Category Archives: Electronics

Got MacBook Pro battery issues? Apple may give you a new laptop

There are reports circulating that some owners of certain old MacBook Pro notebooks with run-down batteries are getting their laptops replaced with newer models – and in some cases a current-generation MacBook Pro with Touch Bar.

As Mac Rumors spotted, this is happening in the case of 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display notebooks from mid-2012 and early 2013 which require a battery replacement. The reason behind these replacement seems to be that Apple is short on the part needed to make that fix (essentially the top half of the case, including the keyboard and trackpad, as the battery is glued into this in typical Apple style).

So if you have one of these Apple notebooks which needs the battery servicing – it must hold less than 80% capacity on maximum charge (and it should have been fully charged less than 1,000 times) – you can take it into an Apple store and attempt to get it replaced.

Incidentally, you can check the laptop’s battery status by going to About This Mac > System Report > Power, which will bring up all relevant battery information including your ‘cycle count’ or number of full charges made.

As to exactly what will happen in any individual case, that’s difficult to say, and may well depend on the store and Apple employee in question. There’s possibly some element of blind luck, too.

The shortage of the top-case assembly part is set to run until mid-September, so apparently customers are being given the option to wait a couple of months for inventory to replenish, and if you take this route Apple will cover the cost of replacing the battery.

But if you insist you don’t want to wait, that’s when you may get the option for either a trade-in deal on a new machine, or to exchange your old MacBook Pro for a replacement model.

Replacement lottery

If the latter does happen, the other factor that’s up in the air is exactly what replacement you’ll get. Some folks have been provided with a refurbished MacBook Pro from 2013/2014, others have got a higher-end refurbished model from 2015. As we mentioned at the start of this story, a few lucky people have even got a new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar.

Seemingly, the more top-spec and costly your original MacBook Pro was, the more likely you are to get a high-end replacement model. So those who customized their original laptop to the max with beefy RAM, storage and so forth are more likely to get ‘lucky’.

Note that you can also try this via one of Apple’s authorized service providers, but anecdotal reports seem to suggest it’s best going direct to Apple itself. Feedback on Reddit and across the internet in general further suggests that it’s a good idea not to mention that you have knowledge of Apple providing replacement machines – play innocent so it doesn’t look like you’re angling for a new model, in other words.

These replacements have reportedly been happening on a global basis, so not just over in the US, and you don’t need to have AppleCare+ to benefit either.

For those who have managed to get their old MacBook Pro switched for a new laptop, that’s a sweet deal to say the least, and in these cases Apple certainly has to be commended for its customer service.

      

Microsoft Paint won’t be hung out to dry just yet

We heard yesterday that Microsoft was dumping the venerable Paint app from Windows 10 with the incoming Fall Creators Update, but it seems that the nostalgia-sparked outcry at the move may have been premature, as the app will now be relocated in the Windows Store.

Come the fall, MS Paint will still be ‘here to stay’ Microsoft noted in a blog post, but rather than a default part of Windows 10, it’ll be moved to the Windows Store where the app will be a free download.

So anyone who doesn’t want to let go of the simple graphics app can still enjoy it, even though it won’t be developed any further.

Going 3D

Of course, it has been superseded by Paint 3D, and much of its functionality has been integrated into this successor.

Microsoft reminded us: “Paint 3D – the new app for creativity, also available for free with the Windows 10 Creators Update, will continue to get new feature updates. In addition to the new 3D capabilities, many of the MS Paint features people know and love like photo editing, line and curve tools, and 2D creation are in Paint 3D.”

Microsoft Paint has been present in Windows since the very first version of the operating system, so it’s perhaps unsurprising that a good deal of nostalgic fondness surrounds the software.

As has been the case since the launch of Windows 10, Microsoft is keen to be seen as listening to its user base, and this is another demonstration of the company taking on board feedback. (Which is all part of laying the ghost of Windows 8 to rest – the OS which most users felt was forced on them, and that ‘nobody’ really wanted but Microsoft pressed ahead with regardless).

      

A lesson on why accessibility features are so important

I worked at a campus tech shop in college selling computers, tablets and accessories to students of all kinds, each with different needs. Addressing these needs for many of them included things like ensuring that their computer was powerful enough to run the latest applications or finding the right charger for their phone.

I always enjoyed helping people find their fit with tech, but looking back, the highlight of the job came when I had the privilege to assist a student whose needs were far more essential to fulfill.

A student who is blind walked in and asked where the iPads were kept on display. I walked with her over to the stand and once we arrived, I remember feeling stuck, unsure if I could be of much help and, moreso, how an iPad would be of much use for someone with a visual impairment.

Once she selected one on the table, she quickly took it in her hands and began tapping and swiping confidently in patterns I had never seen before. But nothing was happening.

VoiceOver can read blocks of text out loud

“Can you help me activate a few settings?” she asked. After ticking a few boxes within the settings menu, the iPad seemed to turn into a totally different device. Swiping now toggled a cursor between app icons on the homescreen and it read text aloud to guide her as she used many other gestures uniquely made for accessibility purposes.

I had no idea that an iPad was capable of such things. This tablet’s usefulness had grown exponentially for her with just a few quick adjustments. It was an awe-inspiring experience wherein that moment, I realized that it isn’t just a luxury item with which people can waste time reading, playing games and watching movies. For some people, these settings allow them to do things that would otherwise be impossible.

The same way that touch interfaces made interacting with tech easier and more intuitive for non-disabled individuals, it also revolutionized the relationship that some individuals with disabilities have with technology. And it hasn’t stopped there.

Enable everyone with technology

This experience helped me discover another side of technology that I wasn’t aware of before. Seeing how companies devise solutions to ensure operability across such a wide spectrum of users is endlessly fascinating to me.

The big downside to this is that I can’t help but notice that modern consumer technology is all too often made with one type of user in mind. One who is capable of dextrous tasks like walking, talking, sitting upright, navigating complex interfaces with their fingers and more.

Obviously, there’s a problem with that: not everyone can do those things.

So, do tech makers recognize this and create in consideration of people who have disabilities, or do they simply pretend they don’t exist?

There are too many examples of the latter, but thankfully, more tech companies than ever are assuming responsibility for building products that fulfill a broad spectrum of needs. And when this happens, it stirs more passion in me than anything else happening in tech.

This option removes gesture-heavy commands, which makes navigation less demanding physically

Ultimately, that’s why I’m writing this column: to highlight positive movement in the accessibility space as it relates to technology. It’s an area that I don’t think gets enough recognition, even though most of the work that’s being done would impress just about anyone who takes a little time to notice it.

But just as I aim to shine a light on the good, I’m also keen to touch on points where things can be improved in the hopes to keep it top of mind for tech companies and readers alike.

Whether you’re someone who pays close attention to the world of accessibility in technology or you’re just glimpsing curiously from the outside in, I hope you enjoy Enabled.

Enabled is a column that dives into the world of accessibility to reveal how people’s needs are (or are not) being met by today’s technology and offer an in-depth look at the companies that are working to make tech better for all.

If you have a story, tip or just want to share something special, reach Cameron on Twitter @camfaulkner.

      

Flipkart Grand Gadget Day Sale Begins today: Here are the deals you need to check out

Flipkart’s Grand Gadget Day sale will be held between the 24th and 26th of July. Since this sale focuses primarily on gadgets, there are a number of deals on laptops and smartphones. You can also get trimmers and other personal grooming products at a very good price thanks to this deal.

The deals

The company is offering attractive discounts on Intel’s Core i3 laptops, starting at just Rs 24,999. There are offerings by Lenovo, Acer etc to choose from.

The Apple iPads have seen some handy discounts as well, with the lineup now starting at just Rs 25,900. There are multiple variants to choose from, so the discounts don’t apply to just one model.

The Google Chromecast 2 is now priced at just Rs 3,199, which should make it more competitive, especially with the presence of the Amazon Fire TV Stick in the market.

The Canon EOS 700D DSLR camera is selling for Rs 39,499 and comes bundled with free Moto headphones worth Rs 6,999 in value. So if you’re on the lookout for a DSLR, Flipkart is the place to look right now. A handful of other cameras are included in the sale as well.

Smartphone deals

Lenovo Phab 2 Pro: Lenovo is offering a discount of Rs 5,000 on the handset, bringing the cost down to just Rs 24,990. This appears to be a limited period discount, however.

Micromax Evok Note: The handset usually sells for Rs 14,999, but the retailer is selling it for just Rs 9,499 as part of the new sale.

Samsung Galaxy J7 Max: The handset is being offered with a discount of Rs 1,250, bringing the cost down to just Rs 17,900.

Sony Xperia XA1: This Sony mid-ranger is going for just Rs 19,990, down by Rs 1,000 compared to its original pricing.

Vivo V5 Plus Limited Edition: This handset too is getting discounted by Rs 1,000, bringing the cost down to just Rs 25,990.

      

Hundreds of companies spilling data via Google Groups configuration mistakes

Data leakage is an increasing problem these days, but it’s not always hackers who are to blame for the spillage of confidential information, sometimes it’s directly the fault of the company itself – as is the case with misconfigured Google Groups settings affecting an alarming number of firms.

This is according to security outfit RedLock Cloud Security Intelligence, which has highlighted the errant sharing settings apparently used by hundreds of organisations including The Weather Company (which operates Weather.com), Freshworks (helpdesk software), SpotX (video ad platform) and Fusion Media Group (parent of Gizmodo, Lifehacker and more).

Going public

Google Groups facilitates the creation and management of online forums and email groups, but when configuring a group, RedLock observes that some companies have set the sharing option for ‘outside this domain – access to groups’ to ‘public on the internet’.

This mistake unfortunately means that all the contents of the messages can be accessed by anyone on the web, and it exposes information including names, addresses, emails, and unfortunately customer passwords and even figures for the salary of staff members.

Hopefully any affected firms will have already fixed this issue having had their attention drawn to it, or will be in the process of doing so right now. As mentioned, the last thing we need is more data exposure via self-sabotage when there’s enough danger from probing hackers out there.

      

The best free overclocking software 2017

It’s all well and good splashing out for a pre-built PC or putting together a bespoke tower yourself, but what’s the point of sinking all that money into it if you’re not getting the very best performance out of each component? That’s where overclocking comes in.

Once thought the pastime of acne-ridden, basement-dwelling tech nerds, overclocking has now become one of the most widely used avenues for getting your PC firing on all cylinders.

We’ve included some of the best free pieces of overclocking programs available right now, from mainstream utilities that anyone can pick up and use to complicated tools that enable you to tweak even the smallest of elements in pursuit of even more gaming performance.

1. MSI Afterburner

Intimidated by overclocking? MSI Afterburner makes it easy for even complete beginners to wring extra power from their hardware

One of the oldest overclocking tools out, but still one of the best, MSI Afterburner has become a mainstay on the PC overclock scene. So why is it still so popular?

Well, for a start it’s very easy to use, making it ideal for newbies and those with an intermediate level of knowledge to push your graphics to their designed limit. Also, unlike EVGA PrecisionX (mentioned below), it supports both Nvidia and AMD processors.

The current version of MSI Afterburner includes a still decent number of utilities, including GPU/shader/memory clock adjustment, the power to adjust advanced fan speed, and the ability to tweak GPU voltage control.

We also like the bespoke hardware monitor included as part of the interface, which effectively tracks the performance of your rig and shows frame rates, etc while you’re playing a game.

Sure, it’s not the most comprehensive of packages, and certainly won’t appeal to the hardcore among us, but it’s still a robust suite that will help transform your games if you’re relatively new to the scene.

Download here: MSI Afterburner

2. AMD Overdrive

If you have an AMD GPU, this is the only overclocking software you need

Unlike MSI Afterburner, AMD Overdrive only supports AMD’s own branded GPUs, but it still manages to offer one of the most impressive ways to get your PC running at an invigorated pace. As long as your CPU is of AMD origin (including its chipset), you can start pushing those components like they’ve never been tested before. Best of all, the attractive interface provides convenient access to an impressively in-depth set of tools to make this ideal for both relative newcomers and seasoned overclockers.

So what does this brilliant little free overclocking tool offer? For a start, AMD Overdrive enables you to change the clock speed of your RAM and adjust the overall speed of your fans (an incredibly useful utility, especially if you’re currently having overheating issues).

The built in status monitor lets you see the state of your processor in real time as you overclock it to the hilt, and with streamlined interface (one that’s markedly improved over the years), you can easily and confidently tweak the voltage or clock speeds by simply moving a slider.

Okay, there’s a little more to it than that, but we like how cleanly it can distill its utilities down to simple actions.

Download here: AMD Overdrive

3. EVGA Precision X

Free, convenient overclocking software for Nvidia graphics card owners, with support for up to 10 custom user profiles

Easily one of the most popular overclocking tools on the market today, EVGA PrecisionX has become a must for gamers looking to give their rig or gaming laptop a decent push in the hardware performance stakes.

Unfortunately, EVGA PrecisionX only works with Nvidia graphics cards (sorry, AMD users) so you’ll need to have something like a GeForce GTX TITAN, 900, 700 or 600 installed.

The latest version supports Microsoft DirectX 12 API, as well as enabling you to change your GPU’s clock offset and its memory clock offset. As if that wasn’t good enough, EVGA PrecisionX also presents you with the power to overclock your refresh rate and establish up to 10 individual overclocking setups. You can even seamlessly switch between them at will!

This being a free overclocking tool aimed at gamers who want better performance with the minimum of hassle, the freeware offers an easily navigable interface that won’t drown you in too many options or utilities.

It might not be as comprehensive as some of the more advanced tools out there, but if you’re looking to squeeze out better clock speeds overall, EVGA PrecisionX is an ideal addition to your machine.

Download here: EVGA PrecisionX

4. CPU-Z and GPU-Z

Two free programs that will give you an in-depth look at your hardware, helping you see where there’s room for improvement

Not all free overclocking tools give you the kind of data you really need to see where you machine can be tweaked or adjusted. That’s where tools like CPU-Z and GPU-Z come in, offering an in-depth look into exactly how your PC or laptop is performing.

CPU-Z enables you to track processor name and number details, determine codenames, identify processes, packages, cache levels and more. It can test the performance of your mainboard and chipset, as well as instantly bringing up memory types, sizes, timings and module specifications (SPD). It can even offer real-time measurements of each core’s internal frequency and memory frequency.

Then there’s GPU-Z, which supports Nvidia, AMD, ATI and Intel GPUs (so you’ll definitely have a card that’s compatible). The free tool displays adapter, GPU and display information, and provides all the information you’ll need for overclock, default clocks and 3D clock shenanigans.

Both GPU-Z and CPU-Z work brilliantly alongside all of the overclocking tools in this list, so grab them both and take a peek deep inside your PC.

Download here: CPU-Z
Download here:
GPU-Z

5. SetFSB

One for the experts, SetFSB lets you tinker with your PC’s front side bus

We’ve shown you some of the most popular tools and utilities in the world of overclocking, but what if you’re a seasoned PC builder who wants to squeeze every ounce of juice your machine has to offer? Sounds like you need something in-depth and comprehensive that’s been designed with overclocking pros in mind – say hello to the brilliant little tool that is SetFSB.

Unlike some other overclocking tools, SetFSB is all about making adjustments to your system’s front-side bus (FSB), which connects the CPU to the main memory. Its speed is measured in MHz and can vary from 60 to 400 (it can go higher if you’re lucky/slightly mad), so the higher the speed, the better the performance. Think of it as plugging yourself directly into the Matrix.

One quick word of warning, though. SetFSB is not for the faint of heart and should only really be used if you’re an experienced PC tinkerer and overclock pro. You’ll need a strong knowledge of the limits of your motherboard and CPU before tinkering with its settings, otherwise you could end up cooking your machine due to the unbridled precision at your fingertips.

Download here: SetFSB

      

Firefox’s blazing speed with huge numbers of tabs leaves Chrome in the dust

As you may be aware, Chrome has something of a reputation for being a resource hog, and rival Firefox is aiming to hit Google’s browser in this potential Achilles heel with news that it has hugely streamlined memory usage when lots of tabs are open.

And we mean lots of tabs. As Mozilla developer Dietrich Ayala explains, he did some testing with Firefox having 1,691 tabs open – yes, 1,691 – and found that while the current version of the browser (54) was very sluggish to start up and used a lot of system memory (unsurprisingly), Firefox 55 (currently in beta testing) and 56 make massive strides on both these fronts.

According to Ayala’s benchmarking, Firefox 54 took over four minutes to start up with this massive-multi-tab configuration open in the browser, but with Firefox 55 that time has been reduced to just 15 seconds.

Perhaps even more importantly, with all these tabs open Firefox 54 used up just over 2GB of system memory, whereas with Firefox 55, memory usage is less than 0.5GB. That’s obviously a startling improvement at just a quarter of the previous figure.

Image Credit: Dietrich Ayala

Quantum tricks

All this is down to the new ‘quantum flow’ project in which Firefox engineers are seriously trying to optimize the browser’s level of responsiveness, clearly with a good deal of success.

As mentioned, Chrome has something of a reputation for using up a lot of system resources, particularly with a lot of tabs active, and we’ve certainly experienced our PC having serious issues with large numbers of tabs open.

Mozilla will be hoping to attract power users with this freshly streamlined operation and added nippiness, although it isn’t just those of us who have hundreds of tabs open simultaneously who will benefit.

Obviously, the overall leanness of memory usage will be a good thing for everyone, even folks who only operate with a small collection of tabs.

Firefox does, however, have a lot of ground to make up, only having a 12% slice of the desktop browser market according to Netmarketshare’s figures for June. That’s behind Internet Explorer which is on 16.8%, and Chrome is by far the dominant force with 59.5% of the market.

Via: On MSFT

      

Windows 10 to dump Paint and Outlook Express in the recycle bin

We’ve talked a lot about the smart new features coming with the Fall Creators Update, but it has just emerged that Microsoft is cutting some of Windows 10’s capabilities with the upgrade, too, and that includes the likes of Microsoft Paint and Outlook Express.

As Microsoft explains in a support post, some of these features are being completely removed, while others have been marked as ‘deprecated’, meaning they aren’t being developed at all anymore and will be removed in a future version of Windows 10 (i.e. they’re effectively dead, just not buried, as it were).

As mentioned, Microsoft Paint, the simple graphics app which has been a part of Windows since the very beginning, will be dumped. Of course, that’s mainly because it’s been superseded by Paint 3D, but still, some folks might shed a nostalgic tear over the lightweight program.

Living on the Edge

Outlook Express also gets the push with Microsoft explaining that it is non-functioning legacy code, and the Reader app is gone – mainly because in the latter case it’s been integrated into the Edge web browser.

Screensaver functionality has been removed from Themes, and it’s deprecated elsewhere (such as in the Control Panel). Also, the 3D Builder app is no longer installed by default in Windows (although you can still grab it from the Windows Store should you wish).

There are a multitude of other capabilities being dropped: for example, the use of the Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET) will be blocked (Microsoft suggests that Windows Defender Exploit Guard’s exploit protection feature should be used instead). For the full list of cuts, check here.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that while it hasn’t been dropped, we recently heard that Microsoft’s smart Timeline feature, which was originally planned to be part of the Fall Creators Update, won’t be ready in time. It will be in a future update though (the first one of next year, almost certainly).

Lest we focus all our attention on what won’t be in the next major update, you can check out all the new goodies Microsoft is bringing to Windows 10 this fall right here.

      

Top 10 best business apps for iPhone

When Apple launched the game-changing iPhone, many people in the business world – including Microsoft’s CEO at the time, Steve Ballmer – sneered at it. It didn’t have a keyboard, was expensive, and didn’t even have 3G in its original form. A lot has changed since then, and the numerous updates and tweaks that Apple has made and apps that have been released have turned it into the perfect on-the-go smartphone for business.

The App Store is the main driver behind the surge in productivity on Apple’s mobile devices, but it has become very crowded – more than 2 million iPhone apps at the last count – and finding exactly the right apps can be difficult.

Which is exactly why we’ve compiled this list of the brightest and best business apps for the iPhone, including email, messaging and other productivity apps.

  • Want Apple’s latest and greatest? Check out TechRadar’s iPhone 7 review

Since Microsoft reluctantly brought the Office suite – Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote, and so on – to the iPhone (and iPad), the apps have been getting better and better.

The suite, which is broken down into separate apps, initially needed an Office 365 account to do many tasks – like editing documents – but that has since changed and Office is now the best way to create, edit, and distribute documents on an iPhone.

Everything syncs to the cloud and documents created on a Windows PC or Mac can be opened and edited seamlessly. It’s the best of the best for productivity and even beats out Apple’s own iWork suite.

For those who want a more Google-y experience – or, most likely, rely on Google services – the company has a good set of apps for the iPhone which do pretty much what you’d expect.

The Google Docs app, which is free and does not require a subscription, can be used to edit, export, and view documents (among other things), making it the perfect way to interact with Google’s productivity software.

The Docs suite is incorporated into one application which can be used to create word, spreadsheet, or presentation documents. Google has worked hard to make it as smooth and seamless as possible and the results are impressive.

The Wolfram Alpha app is a mobile version of the website and it can be used to do almost any task. Unlike Google, which can add, subtract and so on, Wolfram Alpha can work out dates, times, food, complex mathematical equations, the weather and so on. The list is endless.

The app costs £2.99 ($2.99 in the US, which is just under AUS$4) – there is also a subscription option which adds extra utilities – and is a valuable asset if you need to quickly work out something obscure, like how many days away a specific date is or, you know, the physical properties of white pine wood!

Having a dedicated PDF reader can come in handy and Adobe does it best. The Adobe Acrobat Reader app, which is absolutely FREE, can be used to make edits and comments on PDFs, and much more.

The software can also be used in conjunction with an Abode account, which adds various high-end features like the ability to export files into different formats. Apple does provide a PDF reader in most apps, such as Mail, but having a third-party app can come in handy if you look at, edit, and receive a lot of them.

Speaking of PDFs (see the previous page), one of the iPhone’s biggest flaws is not being able to create them from an image. Luckily, Genius Scan – another free app – has you covered.

The app has various different options and offers guidance on the best settings – camera position, lighting, and so on – for creating crystal clear PDFs, which can then be sent via text, email, or another messaging app, or exported to Dropbox, Evernote, Google Drive, or elsewhere.

And Genius Scan can also organise PDFs within the app by tags, titles, and so on, making it ideal for creating and then storing large volumes of documents.

According to Google, Gmail now has more than 1 BILLION active users! There’s no doubt about it – Gmail is a goliath. Apple does offer support for the service in its own Mail app, but many users like having the Google-made app itself installed – mainly because it comes with a number of considerable added benefits.

The biggest advantage of using Google’s own app is that it integrates directly with other Google services, like Docs or Calendar. Invitations can be answered right within the app while Google+ posts become interactive inside Gmail.

The app has the full range of achieving, tagging, labelling and categorisation features you’d expect, and is quite simply much better than Apple’s built-in client.

Slack, the enterprise messaging app, has over three million daily active users, and is spreading to more and more workplaces around the world as companies move past email, which is now seen as slow and hierarchical, for a friendlier solution.

Having Slack on the iPhone is a big bonus and can help with staying in touch on the move, which is essentially what the app is designed to do.

Private and team chats are kept intact, notifications sync between devices, and even the read messages go across, which is especially useful if your team works around the globe and you often wake up to hundreds of new missives.

MailChimp is useful for anyone who wants to distribute an email newsletter to a number of people. The service, which launched in 2001, sends billions per month on behalf of its users and is free for anyone who doesn’t have a massive mailing list.

The iPhone app, which is a free download, does many of the same things as the desktop client but in a miniature format. Lists can be checked, created, edited and emails sent to recipients. Analytics for emails – who opened it, where, and so on – can also be viewed, giving valuable insights on-the-go.

For those who manage a mailing list via MailChimp, the iOS app is a good thing to have installed on your device.

Good to-do list apps are in high demand as the iPhone becomes more and more ingrained into our daily lives. Setting a reminder for long- or short-term goals, tasks, and objectives is an easy way to keep track of everything.

Apple recently beefed up its iOS-based offerings with a new Notes app, which features tick boxes, and a refreshed Reminders app. While these two efforts are good they don’t come anywhere near Things 3, which has apps across the iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

Things is, essentially, the king of all to-do apps with a list of features that is too lengthy to go into fully, but starts at simple cross-device syncing and ends somewhere around creating tasks that are labelled and repeat every other week. For people with lots to do, Things can’t be beaten.

Saving articles for offline use is handy in so many ways. Commuting, for example, is far more tolerable with a lengthy piece from The Atlantic, Financial Times, London Review of Books, or any other publication that is saved offline and therefore not subject to a spotty internet connection.

Pocket can also store videos and has the ability to sync, tag, and search the full text of any article if you get the monthly subscription option.

While Pocket may not be a business app in the truest sense of the word, it’s a valuable addition to any iPhone and makes the commute – or any other travel time, or perhaps your lunch break – much more interesting.

      

Google is trying again to cut down on YouTube comment spam

Dive into the comments below any YouTube video and it’s not always the most pleasant of reading experiences, but the site is introducing new measures to try and cut down on the number of unwanted spam comments that get left below the line.

YouTube is targeting comments that include links, which are typically just unrelated plugs for sites that you’re best off avoiding – these linked sites are often just spam pages or sites that will try and install adware or more on your computer as soon as you load them up.

A new setting for video creators enables all comments containing hashtags and URLs to be held for review before they’re published, so uploaders can approve or block them as required. If they never get reviewed, then the comments never appear on the site.

Comment review

When you think about the millions of views racked up by some of the most popular YouTube videos, with kids often making up a large proportion of those view counts, it’s an issue that needs tackling – though it’s by no means a new problem on YouTube.

The new setting can be found by following the Community then the Community settings links inside the Creator Studio portal. Activating the option doesn’t retroactively block older comments, so you may need to go back and delete some of them manually.

Meanwhile, Google has also announced that it’s pulling the built-in video editor and photo slideshow tools from YouTube as it tries to streamline the service. The tools will remain available on the site until September 20.

Via Android Police