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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Chrome OS update could make switching to tablet mode far easier

Google is working on an update for Chrome OS that would make its browser-based operating system much easier to operate in tablet mode, even with the new, streamlined user interface.

The post Chrome OS update could make switching to tablet mode far easier appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

If your data is found on the dark web, Firefox Monitor will let you know

Firefox is finally launching its Firefox Monitor service and you don’t have to use the Firefox browser to access it. Monitor scans the dark web to see if your email address has been leaked as part of a past data breach.

The post If your data is found on the dark web, Firefox Monitor will let you know appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

Google’s blanket ban of cryptocurrency ads ends next month

Google is rolling back its ban on cryptocurrency advertisements – following a similar move made by Facebook earlier this summer, CNBC reports. Google in March was among the first of the major platforms to announce it would no longer run ban cryptocurrency ads, due to an abundance of caution around an industry where there’s so much potential for consumer harm.

Facebook, Twitter, and even Snapchat had also banned cryptocurrency ads, for similar reasons.

But Facebook moved away from its blanket ban this June, when it said it would no longer ban all cryptocurrency ads, but would rather allow those from “pre-approved advertisers” instead. It excluded ads that promoted binary options and initial coin offerings (ICOs), however.

Google is now following suit with its own policy change, it appears.

Google’s policy still bans ICOs, wallets and trading advice, CNBC reports, citing Google’s updated policy page which points to a list of banned products.

But the October 2018 policy update says that “regulated cryptocurrency exchanges” will be allowed to advertise in the U.S. and Japan.

To do so, advertisers will have to be certified with Google for the specific country where their ads will run, a process that begins in October. The policy will apply to all accounts that advertise these types of financial products, Google says.

Banning cryptocurrency ads on the part of the major platforms was a good step in terms of consumer protection, due to the amount of fraud and spam in the industry. According to the FTC, consumers lost $532 million to cryptocurrency-related scams in the first two months of 2018. An agency official also warned that consumers could lose more than $3 billion by the end of the year, because of these problems.

But for ad-dependent platforms like Facebook and Google, there’s so much money to be made here. It’s clear they wanted to find a way to let some of these advertisers back in. Google parent Alphabet makes around 86% of its total revenue from ads, CNBC noted, and booked over $54 billion in ad revenue in the first half of the year.

Google has not yet responded to a request for comment.


Source: TechCrunch

Inside AT&T's mission to help a city escape gun violence – CNET

The company’s dialing up a unique community outreach program in Chicago.
Source: CNET

Snapchat wants to make sure you're registered to vote – CNET

Sept. 25 is National Voter Registration Day and tech companies are celebrating.
Source: CNET

2019 Chevy Blazer will start right around $30,000 – Roadshow

You’ll have to wait a bit longer for full-lineup pricing and packaging.
Source: CNET

Sigma working on a full-frame Foveon sensor – CNET

It’s also killing its proprietary SA mount.
Source: CNET

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald reveals a surprise origin – CNET

The final Fantastic Beasts trailer shows off the major character Claudia Kim is playing.
Source: CNET

Alexa skills can now offer one-time-use purchases, like in-game hints or points

Alexa skill developers will now be able to sell “consumables” within their voice apps, aka Alexa skills, Amazon announced this morning. The company says that, starting today, developers in the U.S. will be able to take advantage of this new feature to sell products to Alexa devices owners which can be purchased, used, then purchased again – for example, a pack of “hints” for a voice game, or extra points that allow a game to continue.

The addition is really more of an expansion of existing in-app purchase capabilities for Alexa skills, which first debuted last November before rolling out more broadly this May. Amazon also allows developers to make money in skills through paid subscriptions, and provides direct payouts to developers through its Developer Rewards program.

These incentives along with Alexa’s head start in the in-home voice computing market has allowed the platform to grow to over 50,000 skills.

Unlike traditional in-app purchases, however, consumables are something regular skill users would continue to buy over and over, without having to commit to a subscription.

A few top developers have already adopted the feature, Amazon says.

These include: Would You Rather for Family, which lets you purchase a 7-day pass to the Premium (paid) version in order to test it out; Volley’s Yes Sire, which lets you keep the medieval role-play game going with points when you would have otherwise had to stop playing; and Hypno Therapist from Innomore, which lets you buy a bundle of 10 hypnotherapy sessions from a catalog of 70+ therapies. When these are used up, you have to buy another bundle to continue reaching your other health-related goals.

Amazon notes that Sony Pictures Television will also soon launch a Who Wants to Be a Millionaire skill, which will let you buy one-time-use lifelines when you get stuck on a question.

Developers are able to implement consumables in a similar fashion as they add one-time purchases and subscriptions – through the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) Command-Line Interface (CLI). Amazon also built a sample app, Name The Show, to demonstrate how to get started.

Additionally, Amazon says developers can turn to third-party tools like Storyline and Voice Apps to create skills using a more visual approach.

Consumables are currently available in the U.S. Amazon didn’t provide a timeline to an international launch.

 


Source: TechCrunch

You’ll now need a subscription to get the best of Microsoft Office

Microsoft released Office 2019 for Windows and macOS this week, the latest version of its regular, non-subscription productivity suite. It’s the kind of Office that, ten years ago, you would’ve bought in a shrink-wrapped package at Office Depot. But it’s really not the version of Office that Microsoft would like you to buy — or that you probably want to have. That’s because at this point, Office 2019 is basically a limited version that doesn’t include the most interesting new features of its Office 365 subscription counterpart.

“We are really working very hard to position Office 365 in all its flavors — ProPlus for the commercial users — as very different from these versions of Office that have a year number in them,” Microsoft’s corporate VP for Office and Windows Jared Spataro told me. “Office 2019, all the features that we released in it, had previously been released in Office 365. So are our way of talking about the cloud versions of Office 365 is that they’re connected, that this breathes life into them.”

Spataro also noted that Microsoft wants users to remember that the connected Office 365 apps will offer higher productivity because of their cloud connectivity and a higher degree of security. He also argues that these versions deliver a lower total cost of ownership.

Back when Microsoft launched Office 2016, those releases were essentially snapshots (‘carbon copies,” Spataro called them) of the regularly updated Office 365 versions, which get monthly updates and feature releases. For the first time now, the on-premises version of Office only provides a subset of the full functionality, with a lot of missing functionality because virtually all of the most interesting new features — including all the machine learning smarts that are now rolling out to Office 365 — will be missing from Office 2019.

“I think there will be some confusion,” Spataro acknowledged. “It’ll take us some time to train people that the year number doesn’t mean it’s the best version.”

In a way, though, this makes sense, given that a lot of the new functionality that Microsoft is now building into Office 365 only works because it’s connected to the cloud. That’s the only way to pull in data for the new Microsoft Search functionality, for example, and to run the machine learning models and pull in data from those — and Microsoft has decided that the best way to charge for those is through a subscription.

Microsoft’s strategy isn’t all that different from Adobe’s, for example, which now focuses on its Creative Cloud subscriptions and the cloud features that come with those to promote its subscription service over shrink-wrapped versions of its applications. That has been a very successful transition for Adobe and Microsoft is looking for the same with Office 365 (and its Microsoft 365 counterpart).

more Microsoft Ignite 2018 coverage


Source: TechCrunch

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