3D creators now have access to a massive new object library


3D content-platform Sketchfab has a new tool for creators who make your favorite 3D, virtual reality, and augmented reality content. 

The company’s new Download API will allow any 3D-creation application to integrate Sketchfab’s object library with an easy-to-use search bar. Think the Giphy button in Twitter, but for 3D graphics. 

Creators will be able to integrate around 150,000 3D models into their content. You can search by a number of criteria including title, tags, categories, and polygon count. 

The API launches with around 10 live integrations and 20 in the works, according to the company. The services planning to integrate Sketchfab’s new tool include Amazon Sumerian, Substance, Modo, and High Fidelity, Sansar, The Wave VR, MasterpieceVR and Meta.  Read more…

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Google's Transition API allows developers to access context-aware features

Google says that it has heard from app developers who say that they are spending too much time working with location and sensor data just to determine when an Android user has started or ended certain activities like walking or driving. And all of the checking that an app needs to do to ascertain whether the user is just starting his travels, or is at his destination, takes a toll on a phone’s battery life.

To help preserve the battery on Android handsets, Google has introduced the Activity Recognition Transition API. Available to all Android developers, the API tells developers when a user …

Apple blocks all access to the App Store from Iran

The drumbeats about Iran are getting louder by the day, and the US-imposed sanctions may be hitting in unexpected places… like the App Store, for instance. So far, Iranians were able to get an iPhone from abroad, bring it into the country, and use whatever localized content meant for the initial region they could get access to.

No more, it seems, as Apple may have blocked all App Store content requests that are originating from Iran whatsoever. When in Itan, you will now be getting a message “The App Store is unavailable in the country or region you’re in,” unless you are using …

Fortnite for iOS rolling out slowly: register here for a chance at early access

Fortnite has taken the gaming community by storm and doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon. It was originally a zombie survivor / 3rd person shooter / tower defense mix that was pretty fun in its own right but wasn’t exactly blowing up. Then, the developer — Epic Games — decided it wanted a piece of that Battle Royale pie. You know — the genre that became massively popular thanks to PUBG (PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds). So, Fortnite launched its own Battle Royale mode, which was separate from the main game and free to play.

With the development prowess of a major studio like Epic Games, …

Google Maps for iOS gains quick access to transit and traffic info in the latest update

Google Maps development is a little bit ahead on Android, but the iOS app is getting the same features sooner or later as well. The latest update brings one improvement that’s been added to the Maps for Android last year: quick access to transit and traffic info.

The search giant has just announced it is now rolling out the same useful update to Maps for iOS. If you’ve already received the update, you can now swipe up to get access to three tabs: explore, driving, and transit.

These tabs will allow Maps for iOS users find a nearby restaurant much easier, or even catch the next bus. …

Private companies could have access to this country's facial recognition database


Signing up for a phone contract? Telecoms companies could be getting another way to check you’re the right person.

When the Australian government announced in October it would add photos from government identification and driver’s licences to a national facial recognition database, there was plenty of concern from privacy advocates on the security of this data, and how it would be used.

According to a report by The Guardian, the federal government has been in talks with telecommunications companies to allow them to access the Face Verification Service (FVS) for a fee.

More about Australia, Cybersecurity, Facial Recognition, Facial Recognition Technology, and Tech

Security woes as backdoor in OnePlus devices is discovered, allows for easy gain of root access

A potentially dangerous backdoor in multiple OnePlus devices has been just unearthed by a knowing developer, revealing a hidden app that can be potentially used to gain root access and take control over the device.
Dubbed “EngineedMode”, the app has been created by Qualcomm to most certainly test out hardware, but OnePlus has taken it to itself to tamper with the app, customize it, and preload it on a plethora of devices, including but not limited to the OnePlus 5, OnePlus 3, and OnePlus 3T. The app gives unprecedented access to a host of security-sensitive …

3D Touch gesture to access the app switcher will return with future iOS 11 update

A gesture that Apple had to drop from iOS 11 due to a “technical constraint,” will return in a future update of the company’s mobile operating system. The dropped gesture allowed iPhone users to quickly reach the app switcher to switch between open apps. The user simply hard-pressed along the left edge of the screen, and swiped to the right and released. The user could then swipe to the right to see a carousal of open apps. Apps could be closed by flicking them up and off the screen.

This information was discovered in an email sent by Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering, …

Vladimir Putin signs law banning VPN access for Russian internet users


Just one day after it was revealed that Apple had removed virtual private networking (VPN) apps from its China App Store at the behest of the government, we’ve learned that officials in Russia are cracking down on VPN services, too. 

A new law, signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, now bans any technology, including VPNs, used to visit websites banned in Russia, Reuters reported on Sunday. 

Like China, Russia keeps a tight leash on the sites it allows its citizens to visit. Back in 2014, Putin passed a law that required internet companies to store the data of Russian users on Russia-based servers, a rule that stoked fears that Russian internet users would have their information and internet access censored by the government.  Read more…

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Galaxy S8-exclusive New Release Radio opens to all Play Music users, here's how to access

Google just made the New Release Radio station that launched as a Galaxy S8 exclusive available for all of its Play Music service users. The station uses AI to learn your listening habits, and constantly scouts for newly released tunes or albums that are in sync with your music preferences, streaming them via the Play Music app on your phone. You know, like Spotify, Deezer and the like, but going back just two weeks in time to dig up the freshest content. 

That’s a pretty easy way to follow what’s new in your musical neck of the woods without spending too much time …