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All posts by Hadlee Simons

  • Reviewer’s Google Home Mini goes rogue, records everything

    Manufacturers of smart speakers have gone to great lengths to explain to users that the devices respect their privacy. But Google was in a rather tricky situation after a tech journalist's Google Home Mini speaker malfunctioned. Android Police journalist Artem Russakovskii was one of many to receive a Google Home Mini at the company's 4 October event. But quickly found that it was listening to and recording everything, instead of only listening to a hotword to activate. "Several days passed without me noticing anything wrong. In the meantime, as it turns out, the Mini was behaving very differently from all the...

  • List of Xbox One X-enhanced games grows to 130+

    Microsoft's Xbox One X is practically around the corner for a global release, promising "true" 4K gaming and visual benefits for owners of full HD screens. South Africans can also expect the console to hit local shores in December. But which games will you be able to play come release date? Microsoft has updated its list of Xbox One X-enhanced games, with a claimed total of over 130 supported titles. The company adds that users should check for one of three logos on game packaging/listings. These are "Xbox One X enhanced", "4K Ultra HD" and "HDR". The latter two are pretty self-explanatory,...

  • 7 iPhone 8/X features you can expect to see on rival phones

    When Apple adopts technology or a feature in its iPhone, chances are good that the rest of the industry will follow. Don't believe us? Then look at the 64-bit processor, fingerprint scanners and earphone jacks (or the lack thereof). So, a few weeks after the iPhone 8/X event, here are a few features we'd bet on coming to rival phones... Advanced facial recognition Android may have done facial recognition back in 2011 or so, but it was very easy to spoof with even a photograph. We've seen Samsung introduce a similar feature as well, but it's not much better. Apple's solution, which uses...

  • Pixel 2: Google explains decision to ditch 3.5mm audio jack

    The Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are just the latest smartphones to ditch headphone jacks, making for a rather odd turn of events compared to the original Pixel. Back at the original Pixel launch, Google mocked Apple for ditching the audio jack. But now, it's Google that's defending itself over the decision. Google community manager Orrin Hancock has used the forum to explain the decision to drop the jack, saying it "provides a better audio and digital experience". "The Pixel 2 still comes with a headphone jack but we have moved to USB-C, a standard that is...

  • 9 big third party games you can get for Nintendo Switch

    The Nintendo Switch is probably the gaming story of 2017, enjoying huge sales numbers and some well-received first party titles. However, the big question surrounding Nintendo platforms often tends to be the third-party situation. After all, the company has traditionally struggled with this over the years. Nevertheless, there are a few current and upcoming Nintendo Switch releases that buck the trend in a massive way. We pick some of the more prominent third-party Switch releases. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Yes yes, the joke about Bethesda releasing Skyrim on everything has some truth to it. But who doesn't like the idea of playing Skyrim...

  • BlackBerry Motion packs frugal processor, big battery

    The BlackBerry KeyOne stood out thanks to a well-sized battery, physical keyboard and the ever-popular-if-slightly-underpowered Snapdragon 625 processor. But what if you want something more traditional? Well, that's where the IP67-toting BlackBerry Motion comes in. Spotted by Evan Blass last week, Crackberry has revealed the full specs. So what should you expect? Those wanting a more powerful phone will be disappointed, as it's still the ever-reliable Snapdragon 625 processor. Otherwise, 4GB of RAM and 32GB of expandable storage rounds out the water-resistant package. Other notable additions include a more traditional 5.5-inch full HD LCD screen (eschewing the physical keyboard of the KeyOne)...

  • Not even Microsoft execs care about Windows 10 Mobile anymore

    In case the lack of a flagship since 2015 wasn't a clue, Microsoft's Joe Belfiore has come out and effectively confirmed that Windows 10 Mobile is dead. Well, he didn't quite use the term "dead". But it's certainly in a coma, if anything. The Microsoft executive was responding to a Twitter user's query, wondering whether it was time to leave Windows 10 Mobile. "Depends who you are. Many companies still deploy to their employees and we will support them!" Belfiore says in a two part tweet. "As an individual end-user, I switched platforms for the app/hw diversity. We will support those users too!...

  • F1 2017 review: everyone gets a grid penalty

    The lights are out at Sochi and it's go, go, go. The Mercedes of Hamilton gets the better start as pole-sitter Simons's Haas gets bogged down. After the first corner, it's the triple world champion followed by Simons, who has recovered from the poor start and looks determined to immediately get out of the dirty air. It's all or nothing at the next 90 degree corner (a Tilke circuit, clearly) as the South African plunges down the inside, a compliant Hamilton wary of Simons's Maldonado-style antics. But far from being a last-gasp attempt to delay Hamilton, it's the Brit that...

  • These are the most popular computer specs on Steam right now

    Every month, Steam conducts its hardware and software survey, revealing the most popular computer specifications being used by its customers. So what can we expect for September? When it comes to the operating system, we see Windows 10 64-bit still enjoying a lead of 45.3%. But it's dropped 4.6 percentage points compared to the previous month, while second place Windows 7 64-bit has gained 6% to hit 41%. As a whole, Windows accounts for 96.6% of surveyed Steam-enabled computers, while Mac OS X and Linux hold 2.74% and 0.60% respectively. As for the CPU department, quad-core (57.9%) and dual-core CPU designs...

  • Xbox One X gets SA price, ‘early December’ launch

    Microsoft South Africa has finally confirmed local pricing and launch details for the Xbox One X. "The console is expected to go on sale through local retailers in early December, for a limited pre-order price of R7499. Pre order date will be announced over the next few weeks," the company wrote in an emailed press statement. In other words, the price tag used by Microsoft South Africa at E3 2017 is indeed correct. "We are excited to give South African gamers a chance to experience true 4K gaming, enabling environments and characters to become more realistic than ever, with more detail and...