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Oculus drops support for Samsung Galaxy Note7 to keep users safe

Samsung Gear VR

It is tough being a Galaxy Note7 user. First, Samsung tells customers to exchange their units for a safe one, following reports of exploding batteries. Next, the "new" Galaxy Note7 devices start catching fire too, after it was revealed that their batteries have issues as well. And, now, Samsung decides to stop production altogether, discontinuing its latest Android flagship across the globe.

What's more, because the Galaxy Note7 is clearly not safe to use, Oculus has dropped support for the Android flagship, introducing a forced update for the app that enables the Gear VR headset to work with the device.

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Google Chrome 55 will drastically improve memory consumption


Google Chrome has received plenty of updates to make it lighter on resources, but it can still be a bit of a hog in certain areas. Its higher memory consumption remains a weak point, as you can easily notice on systems with a lower amount of RAM. However, an upcoming update is touted to greatly lower its footprint.

Google Chrome 55, which is expected to arrive in December, should improve the average memory consumption by up to 50 percent compared to the current release, version 53.

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Samsung could be facing another Galaxy Note7 recall

Secret Tell Surprise Shock

The Galaxy Note7 is back on sale in some markets, but that does not mean that the new units Samsung is shipping are perfectly safe. A passenger on a Southwest Airlines flight says that his replacement Galaxy Note7 caught fire, causing minor damage to the plane and the flight to get canceled.

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission has opened an investigation, basically to find out whether another recall is in order. "If it’s the fixed phone and it started to smoke in his pocket, I’m going to guess there’ll be another recall", says the agency's former executive director, Pamela Gilbert. Does a second recall sound unlikely at this stage? No.

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New Mac malware could secretly record your webcam during video chats

Apple MacBook video chat webcam

FBI director James Comey made the news last month when he admitted that he tapes over his laptop's webcam to avoid being spied upon. Mark Zuckerberg does it too. As Comey puts it, blocking the webcam is a "sensible" thing to do -- and if you too care about your privacy you should follow suit. But, there is a problem.

When you remove the tape to chat with someone you are left vulnerable. And, as a security researcher will demonstrate today at the VB2016 conference, a hacker could use that opportunity to record Mac users' activities "in an essentially undetectable manner".

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Shazam launches stripped-down music recognition app

Shazam Lite

Shazam is a fantastic app for identifying music but, judging by the launch of a new version, it is not for everyone. Its maker believes that potential new users in emerging markets might be better served by a smaller and lighter version of the app, so today it introduces Shazam Lite.

Unlike Shazam, which takes just under 60MB of storage on a OnePlus 3, Shazam Lite has "a highly optimized size of less than 1MB" to suit the entry-level Android smartphones that are taking over emerging markets. It is not uncommon for such a device to have 8GB or 16GB of storage.

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Google's new Pixel phones spell the end of the Nexus line

The end

Now that Google has its own line of smartphones developed completely in-house, you may be wondering what sort of impact will it have on the beloved Nexus brand? The Pixel and Pixel XL are not direct replacements for the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P, targeting shoppers in the premium segment. Could there be something just around the corner to fill in the gaps?

Traditionally speaking, the Nexus brand has featured at least one affordable smartphone in the line -- last year, it was the Nexus 5X -- so it would make sense for Google to launch something similar. However, if we are to believe Android head Hiroshi Lockheimer, you should not get your hopes up.

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How to stop your Mac from automatically downloading macOS Sierra

Hand stop

Apple is doing something out of the ordinary. Shortly after launching macOS Sierra, it started to automatically download the latest version of the operating system onto Mac devices. This is great if you want to upgrade to macOS Sierra now, but annoying if you planned to wait a bit longer to make sure all the major kinks are ironed out, or want to forgo the upgrade altogether.

Fortunately, it is very easy to close the door shut on any attempts to push the large setup file onto your device. All that you need to do to prevent macOS Sierra from automatically downloading on your Mac is to disable automatic updates.

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You can now buy a Samsung Galaxy Note7 again

Samsung Galaxy Note7

Things are slowly but surely starting to move in the right direction again for Samsung and its troublesome Galaxy Note7 flagship. Most affected units have been sent back, with the vast majority of customers opting to have their device replaced with a "new" -- or safe -- one. The only main thing left to do for Samsung is make the Galaxy Note7 available again.

During the recall, Samsung paused sales of the Galaxy Note7 to avoid introducing even more potentially dangerous units on the market. But now that there are enough safe Galaxy Note7 devices in stock, potential customers in some markets can get their hands on the flagship again.

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Fuze case adds a headphone jack to your iPhone 7

Fuze case adds a headphone jack to the iPhone 7

Much has been said about Apple's decision to drop the headphone jack in the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, but one thing is clear: there are many folks out there who would like to get it back. Some more than others, going as far as drilling a hole in their new smartphone -- and damaging it in the process -- to be able to plug their old headphones in.

Apple has, of course, provided a dongle which lets you use standard headphones, but a new case offers a more elegant solution. It's called Fuze and it comes with a 3.5mm jack built in, so you can forget about carrying an adaptor or buying new headphones.

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OnePlus 3 Android 7.0 Nougat update is in the works


Now that Android 7.0 is officially available, OnePlus 3 users are starting to wonder when their "flagship killer" will receive a software update to Nougat. The smartphone has received frequent updates since its launch in June, but the latest version of OxygenOS that you can get today has yet to make the move from Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow.

OnePlus is committed to improving the software for its third flagship, as evidenced by the numerous updates released so far and the introduction of a community build, and, as such, it should not come as a surprise to hear that it is "actively working" on bringing Nougat to OnePlus 3.

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BlackBerry ends smartphone development

The end

BlackBerry used to be an incredibly successful smartphone maker, but the iPhone and Android changed that. Now, the company formerly known as RIM cannot even manage to sell a measly one million units in a quarter, let alone compete against players like Apple and Samsung.

So, with a market share hovering around the 0.1 percent mark, BlackBerry has decided to take a big step back, announcing that it will stop developing its own smartphones. Instead, BlackBerry will focus on a more lucrative market -- enterprise software services.

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Xiaomi unveils Mi 5s and Mi 5s Plus flagships

Xiaomi Mi 5s Mi 5s Plus

Xiaomi has beefed up its flagship Android line, announcing an updated Mi 5 and introducing a Plus version at a launch event today in China. Its new smartphones should allow it to better compete against Apple's new iPhone 7 and Samsung's popular Galaxy S7.

The Mi 5s and Mi 5s Plus pack the latest and greatest mobile processor from Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 821, new cameras, different fingerprint sensor, bigger battery, and more. Prices start at $299, for the Mi 5s, and go up to $389, for the Mi 5s Plus, making them very competitive against their main rivals.

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Replacement Samsung Galaxy Note7 has battery problems too


Samsung can't seem to catch a break with the Galaxy Note7 recall. For a while it looked like the replacement devices would put the exploding battery concerns to bed, but now it appears that the saga may be far from over.

The new batteries may no longer be a fire hazard, but follow-up reports from customers who have received replacement Galaxy Note7 units in South Korea reveal that they come with their own set of issues.

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Most US Samsung Galaxy Note7 users choose replacements over refunds

Samsung Galaxy Note7

Another day, another development in the Galaxy Note7 recall. This time, Samsung indicates that it is making good progress getting US customers to turn in their affected units, after a report by Apteligent released earlier this month revealed consistent usage rates following the recall program's introduction.

Samsung says that it has exchanged "about half" of the Galaxy Note7 units that it has sold in the US. The company has already shipped 500,000 safe devices in the country, and is believed to have sold around one million units before the recall news broke.

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Many reports of exploding Samsung Galaxy Note7 units are false


We have heard lots of stories about exploding Galaxy Note7 devices, but how many of them are actually true? In another episode of the Galaxy Note7 recall saga, Samsung has revealed that it has received multiple false reports from consumers claiming that their new smartphone caught fire, suggesting that, perhaps, there are fewer destroyed units in the wild than we have been lead to believe.

Samsung says that it has dealt with 26 such reports from alleged Galaxy Note7 owners, and that in 12 cases it has been unable to find an issue with those devices. What about the rest of the claims?

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