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Cut the Cord with Wireless Charging

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Wireless chargingThere are two things people with smart devices are always after: a good signal and battery power. A good signal usually is not hard to come by, but power, especially on a high-end device, is a valuable commodity. Sure, you can use Qualcomm’s new Quick Charge 2.0 to get almost all the power you need, but sometimes it’s nice to cut the cord and go with wireless charging.

Qi

Qi is the de facto wireless charging standard mainly because it has been widely adopted by major manufacturers, including Samsung, LG, Motorola and Asus. Although both the Qi and the Powermat use similar induction-style charging, Qi will probably win out in the long term due to its adoption rates.

The obvious advantage to wireless charging is the ability to set a device down on a surface and have it start to gain power. Charging mats are coming down in price and are especially useful to have on a desk or night stand where the phone generally sits anyway. It has even gotten to the point where some manufacturers, like Ikea, are both selling wireless chargers and charging cases as well as integrating charging pads into their products. This way you will never be far away from power.

Although there has been some criticism that wireless charging does not charge as fast as Quick Charge, Qi has been working on charging pads that are more efficient in their energy usage and are able to charge much more quickly.

Samsung

While Samsung is primarily supporting the Qi standard, there are some signs that the company may be hedging its bets. For example, the Galaxy S6 Edge supports both Powermat and Qi standards. Even though Qi seems to be the standard favored by consumers, Powermat has been backed by large companies like Starbucks and AT&T as their wireless charger of choice. So, having compatibility with both formats is good for Samsung consumers. However, since the S6 is the first Galaxy phone to natively support wireless charging, it is hard to speculate as to what the Galaxy S7 will support.

Apple

So far, Apple has not stepped into the wireless charging game. Although the company did release the MagSafe cords for the MacBook and Apple Watch, which don’t have to be plugged into the device, they are not wireless in the same way Qi or Powermat are. There is a lot of speculation as to why Apple has not chosen a wireless standard, including that it is waiting to see who will dominate the market or that it is going to release its own technology from the patents it has for wireless charging. But as per Apple’s usual tight-lipped nature, the company hasn’t said much regarding its lack of adoption.

Another theory is that because of Apple’s propensity to go with aluminum bodies, the company is worried about the metal interfering with wireless charging. In late July 2015, Qualcomm announced it has a technology to get around this problem, but it is still too early to tell if Apple has an answer to this problem or even if the Qualcomm technology will pan out.

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What Happened To Smart Glasses?

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Whether you think smart glasses are cool or creepy, for most people, they’re not a part of everyday life. However, AR glasses and headsets appear to have found a niche with manufacturing, military simulations, and even the theater.

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Hottest Tech Gift Ideas This Holiday Season

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Looking for a simple gift idea that anyone will love and use? Check out these tech gift ideas hot enough to make anyone’s holiday a real techno-blast!

For that stylish workout diva in the family,

check out this chic smart bracelet from ringly.com  that includes activity tracking and mobile alerts. Priced at 125 USD this stylish fashion/function piece would make a great addition to her daily outfits, gym to work, work to dinner.

Need a gift for an active reader? Check out this new kindle,

the Oasis E-Reader. Waterproof, sandproof, bigger and better than ever, this kindle has a 7 inch screen and a built in bluetooth for streaming audible books to a speaker (sold separately.) Give the gift of books anytime anywhere. An avid reader will love this awesome kindle wrapped in Holiday colours.

Here is a simple gift for a photo lover,

the HP Sprocket photo printer that prints straight from your phone or tablet onto sticky-backed paper. Sharing your favorite images has never been easier. Go for a chic white and gold for her or a classic black for him.

Want to keep it simple? Try a collection of the most necessary,

a charging cable, portable battery, USB port, and a nice case to knock it off.

Know someone who is always cold? Yep, there’s tech for that…

A heated jacket… powered by a hidden USB battery pack these jackets will keep that shivering someone comfy and warm, problem solved. Who wouldn’t love a little extra heat in these cold winter months.

We probably all know that person who looses something every time they turn around,

 

so why not help them out with tile?  This little Bluetooth tracker pairs with the tile app to help find anything from your keys, with the keychain tile, to your wallet, with the slim tile.

 

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School Shooting Video Game Causes Outrage and is Removed

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 Grieving father called for removal of ‘disgusting’ game that allows users to play the killer in a school massacre.

Active Shooter

A video game that simulates a school shooting incident has been labelled “disgusting” and “despicable” by parents of children who died during the mass shooting at a school in Parkland, Florida, in February.

Billed by its Russian publisher, Acid, as a swat team simulator, Active Shooter invites players to take on the role of an armed officer responding to a school shooting. However, the game also allows users to play as the shooter or as a civilian attempting to escape the scene.

Using a first-person perspective, similar to shooters such as Call of Duty, Doom and Counter-Strike, the game looks to be entirely set within a school. Screenshots released by the developer and seemingly taken from the perspective of the shooter show swat team officers and students being gunned down in various locations including a gymnasium, corridors and canteen.

The game was set for release on Steam, the largest digital store for PC games with more than 125 million users. It has drawn a barrage of criticism.

Ryan Petty, whose daughter Alaina died in the Parkland shooting, released a statement via Facebook asking people to petition Valve, the company that runs Steam, to remove the game from its service. “It’s disgusting that Valve Corp. is trying to profit from the glamorization of tragedies affecting our schools across the country,” he wrote.

The father of another Parkland victim, 14-year-old Jaime Guttenberg, has urged consumers to boycott the game in an emotional series of tweets. Fred Guttenberg wrote: “I have seen and heard many horrific things over the past few months since my daughter was the victim of a school shooting and is now dead in real life. This game may be one of the worst.”

More criticism

In response to the criticism from parents of real-life school shooting victims, and an online petition opposing its launch which had attracted more than 180,000 signatures,

It also drew the ire of Florida’s senior senator Bill Nelson, who called it “inexcusable”, adding that the developer should be “ashamed”.

Steam’s owner, Valve, said it had dropped the game because its developer had a history of bad behaviour.

Valve subsequently emailed the media to say it had taken action ahead of Active Shooter’s scheduled 6 June release.

“This developer and publisher is, in fact, a person calling himself Ata Berdiyev, who had previously been removed last fall when he was operating as ‘[bc]Interactive’ and ‘Elusive Team’,” said Valve in a statement.

“Ata is a troll, with a history of customer abuse, publishing copyrighted material, and user review manipulation.

“His subsequent return under new business names was a fact that came to light as we investigated the controversy around his upcoming title. We are not going to do business with people who act like this towards our customers or Valve.

“Blast children into bloody chunks” = “Bad Sarcasm”

 

Steam Q&A

The publisher struck out an earlier comment made about featuring children in the game

 

“That was bad sarcasm on my part. Sorry, but English is my third language,” it said in a post to Steam’s discussion forums, which remains online.

Elsewhere, the publisher accused the media of “twisting its words” and claimed it was “absurd” that people were petitioning for the product to be banned.

In particular, it drew attention to the fact that other mass shooting-themed titles had sold via Steam for several years.

“Games like Hatred, Postal and Carmageddon are literally about mentally unstable people slaying dozens of people,” it posted.

“You cannot simply say OK to one and not OK to another.”

President Trump is among those who have previously suggested that violence in video games could encourage real-world attacks. But making such a link is controversial and games industry leaders deny there is evidence to support it.

Even so, the organiser of the Change.org campaign against Active Shooter has celebrated a ban in this instance on the grounds that school shootings should not be depicted for entertainment.

“We’re all in this together – standing side-by-side with those who have lost family and friends in school shootings,” posted Stephanie Robinett.

“We have to do better!”

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