YouTube Miniplayer Button Now Rolling Out to All Desktop Users


YouTube is now rolling out the Miniplayer button for all desktop users across the globe. This button essentially will allow users to collapse a video into a smaller window at the bottom of the screen and allow the user to browse through YouTube simultaneously. This small video player will come with pause, seek, play, and next or previous video buttons as well. The button can be found in the bottom bar on the video player on YouTube with all the controls. The feature was first spotted in testing in March this year.

The Miniplayer button sits in between the Theatre mode and Settings button in the video player. Clicking on it will collapse the video into Miniplayer mode – essentially a small window in the bottom right corner of the desktop display. This will enable users to navigate through YouTube and watch the video simultaneously. It is somewhat similar to the PiP mode in Android, but the Miniplayer button acts as a trigger to enter the mode manually. You can dismiss the Miniplayer by hitting the ‘X’ button or just by pressing ESC on your keyboard.

YouTube notes that this change is rolling out for all users, but it may be a slow rollout and you may not see the change immediately. On the product forums, YouTube notes that clicking on the Miniplayer title again or on the Miniplayer video player will take you back to the normal mode once again.

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YouTube miniplayer button

The Google-owned service also notes that it has fixed the issue that was causing some upcoming live videos to show the “upcoming” time in the wrong time zone. YouTube has also added a ‘save’ label on playlists to enable saving them and then accessing them on mobile or web platform later on. Full fixes shared below:

  • Some upcoming live videos were showing the “upcoming” time in the wrong timezone, fixed that!
  • Added a “SAVE” label to the save to playlist button on video pages. Now everything’s more consistent across web and our mobile apps!
  • The text in some pop-up windows (for example, the window that appears when you click Share > Embed) would run over the edge of the window, fixed that!
  • Some three-dot menu items were showing up blank with no info, fixed that!
  • When you click ‘Share’ and use the ‘Start At’ checkbox, the time would sometimes be out of sync with the URL, fixed that!



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Amazon Alexa Whisper Mode Begins Rolling Out, Is Disabled by Default


At its Amazon Alexa event last month, Amazon announced a new feature called whisper mode. The feature essentially enables Alexa to whisper when you whisper to it. It was announced to arrive in a couple of weeks, and now the company has reportedly confirmed that the Whisper Mode is now being rolled out to users in the US. This is one of the many attempts by Amazon to become context aware, and alongside whisper mode, Amazon had also launched Alexa Guard which will essentially make the voice assistant aware of smoke alarms, glass breaking, and other important noises.

TechCrunch reports that the whisper mode is rolling out to users in the US, and works in US English only for now. It is disabled by default, and users in the US will have to enable it via the Alexa app. Head to Settings > Alexa account > Alexa voice responses > Whispered responses to enable whisper mode. Separately, you can also turn it on by using the voice command, ” Alexa, turn on whisper mode.”

In order to bring whisper mode, the team had to build a neural network to figure out when you are whispering and the text-to-speech team had to figure out how to have Alexa whisper and play a lullaby.

Apart from this, Alexa is also set to get more conversational with a new feature called Follow-Up coming soon. It looks to bring contextual conversations to Alexa. For example, “What’s the weather in LA?” leads to info, “how far is it?” leads to the answer, and “recommend a restaurant there” will give eatery suggestions.



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OnePlus 6T Launch Date Changed to Avoid Clash With Apple’s October 30 Event


OnePlus has decided to reschedule the October 30 event scheduled in New York for the global unveiling of the OnePlus 6T smartphone. Now, the OnePlus 6T has a launch date of October 29. The company says the move was necessary as sticking to the original date would’ve meant the OnePlus 6T launch would be “overshadowed by Apple”, which is hosting an event in New York on the same day.

On October 8, OnePlus announced that the OnePlus 6T will be unveiled on October 30 at simultaneous launch events in New York and New Delhi. But this week on Thursday, Apple sent invites to its own event in Brooklyn, New York on the same day, where the company is expected to announce new iPad and Mac models.

“When we announced the launch of the OnePlus 6T on October 8, we were convinced our timing would allow us to maximise the amount of people we could reach with our message. That changed when Apple announced they would be hosting their own event on October 30,” OnePlus CEO Pete Lau wrote in a forum post announcing the change in launch date of the OnePlus 6T.

The OnePlus 6T launch event will now kick off at 11am on October 29.

As of now, the India launch event of the OnePlus 6T seems to be unaffected, as indicated by David Y, Community Manager on the same forum thread, which means the OnePlus 6T India launch event should kick off at 8:30pm on October 30, as scheduled earlier.

Here’s the full text of Pete Lau’s post announcing the OnePlus 6T launch date change:

Friends,

A lot has changed in the past 24 hours. When we announced the launch of the OnePlus 6T on October 8, we were convinced our timing would allow us to maximise the amount of people we could reach with our message. That changed when Apple announced they would be hosting their own event on October 30. We know the entire industry and all media will be holding their breath. So, imagine how we felt when we learned the date of their latest event. One minute, we were preparing for our greatest and most exciting launch event yet. The next, we were posed with a difficult question: “What do we do now?”

In any pursuit, you can only play the cards you are dealt. We were dealt a pretty bad hand. Our challenge was to find a way to make the most of a bad situation. For months on end, hundreds of people have poured their hearts and souls into creating our best product to date. Our goal is to make sure it gets the time and attention it deserves.

We couldn’t make this decision on our own. For hours, we talked to our press contacts to gain insight into how Apple’s announcement could affect the launch of the OnePlus 6T. We received considered, honest and thoughtful feedback. They showed us that if we chose to stick to our original timeline, launching the OnePlus 6T on October 30, we would be overshadowed by Apple.

But, we know the most important voices are yours – our community. We talked to some of our most loyal users, knowing we could not make a decision of this magnitude without your input. Because we know you would be most affected by this change. Flight tickets have been booked, hotel rooms reserved, and plans made. Internally, we were incredibly divided on this decision. We debated for hours before we came to one of the most painful decisions we have ever made.

As ambitious and passionate as we all are, we have to acknowledge the reality of this situation. There are no winners here. Over the course of almost 5 years, we have been proud to witness the rise of one of the most passionate and powerful communities in all of tech. But, we have to remain realistic. We have only just begun our journey and cannot afford to let one of the most important products in our history be affected by another great product launch. So after deep reflection, we have decided to move the OnePlus 6T Launch Event in New York City to October 29.

We are moving the event a day early so we can all experience the latest technology, together. To those affected, we know sorry isn’t good enough. So, we will do everything in our power to make things right. Starting with those of you who own a ticket, but won’t be able to make the event. Everyone who owns a ticket will be able to apply for a full refund for their ticket.

If you’re still able to join our event, first of all: Thank you! We will cover any costs you might incur to change your plans. If you need to pay to move your flight, we’ve got your back. Same goes for those of you who booked a hotel or made other arrangements. Our team will be getting in touch with all ticket owners individually to help you out.

We hope that you will understand our decision. If you are willing to help spread the word and make this our biggest event yet, we would be incredibly very grateful if you could share the news with other OnePlus followers. As we continue to grow, we will continue to challenge this industry together. We can’t wait to unveil the OnePlus 6T. It’ll be a big week in New York. But, we’re ready to Unlock The Speed – hand-in-hand with you. Thank you for supporting us! See you October 29, at 11AM EDT.

OnePlus Team.



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PS4-Exclusive Days Gone Delayed to April 26, 2019


PS4-exclusive Days Gone has been delayed to April 26, 2019. The open-world zombie shooter was slated for February 22 but has now been pushed forward from what Sony describes as a “crowded February time frame”. With Anthem, Metro Exodus, and Crackdown 3 slated for February 22 and Ace Combat 7, Dead or Alive 6, and Steins;Gate rounding off the February release line up, it’s no surprise that Sony would want to give Days Gone a fighting chance by releasing it in April instead.

“We want to share a change in release date for this highly anticipated title from Bend Studio,” said Sony Marketing Vice President Asad Qizilbash in a prepared statement. “We recently decided to move the release of Days Gone from the crowded February time frame to April 26, 2019. While the studio is eager to see Days Gone in the hands of fans, Bend Studio will take the opportunity to further polish Days Gone.”

“As PlayStation fans already know, Days Gone is an open-world action game set in the high-desert of the Pacific Northwest. Traversing harsh landscapes on their drifter bike, players must fight for resources as they attempt to survive broken roads, unpredictable weather, attacks from other human factions, infected wildlife and roaming Freakers — a brutal, dynamic world that is dangerous both day and night.”

Like most Sony first-party titles this generation, Days Gone price is Rs. 3,999 in India ($60 in the US). Days Gone frame rate is 30fps on PS4 and PS4 Pro with PS4 Pro enhancements including 4K.

According to Days Gone Creative Director John Garvin, Days Gone will take 30 hours to complete. That’s just as much as God of War and Final Fantasy XV. In fact he claimed it could even take longer than that depending on your choices which could lead to different outcomes and experiences.

“The golden path is going to take you about 30 hours, but it’s going to take you a lot longer than that because things are going to happen to you along the way depending on how careful you are and how much you pay attention,” Garvin said in an interview with Game Informer.

Furthermore, Days Gone lets you build encampments and improve your bike as you progress through the game. Plus, there are dynamic weather changes unlike games such as The Last of Us that shift through predetermined seasons.

Days Gone was first announced at E3 2016, with zombie games not being as popular as they used to be, will Days Gone be able to find its audience?


If you’re a fan of video games, check out Transition, Gadgets 360’s gaming podcast. You can listen to it via Apple Podcasts or RSS, or just listen to this week’s episode by hitting the play button below.



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Airtel TV Premium With ZEE5 Originals and NDTV Hop Content Launched, Bundled Free for Select Customers


Airtel TV Premium With ZEE5 Originals and NDTV Hop Content Launched, Bundled Free for Select Customers

Airtel TV Premium arrives with the Airtel TV latest update

Bharti Airtel has updated its Airtel TV app to bring in a new Airtel TV Premium feature for its subscribers. The new Airtel TV Premium tab brings access to premium content like Zee5 originals, NDTV Hop, 300+ live TV channels, 10,000+ movies from Eros Now, Hotstar, Hooq, ALT Balaji, Hoichoi, FastFilmz, and more. Airtel TV Premium subscription is bundled free for all #AirtelThanks customers, which means that all subscribers who commit a monthly ARPU (average revenue per user) of Rs. 100 and above on mobile, will get access to Airtel TV Premium at no extra charge.

The new Airtel TV Premium feature comes with the latest Airtel TV app update on App Store and Google Play. The Airtel TV Premium tab sits in the bottom menu, right in the centre with a heart shaped icon. The app says that access to Airtel TV Premium is valid till December 17, after which it may charge a fee from subscribers. This tab shows all the premium content to its subscribers, and has segregated it into sections like Trending, Newly Added, and more.

As mentioned, all #AirtelThanks customers get Airtel TV Premium access for free. To recall, Airtel recently launched its #AirtelThanks program wherein it provides rewards to customers who commit a monthly ARPU of Rs. 100 and above for their mobile accounts. Rewards include access to premium digital content and online shopping vouchers. Airtel Infinity Postpaid subscribers will additionally be able to get three months Netflix subscription gift worth Rs. 1,500. Further, Airtel has tied up with Flipkart to offer benefits of up to Rs. 4,500 in addition to 100GB bonus data on all Flipkart-exclusive smartphones during the Big Billion Days sale. The company said that benefits of the #AirtelThanks programme would soon be extended to V-Fiber home broadband customers. To know more about these offers in detail, read our detailed coverage here.



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Google Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL Have Poor Audio Quality in Video Recordings; Pixel 3 XL Has Imbalanced Stereo Speakers: Reports


Google Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL Have Poor Audio Quality in Video Recordings; Pixel 3 XL Has Imbalanced Stereo Speakers: Reports

Google Pixel 3 XL has imbalanced audio from stereo speakers, probably due to the size of the bezels

Google’s Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL flagship smartphones were launched at an event held in New York earlier this month. The duo offer premium internals as well as a classy design. But, much like their predecessors, Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, it may be that even the Pixel 3 series has a couple of unresolved quality issues. Some users and reviewers globally have been reporting an imbalance in sound coming out from the front-facing stereo speakers on the Pixel 3 XL. Apart from that, it is also being reported that video recordings on both the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL have poor audio quality.

A Reddit thread, spotted by Android Police, from about a week ago points out the blatant sound imbalance of the Pixel 3 XL’s stereo speakers. The user claims that the sound from the bottom speaker was much louder than that from the top speaker while testing out the phone at a store. “I was nearly sold on the 3 xl, but after watching the revenge of the mask on youtube, I noticed the sound substantially louder from the bottom speaker. Holding each speaker to my ear there is a noticeable balance issue,” the user said. “Top speaker lacks highs and bottom is crazy loud. Bass seemed about even with both.[sic]”

A comment from the official PixelCommunity account was posted on the thread earlier this week. In the comment, Google claimed that Pixel 3 XL’s speakers have been designed for 40 percent louder sound and better low frequency response. The reply essentially means that the imbalanced sound was by choice and due to improvement in design. However, the Android Police report claims that the smaller Pixel 3 does not appear to have the same problem. One plausible explanation of this issue is that the difference in size of the top and bottom bezels of the Pixel 3 XL led to Google using differently sized audio drivers.

Separately, Google’s Pixel 3 handsets also seem to have a microphone quality issue as certain reviewers are reporting poor audio during video recordings. Several smartphone reviewers have noted in their experience that the video recordings come out with poor audio quality when compared to the handsets like the iPhone XS and even the Pixel 2.

Poor audio quality means the sound in video recordings seem tinny and lack clarity, which should not be the case with an Android flagship in 2018. To recall, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL also faced audio issues during video recordings. Google hasn’t yet resolved the issue on the latest Pixel 3 range, however a software fix might come soon.



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Red Dead Redemption 2 Ultimate and Special Edition Sold Out in India


Red Dead Redemption 2 Ultimate and Special Edition variants have sold out in India. These two versions of the game have been available for pre-order in India a day after their announcement back in June. Aside from having Red Dead Redemption 2 on a disc or two, it also comes with additional in-game content and physical goodies such as a printed map and steelbook. So if you were waiting till launch day to get either version, you may well be out of luck. At the moment, all online stores that were selling these versions of the game don’t have it available for pre-order any more. In some situations, those who pre-ordered either Red Dead Redemption 2 Ultimate or Special Edition were downgraded and the balance amount was returned to them. This appears to be the case for those who paid for the higher-priced versions of the game on Xbox One and not PS4, Gadgets 360 has learned from several customers. Red Dead Redemption 2 distributor E-xpress has not replied to Gadgets 360’s request for comment on the same.

“I ordered the Ultimate Edition of Red Dead Redemption 2 on Xbox One,” a customer tells Gadgets 360 on the condition of anonymity. “My order was changed to Red Dead Redemption 2 Special Edition and the balance amount was returned as a credit note.”

It will be interesting to see if Red Dead Redemption 2 makes it to India on time what with some retailers telling their clientele that the game will be delayed following instructions from Rockstar. Similar rules were in place during the release of GTA V on PS3 and Xbox 360. Here’s what the Red Dead Redemption 2 Special and Ultimate Editions have.

Red Dead Redemption 2 Special Edition

The Red Dead Redemption 2 Special Edition has a map and exclusive content for Story Mode including:

  • Bank Robbery Mission and Gang Hideout: Get exclusive access to a Bank Robbery Mission, in which Arthur and a couple of his fellow gang members come up with a daring plan to break in and rob the bank in the southern town of Rhodes. Elsewhere, the Del Lobos Gang has taken over a hacienda – clear this gang’s hideout and rob their stash for a lucrative take.
  • Dappled black thoroughbred: This thoroughbred racehorse sporting a beautiful reverse-dappled black coat will keep you at the front of the pack with its exceptional speed and acceleration. You will also get the exclusive Nuevo Paraiso Saddle, handmade in dark chocolate leather with silver medallion detailing. This horse and saddle are available in Red Dead Redemption 2 Story Mode.
  • Talisman and Medallion gameplay bonuses: These special Story Mode items will give Arthur a helping hand whenever they are equipped. Attaching the Eagle Talon Talisman to his boot, Arthur’s environmental awareness skill will last longer. By carrying the Iguana Scale in his personal Satchel, Arthur will take less damage while riding on horseback.
  • Gameplay boosts, cash bonuses, and discounts: This collection of exclusive Story Mode boosts, bonuses and discounts will help Arthur to survive out in the harsh wilderness and better provide for his gang members and their camp. The Core Stat boost benefits Arthur’s Stamina, Health and Dead Eye Cores. Earn more cash during robbery missions with the Van der Linde gang, and when hunting and selling animal carcasses. Receive discounts on all upgrades to the Van der Linde gang’s camp.
  • The Nuevo Paraiso Gunslinger outfit: This exclusive Story Mode outfit for Arthur is inspired by the clothing worn by vaqueros and banditos south of the border. The outfit features a wide brimmed black cowboy hat, deep indigo coat, worn denim chaps, leather gloves and boots.
  • Free access to additional weapons: A good range of weapons is essential for survival in the Old West. Get free access to three weapons at the in-game Gunsmiths in Story Mode: the robust Volcanic Pistol, devastating Pump Action Shotgun and versatile Lancaster Varmint Rifle.

Red Dead Redemption 2 Ultimate Edition

The Red Dead Redemption 2: Ultimate Edition delivers all of the Story Mode content from the Special Edition plus additional bonuses like a map and steelbook. Plus there’s in-game content including:

  • Bonus outfits: Get two exclusive outfits for your online character. The Blackrose Bounty Hunter outfit features a long oxblood-colored coat, a vest with gold pocket watch chain, and dark pants tucked into chocolate leather boots. The Copperhead Enforcer outfit features a fur-lined saddle-brown leather waistcoat, two-tone gloves, and pinstripe black pants tucked into black leather boots.
  • Black chestnut thoroughbred: Outrun the competition with this thoroughbred racehorse in a striking black chestnut coat and also receive the exclusive High Plains Cutting Saddle beautifully crafted in jet-black leather with gold metal accents. This horse and saddle are available in online.
  • Free access to the Survivor Camp theme: Customize your own personal Camp in online with free access to the Survivor theme.
  • Free access to additional weapons: Get access to the Volcanic Pistol, Pump Action Shotgun and Lancaster Varmint Rifle, free of charge from Gunsmiths in online.
  • Rank bonuses: As a great start for all Ultimate Edition players, you can rank up faster in online, up to rank 25.

If you’re a fan of video games, check out Transition, Gadgets 360’s gaming podcast. You can listen to it via Apple Podcasts or RSS, or just listen to this week’s episode by hitting the play button below.



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Indian Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Team Disqualified From Major International Tournament For Cheating


One of the largest e-sports organisations in the world, Optic Gaming has had its Indian Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team disqualified for cheating from the Extremesland 2018 Asia Finals. Optic India’s Nikhil ‘Forsaken’ Kumawat was discovered to have an unauthorised program on his PC during the team’s match against Revolution in the Group C elimination match of the $100,000 tournament. According to reports, it seems that suspicious activity from his PC was flagged by the event’s anti-cheat platform prompting administrators to investigate.

Kumawat reportedly closed Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and hurriedly deleted a program running the background. This prompted a deeper investigation that threw up the retrieved program which would not run. However Kumawat’s behaviour as witnessed by the event organisers and his PC being flagged by the anti-cheat system was enough to disqualify Optic India.

Needless to say, Kumawat has been released from Optic India. Optic set up shop in India earlier in the year with an announcement to put together an all-Indian Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team. According to a prepared statement from the company in May, it partnered with two local Indian e-sports companies, AFK Gaming and SoStronk to discover the necessary talent for its Indian squad.

As per the selection process highlighted by Optic, candidates would “undergo an extensive evaluation based on psychometric and theoretical tests in addition to role-based and in-game analysis”. This was led by Ali Saba, Optic Gaming Scouting Director, with support from Prashant ‘Aequitas’ Prabhakar and the SoStronk team. Evidently this wasn’t enough.

This comes at a time when Indian e-sports doesn’t seem to have evolved as fast as it audience has. Be it the likes of bigger companies like Nodwin failing to pay its vendors, Ucypher blocking every Tekken 7 video on YouTube in a ham-fisted attempt to protect its reality show, or the travesty that was the Indian selection process for the Asian Games, there seems to be little to cheer about for e-sports fans in India.


If you’re a fan of video games, check out Transition, Gadgets 360’s gaming podcast. You can listen to it via Apple Podcasts or RSS, or just listen to this week’s episode by hitting the play button below.



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Apple Schedules October 30 Special Event, New iPad and Mac Models Expected


Apple has just sent out press invites for a special event in New York on October 30. Though Apple has — expectedly — not said anything about what to expect from the event, if the rumour mill over the past few weeks is any indication, one can expect the Cupertino-based company to unveil new iPad Pro and Mac models at the event.

“There’s more in the making,” reads the invite that Gadgets 360 received, with an Apple logo in blue with little skyscrapers in the middle, representing what looks like the New York skyline. Interestingly, the featured image on the invites that various publications have received this time seem to be different, since the invites that we’ve seen on social media looking nothing like the one we’ve received.

Apple is expected to reveal new iPad Pro models with Face ID technology that debuted on last year’s iPhone X. The new iPad models have also been tipped to pack USB Type-C ports, which would be a big departure from the norm as Apple has shipped proprietary 30-pin or Lightning ports on iOS devices till date.

Reports suggest that at the event Apple could also unveil a refreshed MacBook Air, the most affordable Mac in Apple’s notebook lineup.



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Google Pixel 3 Teardown Shows an LG-Made OLED Display: iFixit


Just a day after the Pixel 3 XL was spotted featuring an AMOLED panel from Samsung, a teardown carried out by iFixit has now revealed the presence of an LG OLED display on Google Pixel 3. This is unlike the last year Pixel family that had the larger, Pixel 2 XL with a panel from LG and the smaller, Pixel 2 with a Samsung display. Google didn’t reveal the switching between the two South Korean companies for making the display panels of its Pixel 3 models.

The iFixit team notes in its teardown that it’s a “full reversal” from last year. In terms of build and construction, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are quite similar. iFixit has given both a repairability score of 4 out of 10. The smartphones are also vulnerable to drop damage due to their front and back glass panels and have a large amount of glue.

However, coming back to the display panels, the teardown has revealed that Google has picked LG for giving the 5.5-inch full-HD+ (1080×2160 pixels) flexible OLED display on the Pixel 3. This comes alongside the fact that the company ditched LG and favour Samsung for offering a larger, 6.3-inch QHD+ (1440×2960 pixels) flexible OLED display on the Pixel 3 XL. The major difference between the display panels of the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, apart from their display sizes, is the presence of a notch on the latter.

google pixel 3 display teardown ifixit Google Pixel 3

Photo Credit: iFixit

 

The Pixel 3 XL’s notch is similar to the one featured on the iPhone X last year, and it is worth noting here that Samsung also emerged as the manufacturer of the iPhone X display. The notch, therefore, could be one of the reasons why the company chose the South Korean giant for making the display panel of its bigger Pixel model this year. It’s also notable that LG’s display panel on the last year Pixel flagship had a blue tint that largely impacted the viewing experience.

However, it appears that LG has improved the quality of its OLED display a lot as detailed reviews, including ours, weren’t able to spot any inferior results. The display panel of the Pixel 3 is, in fact, offers as good results as the display of the Pixel 3 XL. Google also highlighted some identical specs on both panels, including full 24-bit depth with 16.77 million colours and 100,000:1 super contrast ratio.

 


Can Google Pixel 3 succeed in India without massive discounts? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.



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