YouTube’s ‘miniplayer-bar’ test lets you keep watching your video as you read comments

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We only just wrote about YouTube’s new picture-in-picture test on the web, but it’s common knowledge by now that Google loves running limited tests. The world’s largest video sharing site is now testing a feature it calls ‘miniplayer-bar’ in its code, and it’s something that really should have been implemented a long time ago.

You know how Facebook videos follow you to the side of your feed when you begin to keep scrolling down your news feed?

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YouTube’s ‘miniplayer-bar’ test lets you keep watching your video as you read comments was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Cities’ “Smart” Led Streetlights May Be Secretly Watching Over You

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Streetlights are designed to make urban life easier, but also safer. Illuminating your walk home or run through the park, streetlights are comforting, whether or not they actually deter crime. State of the art LED lamps that are progressively replacing older, glitchy models in a number of American cities may be a welcome development as they improve the network’s energy efficiency.

However, the spread of a new generation of streetlights may also have other, less likable consequences  – including an increase in stealthy electronic surveillance.

The LED lights peppering the streets of like Baltimore, San Diego, Kansas City among many others aren’t designed for surveillance. But the ways in which they are positioned and wired make them an ideal target for attaching cameras, microphones, and other such devices. This isn’t just a risk, either — hidden cameras have been found in these lighting fixtures before.

Are streetlights watching you? Image Credit: jwvein / pixabay
Are streetlights watching you? Image Credit: jwvein / pixabay

LED lights first came to Newark Liberty International Airport and U.S. malls in 2014. Soon after, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and community members found out that hidden cameras had been installed in many of these lights. Some of these fixtures were even equipped with microphones.

Chad Marlow, of the ACLU’s advocacy and policy council, voiced his concerns to City Lab: “I think rather than call them smart bulbs in smart cities I’d call them surveillance bulbs in surveillance cities. That’s more accurate.”

In many cities across the U.S., it is legal to install these surveillance devices in lights without even alerting residents. The city of Portland is adopting 6,100 new LED streetlights in an effort to be more energy efficient and environmentally conscious. However, while the local administration assures that it’s not going to put cameras in the lights yet, that could legally happen at any time without the residents being made aware.

Surveillance cameras inside stores or high-risk buildings and areas are nothing new. But usually, we can see these cameras and we are very much aware of where they are. While cities might just need that extra level of surveillance in areas with higher crime rates, the measures will be inevitably seen also as an invasion of privacy. Additionally, while public bodies might be the ones in charge of installing and operating cameras, that may change should the new, dense surveillance network be hacked or outfitted with non-official equipment.

The post Cities’ “Smart” Led Streetlights May Be Secretly Watching Over You appeared first on Futurism.


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This Chrome extension enables two-factor authentication logins by watching you type

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Two-factor authentication is a great way to protect your online accounts, but it can be a tad cumbersome: you need to have your phone handy so you can either receive a one-time password via SMS (which frequently fails me), or set up an app like Google Authenticator to generate codes offline. The folks at New York-based startup TypingDNA have come up with a way to make that a lot easier, and it’s one of the most interesting ideas in biometrics I’ve heard of in a while – and it now works as a two-factor authentication tool right in your browser.…

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Netflix Nixes Feature That Gave Patches to Kids for Watching TV

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Netflix has decided to stop testing a new gamified TV streaming experience for children, which offered kids “patches” (aka stickers) for watching episodes of certain television shows.

Netflix started testing the feature in February, but it received widespread attention last week after the beta test was highlighted by various media sites. Given the negative attention Netflix received over the feature from parents concerned about their children watching too much TV, Netflix has decided not to move forward with development.

Image from Twitter

In a statement to BuzzFeed, Netflix said the testing for patches has ended and the feature will not be implemented.

“We’ve concluded the test for patches and have decided not to move forward with the feature for kids. We test lots of things at Netflix in order to learn what works well – and what doesn’t work well – for our members.”

During the beta testing period, there were several complaints about the feature from users who encountered it, with customers sharing their negative opinions on Twitter and other social networks. Netflix was accused of attempting to turn children into “binge watchers” through the patch program.

Netflix was testing the feature with a small number of users, with patches provided for shows like “A Series of Unfortunate Events,” “Trolls,” “Troll Hunters,” Fuller House,” and more. Netflix said the feature was aimed at providing collectible items for a “more interactive experience” and to “expand the storytelling world for the show.”

Users who were part of Netflix’s test group will no longer be seeing patches when watching TV shows.

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Netflix won’t reward kids with ‘patches’ for watching TV

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

Last week, reports surfaced that Netflix was testing a sort of rewards program wherein children could earn "patches" for watching shows like A Series of Unfortunate Events and Fuller House. While the patches didn't come with any additional benefits a…
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You can watch Netflix on any screen you want, but you’re probably watching it on a TV

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Most Netflix subscribers sign up on phones or computers. But 70 percent of viewing happens on TVs.

You can watch Netflix in almost every country in the world, on any device you want. But the odds are very good that no matter where you watch Netflix, you’re going to watch it on a TV screen.

Netflix says 70 percent of its streams end up on connected TVs, instead of phones, tablets or PCs.

That number isn’t a shock — Netflix has been clear about the importance of TVs for a long time, and it’s why the company has spent a lot of energy working out integration deals with pay TV distributors like Comcast and Sky — but it’s a good reminder that not everything is moving to the phone.

Netflix isn’t an outlier, either. Last fall, for instance, YouTube said that its live TV service, which it had pitched as a mobile-first offering, was generating more than half of its streams on TVs.

Netflix, which laid out its data at a briefing for reporters today at its Los Gatos, California headquarters, said it often signs up viewers on non-TV devices, which also makes sense. While those pay TV integrations are making it easier to buy a Netflix subscription from your couch, in most cases it will still be easier to do it from a PC, which accounts for 40 percent of signups. Phones account for another 30 percent.


But over time, viewing patterns change. Six months into a subscription, most viewers have moved from their smaller screens to the biggest one in their house.


And just to beat this into the ground: It doesn’t matter what kind of Netflix show you’re watching: Dramas, kid shows, Chris Rock specials all end up on your TV, when you can.


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You’ll Be Watching NBA Game On a Magic Leap Headset Within Five Years

Since is formation in 2010, Magic Leap has emerged as one of the most promising companies working with augmented reality – despite showing very little of its technology to the public. Now, its CEO, Rony Abovitz, has indicated that the AR Magic Leap headset might be on track to launch sooner rather than later.

Abovitz appeared at Recode’s Code Media conference alongside NBA commissioner Adam Silver to announce that live basketball games will be streamed to the company’s headset. Play will be captured as volumetric video, giving viewers the ability to move around the court and choose whatever viewing angle they like.

The Magic Leap headset. Image Credit: Magic Leap

The presentation even included a video of retired NBA player and current basketball analyst Shaquille O’Neal, who showed off his own Magic Leap headset and enthused about his own experience watching games on the glasses, calling it “the most amazing thing.”

In a follow-up interview with The Verge, Abovitz stated that this method of streaming live NBA games will be available within the next two to five years.

Volumetric video uses multiple cameras to produce an image with depth, which isn’t too far removed from the standard broadcasting set-up at a sporting event. This could make NBA games a perfect proving ground for Magic Leap’s technology.

The post You’ll Be Watching NBA Game On a Magic Leap Headset Within Five Years appeared first on Futurism.


Facebook employees are next-level paranoid the company is watching them

A recent Wired profile details the lengths at which Facebook employees are willing to go to ensure the company isn’t monitoring their communications. The piece examines two years of Facebook’s struggles, detailing everything from its Trending Topics debacle, to the dismissal, acceptance, and regret surrounding the hijacking of the 2016 US Presidential Election by Russian operatives. From its beleaguered CEO, to the increasingly paranoid people manning its workstations, one thing is clear: there’s trouble in Menlo Park. What struck me immediately was the lengths some employees felt were necessary in obscuring private information, such as location data, from their employer.…

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What we’re watching: ‘Star Wars Rebels’ and Marvel’s ‘Runaways’

Welcome back to IRL, our series dedicated to the things that Engadget writers have been playing, using, watching and listening to. This week is all about what we're watching and includes an explanation of why you need to give Star Wars Rebels another…
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Super Bowl 52: How to Watch on iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV – Best Football Games to Play While Watching

Wondering how to watch the Super Bowl on your iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV? Thankfully, 2018 is the best year ever for watching the New England Patriots play the Philadelphia Eagles on a small screen. Multiple apps are streaming the game, and anyone with an iPhone in the US can watch the game for free. The game itself starts at 6:30 PM EST, but there will be plenty of pregame coverage as well.

NFL, Free The official NFL app will stream the game to iPhone and iPad this year. Watching the “big game” this year is really easy on mobile, as the Yahoo Sports app will be streaming the game on phones and tablets. In previous years, the NFL’s deal with Verizon made it so that there was no way to watch the game on a phone unless you were a Verizon customer. However, this deal is expiring, and there are now multiple ways to stream the Super Bowl on phones and tablets. The NFL app will not support streaming to external displays or via AirPlay.

Yahoo Sports: Football & More, Free Yahoo also has the rights to stream the Super Bowl. No cable authentication or even Yahoo sign-in is required, beyond just downloading the app and streaming the game when it starts. The app worked well with great quality during the conference championship games. In case the NFL app runs into issues streaming the game, you will want to have multiple options available.

NBC Sports, Free NBC has the broadcast rights to the Super Bowl this year, and their app will stream the game. If you have an Apple TV and want to watch on there without authentication, this is the app to get. This should also support AirPlay.

Streaming TV services: Many of the new live TV streaming services have local channels. You’ll want to make sure that your package includes NBC. Because local affiliates are often owned by different media conglomerates, sometimes the service you pick will not have your channel in your area. Do your research on this one. Many of these services have free trials, as well!

International options:

If you’re in Canada, CBC will be streaming the game from their app [Free]. In the UK and Ireland, Sky Sports will have the game streaming, including through their app. Otherwise, NFL Game Pass will stream the game.

Games to play during the game

Wind up at a friend’s house and don’t want to hear any more out of the pregame shows? Or you need something to do when the Pats crush the Eagles, as America probably deserves? Well, the good news is that there are some good football games on mobile.

MADDEN NFL Football, Free The core football game here is actually really good, as it streamlines the Madden gameplay down into a touchscreen-friendly setup. However, if you’re just looking for a simple game of football, this is not it, as like EA’s other sports titles, this focuses on the Ultimate Team aspect. Still, if you like building up a team of your favorite players, and taking on other players’ constructed rosters, and making deals for better players, you’ll have a good time with this one if you know what to expect.

Football Heroes Pro Online – NFL Players Unleashed, Free While this doesn’t feature an NFL license, it does have the NFLPA license, so all the players are real. Run Games makes a fun 2D, overly-violent football game, complete with ridiculous powerups. If you miss NFL Blitz, this is in the same vein while having its own take on the surreal football genre. Plus, there’s real-time online mutliplayer, which just adds a new dimension of fun to a great experience.

Marshawn Lynch Pro Football, $ 4.99 The game of football is at its best when Marshawn Lynch is out there running through defenders’ faces, eating Skittles, and dancing on the sidelines. Full Fat’s second game featuring the Beast Mode running back is a more realistic effort than Marshawn Lynch Blocky Football [Free]. You’ll run through a variety of challenges, dodging tacklers and going through obstacle courses.

Ted Ginn: Kick Return, Free This game is interesting for two reasons: one, it approaches football from a unique perspective, of the kick returner. You get points for scoring touchdowns, but getting into field goal range is also considered a success. The other reason is that it features a rather obscure celebrity endorsement: Ted Ginn Jr. While he’s an accomplished kick returner, he’s not a particularly famous player, and while he’s coming off a career year for the Saints, this game is a couple years old. It still gets updates, and is a fun throwback to the heyday of line-drawing games.

Flick Quarterback 18, Free After the Patriots probably knock Nick Foles around like a pinata, you’ll want to see some fine quarterbacking, even if it’s virtual. Full Fat’s got a fun, continuing series with the Flick Quarterback games, with their famous flick controls to go along with the various high score challenges and career progression that will keep you coming back even well after the Super Bowl is over.