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Today's edition includes a smartphone with a ‘microscope’ camera, Tenet on a Game Boy Advance, an explanation of exactly what NFTs are and how to digitally organize your Mac, as our Spring Cleaning series goes beyond simply cleaning your keyboard. That’s where my spring cleaning typically ends.
— Mat Smith
Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.
Proving old devices never really die, some enterprising crafters keep squeezing functionality out of yesteryear’s gadgets. That includes a horrifically compressed version of Tenet for Game Boy Advance, and a wildly unnecessary Twitter client for the Handspring Visor. Continue reading.
The cryptocurrency offshoot presents a jumble of contradictions.
Non-Fungible Tokens, or NFTs, are the cryptocurrency off-shoot that has, all of a sudden, burst into the mainstream. They’re essentially a way of tying a certificate of authenticity to a digital file, among other things, like a contract, video clip or even a still image. The possibilities for NFTs are still to be explored, but they’re booming right now like Bitcoin did through much of 2020. Yesterday, a digital artwork by Beeple and associated NFT sold at auction for nearly $70 million. For what essentially amounted to a copy of a still image someone could have printed at home for free and a signed receipt.
If you’re wondering what exactly all of this means, and what’s going on, then Dan Cooper has written a lengthy explainer to get you up to speed on what this is, even if you still have trouble understanding why someone would spend so much money on it. Continue reading.
And both its wide and ultra-wide cameras have the same sensor.
Oppo’s new flagship phone, the Find X3 Pro is entirely focused on photography — the giant sensor array on the back kind of gives that away. The headline feature has to be its "microscope" camera. The 3-megapixel f/3.0 microscopic camera delivers 30x magnification natively and can handle 1080p video recording. As you have to get close — the focal distance is between only 1mm and 3mm — this camera even has a small ring light to illuminate your subject.
The results make for a unique camera phone. It’s an Oppo device, so there’s also lightning-fast charging with the bundled 65W SuperVOOC charger and speedier wireless charging with compatible docks, which can fully charge your phone in 80 minutes. Given past form, chances are the Find X3 Pro won't head to the US, but the company has announced it'll be available in the UK on April 14th, starting at £1,099, which is around $1,250. Continue reading.
It aims to have a high-capacity pre-production battery by 2023.
GM is elaborating on its next-generation Ultium batteries, which sound like something from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but are not. The company plans to use lithium-metal (Li-metal) technology to boost performance and energy density. Li-metal batteries replace carbon anodes with lithium metal, allowing for lighter and more powerful cells. The challenge with the technology is increased resistance and "dendrite" filaments that tend to form on the anodes, making batteries short-circuit and heat up. “With this next-generation Ultium chemistry, we believe we’re on the cusp of a once-in-a-generation improvement in energy density and cost," said GM President Mark Reuss, adding that there was also “still room for improvement”. Continue reading.
Taking care of your computer doesn’t need to be complicated.
Once you’ve dusted the cookie crumbs from your MacBook keyboard, it’s time for a digital clean. Associate Editor Igor Bonifacic reveals his fastidious Mac cleaning techniques, encompassing hard-drive organization, keeping your desktop clean going forward and even how to purloin the best organization features from Windows 10 for your Mac. Continue reading.
Do you remember whose account you’re streaming on?
For years, Netflix has looked the other way on people sharing passwords to their streaming accounts with folks that may not quite meet the definition of a “member of the household.” As its streaming audience has grown into the hundreds of millions, allowing easy access has been more important than triple-checking credentials.
But those days may be coming to an end. The company confirmed a test it’s running that prompts suspected freeloaders to get their own accounts and then asks to verify their access with a code sent to the registered account holder’s phone number or email address. Now that Netflix has hiked its prices for several years in a row, and growth in some countries is slowing, it looks like this is a way to find a few more paying customers. Continue reading.
Nearly every addition is coming to play on Xbox, PC and mobile.
Now the deal is done, Microsoft-owned game publisher Bethesda has announced 20 of its games are xton Xbox Game Pass, starting today. In all, Microsoft is adding 12 new titles, including Fallout 4, Morrowind and The Evil Within, for people to check out. They'll join eight other Bethesda games, like Dishonored 2, Fallout 76 and Doom Eternal, that were already available through the service, making a total of 20 titles. Check the full list of titles here.