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Category: Technology (page 2 of 11)

Instagram Is No Longer Square

You can now post various different aspect ratio photos and videos on Instagram. No more white or black cropping around the photo.

I’m not sure how I feel about this as I’ve always felt that photos on Instagram should be taken and shared straight from your phone. Most of the 16:9 photos that show up are taken professionally and then put on Instagram. Either that or The Fat Jew steals screen shots from somewhere else and then battles to make them square.

I definitely see this as Instagram pivoting to be more a part of Facebook. It will remain to be seen how really tall photos will show or how really wide photos will show.

Oh, if you’re looking at how to do this, update your Instagram app and then on the screen where you can select a photo from your library, there are two little arrows that allows you to turn this on and off.

Design Flaw vs Idiot

You may have seen in the news that the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 has a “design flaw.” Android Police has widely publicised this with both that article and a YouTube video.

The so called “design flaw” is that if you insert the S Pen backwards it breaks. Either the phone stops detecting the S Pen or the S Pen gets stuck.

Some poor guy at Samsung actually had to respond to this:

We highly recommend our Galaxy Note 5 users follow the instructions in the user guide to ensure they do not experience such an unexpected scenario caused by reinserting the S-Pen in the other way around.

Very rarely do I side with Samsung on something but this is complete bullshit. It is one thing to expect companies to make a device that is reasonably safe to use but to expect them to recall millions of devices because they aren’t idiot proof is a bit of a stretch.

This is kind of like expecting Apple to recall their Ear Pods because they can get damaged when inserted in wall socket.

FFS people, this isn’t a design flaw. Calm down, be careful and I’m sure you won’t fuck it up. I’ve gone my entire life without inserting the wrong thing into the wrong hole or inserting the right thing backwards into the right hole. But you say “What about the kids, they won’t know better!” well I say, “don’t give your kids your phone.”

Okay, I’m glad we had this talk. Now be safe out there in this dangerous world filled with backwards inserting S Pens.

Update

At least Wired seems to agree with me! They just have some more tact.

[Android Police]

Telkom is re-launching 1mbps ADSL

Well add this to a list of strange things I never thought I’d see.

The interesting part about this is the price though. The wholesale price for this 1mbps line is less than R50. ISPs seem to be announcing pricing around R55 though.

For many people this will make a lot of sense as the cost greatly outweighs the need for speed. You’ll also be able to tack on a reasonably affordable uncapped package to make the most of this. This is also a bonus for people who are paying for 2mbps but only getting 1mbps due to Telkom’s shitty infrastructure. They can now pay less to be disappointed.

The last problem for Telkom to deal with is that pesky analogue line rental. This package makes entry level ADSL really affordable until you include the R189 a month of compulsory analogue line rental. That is a service you don’t want and will probably never use.

[MyBroadband]

Xiaomi is coming to South Africa

Chinese smartphone hero Xiaomi is coming to Africa. Known for their impressive flash sales and being more popular than Apple and Samsung in China, Xiaomi should be a welcome addition to the continent.

Reports indicate that Mobile in Africa (sole distributer for Africa) won’t be bringing the flagship Mi Note Pro to Africa just yet. You can expect some basic Android phones with decent build quality and almost certainly a clone of a more well known brand phone.

Prices look set to range from R2000 to R4000 for something just above entry level. It will be interesting to see if these prices last as Mobile in Africa has links to Core Group and they have been known to inflate costs quite a bit.

Xiaomi has built a reputation in China for making really decent phones at affordable price points. If this carries over to Africa they’ll definitely be one to watch out for in the future.

[MyBroadband]

WhatsApp for Web Rolling Out to iPhones [UPDATED: Out now!]

Great news fellow iPhone owners! If you’re anything like me, you get a little frustrated when you get a message on WhatsApp at work because you can’t just reply from your computer right in front of you. This is one of the main reasons why I love iMessage so much.

Well now you can end your Android counterpart’s bragging about being able to use WhatsApp on the web. An app update is rolling out around the world as we speak. With this update comes the ability to use WhatsApp for the web.

Hopefully WhatsMac will also be supported. (It should be as it is just a web wrapper.)

This should make WhatsApp a little less painful to use for me. Ideally I’d like to see Apple offer iMessage and FaceTime on other platforms, but until then (never) this will have to make do.

I’ll update this when I get the update and get some testing done.

Update

Works as advertised. Head to web.whatsapp.com and scan the QR code from WhatsApp on your iPhone. You’ll find the QR Code reader under Settings > WhatsApp Web in the App. Goodbye productivity.

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