Facebook To Add 250-Person Chat Rooms To Groups

Facebook has started rolling out the ability for Facebook Groups to start group chats of up to 250 members. At the same time, the ability for up to 50 members to join in a voice or video call is also being rolled out to Facebook Groups.
Before you start getting notifications for every group chat you get invited to, you’ll have to manually accept the invitations first. You can check if you have any from the new Chat tab in Facebook Groups. This would also be where you go to if you wanted to start a new group chat.

When the notification storm gets too out of hand, you can mute notifications until you get “@” mentioned, or turn notifications off entirely. Group admins can also shut down a group chat, and make it so that only admins can create group chats.
On the face of it, group chats would make sense if you’re part of a large group with members spread across the map. Also, a group chat would make interactions feel more personal and urgent, compared to simply replying to a post on the group page. And it looks like there are safeguards in place for when group chats go out of hand with the chatting and start discussing off-topic subject matters.
(Source: TechCrunch)
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Insta360 ONE X Is A 360 Degree Camera; Records 5.7K Video At 30 FPS

Insta360 has launched the ONE X, a 5.7K 360 degree camera. It is designed to work with both iOS and Android devices via Wi-Fi connectivity.
According to its specs sheet, the ONE X is capable of recording 5.7K spherical footage at 30 fps. For smoother video, there is also the option to record 4K video at 50 fps, as well as 1080p video at 100 fps. The recorded video can then be edited using a dedicated video app on mobile devices and shared directly to social media platforms.

Clips taken with the ONE X can also be re-edited and re-framed with the app to create a cinematic video for the end user. On that note, the clips can also be sped-up or slowed-down using the TimeShift feature without cutting up the footage.
Thanks to its rugged construction, the ONE X is more durable than other 360 cameras on the current market. Additionally, the camera can be clipped into an optional dart-shaped accessory, and be thrown around for some unique video POVs. Insta360’s algorithm on the ONE X can even remove the presence of a selfie stick from the footage and present the video as if it was taken from a drone.
The Insta360 ONE X is available for pre-orders now at the official website for USD399.95 (~RM1,660).
(Source: DPReview)
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Samsung Unveils The Galaxy A9 2018; First Mid-Range Phone With A Quad-Camera Array

Samsung officially launched the Galaxy A9 here in Malaysia. While the phone is effectively a direct successor to the original Galaxy A9 that first launched in 2016, the new Galaxy A9 tops its predecessor as the first smartphone fitted with a quad-camera main array.
To be precise, the Galaxy A9 2018’s camera setup comprises a 24MP f/1.7 main shoot; a 10MP f/2.4 2x optical zoom lens; an 8MP f/2.4 ultra wide-angle lens; and a 5MP f/2.2 lens for depth.

At the front, the Galaxy A9 2018 handles selfies with a massive 24MP f/2.0 sensor, which also benefits from Samsung’s camera features. Like Live Focus, which allows users to adjust the bokeh effect of a picture in post-production.
Moving on, the Galaxy A9 2018 sports a 6.3-inch Full HD+ Super AMOLED display, which has a maximum resolution of 2220 x 1080 pixels. Powering up the phone is, surprisingly, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 SoC clocked at 2.2GHz, 6GB RAM, and pretty sizeable 3800mAh battery. In terms of storage, the phone will have an internal storage capacity of 128GB, which can be expanded via microSD by an additional 512GB.

Connecitivity-wise, the Galaxy A9 2018 comes with a USB Type-C port and, to our surprise yet again, a 3.5mm headphone jack. The phone also has a fingerprint sensor that’s located at the back of the phone.

On the subject of availability, Samsung says that the Galaxy A9 2018 will be available at all Samsung Galaxy Experience stores and authorised resellers in November, but fell short of providing a specific date, or even a launch price.

On that note, and as these things usually go, it looks like we’ll only find out further details down the road.
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New Razer Hammerhead Earphones Comes With ANC And Built-In DAC

During the Razer announcement event, the brand also unveiled a newer iteration of the Hammerhead headphones. And it looks to be a significant upgrade from the previous generation too.
Probably the most important new feature is the inclusion of Active Noise Cancellation (ANC). Pretty noticeable on each side are microphones that take in noise from the outside, so that the ANC can generate negative frequencies to those sounds and cancel them out. In addition to ANC, the new Hammerhead also comes with a built-in digital-to-analog converter (DAC) that opens up the earphones when you’re listening music. Providing you with as close to a lossless audio experience as it can.

To make use of these features though, the new Hammerhead will have to be plugged in. Specifically, via USB Type-C to your mobile device. With more and more high-end smartphones adopting USB Type-C and dropping the 3.5mm jack, this seems apt, but it also means that you won’t be able to use the Hammerhead if your device uses Micro-USB, or when the USB Type-C on your device is being used for charging. Of course, this issue can be mitigated somewhat via the use of adapters.
Other features to come with the new Hammerhead are the use of dual drivers on each side, both of which are made of aluminium. In addition to the standard 3-size rubber tips, Razer is also throwing in a pair of Comply t-500 tips.
The new Razer Hammerhead is already listed on the local Razer Store page, albeit reading ‘Out of stock’. But for what it’s worth, we have the price of RM569. Considering the page doesn’t say pre-order or anything along those lines instead, it may not be long before you can actually get the new Hammerhead.
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Razer Announces Raiju Mobile Gaming Controller; Retails For RM729

With Razer putting so much focus on mobile gaming, it’s little wonder that the company would announce a controller for mobile phones alongside its gaming phone sequel. Enter the Razer Raiju Mobile.
It bears the Raiju name, which you’ll remember as Razer’s controller for the Sony PS4. That said, there are several key differences between the two. Most notably of them all is the position of the left analog stick and the directional pad. This and the fact that the buttons are mapped using letters instead of shapes suggests that this was made for Xbox controller users in mind.

That aside, the Raiju Mobile features a built-in phone mount. Naturally, since that’s what it’s for anyway. You can even choose if you want the controller to be connected wirelessly or with a cable. You can also change the button and stick sensitivity on the fly, and reprogram and remap four extra buttons as well.
Unlike the Razer Phone 2 and Razer Blade, the Razer Raiju Mobile is already listed on the Malaysian Razer Store page. It’s priced at RM729, and may be available shortly since it reads ‘Out of stock’ instead of asking to notify you when it’s available.
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New Razer Blade Has A “Base Model”; Comes With LAN Port And Dual Storage

During its event, Razer announced the latest refresh of its Blade notebooks, along with a new variant for the 15-inch notebook. It’s called the Razer Blade Base Model, with the other variants henceforth being known as the Advanced Models.
So what’s different about this slightly more affordable gaming notebook? To start, it’s 3.1mm thicker than the Advanced Models. This allows them to stick a LAN port in. Min-Liang Tan, CEO of Razer, claims that this 3.1mm is a lot, enough for the Base Model to sport both an SSD and a standard HDD.

But extra features aside, and in keeping with the more economical theme, the Razer Blade Base Model comes with a single-zone Chroma lightning system, compared to the single-key version of the Advanced.

As mentioned earlier, the Razer Blade Base Model is more affordable. And while it’s not usually a name you associate with a Razer Blade, it is still true. The Advanced machines will be priced at US$1899 (~RM7894), while the Base variant is priced at US$1599 (~RM6647). Like the Razer Phone 2, it will be coming to Asia Pacific next month, so it will be then when we find out what the exact local prices are.

Also, a Mercury White Razer Blade Advanced Model made a brief appearance at the end of the Blade’s section of the announcement event. Colour aside, it’s pretty much the same as the standard black Blade Advanced Models. And since it’s a limited edition colour, we seriously doubt it will be available here.
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PlayStation Finally Allowing Users To Change Their PSN Names; Features Currently In Beta Testing

It’s official. PlayStation will finally be allowing its fan base to change their PlayStation Network (PSN) IDs. 12 years since the platform was created. The feature will first release the feature as a beta for members of the PlayStation Preview Program first. Before ultimately rolling it out for the all PSN users in 2019.
That said, it looks like changing your PSN ID does come at a price. According to the console’s blog, the first change will be free of charge. but every change to the name after that will cost PS users US$9.99 (~RM41), or US$4.99 (~RM20) for PS Plus members.

This isn’t the only caveat too. PlayStation points out that while you can change your PSN name, you’ll have the option to display your previous ID with your new now. Once you’ve made your choice to display your old ID or not, however, the decision is irreversible. On another note, changing your PSN ID may not be compatible with every game, although PlayStation did state that it will work with games published after 1 April 2018.

In any case, the PlayStation Preview program will run until the end of November this year. Hopefully, the console brand may have addressed these caveats, or at least made some beneficial changes to them by the time the feature rolls out next year.
(Source: PlayStation Blog)
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Razer Phone 2 Now Official; Uses Vapour Chamber For Cooling And Costs US$799

After a series of leaks, the Razer Phone 2 has finally been announced. It’s definitely the star of the show during Razer’s announcement event, taking over half of the duration of the show.
The Razer Phone 2 features an impressive number of improvements over its predecessor. To start – and probably the most impressive of the bunch – is the fact that the phone has a vapour chamber for cooling. The company adapted the tech from its Blade notebooks to be fitted into the phone.

In addition to this, the Razer Phone 2 also features IP67 water resistance. This is alright as a feature, but what makes it amazing is that the phone is also one of the loudest in the market, with its front facing speakers producing 103dB of sound. The secret behind this involves dedicated amps for each speaker.

On the camera department, the Razer Phone 2 features a 12MP wide angle camera with OIS, and another 2x telephoto 12MP shooter. As suggested by the leaks, they sit in the middle, with the two lenses flanking the flash.
On the flip side, the front-facing one is an 8MP shooter. You also get some modern day camera software trends like Portrait and Beauty modes.

Speaking of the back, the Razer Phone 2 features a glass back, and a backlit Razer logo with Chroma support. This means that, even when placed face down on a table, you get to see notifications via the backlight. You can also designate notifications for specific apps to specific colours thanks to Chroma.
It also features a mobile version of Razer Cortex, just as the earlier leaks suggested. It all looks very familiar – you can not only optimise settings for games, as well as set the phone to prioritise performance or battery life and vice versa.

As for the rest of the specs, the Razer Phone 2 sports a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC and Adreno 630 GPU, 8GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage, with microSD card support of up to 2TB. Additionally, it’s got a 4000mAh battery and a 5.7-inch 120Hz 2560 x 1440 display, now with a maximum brightness of 580 nits.
The Razer Phone 2 will be available in Asia Pacific starting November. It will come in two versions – one is the standard mirror finish, and the other comes with a satin finish. The latter is apparently a Razerstore exclusive, but it’s not like there are any official Razer stores here anyway. Not physically, anyway.

But what about price? The Razer Phone 2 comes with a US$799 (~RM3323) price tag, which undercuts a lot of the competition. That said, we’ll have to wait until it’s available here before we get to know what the local pricing is like.
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5 Devices That Can Help Transform Your House Into A Smart Home

Have you walked out of your house, only to wonder a few hours later if you’ve locked the back door, or if the security alarm has been turned on. What about the balcony light? These days however, nagging little doubts like these creeping up on your mind could be a thing of the past with smart home appliances, that connect to each other, and lets you put your mind at ease with a simple glance at your phone.
There is already a huge array of devices available on the market today that have built in smart home features, and even older devices are welcome to the party when paired together with a smart plug. We’re going to take a look at few excellent home automation devices available in the market today that will help you turn your dream home into a smart one.
Samsung Digital Door Lock

Samsung’s Digital Door Lock is a fancy functional replacement to standard key based door locks. Available in a variety of form factors, these smart door locks can be operated using numeric passwords, key cards, fingerprints and even an app on your smart phone.
Newer higher end models are equipped with additional security features, as well as the ability to deliver push notifications to your phone – even when you are not in the vicinity.
These smart digital door locks also come built in with their own intrusion alarm as well as prank warning system to ensure the highest level of safety for your home.
DoorBird IP Video Door Station

What if you could see who is at your home door when you’re away from home. What if you could relay instructions to your postal delivery guy on what to do with your parcel when you are stuck at work. DoorBird’s Smart Doorbell will let you do both of that and more.
Aside from opening up a two way communication to your visitors, the Smart Doorbell is also capable of doubling up as a security camera, recording high quality video through its night vision HD camera. So whether you want all activity in front of your door recorded all the time, or just when someone walks in front, DoorBird’s Smart Doorbell is properly equipped for either.
Pair up your Smart Doorbell with your other smart appliances, like the Smart Digital Door Lock above, and you will even be able to let your relatives into the house, without actually having to be there physically!
Philips Hue Personal Wireless Lighting System

One of the most common home automation implementations available today is lighting and Philips Hue is a well-known name within this segment. Given how light is able to set one’s mood and behavior, users are able to utilize Hue to set the optimum ambiance levels to match their needs.
If you choose to implement Hue colored light bulbs, not only do you have access to 16 million colors at your fingertips, you also have the capability to sync these lights to music, movies, and games. In addition to that, Hue can also be controlled remotely via its Android and iOS apps, so turning on your lights while you’re away is no longer a mammoth task. Philips Hue smart lighting is also compatible with digital assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s HomeKit, Google’s Assistant, and Microsoft Cortana, so you might fancy issuing voice commands to turn on and off your home lights.
Google Home

At the center of most smart homes is usually a connected hub which allows you to control multiple devices. Think of it as the commander in chief of your smart home. One of the favorites is Google Home, a family of smart speakers from Internet Giant Google.
While these smart devices are primarily smart speakers, they are designed to work with a large variety of home automation products across multiple brands. Google Home takes orders via voice commands, and with it at the center of your Smart Home setup, you are able to issue commands to control everything from the TV to the Jacuzzi. Not only that, you will even be able to set up schedules to get Google Home to sort out your daily chores, and let it take care of the rest.
Heiman Smart Smoke Detector

It goes without saying that a smoke detector’s main job is to alert users whenever it detects any kind of smoke in the house. Not all smoke has odor, so a smoke detector is a potential life safer, especially when you are fast asleep. This smoke detector from Heiman does the same thing too but with an added advantage of it being a smart home device.
Instead of just a common alarm, Heiman’s Smart Smoke Detector can deliver different levels of alarm output depending on the level of smoke it detects. Not only that, the Smart Smoke Detector would also send a notice to your smartphone or tablet when smokes is present. It wont be long before Smart Smoke Detectors will be able to alert rescue services based should things get out of hand.
bWave Universal IoT Hub

Smart Home Devices are everywhere, and starting to make a huge impact in most modern homes. It could be quite a challenge to get all of devices working together, especially if you’re not that much of a techie. Malaysian made bWave Universal IoT Hub is an all in one system built to bring all of your smart devices together.
So instead of having 10 different apps to control 10 different devices on your phone, bWave (with the help of a tablet) combines all your devices into an individually customized app that visually brings every corner of your home to your fingertips. bWave already supports a huge number of Smart Home Devices currently in the market, and will be supporting more devices as they become available.
Special Mention

While we did say 5 devices at the start of the article, we are reserving special mention to the Wi-Fi Smart Socket. Put it simply, this socket is capable of transforming any of your old electronic appliances into a smart device.
There is no fancy features here, but what the Smart Wi-Fi Socket does is give you the ability to turn on and off your devices from any connected device virtually from anywhere around the world. So whether if its turning on the lamp shade, or turning off the TV, you might just be able to make a smart device yet of your trusty old appliance.
Conclusion
While most of these products are readily available and very common in many overseas markets, adoption of Smart Home Devices in Malaysia is still fairly new. However if you’re in the market for a new home, and are keen on making it a Smart one, you’re in luck as Mah Sing Group is providing a Smart Home package with some of its projects, bringing you the latest in home automation and convenience.

Among them is the Lakeville Residence at Jalan Kuching, Kuala Lumpur. Located just 8KM away from KLCC and within a short distance from KTM Komuter as well future MRT2 station, the high-rise residence with semi-d layouts also features a 3.1-acre deck that is designed to help sustain an inclusive and vibrant community via its 38 dedicated facilities.
Aside from that, the smart home package is also available at Icon City Petaling Jaya, Meridin Medini at Iskandar Malaysia as well as Ferringhi Residence 2 at Penang Island.

For more information or to book a tour, head on over to Mah Sing Group’s official website.
Disclosure: this post is sponsored by Mah Sing Group.
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Microsoft Fixes Windows 10 October Update Bug; Rolling Out To Windows Insiders First

Microsoft has supposedly fixed the issue that plagued their Windows 10 October Update rollout last week. Reports says that the company has managed to fix all known issues in the update, even going so far as to conduct internal validations.
To recap, Microsoft had to halt the rollout of the Windows 10 October update after its support site began receiving reports from users saying that some of their files had gone missing or were deleted after installing the update.

According to John Cable, director of program management, Windows servicing and delivery, both him and his team traced the bug back to an issue called Known Folder Redirection (KFR). Basically, the update had a string of code that removed empty, duplicate folders. Then, after a series of changes executed by the update, it would then delete the “original” folder location, and their content with it.
The Windows 10 October Update is currently one of the most anticipated updates by PC gamers. This is because the update also carries with it the DirectX Ray-tracing (DXR) API that is needed to harness NVIDIA’s ray-tracing technology on its GeForce RTX series graphics card.

The new Windows 10 October Update is already being re-released, but only to the Windows Insider community for the moment.
(Source: TechSpot)
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