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Android at I/O 2019: The Project Mainline update system and other highlights

Ars Technica - May 22, 2019 - 3:31pm

Google I/O 2019 wrapped up on May 9th, but we're still picking through the incredible flood of information that came out of the show. In addition to the slew of announcements on keynote day, there are dozens of hours of sessions and documentation, plus a whole new Android release to pick though. Here are a few highlights from the show.

Android’s gesture navigation is actually good now

Every Google I/O presents a new release of Android, and paired with Google I/O 2019 is Android Q Beta 3. There really aren't a ton of changes in this beta release, but there is a new navigation system. There are three versions of system navigation in Android Q Beta 3, actually. The traditional three-button navigation is an option, even on devices like the Pixel 3, which originally did not ship with it. Apparently, the three-button mode will be returning to all phones for accessibility considerations, since the gesture system requires a significant amount of fine motor control. The existing Android Pie gesture system has been renamed "two-button navigation." The third option, called "Fully gestural navigation, "is new for Android Q Beta 3, and it's the best version of Android gesture navigation yet.

Android Q

View more stories In Android P, the "two-button" gesture navigation was a bit of a mess. Google only replaced the Recent Apps button with a gesture, and Home and Back were still buttons. The bar didn't save any space, so there wasn't a huge benefit to using it. Beta three solves a lot of these problems. Every button is now a gesture. The navigation bar has been minimized to a slim strip about a third of the height of the usual bar. Some apps will even give you a fully transparent gesture navigation area. The new setup is very reminiscent of iOS, and that's what everyone has been asking for since the launch of gesture navigation with Android P.

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Apple to warn iPhone users about update impact

BBC Technology News - May 22, 2019 - 2:45pm
The tech giant must tell customers if a software update will slow down their iPhone, UK regulator has said.

EA shows off its next-generation hair

BBC Technology News - May 22, 2019 - 1:53pm
Developers at EA want limp, lifeless hair to be a thing of the past.

Would you pay $1m for a laptop full of malware?

BBC Technology News - May 22, 2019 - 1:50pm
The laptop is infected with six notorious strains, including WannaCry and ILoveYou.

Tesla 'hires' witty museum sheep tweeter

BBC Technology News - May 22, 2019 - 1:26pm
Social media expert who propelled The Museum of English Rural Life to global fame is snapped up by Tesla.

An exhaustive look at Oculus Quest’s first day of great, wireless VR software

Ars Technica - May 22, 2019 - 1:00pm

Enlarge (credit: Oculus / Aurich Lawson)

Three weeks ago, I had many positive things to say in my Oculus Quest VR system review. It's wireless, it's simple to use, and it runs on the bleeding edge of just powerful enough for engrossing "six degrees of freedom" (6DOF) virtual reality.

Thankfully, that review was driven by a variety of pre-release software—which means we didn't have to guess how the hardware's strengths and weaknesses bore out for retail games and apps. But in the time since that article went live, Oculus has dumped even more software into our devices.

So much software, in fact, that we decided to do something we haven't done in a while: a launch-day software guide for a game platform's launch. The last platform to get such an Ars treatment, coincidentally, was Sony's PlayStation VR in 2016but that was a "buy, try, avoid" breakdown of its 14 exclusive games.

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“Quacks” blamed for HIV outbreak that infected hundreds of kids

Ars Technica - May 22, 2019 - 11:45am

Enlarge / A Pakistani paramedic takes a blood sample from a baby for a HIV test at a state-run hospital in Rato Dero in the district of Larkana of the southern Sindh province on May 9, 2019. (credit: Getty | RIZWAN TABASSUM)

More than 600 people—most of them children, aged one month to 15 years—have tested positive for HIV in the southern Pakistani town of Ratto Dero, numerous news outlets have reported.

While officials are still investigating the cause of the outbreak, health workers say that rogue doctors and unqualified people practicing medicine are behind the virus’ spread, mostly from using contaminated syringes. Such medical charlatans are popular in the area because they’re often cheaper and more accessible than trained medical providers.

Of the 607 or so confirmed cases in the outbreak so far, 75 percent are in children, according to reporting from the BBC. Cases started appearing in February when parents brought their children to doctors and hospitals with unexplained fevers that lingered. Once word spread that ill children were testing positive for HIV, parents began rushing their kids to a special camp set up by the health department at a local hospital.

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EE to launch UK's first 5G service in May

BBC Technology News - May 22, 2019 - 10:00am
Firm says that Huawei's 5G phones will not be available initially.

Microsoft to start pushing Windows 10 version 1903 automatic updates within weeks

ZDnet Blogs - May 22, 2019 - 1:31am
Thanks to Microsoft's new Download and Install option for feature updates, you no longer have to worry that your PC will install the next version automatically, right? Guess again. If you're running last year's Windows 10, the new update could install automatically within weeks.
Categories: Opinion

Comic for May 21, 2019

Dilbert - May 22, 2019 - 12:59am
Categories: Geek

Drone flown 'within 150ft' of passenger jet off Essex coast

BBC Technology News - May 22, 2019 - 12:45am
The jet's pilots spotted the drone flying directly above them at high speed, a report said.

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