Xbox One will automatically use your TV’s game mode

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Many TVs have a game mode that disables image processing to reduce lag, but it can be a pain if you regularly do things besides gaming. Do really want to switch the mode off every time you want to watch Netflix? You might not have to before long….
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How to Automatically Drop Poor Wi-Fi Networks on iPhone

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Poor Wi-Fi networks are a curse. Often, if the network is slow or the signal is weak, you’re better served by disconnecting from it entirely and using your mobile data allowance instead. But continually connecting and disconnecting from Wi-Fi networks is annoying. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a tool that would automatically dump a network if it wasn’t performing, but reconnect if the speed later improved? Well, there is! It’s called Wi-Fi Assist, and it’s only available on iOS devices. But how do you set it up? Thankfully, it’s easy. We’re going to show you everything you need…

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Manage apps that automatically open when you log into your Mac

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If it is taking a lot longer for a Mac to boot up than expected, the problem may lie in applications automatically launching when you log into macOS. AppleInsider shows you how to take back control of how your Mac starts up, stopping certain apps from immediately running and adding those that would be more useful.
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Parrot app automatically edits your drone videos

Drone videos can be spectacular, but editing them? Not so much — don't be surprised if you spend hours cutting 10 minutes of footage into something worth watching. Parrot thinks there's a better way. It's adding a Flight Director feature to its Free…
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Canon made a flash that automatically figures out the best direction to point

Flash photography gets a bad rap, but the technique can make for fantastic photos when used correctly. Canon’s trying to slice the learning curve to bits when it ships its newest $ 399 Speedlite in April. It’s called the 470EX-AI, and it’s a flash that can automatically determine the “best” spot to bounce the light off of the ceiling.

The 470EX-AI looks just like every other Canon Speedlite, but it has motors inside at the base and hinge, and a sensor in the corner of the face of the flash. When you double tap the shutter button on your camera, the flash points out at the subject, calculates the distance, then points itself at the ceiling and does the same. Right after that, the flash reorients itself one last time into what it “thinks”…

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How to automatically hide the Dock on Mac

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By default, the Dock is always visible at the bottom of the screen of your Mac, sometimes taking important screen real estate, especially if you are using a MacBook or MacBook Pro. If like me you don’t like having the Dock permanently showon your screen, you can easily set it up so it automatically hides and shows…. Read the rest of this post here

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New in iOS 11.3: automatically send your accurate location when making a 911 call

The upcoming iOS 11.3 update supports Advanced Mobile Location (AML), a feature that automatically sends the user’s current geographical location when making a call to emergency services in countries where this potentially life-saving solution is officially supported…. Read the rest of this post here

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Chrome now automatically cleans up messy URLs when you share them

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As you traverse the internet, you will often encounter URLs that have tracking or referral junk tacked on the end. You probably don’t want all that garbage included when you share a link, and Chrome recently started taking care of that for you. As of v64, the browser trims off unnecessary strings at the end of URLs.

The URL streamlining happens automatically when you use the Share menu in Chrome. You can copy to the clipboard or share directly to another app—no setup required.

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Chrome now automatically cleans up messy URLs when you share them was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Intel’s new graphics drivers automatically optimize game settings

Intel is introducing a new feature for its processors with integrated graphics, allowing games to be automatically optimized on systems. The feature is similar to Nvidia’s GeForce Experience, an application that’s designed to tweak game settings so they work best on a laptop or PC. Intel’s new graphics control software is particularly useful on laptops that aren’t really designed to run games, and it works on all Skylake or newer processors.

PC World reports that this new driver update includes support for Intel’s new Kaby Lake G chips that have AMD’s Radeon Vega graphics built in. Dell and HP are both launching laptops with these new processors, and they should be a lot better for gaming. Battlefield 1, Battlefield 4, American Truck…

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Google Chrome to Begin Blocking Annoying Ads Automatically

Google’s built-in ad-blocking initiative for its popular Chrome browser arrives tomorrow. Here’s everything you need to know.

What Is It?

This ad-blocking technology has been in the works for nearly a year, and it’ll finally launch across Google Chrome browsers on Thursday, Feb. 15. It is not, however, an “ad-pocalypse.” At least, not necessarily.

Basically, Google Chrome will begin automatically filtering out ads that don’t meet certain criteria or quality standards. Before today, we didn’t have much idea of what those “quality standards” would be.

In June 2017, Google first announced that it would implement some sort of ad-blocking technology into its proprietary browser. Gradually, the Mountain View company integrated ad-blocking-related features to its platform.

But now, Google has officially announced the full spectrum of blocked ads in a blog post on Wednesday.

Which Ads Will Be Blocked?

Google isn’t seeking to kill ads in their entirety. In fact, the company is arguably an advertising firm as much as it is a technology company. What Google seems to be hoping to do is to increase the quality of online advertising.

Google, along with Facebook and other juggernauts in the tech sphere, is a member of the Coalition for Better Ads. In the simplest terms, the group wants to mitigate advertising that annoys internet users — and it’s done research to identify those types of ads.

With this new initiative, Google actually seems to be taking an “ad enforcement” role across its own platform.

Beginning tomorrow, ads that will be blocked by Google’s built-in technology might include full-page ads, pop-up ads, ads with countdowns, and autoplaying-sound video ads, among others.

The initiative is notable because it’s built-in to the Chrome browser, and it’ll be enabled by default. Chrome is also the world’s most popular browser by most accounts.

Users will be able to switch “annoying ad mode” back on, in a way. But, presumably, most users won’t.

The Long-Term

You’ll undoubtedly see a different browsing experience if you’re a Chrome user. You’ll see fewer — if any — of the ads Google deems “annoying” or unqualified. But, beyond that, we’re not sure of the long-term implications of the move.

For one, we might see less use of third-party ad blockers. That’ll be good for all of the websites and online publications that you love to browse and read — the vast majority of which survive on ad revenue.

But, hopefully, the most positive outcome of Chrome ad policy is a “raising of the bar,” so to speak, for ad quality across the board. If annoying ads are being automatically blocked, it might push advertisers to stop relying on them — and to improve them for the future.

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