Buy a OnePlus One Without an Invite, Your Samsung TV is Listening [Tech News Digest]
It’s OnePlus One Tuesday, Samsung is listening, Windows 10 due to be finished in June, Imgur Pro is now free, Spot the robot dog, and Uber Seize steals cars.
You Can Now Buy a OnePlus One
After months of only offering people the opportunity to buy the OnePlus One through invites, the Chinese company is opening the desirable smartphone up to the wider world. From today (Feb. 10), the OnePlus One will be available for anyone to buy, with or without an invite, every Tuesday.
One day every week, for 24 hours — starting at midnight in Los Angeles, 8am in London and 4pm in Hong Kong — anyone can buy a OnePlus One. The invite system will remain in place for the other six days of the week, but with everybody who buys a OnePlus One receiving invites to send to friends, getting one should be less of a problem.
While this is a welcome change to proceedings, it should be noted that the OnePlus One is a smartphone made for 2014, and the OnePlus Two is set to replace it over the next few months. However, the OnePlus One is still a solid choice of smartphone, and refreshingly affordable compared to the competition .
Samsung Smart TVs Mimic Big Brother
The warning reads, “Please be aware that if your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party through your use of voice recognition.” How very Orwellian.
That third party is thought to be Nuance, a U.S.-based firm which provides the voice-recognition services to Samsung. The Korean company has played down the risk to privacy this feature represents, telling The Guardian, “any data gathering or their use is carried out with utmost transparency and we provide meaningful options for consumers to freely choose or to opt out of a service.”
Still, it may be advisable, at least for the time being, not to discuss anything you wouldn’t want the world to know. It turns out that the walls don’t have ears, but modern televisions are listening into your private conversations.
Windows 10 will be Complete in June
Microsoft is rumored to be aiming to finish Windows 10 by June, two months ahead of its traditional August RTM (Release to Manufacturing) schedule. This report comes from Neowin, which claims this earlier release would allow OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturer) to target Windows 10 hardware at back-to-school shoppers.
The schedule does seem to make sense: Windows 8 went from a consumer preview in February 2012 to an RTM in August 2012. Windows 10 debuted as a consumer preview in January 2015, so hitting its RTM in June is entirely feasible. As expected, Microsoft has declined to comment on this speculation, but it all sounds promising.
Imgur Gifts Pro Features to All
Imgur is phasing out Imgur Pro subscriptions by giving every user access to the same premium features. Imgur Pro was an optional paid service launched when the image-sharing website celebrated its first birthday. Now, at the ripe old age of six, Imgur is dropping Imgur Pro.
Instead, every registered user will have access to all of the Pro features, including the ability the store an unlimited number of images, manage any uploaded image at any time, and view analytics and referral data. This represents a saving of $2.99-per-month. Which can’t be bad.
Boston Dynamics’ Spot the Robot Dog
Boston Dynamics, the Google-owned engineering and robotics company, has revealed its latest quadruped design. Spot is a robot dog that weighs in at 160 pounds, can walk, run, climb stairs, traverse rough terrain, and even take the odd kick to its side without falling over.
This is both scary and amazing at the same time. If robots ever become sentient then it’s entirely possible that we’ll have herds of these things hunting down humans in the streets. It’s more likely they’ll remain dumb and compliant , but let’s keep our fingers crossed just in case.
Uber Seize Adds Carjacking Element
And finally, Uber has unveiled its latest effort to get us all ditching traditional taxi cabs in favor of its car-sharing service . Uber Seize takes the driver completely out of the equation, with passengers carjacking the vehicle and driving it to their destination of choice.
This isn’t actually a real Uber initiative, obviously. Instead, it’s a satire from The Onion, which clearly thinks Uber will stop at nothing to get ahead. And we could see this being extremely popular with gamers eager to live out their Grand Theft Auto V fantasies for real.
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
Are you still interested in buying a OnePlus One? Are you looking forward to the finished version of Windows 10? How do you feel about the prospect of herds of robot dogs roaming the country?
Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.
Image Credit: TechStage via Flickr