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Microsoft withdraws from GDC gaming conference over coronavirus concerns – TechCrunch

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Xbox-maker Microsoft announced today that it will not have a presence at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco this year, highlighting concerns surrounding the coronavirus outbreak.

The company made the announcement on its Game Stack Blog:

After a close review of guidance by global health authorities and out of an abundance of caution, we’ve made the difficult decision to withdraw from participating at Game Developers Conference 2020 in San Francisco.

Instead of holding a physical event at the conference, Microsoft says it will be holding an online-only event that week.

Microsoft is just the latest company to pull out from the conference, which is being held March 16-20. Other companies backing out include Facebook, Unity and Sony. Epic Games announced it would also be pulling out of the event Thursday.

Earlier this week, city officials in San Francisco declared a state of emergency.

The COVID-19 outbreak has already affected several large industry conference. Facebook also announced Thursday morning that it would be canceling its F8 conference. With such major players exiting GDC, one wonder whether the conference could face a similar fate to GSMA’s Mobile World Congress which eventually had to cancel the mobile event outright after its major exhibitors all bowed out.

We’ve reached out to the folks behind GDC for comment.

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How to watch Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2022 in Canada – MobileSyrup

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Samsung will hold its next Galaxy Unpacked event today, August 10th, at 6am PT/9am ET.

As usual, we don’t know exactly what will be featured there, although it’s expected that we’ll see the Galaxy Fold 4, Galaxy Flip 4, new Galaxy Watches and more.

Canadians interested in tuning in to the Unpacked 2022 livestream can do so via the Samsung NewsroomSamsung’s website or Samsung’s YouTube channel.

It’s also worth noting that to coincide with Unpacked 2022, Samsung is offering a $100 e-voucher to use towards your next purchase of any Samsung product. To claim this, you’ll need to register through this site and provide some information, including your name, phone number and current device.

What are you looking forward to seeing at Unpacked 2022? Let us know in the comments.

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WhatsApp to bring screenshot blocking to THESE types of messages – HT Tech

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WhatsApp to now bring the ability to block screenshots to View Once messages. Know when this feature is coming.

WhatsApp is constantly adding new features to enhance the texting experience and these are coming faster than we could get used to them. Lately, the developers have focused on enhancing the privacy for users with a couple of new features. The ability to leave WhatsApp groups silently has draw a lot of attention lately. One can also choose who can see your online status going forward, and who can’t. However, there is another new feature that will help those who want to share sensitive media and can’t risk someone taking a screenshot of the same.

A while ago, WhatsApp rolled out the ability to send messages that can only be viewed once. The View Once feature currently only allows the media to be shown once but someone can still take a screenshot of the media, thus denying the point of the feature. Now, WhatsApp is modifying the feature, wherein it prevents the ability to take a screenshot. The feature is under development and WhatsApp hasn’t revealed the date yet.

WhatsApp to block screenshot

“View Once is already an incredibly popular way to share photos or media that don’t need to have a permanent digital record. Now we’re enabling screenshot blocking for View Once messages for an added layer of protection. We’re testing this feature now and are excited to roll it out to users soon,” says WhatsApp in its official blog.

WhatsApp will also reveal more about this and several other features in the days to come via its own campaign. “To spread the word about these new layers of protection, we’re also kicking off a campaign to educate people about the new features and our continued commitment to protecting your private conversations on WhatsApp. We hope people enjoy getting to use these new features and benefit from several options that help you keep your messages secure. We look forward to your feedback on what to build next,” it says.

Prior to this WhatsApp, recently released the ability to transfer message backups from Android to iOS devices. The same can be done from iOS to Android as well.

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Everything We Expect at Samsung Unpacked, From Galaxy Z Fold 4 to Galaxy Watch 5 – CNET

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Samsung’s next Galaxy Unpacked event is scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 10. We expect to see several new versions of the company’s flagship foldable phones and smartwatches to be revealed — but there’s always a chance for surprise launches of new devices.

The event invitation seen above, showing a Z Flip foldable phone, suggests we’ll see new versions of Samsung’s foldables. That fits with a previous leak from tipster Evan Blass predicting new versions of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 and the clamshell Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3, which came out in August 2021. 


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Don’t expect too many big advances with Samsung’s next foldables. Rumors suggest the tablet-size Samsung Galaxy Fold 4 may have a new hinge and slimmer build, but the leaker jury is out on whether it will include an S Pen slot like the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. Other rumors predict that the foldable will pack the faster Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Plus chipset, as well as a larger outer display that requires its own under-display camera to complement the one on the inner screen.  

The makeup compact-looking Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 could get a larger cover display, according to other rumors, which could make it far more useful for reading notifications and previewing selfie photos. 

Even if the new foldables have only incremental spec upgrades, the biggest improvement could be price. The Galaxy Fold 3 was cheaper than its predecessor at $1,800 (£1,599, AU$2,499) to start, which is still around twice as expensive as most premium smartphones. The Galaxy Z Flip 3 shockingly came in at $1,000 (£949, AU$1,499), or around the price of an iPhone 13 Pro, making it the most affordable foldable yet and a viable alternative to standard flat smartphones. 

But the upcoming Z Fold 4 and Z Flip 4 could be even cheaper, predicts analyst Ross Young, CEO of Display Supply Chain Consultants, who tweeted that Samsung ramped up production to churn out twice as many of the new foldables as last year’s models, suggesting a possible price cut. 

Read more: Here’s One Feature Samsung Could Use to One-Up Apple

In any case, we expect the new foldables to sell well, since the Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3 sold more units in their launch month than were sold in all of 2020. With 88% of the more than 7 million foldables sold in 2021, Samsung is in a strong position to continue dominating the niche foldable market, which is expected to grow to over 27 million sold in 2025.

Samsung could launch other products to accompany the foldables, and the most likely is the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5. Rumors predict the next version of the premium smartwatch line could get a body temperature sensor and better battery life, as well as an updated design. Hopefully, it will also fix a glaring flaw in the Galaxy Watch 4 — no support for iPhones — as well as better integration of Wear OS 3, as we felt last year’s watch pulled between Google and Samsung’s ecosystems

There are other things Samsung could show off, like successors to the Galaxy Buds 2 earbud, tablets or laptops, but we haven’t heard many rumors suggesting any of those are likely to arrive. Still, we could easily be surprised with all eyes on the awaited foldables.

To encourage customers to reserve their phones early, from July 19 until August 10, Samsung is offering an extensive list of discounts based on different bundles, from a maximum of $200 off for those reserving a Galaxy phone, watch, and buds down to a minimum of $30 off for just reserving Galaxy buds. While this could be a hint at what’s coming at Unpacked, the savings could apply to older Galaxy Watch or Galaxy Buds models.

The event is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. ET / 6 a.m. PT. CNET will be watching and covering the reveals.

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