Apple now owns the music recognition app Shazam


Apparently the rumours of Apple acquiring Shazam are true and today, the lads at Apple have announced their acquisition of Shazam. The details are still sketchy at the moment but the deal is believed to cost Apple something in the region of $300 million. 

Apple's acquisition of the music recognition service kinda makes a lot of sense for Apple and it's Apple Music streaming service. With the acquisition, Apple would make it a lot more easier to steer the 1 billion or so users of Shazam to Apple Music and perhaps help them gain more users across Android and iOS devices.

ICYMI: Cristiano v Neymar, Chelsea v Barca, and the rest of the Champions League second round draws

The draws for the second round of the UEFA Champions League was held earlier today and there were few surprises with old enemies Chelsea and Barcelona rekindling their old rivalry. Neymar has also been handed a chance to face an old foe or a future employer with PSG drawing Real Madrid. English sensation Harry Kane has been handed another chance to prove his mantle as a top player with Spurs facing Juventus in Turin in the first leg.

The other English teams (Man City, Man Utd, Liverpool) and Bayern Munich have been handed an easier route to the quarterfinals.

Juventus 🇮🇹 v Tottenham 🇬🇧
FC Basel 🇧🇪 v Man City 🇬🇧
FC Porto 🇵🇹 vs Liverpool 🇬🇧
Sevilla FC 🇪🇸 v Man Utd 🇬🇧
Real Madrid 🇪🇸 v PSG 🇫🇷
Shakhtar Donetsk 🇺🇦 v Roma 🇮🇹
Chelsea 🇬🇧 v FC Barcelona 🇪🇸
Bayern Munich 🇩🇪 v Besiktas 🇹🇷

I fancy Barça, Man City, Liverpool, Man Utd, Real Madrid, Shaktnar Donestk and Juve progressing to the quarterfinals, who do you fancy?

ICYMI: Here are the Europa League second round draws

With the Champions league second draws out of the way, the Europa league second round draws was next to follow. The second round draws sees the top sides kept well away from each other at this stage. With Arsenal, Atletico Madrid kept well away from each other. Dortmund would be facing Atalanta in what could an upset considering the form in which Dortmund is in Europe while Napoli locks horns with Leipzig after both teams dropped from the Champions League. Celtic the only other British team in the Europa league have been drawn with Zenit in what could be a tricky affair for the Scottish team as they have the long trip to make to Russia.

The rest of the Europa league second draws are as follows:

Dortmund 🇩🇪 v Atalanta🇮🇹
Copenhagen🇩🇰 v Atletico Madrid🇪🇸
AEK Athens🇬🇷 v Dynamo Kiev🇺🇦
Napoli🇮🇹 v RB Leipzig🇩🇪
Lyon🇫🇷 v Villarreal🇪🇸
Partizan🇷🇸 v Viktoria Plzen 🇨🇿
Ludogorets🇧🇬 v AC Milan🇮🇹
Ostersunds🇸🇪 v Arsenal🇬🇧
Nice🇫🇷v Lokomotiv Moscow 🇷🇺
Spartak Moscow🇷🇺 v Athletic Bilbao🇪🇸
Celtic🇬🇧 v Zenit St. Petersburg🇷🇺
Red Star Belgrade🇷🇸 v CSKA Moscow🇷🇺
Real Sociedad🇪🇸 v R.B Salzburg 🇦🇹
Steaua Bucharest🇷🇴 v Lazio🇮🇹
Astana🇰🇿 v Sporting 🇵🇹
Marseille🇫🇷 v Braga🇵🇹

ICYMI: Nigeria draws Argentina for the 5th time, Spain gets Portugal plus other World Cup draws

It all but seems that our dear country is somehow attached to Argentina by some sort of umbilical cord having drawn Argentina in their World Cup group for the 5th time out of the 6 times that she has qualified for the FIFA World Cup and for the third consecutive time.

Nigeria and Argentina have been drawn in Group D along with Croatia and the small island nation of Iceland. The draws would see Iberian neighbours Spain and Portugal duke it out for supremacy in Group B, while hosts Russia would square off with Saudi Arabia in the opening game of the tournament. To see who gets who check out the groups below.

Russia 🇷🇺
Uruguay 🇺🇾
Egypt 🇪🇬
‎Saudi Arabia 🇸🇦
Portugal 🇵🇹
Spain 🇪🇸
Iran 🇮🇷
Morocco 🇲🇦

France 🇫🇷
Peru 🇵🇪
Denmark 🇩🇰
Australia 🇦🇺 
Argentina 🇦🇷
Croatia 🇭🇷
Iceland 🇮🇸
Nigeria 🇳🇬

Brazil 🇧🇷
Switzerland 🇨🇭
Costa Rica 🇨🇷
Germany 🇩🇪
México 🇲🇽
Sweden 🇸🇪
South Korea 🇰🇷

Belgium 🇧🇪
England 🇬🇧
Tunisia 🇹🇳
Panama 🇵🇦 
Poland 🇵🇱
Colombia 🇨🇴
Senegal 🇸🇳
Japan 🇯🇵

Snapchat to start paying its users in 2018


Snap has just announced that it is going to start incentivizing its top creators paying them by allowing them monetize their snaps in the same vein as YouTube by 2018.

The announcement of the decision to let users monetise their videos was contained in the their quarterly remarks, where Snap's CEO Evan Spiegel said
In 2018, we are going to build more distribution and monetization opportunities for these creators in an effort to empower our creative community to express themselves to a larger audience and build a business with their creativity. Developing this ecosystem will allow artists to transition more easily from communicating with friends to creating Stories for a broader audience, monetizing their Stories, and potentially using our professional tools to create premium content.

While this is great news for users, it's unlikely that the monetisation option would be available to everyone, it's likely that it will be a lot similar to the way YouTube does it allowing only those channels with over 10,000 views to monetize their content.

Apple's FaceID fooled by a $150 2D printed mask

"Where there's a will, there's a way" or so the saying goes and that phrase is more than true in the case of Apple's much lauded FaceID security system. The Face ID which Apple says is just as secure as Touch ID, might just not be as secure as Apple wants us to believe if the video posted by the security firm BKAV is anything to go. The video shows the Face ID on the iPhone X being easily unlocked by a 3D printed mask plus an artist sculpted nose in its first and only attempt.

On a not so serious but potentially problematic note, another video circulating on the internet shows how the Face ID can be used to unlock the phone of a sleeping or unconscious person using bottle caps, mushrooms and olives.

While what's done in these videos are not that easy to pull off, it does remind us that no matter how secure we think a system is , it's no match for the sheer willpower of anyone willing to spend a significant amount of time trying to get passed it.

Google Play Store Protect is a joke


Just a few weeks ago, Google made quite a bit of noise about how their new initiative Google Play Protect; they were working on ensuring that malware apps don't make their their way to user's phones. While that seems like it's a good thing, it's done nothing to keep the bad apps out of the Play Store. And a big indictment  of Google's failure came in the form of a fake WhatsApp app that managed to amass over a million downloads before it was taken down.

The fake WhatsApp app named "Update WhatsApp Messenger" managed to fool people into downloading it by using the same developer name and screenshots as the original app.
This epic fail is only the tip of the iceberg that's Google's poor app review process which has seen shady anti-virus and cleaner apps become a mainstay in the Play Store.

The Apple FaceID is totally awesome

Nope, I haven't got an iPhone X (the thing dear) but I have been watching quite a few videos of the iPhone X and it's mostly videos of how well the new FaceID system works.

When the iPhone X was announced, my interest was piqued by FaceID, I was really skeptical that Apple could really pull it off. Android has always had a "Face Unlock" feature but it didn't quite hold up well to reasonable scrutiny, even the one on the recent Samsung flagship devices are easily fooled by photos.

Based on all these and what happened during the iPhone until event, I expected FaceID to crash and burn. But from what I've seen online, FaceID is totally ninja. While one can argue that's it's not more convenient or better than TouchID, it's still a remarkable achievement on Apple's part. The degree of sophistication achieved by Apple is simply amazing. The FaceID works by projecting a series of Infrared dots on the face, and uses a computational model to determine if you are you.

A few Youtubers have even devised many clever ways to fool the FaceID system and failed spectacularly.

So far FaceID is foolproof and the only to beat the system is to use an identical twin.

ICYMI: Check out Samsung's hilarious Apple slander filled ad

Samsung is officially the king of slander as far as the smartphone market is concerned. As much as I would want to describe it, I think it's better watched to be appreciated.

Hey @Opera What's up with the full screen ads on mini

While I haven't been using Opera mini that much (Flynx has replaced it as my default browser) but every now I do find a reason to use it and lately I noticed that i am now being served fullscreen interstitial ads that prevents me from doing any thing for 5 seconds and this happens a few times a day which is really unacceptable.

I can understand Opera (or whoever owns it now) needs to make money but these fullscreen interstitial ads is just the wrong way to go about it.

A look at Dan Brown's latest offering.... Origin


I've been out of the loop for a minute that i was caught by the surprise announcement that my beloved Dan Brown had released another one of his Robert Langdon pseudo-religious murder mystery adventure titled Origin (Hat Tip to Charles Darwin) . Origin sees Prof. Langdon trying to uncover the truth behind the death of a former student who had found the answer to man's greatest existential questions and obviously the cure to religion all the while been chased around Spain by another brainwashed Christian baddie.

While the new book Origin follows the tried and trusted formula employed by Dan Brown in his highly successful Robert Langdon series however it felt more of a harder read particularly when compared to his seminal The Da Vinci Code or any of his other books other than Inferno. As usual Dan Brown tries to draw the user into the world of the Langdon, with incredible descriptions of the buildings and art that leaves the reader with the urge to see those places and art, however  sometimes it felt less integral to the story and more of a filler ploy. I couldn't help but think that in trying to replicate the recipe that served him so well with his previous books he might have robbed Origin of the chance of being this amazing story especially with its overt style similarity to the previous books. Ultimately Dan Brown's take on Singularity which is a mildly hot button issue with the futurist in the scientific community falls flat on its face by the somewhat oversimplified way in which the author describes it. The story felt overly engineered with author failing to establish a credible relationship between the events of the first act and the latter revelations.

That been said while Origin isn't that different from the previous books, it felt a lot less enjoyable not unlike Inferno . Although Inferno has something that's lacking in all of the Langdon series and that is how it's the only one of Dan Brown's books that actually addresses a pertinent issue. Compared to Inferno , the central theme behind Origin seemed a bit far fetched and ultimately disappointing in that the anticipation built up by the events of the first act is ultimately let down by the final reveal. Perhaps i am the one at fault expecting a bit too much from this one book, expecting another Da Vinci Code. Perhaps I shouldn't over think it and just enjoy this fine piece of literature.

At the end of the day, Origin is really good Dan Brown novel, it might be a harder read than its predecessors but it still has all of the right ingredients.

Oh Snap.. Snapchat couldn't convince enough people that these goofy glasses are cool


Rumour has it that Snap's hardware push wasn't as well received as their CEO Evan Spiegel would have us believe. While its use of pop-up vending machine was lauded by tech writers and enthusiasts, selling the camera enabled Spectacles to Snapchat users was harder than hoped.

Just like Google's ill-fated Glasses project, Spectacles had the same problems as users weren't too convinced that the Spectacles were cool or remotely useful. And as a result, Snap is sitting on a trove of hundreds of thousands unsold Spectacles. The failure of the Spectacles further compounds Snap's recent troubles since its IPO. 

ZTE Axon M.... because two screens are better than one

It's like it's 2009 again in the smartphone world with smartphone makers all trying to be creative with they can with how your smartphone is shaped. While other smartphone makers from Samsung to Apple have gone with the idea of making the bezels around the screen even smaller, ZTE is betting that having two screens is even better. 

ZTE is going towards what used to be the preserve of old school flip phones and sticking two hinged displays into the usual rectangular smartphone form factor with the Axon M.
The ZTE Axon M packs two 5.2 inch HD screens and is powered by a Snapdragon 821 processor which might from a year ago but still capable enough to power two displays. It also has packs a 4GB RAM, 64GB built in storage, microSD slot, 3180 mAh battery, 20MP camera and a fingerprint sensor embedded in the power button.

One wonders how consumers would receive this new and somewhat weird take on the modern smartphone. Will it garner enough attention and sales to warrant a sequel? Will the idea catch on and make other smartphone makers jump in on the idea? Or will be just another screen to break?. Regardless, ZTE isn't betting the farm on it just yet as it appears to be an AT&T exclusive for now.

image source:Android Authority

Samsung to earn as much as $110 per iPhone X sold


Samsung is about to come in a windfall if the soon to be available iPhone X does well. Samsung is reported to earn as much as $110 per iPhone X sold.

According to a report by Counterpoint Samsung, which makes the memory chips, batteries and capacitors in addition to the OLED display for the iPhone X, would make about $4 Billion which is a lot than it earns from selling its own Galaxy S8 smartphones. Although the Samsung Galaxy S8 brings in more money per unit ($202 per unit) for Samsung's components division, Apple is expected to sell about 130 million iPhone X as opposed to 50 million Galaxy S8 and S8+ devices. Apple's chip orders is reported to make a third of Samsung's total annual revenue.

Twitter to increase the character limit from 140 to 280

In a move that's long overdue, @jack the CEO of Twitter announced that the popular social network would be doubling the character limit from where it stands at 140 to 280.

According to a Twitter blog post this move would ensure that, English speaking users wouldn't have to delete words from their tweets in order to fit their thoughts into a tweet, which is something i believe a lot of English speaking users are well familiar with.

While this is a good move but it's far from most users are clamoring for like being able to edit tweets moments after sending them.