Nintendo’s discounted Switch game vouchers are back
Nintendo’s Switch Online service has become a better deal over time, offering more perks than just the ability to play games online. On top of getting access to SNES and NES classics, and cloud save backups (for most games, save a couple dozen), Nintendo announced an even bigger perk yesterday: discounted game vouchers.
All subscribers can buy a two-pack of these vouchers for $99.98, and a huge range of first-party (in other words, typically discount-averse) Nintendo games are looped in. I encourage you to check out the full list, but some highlights include the brand-new Fire Emblem Engage, Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe, Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon, Metroid Dread, Splatoon 3, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. Important note: you both have to be a subscriber to buy and use these vouchers.
It’s great that this list is more expansive than Nintendo’s first swing at this deal in 2019. But this perk could actually turn Switch Online into a must-have service because it allows you to pre-purchase up to four sets of vouchers (totaling eight games), and keep them for 12 months from the date of purchase. With $20 in savings with each pair of vouchers, buying four bundles will save you up to $80, assuming that each title normally costs $59.99. If you buy a lot of games, this is a smart way to save a little bit of money on every forthcoming purchase.
I know what you might be thinking: “Can I use one on The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom?” Nintendo has not currently listed the deliriously anticipated sequel to Breath of the Wild, which is set to release on May 12th, 2023. Polygon has reached out to Nintendo to see if it’ll eventually become eligible, but did not hear back in time for publication.
You can get a free seven-day trial for Switch Online here, and you can easily subscribe to the service directly from the Switch’s eShop (it costs $3.99 per month, $7.99 for three months, or $19.99 per year). However, you can purchase (or gift) a one-year subscription with a digital code via Best Buy for $19.99. With a family subscription that costs $34.99 per year, up to eight Switch accounts can reap the perks of Switch Online.
For players who want all the perks, access to Goldeneye 007 and other N64 and Sega Genesis games, and complimentary DLC for some Switch games like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, you’ll need Nintendo’s Switch Online plus the Expansion Pack tier, which costs $49.99 per year for one account, or $79.99 per year for a family subscription.
Redmi Note 12 Turbo teaser images reveal even more specs
We already know that the Redmi Note 12 Turbo is on its way with an expected announcement time of 7 PM on March 28. We also already know quite a bit about the phone thanks to Weibo leaks and a visit to AnTuTu. A new set of teaser images has now surfaced online alongside some additional device specs.
Apparently, the Redmi Note 12 Turbo’s display will be 12-bit, support HDR10+ and feature a 120Hz refresh rate, 1920Hz PWM Dimming and SGS Low Blue Light Certification. Previous rumors have indicated a display diagonal of 6.67 inches and an FHD+ resolution. The phone will boast pretty thin bezels, measuring just 1.95mm on top, and 1.42mm on the sides of the display, with a 2.22mm chin underneath it and a 93.45% screen-to-body ratio. The phone’s entire body will measure 7.9mm in thickness and weigh 181 grams.
The Redmi Note 12 Turbo is also rumored to offer a stereo speaker setup with Dolby ATMOS and Hi-Res Audio support alongside a 3.5mm audio jack. Also on board is an IR blaster. Confirming earlier rumors, the handset is expected to be among the first, if not the very first, to rock a Qualcomm Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2 chipset, alongside up to 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 1TB of UFS3.1 storage. As per the new teaser, the chip will be cooled by a 3725mm² vapor chamber cooler.
In a rather conflicting report, the new source now claims that the Redmi Note 12 Turbo will feature a side-mounted fingerprint reader instead of an in-display one. Also on the list of expected specs is a large 5,000 mAh battery with 67W charging. The phone is expected to have a 64MP main camera with OIS, 8MP ultrawide and a 2MP macro shooter. It is also said to run Android 13 with MIUI 14 on top.
There is still no word on pricing and availability. Though, it is worth noting that the Redmi Note 12 Turbo is expected to launch under the Poco F5 branding in India on April 5.
Why can’t I sync blocked numbers to a new Android phone?
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority
I don’t switch phones often, but when I do, I dread every single part of the process. Although Google has smoothed out some of the steps thanks to a more robust Android backup system and a new Fast Pair phone setup, a lot of tedious bits and pieces remain. It’s painful to re-pair wearables and Bluetooth accessories, adjust smart home gadgets to follow the new phone for geolocation automations, and sign into and re-customize apps to my liking. It can take a day and do all of that manually; what I can’t do, though, is transfer or sync my blocked numbers on my Android phone to a new phone.
And this little issue has been annoying me for a couple of years now. It baffles me that it hasn’t been fixed yet.
I trust Google to identify some spam numbers on its own and stop them from disrupting me, but I also make an effort to report as spam and block any other spammers and unwanted numbers that slip through. Still, every year or so, I find myself answering calls and looking at messages from these same unwanted numbers just because the blocklist didn’t carry over when I switched to a new phone.
My blocked numbers list doesn’t carry over when I switch phones. I end up answering calls and reading messages from the same unwanted numbers.
Spam and phishing are massive problems in some countries like the US and India. In my experience, they’ve been less of an issue in France, but they were a major annoyance in Lebanon where GDPR and privacy rules don’t exist. Since I was a practicing pharmacist, my number was registered with the union and was shared, without my consent, with hundreds of pharmaceutical and not-so-pharmaceutical companies. Even two years after shutting down my practice, I still get dozens of unwanted messages every week on my Lebanese number.
With spam being such an annoying everyday occurrence, you’d think that all the tools would be at your disposal to fight it. And yet, Google is fighting it with Assistant call screening and massive data collection from millions of users to identify spam before it annoys you, but it’s forgetting one very simple trick that could save everyone extra headache: Just sync my list of blocked numbers on Android across phones.
Spam, phishing, and abuse are massive issues. I should only have to block a number once, but Google is trying to solve the problem differently.
Beyond spam, the issue gets worse when you imagine that an ex or an abusive person from your past keeps calling you or messaging you. You block them and think you’re done with that crap, only to see their number pop up again when you switch to a new phone. If we’re intentionally choosing to block a number or mark it as spam, we don’t want to find ourselves looking at that same number again, ever.
Here are three ways this problem can be fixed, from simple and manual, to complex and automatic:
- Add a manual export and import button to the blocked numbers list in the Google Phone and Messages apps.
- Treat the blocked numbers list like the call history and make sure it backs up and restores when users switch phones.
- Synchronize the blocked numbers list with my Google account (maybe as a part of Google Contacts?) so that it’s always updated across all my devices.
Apple does the latter with iCloud. You block a number on your iPhone and it’ll be synced to your iPad, iMac, and every other device you use. Google could and should do it the same way. Sure, this isn’t as sexy as Assistant call screening, but no one wants to keep blocking the same numbers again and again.
New film by Calgary’s Tank Standing Buffalo streams on HBO
A Calgary animator’s newest cartoon started streaming Thursday night on HBO Max.
Tank Standing Buffalo’s MONSTR was one of eight animated shorts chosen from more than 1,200 submissions to be part of the HBO Max series Only You: An Animated Shorts Collection.
MONSTR deals with Standing Buffalo’s fight with inner demons while apprenticing with a northwest totem carver following the death of his wife Marsha.
“My partner Marsha died suddenly in my arms of a brain aneurysm,” Standing Buffalo said in a release. “One moment she was there, the next she was gone. Without her, I was lost.
“I left Calgary to walk the west coast until I couldn’t walk, and ended up on carver Phil Ashbee’s doorstep. He saw I was in trouble, and took me in. I began a tough year-and -a-half apprenticeship, learning from him and another carver. The teachings were harsh, but helped me to heal.
Tank Standing Buffalo’s next project MONSTR is part of an HBO Max program for animators
“MONSTR takes place during my time with Phil, and brings to life how I confronted the grief of Marsha’s passing. It is my story, one only I can tell.”
Standing Buffalo worked with co-writer Xstine Coo, producer Amanda Miller and composers Cara Adu-Darko and Brandon Smith on the film, which features music by Walter MacDonald White Bear.
The film features the voices of Corey Feldman and Tristan Risk.
It’s Standing Buffalo’s third animated short, following RKLSS (2020), which screened at TIFF, and SAVJ (2021), which is currently being screened at a variety of film festivals.
HBO flew Standing Buffalo to Los Angeles for the Hollywood premiere of MONSTR Tuesday night.
Scene from MONSTR by Tank Standing Buffalo
In his artist statement, Standing Buffalo said art has literally saved his life – and his emergence as a rising animation star was launched by a scholarship he received to attend a Calgary animation workshop.
“I came to love animation six years ago when I received a scholarship through Quickdraw Animation Society in Calgary,” he said. “I am a person who thrives on routine and discipline. I appreciate the meditative repetition required to create animation.
“Through making my first two autobiographical shorts with monster and fantasy elements, I’ve found telling my story through animation is a form of time travel; my art is healing the person who I was in the past.”
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