One show to rule them all: everything we know about Amazon’s Middle-earth series

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Amazon acquired the rights to the franchise for $ 250 million

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3 tests show Facebook is determined to make Stories the default

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Facebook isn’t backing down from Stories despite criticism that it copied Snapchat and that Instagram Stories is enough. Instead, it’s committed to figuring out how to adapt the slideshow format into the successor to the status update. That’s why today the company is launching three significant tests that make Facebook Stories a default way to share.

“The way people share and connect is changing; it’s quickly becoming more real-time and visual. We’re testing new creative tools to bring pictures and videos to life, and introducing easier ways to find and share stories,” a Facebook spokesperson told me.

Meanwhile, Facebook has been fixing the biggest problems with its Stories: redundancy between Facebook, Messenger and Instagram. Now you can set your Instagram Stories to automatically be reposted to your Facebook Story, and Stories on Facebook and Messenger sync with each other. That means you can just post to Instagram and have your Story show up on all three apps. That way if you want extra views or to include friends who aren’t Insta-addicts, you can show them your Story with no extra uploads.

It was a year ago that Facebook rolled out Stories. But Facebook has so many features that it has to make tough decisions about which to promote and which to bury. It often launches features with extra visibility at first, but forces them to grow popular on their own before giving them any additional attention.

Facebook is vulnerable to competitors if it doesn’t make Stories work, and users may eventually grow tired of the News Feed full of text updates from distant acquaintances. But Instagram Stories and WhatsApp’s version Status have both grown to more than 250 million daily users, showing there’s obviously demand for this product if Facebook can figure out how Stories fit in its app.

Hence, these tests:

  1. The Facebook status composer on mobile will immediately show an open camera window and the most recent images in your camera roll to spur Stories sharing. Given that Facebook has as many as 17 choices for status updates, from check-ins to recommendations to GIFs, the new camera and camera roll previews make Stories a much more prominent option. Facebook isn’t going so far as to launch with the camera as the home screen like Snapchat, or half the screen like it once tried, but it clearly believes it will be able to ride the trend and people will get more out of sharing if they choose Stories. This starts testing today to a small subset of users around the world.
  2. When you shoot something with the augmented reality-equipped Facebook Camera feature, the sharing page will now default to having Stories selected. Previously, users had to choose if they wanted to post to Stories, News Feed or send their creation to someone through Messenger. Facebook is now nudging users to go with Stories, seemingly confident of its existing dominance over the ranked feed and messaging spaces. This test will begin with all users in the Dominican Republic.
  3. Above the News Feed, Facebook Stories will show up with big preview tiles behind the smaller profile pictures of the people who created them. Teasing what’s inside a Story could make users a lot more likely to click to watch them. Facebook uses a similar format, but with smaller preview circles on Messenger. And while Instagram leaves more room for the main feed by just showing profile pic bubbles for Stories, if you keep scrolling you might see a call-out in the feed for Stories you haven’t watched using a big preview tile format similar to what Facebook Stories is trying. More views could encourage users to share more Stories, helping to dismantle the ghost town perception of Facebook Stories. This will also test to a small percentage of users around the world.

    One of Facebook’s new Stories tests shows big preview tiles behind people’s profile bubbles

If Facebook finds these tests prove popular, they could roll out everywhere and make Stories a much more central part of the app’s experience. Facebook will have to avoid users feeling like Stories are getting crammed down their throats. But the open camera, Stories default and bigger previews all disappear with a quick tap or swipe.

The fact is that the modern world of computing affords a very different type of social media than when Facebook launched 14 years ago. Then, you’d update your status with a line of text from your desktop computer because your phone didn’t have a good camera (or maybe even the internet), screens were small, mobile networks were slow and it was tough to compute on the go. Now with every phone equipped with a great camera, a nice screen, increasingly fast mobile networks and everyone else staring at them all the time, it makes sense to share through photos and videos you post throughout the day.

This isn’t a shift driven by Facebook, or even really Snapchat. Visual communication is an inevitable evolution. For Facebook, Stories aren’t an “if,” just a “how.”

Mobile – TechCrunch

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Reliance Jio launches Jio Cricket Season Pack, Jio Cricket Play Along game and Jio Dhan Dhana Dhan Live Show for IPL 2018

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Reliance Jio today launched new offerings –  Jio Cricket Play Along game that lets you win prizes, Jio Cricket Season Pack that offers live streaming of IPL matches on the app and Jio Dhan Dhana Dhan Live comedy Cricket show for the IPL season starting this week. All these will be available on My Jio app that will also be available for non-Jio subscribers. Jio Cricket Season Pack enables users watch IPL matches live on MyJio app throughout the duration of 51 days at Rs. 251 and also comes with  102GB data. Jio Cricket Play Along game will be available on MyJio app everyday during the matches, spanning 7 weeks and 60 matches and can be played in 11 Indian languages. You stand a chance to win a house in Mumbai, 25 cars, cash prize worth crores and more. Jio Dhan Dhana Dhan Live starts at 7th April  at 7:30 PM, with original live episodes, releasing every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Hosted Sunil Grover and popular sports anchor Samir Kochhar, every episode will feature cricketers and celebrity guests in fun conversations, gags and  more. They will be joined by a host of popular comedians along with cricket legends Kapil Dev and Virender Sehwag.
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Apple’s Morning Show Drama Getting a New Showrunner

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Apple has large plans for its original programming lineup, expected to debut in 2019. One of the shows that’s being talked about in great detail is the Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon starrer morning show drama based off of “Top of the Morning”, a book by Brian Stelter. Continue reading
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Apple’s morning show drama switches showrunners after creator leaves project

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Apple’s upcoming morning show drama starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon is expected to get a new showrunner after creator Jay Carson left the project due to "creative differences."
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Apple’s Upcoming Morning Show Drama Gets New Showrunner

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One of the TV shows Apple has in the works, a “morning show drama” starring Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston, is getting a new showrunner, reports Variety.


The original showrunner and creator, Jay Carson, had planned to work with Apple on the series, but he has departed over creative differences. Kerry Ehrin, known for “Bates Motel,” is instead set to take over and is close to inking a deal with Apple.

Ehrin was the co-creator, executive producer, and showrunner of “Bates Motel.”

Apple has signed a deal for two seasons of the as-of-yet untitled morning show drama, each with 10 episodes. The show, based on the 2013 book “Top of the Morning” by Brian Stelter, takes a look inside the cutthroat world of morning television. Stelter’s book was based on the rivalry between NBC’s “Today” and ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

Apple has multiple TV shows in the works, all of which are outlined in the original content section of our Apple TV roundup. Rumors have suggested the first of Apple’s TV shows could debut in 2019.

Related Roundup: Apple TV
Buyer’s Guide: Apple TV (Neutral)

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The best, worst, and weirdest cars at the 2018 New York Auto Show

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The New York International Auto Show opens to the public this weekend, and upon entering the Javits Center attendees will be bombarded with new cars, SUVs, trucks and even a handful of supercars that will most likely be out their price range. Here’s our primer for anyone who wants to cut through the noise and see the stuff that really matters.

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Most Futurama-ready car: Genesis Essentia

Anyone who grew up on dog-eared copies of Popular Science probably assumed we’d be riding around in self-driving cars while viewing the passing scenery through glass or plastic bubble roofs. The self-driving car part is playing out right now, but the glass or plastic bubble part seems to…

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How to Get Your Mac’s Dock to Show Running Apps Only

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Last week we explained how you can use a simple Terminal command to insert spaces in your macOS Dock and visibly group together app icons. In this article, we’re going to highlight another simple Terminal hack that turns the Dock into more of a straightforward app switcher by making it display only apps that are currently running on your Mac.


Seeing only active apps at the bottom of your desktop can be a refreshing change if your Dock has become cluttered with various app shortcuts over time, and you can always use Spotlight (key combination Command-Space to activate) or an alternative method to launch your Mac apps.

When following the simple steps below, just bear in mind that Terminal is a powerful app, so make sure you enter the commands properly, especially if you’re not familiar with it.

How to Show Only Active Apps in Your Dock

  1. Launch the Terminal app found in Applications/Utilities. (To quickly open the Utilities folder in Finder, select Go -> Utilities from the menu bar, or use the key shortcut Shift-Command-U.)
  2. At the Terminal prompt, type the following command and press Enter: defaults write com.apple.dock static-only -bool true; killall Dock

  3. Your Dock will reboot in order to show only the currently running apps on your Mac in the order they were launched.

How to Revert the Dock Back to Its Original State

If you decide you don’t like this way of using the Dock, follow the steps below to return it to its usual behavior.

  1. Launch the Terminal app again if it’s not already open.
  2. At the Terminal prompt, type the following command and press Enter: defaults write com.apple.dock static-only -bool false; killall Dock
  3. Your Dock will reboot and revert to showing both running and non-running apps.

If there’s a specific active app that you’d like to hide from the Dock for whatever reason, there are a couple of third-party utilities that might help. Dock Dodger is a free drag-and-drop tool that can hide certain apps from the Dock even when they’re running (once placed on the tool’s droplet, you have to restart the app in question to hide it, although our success rate varied depending on the app). If you’re willing to open your wallet, GhostTile is a more recent and reliable paid-for alternative with similar functionality.

Related Roundup: macOS High Sierra

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Daily Deals via Ancheer: $70 off Amazon Echo Show, $128 sous vide precision cooker, and more

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iDB’s Daily Deals post is a roundup of our favorite deals on tech and tech-related products from around the web. This includes everything from smartphones, tablets and accessories, to connected devices and even video games.

Every deal you see below has been hand-picked based on a variety of factors including personal experience, online reviews from customers and experts, and discount percentage. So what are you waiting for? Get shopping!… Read the rest of this post here


Daily Deals via Ancheer: $ 70 off Amazon Echo Show, $ 128 sous vide precision cooker, and more” is an article by iDownloadBlog.com.
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