Sony has confirmed that it’s testing a service called ‘PlayStation Plus Video Pass’ in Poland following an April 21st leak on its website.
Video Pass will offer PlayStation Plus subscribers access to a selection of Sony films and TV shows via a streaming app at no additional cost.
- American Hustle
- Baby Driver
- Bad Boys (1995)
- Blade Runner 2049
- Charlie’s Angels (2019)
- The Equalizer 2
- Inferno (2016)
- Jumanji: The Next Level
- Sausage Party
- This is the End
- Underworld: Blood Wars
- Venom (2018)
- Zombieland 2: Double Tap
- Community (Seasons 1-6)
- Deadly Class (Seasons 1)
- Future Man (Seasons 1-3)
- Lost Girl (Seasons 1-5)
- SuperMansion (Seasons 1-3)
- SWAT (Seasons 1-2)
Speaking to Polish outlet Spider’s Web, Nick Maguire, Sony Interactive Entertainment’s vice president of global services, confirmed that the test is “currently focusing only on the Polish market” until April 22nd, 2022.
“We want to see how players will benefit from such a service. What titles do they watch, what do they care about, how often do they use them,” he explained. “At this stage, however, I cannot say whether it will be created and what the test process will look like for other markets, as well as what the future is for PlayStation Plus Video Pass after the test period.”
As for why Poland was chosen, Maguire said it was the “perfect market” due to “a large base of players [there] who stand out due to their commitment and activity in the network and social media.”
Given all of that, it remains to be seen whether Video Pass will ever come to Canada. Even if it did, however, it’s important to note that the catalogue would almost certainly look different here due to rights issues. That’s because Sony only distributes these films in international markets; films like Arrival and Blade Runner 2049 are handled in North America by Paramount and Warner Bros., respectively.
That said, films like Venom, Zombieland 2: Double Tap and Baby Driver are distributed by Sony worldwide, so those would presumably be included in a Canadian version of Video Pass, barring any licensing conflicts.
For now, though, Canadians can rent and purchase movies and shows from the PlayStation Store until August 1st. Beyond that, the PS4 and PS5 offer access to several streaming services, including Disney+, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Crave.
Source: Spider’s Web
Only 67 percent of wireless customers in Canada say their carrier’s network is reliable when streaming music and videos, according to a new report from J.D. Power.
The report outlines that many customers in Canada are underwhelmed by network reliability and speed. J.D. Power notes that only seven percent of customers say network speeds are faster than expected.
“Despite massive investments in infrastructure and technology, customers remain relatively unimpressed by their carriers’ wireless networks,” said Adrian Chung, the director of technology, media and telecom practice at J.D. Power Canada, in the report.
“Customers perceive the quality and performance of the wireless networks mainly as fair and meeting expectations. More specifically, network strength is associated with traditional functionality like calling and texting rather than browsing and streaming, presenting a clear reliability gap that carriers need to bridge.”
Chung notes that the reliability gap should be concerning for carriers because browsing and streaming account for nearly half of the time that Canadians spend on their phones.
In terms of carriers’ ranking across the country, J.D. Power found that Bell and Telus rank highest in a tie for wireless network quality in Ontario with 8 PP100 (problems per 100 connections) each.
“In the East Region, Videotron ranks highest with 5 PP100. Rogers Wireless and Telus Mobility rank second in a tie, each with 6 PP100,” the report outlines.
For context, the East Region consists of New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Quebec.
Telus also ranked highest in the West Region with 9 PP100. Rogers ranked second and SaskTel rounded out the top three. The west region consists of the provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Saskatchewan and Yukon Territory.
Interestingly, the report found that although 60 percent of customers expect 5G to bring higher speeds, only seven percent say they’re willing to pay more to be connected to a 5G network.
J.D Power’s report is based on a survey of 9,498 respondents between February and March 2021. The study looked at four wireless carriers in the East Region, four in Ontario and six in the West Region.
This is a bit of a weird one, so I’m going to start by mentioning that your mileage may vary with this offer.
A RedFlagDeals user (taya1214) recently posted this link that leads to a promo section of the Fido site that they claim offers a $50 data plan with 10GB of data. When I click on the link, I’m presented with the same deal, but others in the thread have received different offers.
One user says that they’re offered the $30/10GB data deal but that it’s only for 10 months and then it goes back up to $50 for 10GB. I’d expect the plans to vary based on province, but it isn’t easy to tell.
Another user reports seeing an 8GB plan for $45 as well as the 10GB/$50 option.
Source: Fido, RedFlagDeals
Easily the second most exciting Apple TV 4K update announced at Apple’s ‘Spring Forward’ event beyond the new remote is that you can now use an iPhone to colour calibrate your Apple TV. While at first it seemed like this might be an exclusive feature for the new Apple TV, 9to5Mac confirmed that it’s coming to the older Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD too.
The feature uses the front-facing camera on an iPhone to scan a pattern of lights displayed on your TV screen and then adjust the colour values in the Apple TV. That means that this colour adjustment only applies to the input your Apple TV is plugged into. The other inputs on your TV won’t get calibrated.
This is a pretty smart move on a few fronts and should help people get a little extra performance out of their TV. Apple is also selling the new Siri remote separately if you want to make your older Apple TV feel like the new one.
The update for older Apple TV devices is due out next week with tvOS 14.5. The calibration setup is under the ‘Video and Audio’ section of the set-top bow’s settings. You also need an iPhone with Face ID (iPhone X or newer, but not the SE), and it needs to be running iOS 14.5, which is also expected to release next week.
FlatpanelsHD is also reporting that it’s unable to get the feature to work on TVs with Dolby Vision enabled. This is likely because Dolby holds the calibration of Dolby Vision as its highest form of video codec, so it likely doesn’t want Apple tweaking how it looks.
Source: 9to5mac, FlatpannelsHD
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After years of teases, Cadillac has finally shared the specs for the upcoming Cadillac LYRIQ electric SUV.
The vehicle isn’t releasing until mid-2022, but when it does, GM expects it to feature 480km range and 340 horsepower. This is in part due to its rear-wheel-drive design and the use of GM’s Ultium battery tech. This battery platform is also being used in the new electric Hummer.
GM says that the lyric will support 190-watt fast charging that can pump roughly 122km of range into the car every 10 minutes. Overall, charging and battery-wise, the Lyriq is sitting in the upper mid-range of cars and above the XC40 Recharge, but behind Tesla. The one key thing to remember is that the XC40 and Tesla cars are on the road today. We won’t see the Lyriq until mid-2022 at the earliest.
The company is also working on refining its one-pedal driving system and regenerative braking tech. A new feature called ‘Variable Regen-on-Demand’ allows drivers to use a pressure-sensitive paddle on the steering wheel to control how fast the SUV slows down. This sounds interesting and helpful for annoying driving situations like stop-and-go traffic.
Beyond that, the company is packing in Super Cruise (if you pay for it), a 33-inch display, active noise cancellation in the cabin and a digital key function. On the outside, the car will be available in ‘Satin Steel Metallic’ and Stella ‘Black Metallic’ colours. It should be noted that GM uses its own app as a car key and not Apple’s CarKey framework BMW is utilizing, so it’s unclear if this uses NFC or if you need to actually unlock your phone and navigate to the Cadillac app to remotely unlock the car like the current GM implementation of the feature.
The interior of the car features a pretty complex dashboard design that seems more like a current car, rather than something coming out in the future. That said, the large screen stretches from behind the steering wheel over to the centre console and looks very commanding. This is a decent look, and in the press images, you can see a Google Assistant button. This clarifies that this car is going to build its infotainment on top of Android Automotive like the Volvo XC40 Recharge.
Overall, the Cadillac LYRIQ seems like a fine vehicle, but I’m not sure I see young people picking this EV over a Tesla. There’s something about the interior of GM cars that feels like a 2009 sci-fi movie. I’m sure there’s lots of cool tech packed inside, but GM still seems to be positioning Cadilac for older drivers.
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If you spent much time pouring over the iPad Pro (2021) spec sheet yesterday — most of us nerds did — you may have noticed something unusual for an iPadOS device: Apple listed the amount of RAM.
When viewing the iPad Pro (2021) spec sheet, under the ‘Chip’ section, it lists details for Apple’s new M1 silicon and, just below that, the two RAM configs for the Pro: 8GB RAM with the 128GB, 256GB or 512GB storage options or 16GB RAM with the 1TB or 2TB storage options.
It’s a pretty significant shift for Apple, which previously avoided listing RAM configurations for its iOS and iPadOS devices. While Apple’s never said specifically why it didn’t list these numbers, it’s likely related to how the company approaches its product vision.
Apple’s goal with computers has long been to make the computer practically invisible. In other words, it wants as little between people and the experience of using its devices as possible. It’s an admirable goal, and in the context of that, it makes sense that Apple would shy away from talking about all the nitty-gritty specifications for these products. For the majority of people, the amount of RAM in an iPad doesn’t matter because it shouldn’t impact the experience of using an iPad — people just pick up the tablet, tap the app they want to use and away they go.
So, why the change? I think there are a few possibilities. The simplest (and most likely) is that Apple’s M1 system-on-a-chip (SoC) is used in other devices that list RAM amounts. Since the M1 is a SoC, that means components like the CPU, GPU, neural engine and RAM are contained in one place. In other words, if Apple offers the M1 in its Mac computers with 8GB or 16GB RAM configurations, and then uses the same chip in the iPad Pro (2021), it likely would have the same memory configurations since it’s all integrated into one SoC. Even if Apple didn’t list the RAM amount, it wouldn’t be hard for people to figure out. Plus, with some tinkering, people figure out the RAM amount in iPhones and iPads anyway, whether Apple shares the information or not.
A less likely alternative is that Apple’s listing RAM amounts on the iPad because it’s really serious about the iPad being a computer replacement. I find this less feasible, given that Apple has long believed the iPad can fully replace a computer and hasn’t put the RAM in iPad spec sheets before.
Whatever the reason, the iPad Pro (2021) spec sheet lists the available RAM configurations. Hopefully, in the future, Apple includes that information with more of its devices.
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You can finally run Windows 10 on an M1 Mac, albeit with some drawbacks.
Corel, the company behind the Parallels, is pushing out a major update to the app that will allow users to natively run the ARM version of Windows 10 on a Mac with an M1 processor. Version 16.5 of Parallels Desktop for Mac enables users to run Windows 10 for ARM inside a window alongside macOS Big Sur apps.
That means someone with an M1 Mac can run macOS apps (both native ARM apps and x86 apps through emulation) and Windows apps (again, both ARM and x86 variants).
Of course, the solution isn’t perfect. Apple chose not to support its Boot Camp software on the M1 Macs — Boot Camp allows Mac owners to boot into Windows with their devices. It’s worth noting that part of Apple’s decision stemmed from Microsoft limiting availability of Windows 10 for ARM. Without Boot Camp, the only option for people who want to run Windows on their Mac is virtualization technology like Parallels.
Parallels 16.5 offers improved performance, battery compared on M1
While a virtualized version of Windows won’t perform as well as a native install, it’s better than not having access at all. Plus, Corel says the latest Parallels update brings some major performance and battery improvements when compared to running Parallels on Intel-based Macs. Parallels 16.5 uses up to 2.5 times less energy on an M1 Mac compared to an Intel-based MacBook Air. The company also claims that the new Parallels offers up to 60 percent better DirectX 11 performance and up to 30 percent better overall virtual machine performance when running Windows 10 for ARM on M1 compared to a Windows 10 VM on an Intel-based MacBook Pro.
As good as this all sounds, don’t rush out to buy an M1 Mac to run Windows via Parallels just yet. First up, it’s important to note that Microsoft still only provides Windows 10 for ARM licences to PC makers, which means average people can’t necessarily obtain a licence to run the software. However, there is a Windows 10 for ARM preview build available from Microsoft’s Windows Insider website — you can download and run that instead. Still, it’s a preview version, so expect some bugs and stability issues.
The other major caution is that Parallels virtualizes Windows on ARM, which in turn is emulating x86 apps for Windows. There will likely be some performance issues with all that virtualization, but early reports indicate that the M1 handles everything relatively well.
All that said, you can learn more about Parallels here, and if you already own an M1 Mac, it could be a good piece of software to have.
Source: Parallels Via: The Verge
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A landing page for something called “PlayStation Plus Video Pass” briefly appeared on Sony’s official Polish website earlier today.
As first reported by VideoGamesChronicle, the now-removed page described the Video Pass as the following:
“A new benefit available for a limited time on PlayStation Plus… PS Plus Video Pass is a trial service active 22.04.21 – 22.04.22. The subscription benefit is available to PS Plus users in Poland.”
No further details were provided, although the page did show three movies: Venom, Zombieland: Double Tap and Bloodshot.
What’s notable about this is that all three films are produced by Sony’s film division. Therefore, it would seem that PlayStation Plus Video Pass would offer free access to select Sony films, on top of the free games that PlayStation Plus currently offers every month.
It’s also worth noting that Sony is removing the ability to purchase and rent movies and TV shows on PlayStation in August, so Video Pass could be intended to be positioned as an alternative, of sorts.
At the very least, Sony leveraging its back catalogue of films — which also includes the Spider-Man, Jumanji and Bad Boys franchises — could be a way to add more value to PS Plus amid stiff competition from Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass. Sony also owns the Funimation anime streaming service, which could, hypothetically, also be leaned on for Video Pass.
However, adding video content to PlayStation Plus wouldn’t really be a direct response to Game Pass’ biggest benefits — namely, day-one access to all first-party Xbox games and many third-party titles and mobile streaming. This also doesn’t appear to be what rumours — as well as comments from PlayStation boss Jim Ryan — meant by Sony having a proper response to Game Pass.
In any case, we’ll learn more about PlayStation Video Pass if it does indeed go live in Poland on April 22nd.
Image credit: Sony Pictures
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A data-scraping tool is able to link millions of Facebook profiles to email addresses even if users haven’t publicly advertised their address.
Alon Gal, the co-founder of cybercrime intelligence firm Hudson Rock, and technologist Ashkan Soltani have shared details about how someone has been able to use the tool to link five million email addresses to Facebook users.
The news comes as Facebook faced a data leak earlier this month that led to the personal information of 533 million users information leaking online.
The leaked information includes phone numbers, locations, past locations, birth dates, email addresses and other personal data.
Regarding this latest security issue, the social media giant says it’s taking initial actions to address the findings.
“It appears that we erroneously closed out this bug bounty report before routing to the appropriate team,” a Facebook spokesperson told Motherboard. “We appreciate the researcher sharing the information and are taking initial actions to mitigate this issue while we follow up to better understand their findings.”
It appears that the tool is currently available to hackers. Researchers note that the tool could lead to another large data dump.
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Rogers says it will give bill credits to customers who were affected by its nationwide wireless services outage yesterday.
The Toronto-based national carrier says a credit equivalent to yesterday’s wireless service fee will be applied to customers’ May bills. It notes that this will be done automatically and that customers don’t need to take action.
The massive outage was caused by a recent Ericsson software update that affected a piece of equipment in the central part of the carrier’s wireless network.
“We’re undertaking an in-depth review in partnership with Ericsson. We know this was related to an Ericsson software upgrade that caused devices to be disconnected from our network,” Rogers notes.
“We will use the findings of that review to help prevent similar issues from happening again.”
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