Light Start: Share Stories to your newsfeed, Starlink’s impressive speed, another Fold you may not need and EA bent the knee

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Facebook test auto-shares Instagram Stories to your newsfeed

In a bid to integrate its services even more than they already are, Facebook is working on a feature that’ll allow users to automatically share Instagram Stories to a Facebook news feed. 

What makes this slightly confusing, is that it won’t share Insta Stories to Facebook Stories, which we reckon has struggled to take off quite as the company had hoped. Now, the Stories will feature right on a person’s news feed as a post, but there are some caveats. It turns out not all of your Facebook friends will see the auto-shared stories. Firstly, only people who already follow you on Instagram will be able to see the Story on Facebook. Secondly, those people would have had to link their Facebook accounts with their Instagram accounts. And then lastly, people would need to ‘opt-in’ to the service to see friends’ Stories. So in a bid to ‘uncomplicate’ the Stories situation, it seems Facebook is managing to complicate it even more. “In other words, you’re still sharing your Instagram stories with the same set of people, but I can see this being confusing for anyone who skips over the little information blurb (which will probably be most people),” TNW explains. In the above explanation, it doesn’t seem clear why Facebook would push Stories to another platform just to share it with the same bunch of people. It’s a strange feature that a small fraction of users will likely make use of. 

But we’ll have to wait and see how successful it is after it actually launches. Not only did Facebook blatantly steal the Stories feature from Snapchat, but it’s also now trying to force it on every aspect of all of its platforms (Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp ‘Status’). 

Source: TNW

SpaceX’s Starlink beams up to 100Mbps speeds from space

When internet speeds become limited on Earth, we need to look to the stars for faster broadband speeds. That’s exactly what SpaceX and Starlink are doing by sending up thousands of satellites which will be tasked to beam Earthlings fast internet. 

The rapidly growing fleet of internet-providing satellites is yielding promising results, according to preliminary tests. These internal tests of a beta version of Starlink’s internet service show super-low latency and download speed greater than 100Mbps. “That means our latency is low enough to play the fastest online video games, and our download speeds are fast enough to stream multiple HD movies at once and still have the bandwidth to spare,” says Kate Tice, the senior program reliability engineer at SpaceX. The Starlink initiative will eventually send tens of thousands of broadband satellites into orbit, covering Earth’s lower orbit in a sea of tech. But it won’t all be for nothing, Elon Musk’s company plans to bring free, or at least affordable high-speed internet to everyone. SpaceX’s CEO Elon Musk has said that he hopes Starlink will provide rural and remote regions  with the most valuable resource of our generation: broadband. “It sounds impressive, but it’s still not quite the gigabit speeds that SpaceX promised in its original filing with the Federal Communications Commission. SpaceX noted in the filing that it would need to deploy its first full constellation of more than 4,400 satellites to get up to those speeds,” The Verge details. At this point, living in South Africa, we don’t mind the Gigabit speeds, just some decent speeds would be nice if the internet is affordable. 

SpaceX is inadvertently fighting the good fight, and this initiative is less-so about bringing mind-melting internet speeds to people of Earth, but rather to make decent internet connectivity available to more people. 

Source: The Verge

Samsung may release a more flexible Galaxy Z Fold 2 in 2021

Not to get ahead of anyone… we know that Samsung just revealed its second foldable smartphone last week, but we’re ready for the next interaction, and it may see Samsung polish up what is already a great handset. 

According to recent leaks and rumours, next up for Samsung is the Galaxy Z Fold 2 S — an adaptation of the recently unveiled foldable phone. This time around, however, we’ll probably see a 360-degree hinge that will allow outward and inward folding. Something you’d naturally expect from a foldable device. We reckon hardware constraints meant that Samsung couldn’t get to finalising a display that can bend both inward and outward, unless they were two separate displays as we saw on the Microsoft Duo smartphone. “However, unlike the Surface Duo, which features two separate screens joined together by a hinge, the Galaxy Z Fold S is rumoured to come with a single flexible OLED screen. It is unclear, however, if the device will feature a secondary display on its cover similar to the Galaxy Z Fold 2,” Digital Trends reports. 

As always, we’re not convinced until we can hold the tech in our hands. But we’ll need to see what Samsung produces in terms of bendy displays. Making a screen fold outward and inward like that is no easy feat.

Source: Digital Trends

EA’s Sports UFC 4 gets the ad treatment, and players hate it

The comfortable life of Netflix has made skipping ads, or altogether avoiding them a breeze. Adblockers online make it quite easy to steer clear of unwanted ads, but they’ll always pop up somewhere where you least expect them. Maybe in a chill game of UFC with the gang? 

A recent EA Sports UFC 4 update on both PS4 and Xbox One added real-world ads that can’t be skipped or avoided. UFC 4 launched only last month, and like previous entries, it featured in-game advertisements, but only in ways that were appropriate and true to the sport itself. However, about a month after it released, EA pushed out an update that brought actual full-display ads to the game which couldn’t be skipped. This is hella sneaky as the update comes after insiders have already published reviews and formed opinions on the title. The obnoxiously intrusive real-world ads pop up, flash across the screen in the middle of gameplay, and generally just annoys the hell out of players. Player uproar commenced after an Amazon Prime ad for the series ‘The Boys’ popped up on the screen in the game. People took to Reddit (as one does) to rant about this annoying and unnecessary feature. EA issued a statement and said that it will remove the feature via an update. 

Now, you may overlook this blatant cash-grab ad placement if it was minor and out of the way, but it literally fills almost the entire screen during moments of gameplay. Honestly, no-one expects this level of extra monetisation in a game that was already paid for. That’s just mean. 

Source: The Verge

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Digital Editor at Stuff. Nevermind the fancy title, I like writing about things that are cool. Like games, gadgets and sometimes even software. Depending on how cool it is.

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