Captain Falcon’s Falcon Punch. It may leave players open for attacks but if timed correctly, it is devastating.

His up smash Devil Twister is a great attack that launches enemies in the air. Being one of his faster smash attacks it’s a nice move to perform after a combo.

His down smash is called Lion Slayer, which is the opposite of Devil Twister as it allows players to follow with a combo after being performed. Another great attack that has a good amount of power to it and combines so well with so many other attacks.

Kazuya has the biggest move list in Super Smash Bros. history

A really cool feature is that he comes with his grabs and throws from the original games. Some of them require players to input commands to perform them.

Kazuya’s neutral special is Devil Blaster, an energy beam that pierces enemies. As the blaster shoots at a certain height, players will be able to aim the attack up or down allowing them to hit more enemies.

It can hit multiple enemies in a row but loses power the more it hits. Devil Blaster is a powerful attack that really puts close-range combat fighters like Little Mac at a disadvantage.

He joins the exclusive list of main characters from other popular fighting games

Kazuya’s side special Devil Fist, differs in how effective it is, depending on the distance it’s used in. It’s an attack that sees Kazuya dash forward, and in some circumstances pass through the enemy, stunning them allowing for a follow-up combo. This attack can also be used for recoveries.

His up special, Devil Wing is essentially his recovery attack that will let players float back to the stage.

If players time the Devil Wing right it can be used as a devastating attack. His down special, Heaven’s Door is a grapple move that lets Kazuya grab his opponents and slam them down on the ground.

Like other attacks such as Bowser’s Flying Slam, players will be able to throw themselves and the enemy from the stage. However Kazuya will fall out first, so it’s a risky move.

Players will be able to input commands like the original games to access some of Kazuya’s signature attacks. This will please Tekken fans because it can feel like one of the original games.

Playstyle will change depending on how many opponents you are facing. Players will be able to create their own combos by linking different attacks together, this works especially well in 1v1 battles.

Kazuya also has an incredibly high damage output

Kazuya also has a special ability called Rage Mode which is activated once he reaches 100% damage. This will increase his attack power and grants Kazuya a unique Rage Drive attack, which will end the rage mode.

This mode can only be initiated once per stock and even though there isn’t a time limit for this attack it will end if Kazuya takes too much damage.

His Final Smash Final Blaster will barrage enemies with multiple lasers. It’s a powerful attack that can take out multiple enemies at once, with the only downside being that if the initial Devil Blaster misses, the whole attack fails.

He is very resistant to damage at the cost of agility

Kazuya also comes with a new stage called Mishima Dojo. This stage is similar to Terry Bogard’s stage King of Fighters stadium, where players will have to break down the walls and ceilings to knock enemies out of the stage.

However, the lack of floating stages and other obstacles make it the perfect place to have an epic 1v1 match.


Kazuya is an intriguing addition to the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate roster, due to the fact that his lacklustre movement makes him somewhat limited. He may have the biggest move list in the game but players will have to be creative in getting them to land.

His depth will create some very interesting strategies and having the ability to combine several attacks adds to his close-combat ferocity. He’s not an instant pick-up-and-play character, but players who master his combos will cause some serious damage.

Challenger Pack 10: Kazuya is out now, both as part of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: Fighters Pass Vol. 2, or as an individual set.

Source link

Sir Richard Branson successfully flies to space with Virgin Galactic
Sir Richard Branson successfully flies to space with Virgin Galactic

Sir Richard Branson successfully flies to space with Virgin Galactic

To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web
browser that
supports HTML5

Richard Branson has successfully flown into space aboard Virgin Galactic.

A week before his 71st birthday, the billionaire mogul successfully flew aboard the VSS unity, which touched down at Virgin Galactic’s New Mexico hub Spaceport America earlier today.

Travelling aboard the space plane VSS Unity, Branson climbed to an altitude of 90km (295,000ft), offering a view of the curvature of the Earth and four minutes of weightlessness for those onboard.

VSS Unity took off beneath the wings of a carrier aircraft known as VMS Eve, named after Branson’s late mother Evette Branson.

At an altitude of about 50,000 feet (15,000 meters), Eve dropped Unity and the space plane made its own way to suborbital space.

Branson and fellow astronauts experiencing weightlessness in space (Virgin Galactic)
Branson and the team gliding back down to Earth (Virgin Galactic)
Virgin Galactic’s passenger rocket plane VSS Unity, carrying billionaire Richard Branson and crew, starts its ascent to the edge of space above Spaceport America (Reuters)
The VSS Unity blasted the billionaire to suborbital space for four minutes (Reuters)

Following their brief time at the edge of space, Unity glided back down to Earth to land safely at Virgin Galactic’s ‘spaceport’ in New Mexico.

Branson’s trip to the edge of the Earth’s atmosphere is just 9 days before former Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, with his spaceflight company Blue Origin, will make his own trip onboard his New Shepard spacecraft.

Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin, as well as Elon Musk’s SpaceX, are competitors in the emerging space tourism business.

Why is Richard Branson flying to space?

The Virgin boss has long harboured dreams of going to space (Picture: Getty)

The Virgin Galactic founder has reportedly been aiming to fly to space himself since he founded the company more than 17 years ago.

While it may have been a personal mission for Branson, a successful flight will be seen as a boon for Virgin Galactic, which hopes to make space tourism mainstream for those that can pay.

There are just two more test flights planned for Virgin’s spaceship until it starts offering a commercial service in 2022, when Branson anticipates offering paid flights on ‘a regular basis’.

So a safe and accident-free flight, with Branson himself, was key for convincing potential space tourists to pay.

Observers have also noted a touch of rivalry between Branson and former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who is also flying to space with his own spaceflight company Blue Origin in 9 days’ time.

But Branson has denied that the two were in a contest to see who would go up first.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is planning to go space on his own rocket ship (Picture: Getty)

‘I just wish him and people going up with him all the very best. I look forward to talking to him about his ride when he comes back,’ Branson told Reuters.

‘I spoke to him two or three weeks ago, and we both wished each other well.’

Branson added that there was room in the market for both his and Bezos’ venture to compete.

‘Neither of us are going to be able to build enough spaceships to satisfy the demand,’ Branson said.

Virgin Galactic only got the greenlight to fly recently, after the US’ Federal Aviation Administration granted a commercial spaceflight licence in June.

Today’s flight marked the start of what’s called a ‘flight window’, an opportunity to fly in favourable weather conditions.

How did Virgin Galactic fly Sir Richard Branson to space?

Branson will travel aboard Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity (Picture: Getty)

Though this was Virgin Galactic’s fourth crewed test mission beyond Earth’s atmosphere, it was only the first carrying a full crew, consisting of two pilots, three mission specialists and Branson himself.

Branson and his team were aboard the VSS Unity, which launched from an altitude of 50,000 feet from a Virgin Galactic carrier plane.

The carrier plane itself launched from Virgin Galactic’s Spaceport America airbase in New Mexico.

Once Unity detached from the carrier plane, it used its own rockets to travel to the boundary of space, where the ship’s inhabitants were weightless for four minutes before returning to Earth.

Although this flight was smooth sailing, not all of Virgin Galactic’s missions have been successful.

In 2014, a Virgin Galactic test flight crashed over the Mojave Desert in California, killing one pilot and injuring the other.

Before the flight, Branson suggested he didn’t feel the nerves, but that his wife might.

‘My wife is the sort of person who would be terrified on a Virgin Atlantic airplane,’ he said.

‘She’s the last person who would want to do something like this. But she’s known me since I tried to balloon across the Atlantic or the Pacific or around the world, and she still seems to love us.’

How much will it cost to fly with Virgin Galactic?

The ticket prices don’t come cheap (Picture: Getty)

While Richard Branson’s flight upon the VSS Unity will fulfil a personal mission of his, it will also advertise to the world’s wealthiest that Virgin Galactic is soon open for business.

Around 600 individuals have already signed up the service and given deposits for a ticket to space.

But the tickets don’t come cheap – the full ticket price will be as much as £180,000 in some cases,

‘I truly believe that space belongs to all of us,’ said Branson.

‘After 17 years of research, engineering and innovation, the new commercial space industry is poised to open the Universe to humankind and change the world for good.

‘It’s one thing to have a dream of making space more accessible to all; it’s another for an incredible team to collectively turn that dream into reality.’

While that ‘accessibility’ is currently only to the very wealthiest, Branson hopes that that price can come down as Virgin Galactic’s fleet expands and operations become more streamlined.

Richard Branson dubs himself ‘Astronaut 001’ and will fly to space before Jeff Bezos

MORE : Virgin Galactic rocket flies to edge of space in test run for tourists

Source link

Billionaire Richard Branson heads for space in his own ship
Billionaire Richard Branson heads for space in his own ship

Thrill-seeking billionaire Richard Branson has strapped in and set off on his boldest adventure yet — a bid to reach space aboard his own winged rocket ship

TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES, N.M. — Thrill-seeking billionaire Richard Branson strapped in and set off Sunday on his boldest adventure yet — a bid to reach space aboard his own winged rocket ship.

A successful flight would vault the nearly 71-year-old Branson past fellow billionaire and rival Jeff Bezos, who is planning to fly to space in a craft of his own nine days from now.

With a crowd of more than 500 people watching, a twin-fuselage aircraft with Branson’s space plane attached underneath took off in the first stage of the flight. Aboard were Branson and five crewmates from his Virgin Galactic space-tourism company.

The plan was for the space plane to detach from the mother ship at an altitude of about 8 1/2 miles (13 kilometers), fire its rocket engine and then pierce the edge of space at about 55 miles (88 kilometers) up. After a few minutes of weightlessness for the crew, the space plane was supposed to glide to a runway landing.

The brief, up-and-down flight was intended as a confidence-boosting plug for Virgin Galactic, which plans to start taking paying customers on joyrides next year.

“It’s a beautiful day to go to space,” Branson tweeted in the morning, posting a photo of himself with fellow billionaire and space-tourism rival Elon Musk.

Before climbing aboard, the flamboyant, London-born Branson signed the astronaut log book and wisecracked: “The name’s Branson. Sir Richard Branson. Astronaut Double-oh one. License to thrill.”

Branson wasn’t supposed to fly until later this summer. But he assigned himself to an earlier flight after Bezos announced plans to ride his own rocket ship into space from Texas on July 20.

More than 600 people have already made reservations for a ride into space with Virgin Galactic, founded in 2004.

Bezos’ Blue Origin has yet to open ticket sales or even announce prices, but late last week boasted via Twitter that it would take clients higher and offer bigger windows.

Blue Origin and Musk’s SpaceX both launch capsules atop rockets, instead of using an air-launched, resusable space plan.

Virgin Galactic made three previous test flights into space with a crew.


Dunn reported from Cape Canaveral, Fla.

Source link

I Gave Up My Pixel for a Galaxy S21 and I Hate It – Review Geek
I Gave Up My Pixel for a Galaxy S21 and I Hate It – Review Geek

I Gave Up My Pixel for a Galaxy S21 and I Hate It – Review Geek
Kevin Bonnett

Although Google’s Pixel smartphones typically aren’t the most powerful, they consistently pack the most intuitive and thoughtful software on the market. So, what on Earth was I thinking when I traded in my Pixel 4a for Samsung’s terrible Galaxy S21?

It’s been a few months since I bought the S21, and pretty much every day, it finds a new way to perplex, annoy, and disappoint me. It is hands down the singular technology purchase that I regret the most.


I’ve been a fan of Google’s gear for years now and am happily entrenched in its product ecosystem. Over the years, I’ve purchased many of Google’s Nexus phones and nearly every Pixel smartphone and I’ve loved all of them. Heck, the Pixel was the first smartphone that really got me excited about smartphones in general and tech at large. It’s what made me think about how tech could (and would) evolve in the future. What’s not to love about that?

Google Pixel evolution from Nexus 6P to the Pixel 4

With a Pixel in my hand, I can’t help but feel at home. To me, those phones do a perfect job of blending beauty, brains, and power. They’re everything I could ask for in a smartphone, and they keep getting better with each new iteration. And sure, they haven’t always been as flashy as newer iPhones, but the Pixels offer a vanilla Android experience bolstered by Google’s thoughtful software, which makes my everyday life a little easier.

The Pixel phones also aren’t overly expensive. They offer a ton of phone for the price, and it never feels like Google is trying to push anything on you or strong-arm you into buying a thousand accessories to lock you into its ecosystem. Additionally, Pixels are never loaded with bloatware or find some way to, well, get in your way.

That’s not to say that I haven’t had my share of issues with the Pixel over the years. Little quirks—like the reboot loop, myriad battery problems, and eventually my Pixel 4a only showing a black screen when I tried to open the app tray—are perhaps what finally made me frustrated enough to (perhaps somewhat impulsively, in retrospect) switch to a different phone.

But if I knew then what I know now, I would have just sucked it up and dealt with it.

The Pixel, Part I

The real trouble began when my partner decided to buy a Samsung Galaxy S21. He was using a Pixel 5—and before that, the Pixel 4XL—and wanted a phone with a faster processor for cloud gaming and other activities. He liked the specs on the S21, so we ventured over to Best Buy to see one in person before ordering it.

Honestly, I hadn’t given the phone much thought to the S21 before we went, and if that was the phone he wanted, cool. But once we got in the store and I held the phone in my hand, I was hypnotized. It is so gorgeous. My brain started thinking, “we could ditch this boring, problematic phone right now and have this attractive new phone that’s gorgeous and couldn’t possibly have any problems whatsoever because it’s brand-new and pretty.”

Close-up of Samsung Galaxy S21 camera bump on desk
Kevin Bonnett

I know, I know—what a stupid thought! But the fact is, the phone’s irresistible siren call took me in, and it’s all I thought about for the next few weeks. Once my partner’s phone arrived, I spent the following few weeks watching him unlock it effortlessly with the under-screen fingerprint reader and customize every last little detail to his liking. The phone just looked so much cooler and exciting than the Pixel. And best of all? It wasn’t having battery issues or failing to show the app drawer.

So one evening, after my Pixel 4a was having an especially rough day (read: glitching a bunch), I finally snapped and put in the order for my very own S21. I’d never been happier. Farewell, idiot phone. I’m moving on to bigger and better things.

The Samsung

I was so damn hypnotized by this phone that I even forsook my go-to plain-but-tough Spigen phone case for a flimsy transparent one just so I can look at it more. Plus, I am one clumsy moment away from throwing away a thousand dollars in a serious way.

Only once I stopped drooling over the phone and actually started using it did I realize that the honeymoon was over. From there, it didn’t take long for me to become fully disillusioned and to accept the fact that this phone’s beautiful design was utterly useless to me and that that, in fact, is not a good reason to buy anything.

My experience with the phone quickly pointed out some glaring (and annoying) issues. Let’s take a look at a few:


Mobile phone repair, shot of interior of phone next to exterior case on wooden planks

I expect there to be software issues on a phone, but I’m always bummed when there are issues with the hardware. The physical design and functionality should be rock solid and ready to go by the time it gets into the consumer’s hands, so it’s frustrating when things don’t work or when the design is poorly thought out.

  • Under-Screen Fingerprint Reader: This doesn’t always work for me. On some days, it’ll accept my thumbprint just fine, and on others, I end up having to click the physical power button, swipe up, and enter my PIN. How annoying is that? If I wanted to do that, I’d opt for a cheaper phone without biometrics. The issue could partially be because I don’t use the Always On display, but I know exactly where the sensor is, and it should be reading my print without issue. Meanwhile, the Pixel’s dedicated fingerprint sensor on the rear of the device never messes around.
  • Button Configuration: The power and volume buttons are switched from the Pixel, and I’m still not used to it. I don’t think it makes sense to have the power button below the volume buttons. It’s the same kind of problem you have when switching between Nintendo and Xbox controllers, which is, admittedly, more of a personal problem, but it just doesn’t make sense.
  • Non-Responsive Buttons: Simple as it is, the volume buttons don’t always work. I usually find this out when I’m trying to watch a video quietly, and my volume levels are loud from something I was watching or playing earlier. Far too often, there is just no response from either of the buttons and the only way to get them to work again is by restarting the phone. While I’m glad there’s a fix for that, I shouldn’t have to restart my phone so often just to get the volume buttons to work—just another little quirk contributing to a negative experience.
  • Downward-Firing Speaker: When I hold this phone, my pinky sits underneath the bottom of the phone, right where the downward-firing speaker is located. As a result, the sound is muddled, and I have to reposition my hand, which is never as comfortable. This is a design issue, as most folks are right-handed and put their pinky underneath on the speaker to prop it up. Remember the antenna-blocking issue with one of the earlier Apple iPhones? Same vibes here.

While none of these issues are absolute deal-breakers, they do diminish the overall experience the phone attempts to offer. When I am left to deal with them, I can’t help but question Samsung’s design process and become wary about buying another smartphone from the company in the future.


Top view of Google Pixel phone against light grey background

As I mentioned above, a device’s software is where I expect the bulk of the issues to lie. Between bugs and personal idiosyncrasies, this is the area that can really cause someone to feel disconnected from a device. And that is precisely the case with this Samsung.

  • Too Much Customization: One of the big-ticket features that draws me to Android over iOS is the freedom to customize literally everything on the device. And although I was comfortable with the Pixel, I was excited to work with a Samsung (its devices are renowned for their customization options). However, to get the phone to a baseline usable point, it took so much effort just to set right so many things that should just be common sense. The setup felt like an everlasting chore, and I quickly realized that I didn’t want or need half of the options I was afforded. While I love the idea of a blank slate, a good phone should still do some of the work for you as the Pixel does.
  • Samsung’s Bloatware: Few things in the tech world annoy me more than when companies install apps on their device and give you no option to delete them if you don’t want them. No, I don’t want to use Samsung’s no-name browser, photo gallery app, calculator, or game launcher. On my mobile device, I need to use the apps I’m already connected to on my other devices (mostly Google apps), not another separate group of apps that only work on one company’s device. I ended up hiding all of the bloatware apps, but if you give me the option to hide them, why not just let me delete them? While the Pixel also comes preloaded with apps, they are mostly apps I actually use and that can work cross-device
  • Google Assistant Inconsistencies: For no good reason, Google Assistant often fails to work correctly on my S21. Sometimes I ask it to do something simple, like set a timer, and all it does is return a search result for “set a timer for 20 minutes,” which is useless and super frustrating. I shouldn’t have to manually open the clock app, swipe over to the timer or stopwatch, and set it up myself when other phones can? Why have a smartphone at all? Why not carry around a separate kitchen timer that I can manually twist the dial on? The Pixel would never do me dirty like that.
  • No Call Screening: Here’s something I didn’t realize I was taking for granted on my Pixel: Google’s underappreciated Call Screen feature that automatically filters and handles spam calls for me, so my day isn’t interrupted by them. Now, I’m pestered by spam calls all the time, and the ringing regularly disrupts my workflow and pulls my attention away from whatever I’m working on. It’s 2021—I should not have to field spam calls at this point.
  • Voicemail Dysfunction: If I miss a call, I like to check my voicemail to make sure I don’t miss anything important. However, Samsung makes that near impossible. While it does have a sort of visual voicemail option, you have to download the file first. When I tap the download button, it usually just says the request has been sent but it never gets it. I have yet to read a voicemail transcript on this phone successfully. The phone never plays any audio for voicemails, either, even when I press play. In comparison, the Pixel’s visual voicemail app is baked into the phone’s dialer and it always works without issue.
  • Notifications Issues: For whatever reason, notifications just aren’t a buttery smooth experience on this phone. When I’m using my phone in landscape mode—say, for watching a movie or gaming—it’s impossible to access them. I can pull down on the notification tray, and it’ll show me basic settings and my recent media, but it doesn’t let me continue scrolling down to see texts, calendar reminders, app notifications, or anything else. The phone is also similarly finicky when I try to scroll through notifications from the lock screen; sometimes it’ll work just fine. Other times I’ll have to pick the phone up and unlock it to scroll through them all.
  • Photos? More Like No-tos: I’m not a photographer, nor am I any sort of vlogger. At best, I like to take out-the-window photos of pretty scenery as I drive by it and post photos of dinner on Instagram. That said, I still have an eye for what makes a good photo and am plenty capable of discerning whether or not the hardware and software at hand are up for the task. So, let me just say this: The S21’s camera system isn’t even in the same dimension as the Pixel’s. Instead of true-to-life images, the S21 outputs ones that are overly bright and warm, and none I’ve taken with the phone so far have ever looked right (even with editing).
  • App Drawer: Horizontal app drawers are lame, and Samsung provides no option to switch to a vertical mode. Not being able to whoosh down to the bottom of my apps with one swipe and, instead, having to swipe through multiple pages just doesn’t make any sense. And no, I don’t want to install a launcher to rectify that, as that’s even worse.
  • No Standard Google Messages: Having to download Google Messages because it’s not the default on Samsung is ridiculous. Enough said.
  • App State Memory: Samsung has this weird quirk that sets my patience on fire where it sets you back to wherever you left off. Opened an app folder, then sat your phone down? It’ll open that folder when you next access your phone. Swiped to a certain page in the app drawer? That’s the page it’ll show first the next time you access it. Took a selfie? The next time you open the camera, it’s the front-facing camera that’s active. That logic may make sense when I’m doing something two seconds later, but when it’s four hours later, it’s insufferable.

The Pixel, Part II

After spending several months with the S21, I have learned exactly two lessons. One—just because a phone is pretty doesn’t mean it’s any good. And two—nobody does Android quite like Google does. In retrospect, it’s clear that the problems that existed on Pixel phones will often crop up on any phone. Sometimes, it takes switching phones to realize that and to realize that good enough is sometimes just good enough.

Unfortunately, the Samsung Galaxy S21’s laundry list of quirks and serious issues extends far beyond its benefits. Yes, it’s drop-dead gorgeous and has powerful high-end specs, and if I hadn’t spent years using a Pixel before this, I probably wouldn’t have as many issues with it. But that’s just not the case.

Angled view of rear and bottom of Samsung Galaxy S21 on wooden desk
Kevin Bonnett

My smartphone is something I use all day, every day. It’s my alarm clock, camera, entertainment, news source, and the way I get answers to all the questions I have throughout the day. It’s what keeps me connected to friends, family, coworkers, and everyone else. My smartphone is more than just another tech gadget—it’s my daily companion, and as such, it should be designed with that in mind.

The Pixel showed me how thoughtful a device can be and that it is possible for a device to impact my life positively and not just be yet another gadget. It has a thousand little features that I (regrettably) never gave much thought to and definitely took for granted, but now realize how truly awesome they are and how much they benefited my life now that I don’t have them anymore. Whatever little quirks my Pixel had that I previously deemed unforgivable are now forgiven, as I now understand that the benefits that phone offered me far outweigh its few quirks and shortcomings.

Lesson Learned

If nothing else, this experience has taught me to be more mindful of the tech I choose to bring into my life. Flashy designs and empty promises benefit no one. We shouldn’t buy tech simply because it’s new or pretty, but rather because its design goes beyond creating an impressive specs sheet and actually takes humans into consideration. If the user experience isn’t streamlined and fails to keep the user in mind, then dozens of megapixels and a gaming PC-level processor don’t really matter.

This was the experience I had with the Samsung Galaxy S21. It’s attractive and looks good on paper, but it’s just another obtrusive gadget that doesn’t actually benefit my life. While I feel a bit stupid for falling prey to its irresistible siren call and impulsively purchasing one, I don’t entirely regret doing so, as it made me realize how truly remarkable the Pixels are.

Pixels are the smartphones that have helped me live life comfortably the past few years, and it’s the smartphone I’m looking forward to returning home to when the Pixel 6 is announced.

Source link

70-yr-old Virgin Galactic owner Richard Branson set to fly into space- Technology News, Firstpost
70-yr-old Virgin Galactic owner Richard Branson set to fly into space- Technology News, Firstpost

Virgin Galactic will become the first rocket company to launch the boss when Richard Branson straps into one of his sleek, shiny space planes today, 11 July at 6am PT or 6.30 pm IST.

The Briton is hoping to finally get the nascent space tourism industry off the ground — but also go one up on Jeff Bezos by winning the race to be the first person to cross the final frontier in a ship built by their own company. Bezos’ lift-off is set for 20 July from West Texas.

The self-described tie-loathing adventurer and troublemaker will join five company employees for Sunday’s test flight from New Mexico’s southern desert — the company’s fourth trip to the edge of space.

Virgin Galactic will broadcast the launch on its website as well as its YouTube channel from 6.30 pm India time

“The skies over Spaceport America are ready. Soon our Unity22 mission specialists will soar above New Mexico and see Earth from a whole new, spectacular point of view,” Virgin Galactic tweeted.

Meanwhile, as you prepare to watch the first steps towards making space tourism a reality, here’s a refresher on Branson’s ride and company:

Boss on board

Just a week shy of turning 71, the London-born founder of the Virgin Group says he’s “not apprehensive at all and it is the dream of a lifetime” to ride into space. The longtime fitness fanatic put in extra effort to prepare for the brief up-and-down flight. “I’m in my 70s now so you either let yourself go or you get fit and enjoy life.”

His wife, children and grandchildren will be there as he climbs aboard the rocket plane that’s attached to a dual-fuselage aircraft for takeoff.

During the three to four minutes of weightlessness, “I’ll be looking back at our beautiful Earth and taking it all in and realize that only 500 other people have done this.”

Closer to 600, actually, but still a relatively small number. Upon landing, he’ll celebrate with “a great, great grin on my face.”

Who else is flying?

Two pilots are needed to fly the rocket plane from the time it’s released from the mothership to shoot into space until it glides down to a runway. It will be the third trip to space for chief pilot David Mackay, a Scottish-born test pilot for the Royal Air Force who went on to fly for Branson’s Virgin Atlantic, and the second for chief flight instructor Michael Masucci. Chief astronaut instructor Beth Moses, a former NASA engineer, is also launching for the second time. Joining Branson as space rookies are lead operations engineer Colin Bennett and Sirisha Bandla, a vice president. The six will grab a lift from mothership pilots C.J. Sturckow, a former NASA astronaut, and Kelly Latimer.

Rocket plane

  • Virgin Galactic’s spaceplane, Unity, will take off attached to a specially designed double aircraft nicknamed Eve after Branson’s late mother.
  • After reaching nearly 50,000 feet (15,000 meters), the plane will be released and drop for a moment or two before its rocket motor ignites to send the craft on a steep climb toward space, exceeding 3 G’s, or three times the force of Earth’s gravity.
  • The motor will shut off once the craft reaches space — a maximum altitude of about 55 miles (88 kilometers) is anticipated — enveloping the ship in silence as everyone but the pilots unbuckle, float and gaze out the 17 windows at Earth and the black void of space.
  • After a few minutes of weightlessness, the occupants will strap back in as the plane reorients itself for entry — folding up its wings, then folding them back down in a unique technique known as feathering. The rocket plane will glide back, NASA space shuttle style, to conclude about 15 minutes of free flight.

Track record

  • Founded in 2004, Virgin Galactic got its start when Branson teamed up with aircraft designer Burt Rutan to provide the necessary spaceship technology.
  • A 2007 rocket motor test in California’s Mojave Desert left three workers dead and three more injured.
  • Then in 2014 the rocket plane Enterprise — named after the “Star Trek” ship — broke apart during a test flight, killing one pilot and seriously injuring the other.
  • Unity, the replacement ship named by the late physicist Stephen Hawking, began flight tests in 2016.
  • Unity made its first trip to the edge of space with two pilots in 2018 and the second in 2019, both times from Mojave.
  • The operations moved to New Mexico’s Spaceport America, with the plane soaring from there on 22 May to achieve the company’s third spaceflight.

What’s next?

  • After Branson’s launch, Virgin Galactic plans two more test flights this summer and fall before inviting paying customers on board.
  • The next one will include more company employees, and the last will have Italian Air Force members conducting research.
  • If all goes well, the first of the more than 600 confirmed ticket holders will climb aboard next year.
  • The company plans to reopen reservations once Branson soars.
  • Initial tickets went for $250,000; no word on whether that will change.
  • Branson promises a surprise after his ride to “give more people the chance to become an astronaut — because space belongs to us all.”
  • In the meantime, scientists are lining up for research rides, including Southwest Research Institute’s Alan Stern, who was behind NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto and beyond.

With inputs from agencies

Source link

How Do I contact Google My Business? The Step-by-Step Guide
How Do I contact Google My Business? The Step-by-Step Guide

Indispensable to your Local SEO, Google My Business allows all companies to make themselves known in their catchment area. When you encounter a malfunction or a problem, it is your activity that is directly impacted! Therefore, we must react and, above all, act as quickly as possible by contacting Google My Business to remedy this problem. But you still have to know how to proceed.

To be visible, convince and win new customers, optimizing your natural referencing must above all attract prospects to you. Finding qualified prospects, therefore, necessarily requires this local referencing. Google My Business is the cornerstone of this virtual proximity reputation, making it easy for everyone to find and locate you (Google Maps).

Keyword, ads, post, url of your website. Every detail counts as much for your referencing as for effectively informing your future customers. Therefore, optimizing your local SEO is the way to go, so do not wait any longer and request your local SEO-free analysis now.

But be careful; when an error and an anomaly are detected, you must react as quickly as possible. A malfunction and your establishment are advertised as closed on your Google My Business listing. We must take action quickly to avoid losing prospects who are then uninformed. Contacting Google My Business becomes an emergency for the development of your business.

Also Read: Google Cloud Is Getting Ready For The Critical Workloads

How to join Google My Business? By phone or email?

Four distinct ways are available to you to join Google My Business

  • By email: it’s a direct approach; I explain the process below.
  • By phone: the phone call, the second direct solution to contact them
  • Via social networks: I will guide you on following and contacting Google My Business on Facebook or even Twitter.

Asking your question on the help forums: this is the best solution, especially since you already have an impressive amount of data that could be useful to you.

Contacting Google My Business during the health crisis: longer deadlines and reduced responsiveness

Currently, the health crisis and its consequences imply longer delays in obtaining a response from GMB (Google My Business). With reduced staff, the search engine is less responsive. In addition, these constraints render the telephone and, to a lesser extent, social networks inoperative. It is then necessary to privilege the email and the forums of help.

Contact Google My Business directly: priority on phone and email

  • To access the help section contact the search engine; you can click on the support section on the left side of your screen from the home page of your account,
  • On the Google home page dedicated to your local SEO, go to the Support section.
  • For a complaint or for modifying an account, Google has grouped all the support articles to solve your query.
  • Several solutions are available to you, and each opens up new avenues for resolving the dispute.
  • Then go to the next step to find the possible contact methods. You can send an email to Google My Business or call them at the number indicated.
  • You are then asked for various information, such as confirming your email address, your website, your telephone number, etc.
  • You can then precisely describe your complaint, ask your question or state the reason for the dispute.

Also Read: How To Deactivate And Configure Google Assistant Command

When to contact Google My Business?

You now know how to contact Google My Business. But, you don’t have to contact them for all your expectations. To resolve a technical problem or a display bug, then go quickly to the site’s forum.

On the other hand, if your local SEO struggles to achieve its goals, it does not necessarily come from the site itself. Your profile does not meet your expectations in terms of visibility and objectives. You must then make sure that you are not involved and that all the prerequisites have been put in place.

Now is the time to contact me, to check and even audit your local SEO. I analyze and explain in detail the actions to be taken as soon as possible. You can then, as soon as necessary, contact Google My Business, but preferably after having optimized your local SEO.

There you have it, so you know when and how to contact Google My Business and how to get a free analysis of your local SEO.

Do not hesitate to share your feedback on this matter and testify to the difficulties or the ease you have experienced in correcting an anomaly in one of your establishments.

Source link

Phone Stolen? How to Keep Your Banking Details Safe
Phone Stolen? How to Keep Your Banking Details Safe

Do you know that thieves these days look for just one thing once they get hold of your mobile phones? Your bank details. Not to forget with more and more people opting for digital payment apps, it’s not that difficult for smartphone thieves to access these wallets. To give you an example: criminals in Brazil’s Sao Paulo were reportedly stealing iPhone handsets not to resell but to access the bank details of the owners of these devices and steal their money.

With such incidents coming to light, the only way ahead is to stay careful and follow these steps immediately if you lose your phone or if it gets stolen.

Block your SIM card

The first and foremost is to ensure the phone number isn’t misused if or when you lose the phone. Blocking the SIM card also means blocking every app on the phone that can be accessed via OTPs. You can always get the same number issued on a new SIM card. It may take a while, but your privacy and mobile wallets are far more important.

Block access to mobile banking services

They are just a tap away and therefore it’s important to block access to these services. Your SIM card and mobile apps go hand-in-hand, for no transfer can happen without an OTP on the registered number, but both need to be blocked as soon as the phone is lost or gets stolen.

Deactivate UPI payment

A small delay can cost you dearly. Once the access to online banking services is denied, the thief may try to fiddle with another feature, UPI payments, and hence this, too, needs to be taken care of immediately. Deactivate it as soon as possible.

Block all mobile wallets

They have made lives extremely easy but mobile wallets such as Google Pay and Paytm may well prove to be costly if your phone reaches the wrong hands. Get in touch with the respective app’s help desk and ensure no access is granted to anyone until you set up the wallets again on a new device.

Go to the police, file a report

Once you have taken care of the aforementioned things, it’s crucial to report the matter to the authorities. Ask for a copy of FIR, which you can then use as evidence just in case the phone is misused or your money is stolen despite taking all the measures.

Interested in cryptocurrency? We discuss all things crypto with WazirX CEO Nischal Shetty and WeekendInvesting founder Alok Jain on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.

Source link

How to Completely Turn Off WhatsApp Notifications on Your Phone
How to Completely Turn Off WhatsApp Notifications on Your Phone

WhatsApp is probably your go-to app for instant messaging but sometimes texting on the app becomes overwhelming, so much so that you wish to take a break from it. However, it is not easy to shy away from picking up your phone when the familiar WhatsApp notification tone buzzes. The easiest way to go discreet is to turn off the internet connection to silence WhatsApp notifications so that there’s nothing that grabs your attention. But then you’d risk missing updates from other important apps, like Gmail. In this article we’ll tell you how to completely turn off WhatsApp notifications without have to uninstall the app.

There are certain third-party applications that can restrict internet access to some apps like WhatsApp on your phone so that there are no notifications from that particular app to distract you. For example, Google Digital Wellbeing allows users to control notifications from apps and helps them restrict the use of social media applications. But some users don’t consider it to be a foolproof idea that will keep them away from using those apps. Some third-party applications may also pose a security risk and your data may get compromised.

Alternatively, you can mute WhatsApp by tinkering with your phone’s settings.

How to completely turn off WhatsApp notifications

Turn off all types of notifications in WhatsApp

The first step is to disable the notification alerts for WhatsApp. For this, you need to open WhatsApp > Settings > Notifications > and select ‘None’ in the Notification tone menu for Messages. Further, you should turn off the vibration, choose “None” under the “Light” option, and turn off “Use high priority notifications”. The same can be done for the Group settings just below the Messages section.

Disable notifications from general Android Settings

The Android system also sends notifications for apps. So in order to get completely cut-off from WhatsApp, you need to turn off the notifications by going to Settings > Apps and Notifications > Apps > Select WhatsApp > Notifications > Turn off “All WhatsApp Notifications” on your Android device.

Revoke Permissions and Disable Mobile Data Usage in Background

The third step is to further cripple the app. Go to Settings > Apps and Notifications > Apps > Select WhatsApp. Under Permissions, revoke all permissions which allow WhatsApp to access camera, microphone, and files on your smartphone. Tap Mobile Data and disable the usage of mobile data in the background.

‘Force Stop’ WhatsApp

After revoking all permissions and disabling mobile data usage in the background, go to the previous screen, and ‘Force Stop’ the app. By doing this, the app will not be functional and you will not get any notifications. However, if you need to check messages on the app, you can simply open WhatsApp on your device.

This way, you’ll be able to stay away from overwhelming texting on WhatsApp without removing the app or turning off your internet connection. Furthermore, you will remain virtually ‘invisible’ to your contacts.

Source link