News

Facebook might be forced to sell Instagram and WhatsApp

End of an era?

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Did you know that Facebook owns other platforms besides Facebook itself? Though security-conscious users are staying away from Facebook, getting away from the company is harder than just deleting your Facebook account. Unsurprisingly, Facebook’s growing empire is coming to a head. Forty-eight states are suing Facebook for antitrust reasons, potentially forcing the platform to sell Instagram and WhatsApp.

For months, the platform has gone under fire for similar reasons including violations against privacy. Foremost among those reasons, Facebook is allegedly taking out rival companies a little more aggressively than normal. For example, the company reportedly threatened rivals if the latter didn’t sell their businesses to Facebook.

In today’s blockbuster announcement, New York Attorney General Letitia James explains that Facebook’s monopoly heavily shrinks a consumer’s options of social media platforms. As a result, Letitia’s state, along with 47 other states, will pursue legal action to separate Instagram and WhatsApp away from Facebook.

Facebook, as expected, is defending against its actions, calling the legal action unfair, “sending a chilling warning to American business that no sale is ever final,” says Facebook Vice President Jennifer Newstead.

Similarly, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg states that the multiple acquisitions are merely to compete against other rivals including Google and Apple. The defense isn’t holding a lot of water in American courts, though. If the courts are getting their way, Big Tech, which includes other companies, will slowly lose its grip on American business.

SEE ALSO: Facebook on iOS now has dark mode

Gaming

Nintendo Switch is now third-bestselling console in history

Overtakes Game Boy and PS4

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Though there are more powerful consoles now, the Nintendo Switch is the most representative of the world’s situation since its launch. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the console keeps breaking records. Now, it has crossed its most important milestone to date. The Switch is now the third-bestselling console in history.

Released back in 2017, the Switch is the quintessential console for hybrid gamers who play at home and on the go. In its first few years, the console already spawned classic titles such as Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey. However, its big break truly came during the 2020 lockdowns. The timing of Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ release created a worldwide moment when everyone stuck at home wanted a Switch to play the island life simulator. Since then, the console, despite launching an improved OLED version, is gradually mellowing out, especially when opposed to even more powerful consoles like the PlayStation 5.

Regardless, the Switch’s effect on the world is palpable. Today, Nintendo announced that the console has sold over 122 million units worldwide. With such a figure, the Switch moves up to the third spot in the list of bestselling consoles of all time. It squeaks past the Game Boy (118 million units) and the PlayStation 4 (117 million units).

Now, the next consoles in the Switch’s sights are the Nintendo DS (154 million units) and the PlayStation 2 (155 million units). The console is in for quite a climb, though. Unless it hits another golden age, it will take a while before another overtake.

It’s still possible, of course. The Nintendo Switch is still set to release a few much-awaited titles like Tears of the Kingdom, the sequel to Breath of the Wild.

SEE ALSO: Cult classic GoldenEye 007 is coming to Xbox, Switch

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News

Galaxy S23 series has a secret feature for gamers

Might not be widely available

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Mobile gaming has a natural setback: battery life. Though mobile games easily entice users to spend hours and hours playing, a smartphone’s battery can just as easily cut a long gaming session short. One way to get past this limitation is to play while charging. However, another unintended drawback is the additional heat from charging the battery. Giving gamers a convenient reprieve, the Galaxy S23 has a secret feature to do away with battery heat.

First spotted by NL Tech (via 9to5Google), the new Galaxy S23 series can reportedly redirect power from the charger to bypass the battery entirely. Instead, the power will fuel the power directly. Though the feature (called “Pause USB Power Delivery” and found through the Game Booster menu) won’t necessarily improve performance for gaming, it will stop the battery from heating up, ensuring comfort for long sessions while in bed. Since the phone stops using power to charge the battery, the charger will use up less electricity.

Naturally, using the feature will halt charging entirely, so if you desperately need juice, it won’t do anything. Additionally, the feature will not turn on if your smartphone’s battery is below 20 percent.

Of note, Samsung has not officially announced such a feature. It is reportedly unavailable in some regions including the United States. It might be in its early stages, on a staggered rollout, or a regional exclusive. Still, it’s a useful feature for gamers who want more comfort for their gaming sessions.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy S23, S23+ and S23 Ultra Hands-On

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Apps

Google will blur NSFW photos soon

Turned on by default

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When I search for “food porn” in Google, I’m looking for enticing photos of food to whet my appetite for dinner. Sometimes, Google has other plans and shows me more than what I bargained for. Finally, the search engine is implementing a way to save us from those awkward moments. Google will soon blur explicit images from search results.

For Safer Internet Day, Google has announced the feature to help protect users from accidentally seeing graphic images — including both gore and pornography — from a search. The feature, which will start rolling out in the coming months, will turn on by default. Instead of showing the images directly, users will face the blurred version and a prompt to view the image despite the warning.

If you don’t mind an accidental shower of NSFW imagery, you can turn the feature off at any time. Alternatively, as always, users can also choose to filter out all explicit search results, blurred or otherwise.

Though the feature is easily adjustable, Google will not offer the same flexibility to supervised accounts. Any accounts supervised by a parent or a school will not be able to change how they view explicit content. Parents can add supervision to the accounts of their children.

SEE ALSO: Google is working on a ChatGPT competitor called Bard

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