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PSA: Google Photos will no longer offer free unlimited storage next year – XDA Developers

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Google Photos will no longer offer unlimited free storage for your “high quality” photos starting next year. The company on Wednesday announced the changes in a blog post, saying in order to “welcome even more of your memories,” it needs to institute a cap.

Starting June 1, 2021, Google Photos will limit free storage to the complementary 15GB that comes with every Google Account. If you want more storage, you’ll have to pay monthly for a Google One subscription, which starts at $1.99 per month ($19.99 per year) for 100GB.

“We know this is a big shift and may come as a surprise, so we wanted to let you know well in advance and give you resources to make this easier,” said Shimrit Ben-Yair, Vice President of Google Photos.

The policy change only applies to new photos and videos that are uploaded after June 1, 2021, so anything uploaded before then won’t count against your storage quota. Google claims that roughly 80 percent of Photos users won’t hit their 15GB cap for about three years after the new policy goes into effect. After June 1, 2021, however, you’ll have to consider how to best backup your photos and videos. If you have already been uploading photos in original quality (which have always counted against your storage quota unless you have a Pixel phone with an unexpired original quality backup offer), these new changes won’t affect you.

If you own a Pixel 2 or later, you’ll continue to get unlimited free high quality photo backups. If you still somehow own a first-gen Pixel, you’ll be grandfathered in to get unlimited free storage at original quality. So, that’s another reason to buy Google’s devices.

Google also said it will offer a new free tool next summer that will help Photos app users easily manage their already backed up media. “This tool will help you review the memories you want to keep while also surfacing shots you might prefer to delete, like dark or blurry photos or large videos.” Once users start to approach the cap, Google Photos will send alerts and warnings. Google will also tell people how many years of storage they have left in addition to the amount, giving users a better idea of how long they can continue to upload high quality photos before they hit their cap.

Google Photos storage estimateGoogle Photos storage estimate

Google has over the last few months indicated it wanted to monetize Google Photos. In addition to offering normal printing services, the company recently unveiled a monthly printing service that would send users ten printed photos per month. The company also started to put some new editing features behind a paywall.

Google Photos was introduced over five years ago, and since then it’s become one of the company’s most beloved services. Google said more than 4 trillion photos are stored on Google Photos, with 28 billion new photos and videos uploaded every week. Sadly, what made the service so great is now much more complicated.

Google PhotosGoogle Photos
Google PhotosGoogle Photos
Price:
Free

You can purchase a Google One subscription here, but before you do so, you can click here to estimate how long your storage will last based on how often you back up content to your Google Account.

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$2M from angel donor helps Edmonton toddler receive life-saving treatment – CTV Edmonton

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EDMONTON —
It was July 17 and Kaysen Martin’s second birthday had come and gone.

A day that had more significance than just adding another candle to the cake. It was also the deadline for Kaysen’s family to raise $2.8 million for a one-time gene therapy treatment to combat a rare disease called Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type 1 (SMA 1).

Fast forward four-and-a-half months.

An “angel donor” donated the remaining $2 million Kaysen needed to receive the therapy drug Zolgensma to treat the disease that affects the muscles used for lung support, swallowing, and crawling.

“It was a huge sigh of relief,” Kaysen’s mom, Lana Bernardin, told CTV News Edmonton. “It did take longer and, you know, it was complicated, but at the end of the day, we’re here, it’s done, (the drug) is in him and that’s all that matters.”

His family raised hundreds of thousands of dollars before the July 17 deadline thanks to community, and celebrity, donations.

Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds donated $5,000 to the cause while Edmonton-born actor Nathan Fillion put out a call for help on Twitter.

“To be able to come forward today and say that this has happened, we made it happen as a community is like amazing,” said Bernardin.

Which means adding more candles on Kaysen’s birthday cakes for years to come.

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FIFA 21 PS4 Vs. PS5 Graphics Comparison – Forbes

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FIFA 21 is available a day early on next-gen systems for fans who purchased the game on the current-gen version. There are a number of gameplay videos surfacing, but most of them aren’t exactly capturing the beauty of 4K gameplay due to system limitations.

Operation Sports’ YouTube channel has not only found the right settings for 4K capture on the PlayStation 5, it has also put together a video that compares the game side-by-side to the PlayStation 4 version.

Take a look in the video below:


Early Impressions: The Biggest Differences

The haptic feedback in the PS5 controller continues to be a game-changer, and that’s especially the case in sports games. In FIFA on PS5, in addition to some resistance in the triggers when you’re controller a tiring player, you can feel a rumble from the eruption of a large crowd in one of the game’s massive stadiums.

It might be one of the most immersive usages of the technology I’ve felt in almost three weeks of gameplay.

The visual differences aren’t quite as noticeable. Closeups of players generate some stunning detail, but from the playable cameras, it’s tougher to see the upgrades. Quite honestly, with a game like world football, this is to be expected.

The gameplay feels solid, but I cannot say that I’m feeling a major difference on that front as of yet.

However, I will hone in on the areas of the game that were said to have be upgraded, and that will be my focus areas in my upcoming review.


Review is in Process

Expect to see a full review of the PS5 version of FIFA 21 by Monday, December 7.

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Federal COVID Alert app wasn't working for some users for much of November – CBC.ca

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The developers of Canada’s COVID Alert app fixed a glitch last week that left some users without exposure notifications for much of November.

An update to the app released on Nov. 23 said it would fix a “bug causing gaps in exposure checks for some users.” Without the patch, some Canadians running the app would not have been notified if they came in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19.

It’s unclear how many people missed exposure notifications due to the glitch. But it does raise the prospect that certain users weren’t advised to self-isolate or seek a COVID-19 test in a timely manner, potentially delaying diagnosis.

“For two weeks, the app basically didn’t work” for those users, said Urs Hengartner, an associate professor of computer science at the University of Waterloo.

He and others on social media said their devices had not performed any exposure checks from Nov. 9 to 23. The process — when a smartphone receives codes from a central server and verifies whether the user was potentially exposed to someone with COVID-19 — is supposed to take place several times a day. 

WATCH | How the COVID Alert app works

[embedded content]

The problem appears to have first been reported by commenters in the Google Play Store as early as Nov. 12. That’s 11 days before it was fixed.

“I noticed today that COVID Alert has done no exposure checks for the last two weeks,” a user wrote in Apple’s App Store on Nov. 20. “What good is this?”

Users are urged to check their app store (the Google Play Store for people with Android devices and Apple’s App Store for those with iPhones) to ensure their app is now up to date. Users who haven’t installed the latest update — version 1.1.2 — could still be missing exposure checks. 

COVID Alert is designed to take note when two users spend at least 15 minutes less than two metres apart. If a user later tests positive for COVID-19, they can use the app to anonymously notify contacts of potential exposure. 

COVID Alert has been downloaded more than 5.5 million times and is touted by federal officials as a tool to help slow the spread of the virus. The app is active in the Northwest Territories and all provinces except Alberta and B.C.

During the two-week period in November when some users reported the malfunction, 1,182 people used the app to report a positive test in Ontario alone, according to provincial data.

COVID-19 infection rates continued to rise across much of the country during that time. Ontario, for example, announced lockdown measures in its two most populous regions, and P.E.I. and Newfoundland and Labrador both announced on Nov. 23 they would withdraw from the Atlantic bubble due to increasing case counts elsewhere in the region.

The COVID Alert app is designed to notice when two users spend at least 15 minutes less than two metres apart. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Bianca Healy, a spokesperson for the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, which houses the app’s development team, confirmed in an email Thursday evening that “on some devices, if the app was not opened by the user for an extended period of time, COVID Alert would stop checking in the background for the random codes that would trigger a notification that a user may have been exposed to COVID-19. This bug has now been fixed.”

Healy said the app’s built-in privacy features prevent federal officials from knowing how many users may have been affected.

“We encourage Canadians to update COVID Alert as soon as possible,” she wrote. “They can also open the app to ensure that COVID Alert is checking for potential exposures.”

Hengartner, the computer science professor, said it is “a little concerning that it took two weeks to fix this bug.” He said both he and his wife experienced the same issue.

He called it “a fatal bug for this kind of system,” as it defeats the purpose of the app entirely.

It’s unknown what caused the glitch, but Hengartner said he suspects it was an error in a previous COVID Alert update.

Users weren’t immediately warned

Smartphone users can choose to automatically receive app updates or download them manually. Apple’s App Store lists 14 updates for COVID Alert since its initial release in July. 

The Canadian Digital Service, the federal agency responsible for developing the app, tweeted a message on Nov. 26 asking users to make sure they have the latest COVID Alert update. “This will ensure your app is doing what it’s supposed to do, and you’re not missing any checks or notifications,” the message read.

The tweet did not mention that the scenario it described was real and posed a potential risk to some users. It’s unclear what other steps the federal agency took to alert users of the importance of the latest update.

Hengartner stressed the problem should not discourage Canadians from installing COVID Alert.

However, Kelly Bronson, a Canada Research Chair in science and society, said the episode does highlight how the app could provide users with a “false sense of security.” She pointed to “automation bias,” a human tendency to rely on automated decision-making, which can reduce personal vigilance.

Bronson, who serves on the Global Pandemic App Watch program at the University of Ottawa, which tracks the uptake of similar tools around the world, warned the apps “are not a panacea.”

“I think it’s really important that people know the limitations of these technologies,” she said.

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