9 SOLID Samsung Galaxy S9+ Cases For 2018

26/03/2018 – 12:54pm

You've got the phone, now check out the protection

The Galaxy S9 is finally here, bringing with it the kind of anxiety that usually accompanies the purchase of a shiny and expensive new smartphone. While the S9 and S9+ are solidly-built and possess both water and dust resistance, you’ll want to keep them “box fresh” for as long as humanly possible, and that means investing in a decent case. 
We’ve collected some of the best S9+ examples currently available on the market so you can make a zero-effort purchasing choice and get that lovely new blower clad in some seriously fetching clothing.
Official Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus Protective Stand Cover Case – £32.99

Samsung has been producing these LED flip covers for its Galaxy S line for what seems like forever, so they’re clearly very popular with buyers, despite the high cost. As you might expect from the name, this case features a cover which (wait for it) flips over to protect the screen when it’s not in use. The real genius is that when the cover is closed you still get notifications thanks to the clever LED panel which sits under the fabric, negating the need to constantly open the case to check things like unread messages and the current time. The fabric used in its construction is hard-wearing but feels great in the hand, and there are some handy icons on the left-hand side so you can tell where the volume and Bixby buttons are when the case is closed. The price is likely to be a real sticking point for some buyers, but this is a totally unique case that does a lot more than just protect your handset.
Olixar FlexiShield Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus Gel Case – £4.99

This is a little more substantial than Olixar’s other case, and has a two-part construction where a plastic shell sits over an inner, rubber-like lining. The design is excellent – the rubber lining extends to each corner, providing superb drop protection – but it’s the fold-out ring on the back which makes this unique. It can be deployed in order to stand your phone on a flat surface, but a more useful function is offering something to grip onto when you’re actually using the device. By hooking a finger through the ring you can ensure your handset remaert_main_wide_image/public/2018/03/otterbox.jpg?itok=teVwbT3y” alt=”” />

OtterBox is famous for its ridiculously robust cases, so it’s quite a surprise to see them produce something that is so svelte. However, don’t allow the Protected Skin’s lightweight design fool you – this is one seriously sturdy case which offers excellent corner protection in case of accidental drops. While it’s made from a flexible material it’s a lot stiffer than the Olixar gel case, and therefore more resistant to bumps and marks. At over £20 it’s also a lot more expensive though, so keep this in mind.
X-Doria Defense Lux Hard Case

This is a very similar to the Lux case, but ert_main_wide_image/public/2018/03/alcantara.jpg?itok=El5Amg8F” alt=”” />

This soft-touch case is fashioned from Alcantara, a microfibre material more commonly found lining the ert_main_wide_image/public/2018/03/hyperknit.jpg?itok=JgluD2gE” alt=”” />

Google made some cool fabric-based cases for its Google Pixel line, and Samsung has copied this approach with the likeable Hyperknit case. It employs a heard-wearing fabric which gives excellent grip and good protection from modest drops. Like the Alcantara case, it’s slim and lightweight, making it ideal for those who don’t like cases which balloon the overall dimensions of their phone. At just over £25, this is also quite a decent option price-wise, too.
 
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Thanks to our friends at Mobile Fun, who stock a great range of Samsung S9 Plus cases

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Huawei P20 Pro review: Hands on with the first triple camera smartphone

There was a time when one camera was enough. Then manufacturers started building two cameras into the phones, to provide zoom, depth effects and other features, and now dual-camera setups are everywhere, even on budget smartphones. So it was perhaps inevitable that someone would decide to go one further and add a third. That’s where we’re at with the Huawei P20 Pro, a phone with not one, not two, but three rear cameras. 
I’ll get onto how this configuration works later on in the review (I’ll give you a clue – it’s complicated) but the headline is the megapixel count, which at 40 megapixels means this is the highest-resolution camera seen on a smartphone since the Nokia Lumia 1020, and that’s something to celebrate.
READ NEXT: Huawei P20 hands-on: Gorgeous but not as exciting as the P20 Pro
Huawei P20 Pro review: Specifications, price and release date
Huawei P20 Pro review: Design, key features and first impressions
As for everything other than the camera, the Huawei P20 is a continuation of what made the Mate 10 Pro so great last year. The P20 Pro (and its smaller sibling, the P20) is achingly attractive, clad in softly curvaceous glass at the front and the rear, and comes in some enticing, jewellery-shop colours.
The most eye-catching is the “gradient twilight” version, which fades from deep purple to emerald green across the rear panel, but there’s also a selection of more boring, less garish colours available, including “midnight blue”, black and “pink gold”. 
As you’d expect of a modern flagship, the Huawei P20 Pro is a respectable 7.8mm thin and packs a large 6.1in display into a comparatively compact chassis. Even better, it uses an OLED panel, so contrast is effectively perfect and the resolution is 1,080 x 2,440, delivering a long-tall aspect ratio of 18.7:9 without overdoing the pixel count.
More controversially and – in a move that’s likely to become increasingly common throughout the course of 2018 and beyond – the P20 Pro has a notch.
Yep, just like the much-maligned iPhone X, there’s a small black panel eating into the top portion of the display on the Huawei P20, which houses the phone’s earpiece speaker and the front-facing camera. The good news is that it’s around a third the size of the iPhone’s notch; the bad news is that at the bottom of the phone is an honest-to-goodness old-fashioned bezel complete with front-mounted fingerprint reader.
This is bizarre. At least on the iPhone X you get a screen that, aside from the notch, fills the entire screen to the bottom and the sides of the phone. Here, we have the screen filling the front of the P20 Pro to the top and the sides but not the bottom. Why no notch for the fingerprint reader? In fact, why not put the fingerprint reader at the rear? There’s a rear fingerprint reader on the Huawei Mate 10 Pro, so why not do the same here?
Odd design decisions aside, the Huawei P20 Pro is the firm’s most attractive, well-designed smartphone I’ve yet come across. It’s nicer than the Huawei Mate 10 Pro, which is some going, and it covers most of the bases elsewhere.
Inside is a high-capacity 4,000mAh battery, and the phone is IP67 dust- and water-resistant. It uses the firm’s own HiSilicon Kirin 970 CPU with 6GB of RAM and has 128GB storage, all of which (if the Mate 10 Pro’s results are anything to go by) should deliver a solid set of performance figures. Slightly worryingly, there’s no microSD card expansion this time, although with 128GB of internal storage you probably won’t need it anyway.
Huawei P20 Pro review: Porsche Design Mate RS 
There’s also, incidentally, a Porsche Design version of the Huawei P20 Pro, dubbed the Porsche Design Mate RS. Despite the different name, the Mate RS is the P20 Pro in everything but name, price (this thing is sure to be excoriatingly expensive) and a couple of small design tweaks.
It has the same triple camera array just in the centre of the phone rather than the corner, the fingerprint reader is moved to the rear and it comes with a huge 512GB of internal storage. Perhaps the most interesting feature on the Porsche Design Mate RS, though, is that it has an in-screen fingerprint reader as well as a regular rear-mounted one.
Huawei P20 Pro review: Triple camera
The Huawei P20’s star feature isn’t the notch, though, or even the design, but the triple Leica camera array I mentioned in the introduction. Before I get into how these all work together, let me first run you through the specifications:

First camera: 40-megapixel (RGB), f/1.8, 27mm wide-angle (35mm equivalent)

Second camera: 20-megapixel (monochrome), f/1.6

Third camera: 8-megapixel (RGB), f/2.4, 80mm telephoto (35mm equivalent)

All use Huawei’s “4-in-1” combination of laser, dual-pixel phase-detect, depth and contrast autofocus. Sensitivity can reach a frankly ridiculous ISO 102,400; there’s a dedicated colour temperature sensor for setting white balance more accurately; and the camera also has the ability to shoot slow-motion video at 960fps in 720p resolution.
Look impressive, doesn’t it? Well, that’s not all, because Huawei is also extending the camera software’s “AI” capabilities. AI video stabilisation aims to intelligently predict and anticipate movement with the result that you should be able to handhold shots with exposures up to four seconds long without the need for a tripod.
There’s also “AI assisted composition” to help you keep horizons level and get everyone in shot when taking pictures of groups. There are six additional AI-recognised scene types over the Huawei Mate 10 Pro (bringing the total to 19) and, to complement all this, you get an f/2 24-megapixel camera on the front. 
That’s a total of 92 megapixels in all. Blimey.
And I haven’t got onto the biggest headline of all yet, either: the 40-megapixel resolution on the main RGB camera. This is the highest resolution seen in a smartphone since the Nokia Lumia 1020, and it should make for some eye-popping detail capture. It certainly puts the Huawei P20 Pro out in front of every other smartphone currently available, including the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus and the Apple iPhone X. 
As for how the three cameras work together, that’s not as complex (or as interesting) as it at first appears. Essentially, what you have here is a similar mono/colour arrangement to the Huawei Mate 10 Pro and the Huawei P10 but with a telephoto camera bolted on.
It’s not all that different, in that respect, to the Samsung Galaxy S9+ or the Apple iPhone 8 Plus. You get a regular camera and a zoom that gets you closer to your subject images with little or no loss in quality.
With such a comparatively low-resolution telephoto camera, it remains to be seen how good those zoomed-in shots will be. From the brief hands-on tests we’ve don so far, it seems to offer sharper results than the Apple iPhone X, although in video I noticed that the zoom action wasn’t particularly smooth.
Huawei P20 Pro review: Early verdict
Overall, the Huawei P20 Pro looks a bit of a mixed bag. Inside, not much has changed over the Huawei Mate 10 Pro, which has now dropped in price to a smidge over £500, and the fact there’s no microSD card expansion is a bit of a disappointment.
But this is a phone that’s every bit as good looking as the Samsung Galaxy S9+, with a camera array that’s capable of producing far higher-resolution images, matches its super slow-motion capture and has an interesting array of “AI” capabilities, too.
Time will tell whether the P20 Pro’s triple camera is all it’s cracked up to be, whether it works as well in low light or whether it makes as good a video camera as the S9+ or the iPhone 8 Plus/X. One thing is sure, though: the Huawei P20 Pro is shaping up to be the most interesting smartphone of the year so far.

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The content sourced from: http://www.alphr.com/mobile-phones/1008925/huawei-p20-pro-review

Pokemon GO Banned From Sand Dunes After Stomping Endangered Species

There’s no denying that Pokemon GO has gotten many gamers out into the world and exploring parks and other landmarks that they usually wouldn’t even notice. This is usually a good thing, as parks get more traffic and players get some exercise, but the popularity of the game has had one unfortunate and unexpected consequence in the famed Tottori Sand Dunes of Japan.

Pokemon GO will no longer be allowed at the Sand Dunes and an area of 3,500 square meters around a pond called ‘oasis’ in the dunes will be restricted and roped off to protect the endangered cylindela elisae. In a terrible turn of events, the population of the insect species plummeted since the launch of the game in 2016.
Players flocked to the area to play the game and, unintentionally, started stomping on the beetles over the course of the last two years. The area is a special protection zone of Sanin Kaigan national park.

The plan is to rope off the area starting in April and keep the zone restricted for at least a year and a half until the number of the species has recovered. Unfortunately, players won’t be completing any field research here.

Although Pokemon GO has played a factor, it’s certainly not the only reason for the worry about the species. The increased foot traffic combined with low rainfall and a rise in temperatures in the area have been a perfect storm to negatively impact the well-being of the critters.
Hopefully the changes are able to help the numbers recover and Pokemon GO players are able to enjoy the game somewhere else for the time being. We’ll monitor the situation for updates in the coming months and years.

Pokemon GO is available now in select regions on Android and iOS devices.

Source: asahi

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Nokia 2 review: Nokia’s £100 smartphone falls short

In the last two years, the market for budget smartphones has exploded. From Chinese imports to mobile phone operators selling sub-£200 devices there are now more budget options than ever and the Nokia 2 wants to grab a slice of that pie.
The question is, with competition so tough, can Nokia’s baby compete with the best; more importantly, is it as good as our favourite sub-£100 phone, the Vodafone Smart N8?
READ NEXT: Vodafone Smart N8 review: Can it live up to the Vodafone Smart Prime 7?
Nokia 2 review: What you need to know
The Nokia 2 is all about nailing the basics. This is an Android smartphone that has a large 4,100mAh battery, a bright 5in HD LTPS IPS display and a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 processor. The design is basic and functional, but you’re never going to get glitz and glamour at this sort of price.

READ NEXT: Best budget phones to buy in 2018
Nokia 2 review: Price and competition
It might sound cheap, costing a mere £100, but it’s important to put the Nokia 2 into context before you rush out and lay down your money. For only £20 more, you can buy the Nokia 3, which has a faster processor, more RAM, double the internal storage space, a better front-facing camera and dual-band Wi-Fi, though you do sacrifice some battery capacity.
In the other direction, there’s the £89 Vodafone Smart N8 and the SIM-free Alcatel Pop 4 that sits around £65, both of which offer similar features to the Nokia 2.
Nokia 2 review: Design and build quality
The Nokia 2’s plastic body isn’t attractive. In fact, it’s more in-line with the design of a sub-£50 phone. The Vodafone Smart N8 is more elegant and has a textured rear cover that makes it easier to grip with sweaty palms. At 9.3mm, the Nokia 2 is chunkier than both the N8 and the Nokia 3, which measure 8.6mm and 8.5mm respectively.

Physically, there’s nothing out of the ordinary here, though. The phone charges via microUSB port, the volume rocker and power button are on the right-hand side and there’s a 3.5mm jack at the top.
The rear camera captures 8-megapixel images and has a single LED flash and the front camera delivers 5-megapixel selfies. There’s also a single, rear-firing speaker. Unfortunately, there’s no fingerprint sensor, which is a disappointment when the cheaper Vodafone Smart N8 does have one.

Given the tiny 8GB of internal storage space on offer (less than 3GB is usable), you’ll want to expand the storage with a microSD card, fortunately, there is a slot here, which supports up to 128GB. Alas, though you can remove the rear panel, you can’t take out the battery either. Still, the capacity is pretty decent, at 4,100mAh.
READ NEXT: Alcatel Pixi 4 (5) review: How good can a £59 smartphone be?
Nokia 2 review: Display
The Nokia 2’s star feature is its LTPS IPS display, which stretches its resolution of 720 x 1,280 pixels across 5in of screen space. For the money, this is an excellent display. It covers 95.8% of the sRGB colour space has a contrast ratio of 1,205:1.
Its peak brightness of 490cd/m2, which means it’s readable in all but the brightest of conditions; overall, it’s a better display than the Vodafone Smart N8 can muster. Although the N8’s contrast ratio is higher, the Nokia’s peak brightness is higher, which makes it the more practical display.

Nokia 2 review: Performance
Housed inside the Nokia 2 is a 1.3GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 processor and 1GB of RAM. On paper these seem like reasonable specifications for a phone of its price but, in practice, the Nokia 2 is painfully slow.
From opening apps to typing messages, the phone responds with horrible sluggishness and that’s without many processes running in the background. Start opening more apps and have them run in the background and suddenly the experience becomes even worse – in fact, I’d go so far as to say it’s borderline unusable.

^ Nokia 2: Geekbench 4
Notice how the Nokia 2 compares with the cheaper Smart N8 and ultra-budget Alcatel Pop 4. The  Vodafone is a lot better in coping with basic tasks; in fact, the Nokia 2 delivers performance more in line with the far-cheaper Alcatel.
Its graphics performance is better but nothing to get particularly excited about. For simple games like Candy Crush, you won’t experience any problems, but throw anything visually intense and it’ll stutter badly.

^ Nokia 2: GFXBench
One thing the Nokia 2 can do well, though, is last a long time between charges. In fact, at 18hrs 9mins in our video rundown test, it’s among the best smartphones I’ve come across full stop, and that’s not normally something I find myself saying about a budget smartphone.
It surpasses the 9hrs 32mins achieved by the Alcatel Pop 4 and the 8hrs 44mins by the Vodafone Smart N8 by a long, long way; suffice to say, if you’re looking for a phone that’ll comfortably last you a day and occasionally more there’s phone in its price bracket that comes close.

^ Nokia 2: Battery life
READ NEXT: Alcatel Pop 4 review: Promises much but fails to deliver
Nokia 2 review: Camera
Around the back, Nokia has opted to use a single 8-megapixel camera, which is in-line with its older sibling, the Nokia 3. It’s not a great camera. With HDR disabled the sensor struggles to pick up any detail although I was quite impressed with the camera’s ability to balance exposure in tricky scenes with extremes of light and shade. You do lose a little subtlety in the shadows and the image is a little dull overall but it’s not bad.

^ HDR disabled
Enable HDR and suddenly the image brightens up, although but the flip side is that edges are softened, even more, detail is lost in the background and the colours look bizarre. It’s so inexplicably bad that I’d advise never using HDR; for a £100 smartphone, I’d expect much more, especially when its closest rival, the Vodafone Smart N8, delivers far better results. And there are other problems, too. Due to the phone’s slow processor and the limited amount of RAM, HDR pictures take a few seconds to snap.

^ HDR enabled
The rear-facing camera performance in low-light is also pretty poor with lots of image nose, and terrible detail reproduction. Colour reproduction is reasonably good and enabling the flash does fix the noise issue but not so much that images are actually pleasant to look at.

^ Indoors with HDR and flash disabled

^ Indoors with flash
At the front, there’s a 5-megapixel camera but the quality is even worse. Now I wouldn’t necessarily expect amazing results from a sub-£100 phone but this is borderline VGA quality. Looking at the image below, you’d think I was in a fish tank sat at my desk in the office. It’s absolutely shocking.

^ Selfie on the Nokia 2
READ NEXT: Vodafone Smart Ultra 7 review – return of the Moto G killer?
Nokia 2 review: Verdict
The Nokia 2 is a smartphone that flatters to deceive. It’s very cheap and has a nice display, but once you start digging below the surface it turns out it isn’t such a good deal after all. Performance is sluggish, internal storage space limited, the cameras are poor and it lacks a fingerprint sensor. Moreover, build quality is more on par with a £50 device than a £100 phone like the Vodafone Smart N8.
It’s a shame because with such great battery life the Nokia 2 had the potential for being a real budget smartphone winner. As it stands this is a phone I cannot comfortably recommend.

Hardware

Processor
Quad-core 1.3GHz Qualcomm MSM8909v2 Snapdragon 212

RAM
1GB

Screen size
5in

Screen resolution
720 x 1280

Screen type
LTPS IPS

Front camera
5-megapixel

Rear camera
8-megapixel

Flash
LED

GPS
Yes

Compass
Yes

Storage (free)
8GB

Memory card slot (supplied)
microSD

Wi-Fi
802.11 b/g/n

Bluetooth
4.1

NFC
No

Wireless data
4G

Dimensions
143.5 x 71.3 x 9.3mm

Weight
161g

Features

Operating system
Android 7.1.1

Battery size
4,100mAh

Buying information

Warranty
1 year RTB

Price SIM-free (inc VAT)
£100

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The content sourced from: http://www.expertreviews.co.uk/nokia/1406894/nokia-2-review-smartphone

How to charge your Android phone battery faster

We’ve all done it: you’re getting ready to leave the house and you realize you’ve forgotten to charge your phone. Its battery level is perilously low, but you have 15 minutes to spare, so you plug it into its charger to give the battery a boost – and it gains a measly two percent. How do you avoid this in future? Read our guide on how to charge your Android battery faster.

Battery life is a combination of many different factors, so there’s no single solution to rule them all, but if you use your smartphone intelligently and have the right equipment, all these good practices can add up to save you a ton of frustration with your battery. Check out all our top tips below.
Jump to:
Get the right plug and charger
While Android chargers have a universal fitting, that doesn’t mean they’re all the same. Connecting your charging cable to a laptop is a bad idea if you want to charge your phone quickly: a USB 2.0 port chucks out just 2.5 watts of power, while USB 3 delivers 4.5 watts. Your wall charger will deliver much more, so this is the best bet if you want the speediest charging.
Many modern Android phones support fast charging, which delivers a whopping 15 watts and can therefore charge your phone much more quickly. You’ll find a good list of fast charging phones on the Qualcomm website (you don’t need to have a Qualcomm processor; just Qualcomm’s power system).
Be aware that just because a phone supports fast charging, it doesn’t mean the charger that came with it is a fast charger, or the most effective charger possible for that phone. You may have to buy your own. For example, the LG G6 came with a stock charger that used Quick Charge 2.0, just like the G5, even though both phones support Quick Charge 3.0.
You don’t necessarily need to buy your phone maker’s own charger – a third party one can save you a fortune – but be wary of no-name gray market cheapies, which have a tendency to set things on fire.

Your phone might support fast charging, but may not come with a fast charger. / © AndroidPIT

We also don’t recommend using wireless charging if you’re in a hurry. Wireless charging can’t deliver power as well or as quickly as good old-fashioned cables, so it’s best used when you have more time on your hands. The exception to this rule is wireless quick charging. This will be more effective than USB charging, but less effective than cable charging from a wall socket. 
Put it into airplane mode
The less your phone is trying do while it’s charging, the more quickly it will recharge. Airplane mode blocks any wireless radios on your device, reducing your phone’s capabilities and therefore stopping it from doing so much.
It won’t receive calls or messages while it’s in airplane mode, but it’s worth it to have a device that will stay on for the next few hours.

Turn on airplane mode to make your phone charge faster. / © AndroidPIT

Turn it off
Turning your phone off completely will allow it to recharge even faster than putting it in airplane mode. Again, you might miss out on a few notifications while it is off, but you’ll have to live with that if you want your phone to last until you come home again.

Opinion by Nicholas Montegriffo

Having the willpower to leave our phone turned off every now and then can save a lot of battery stress
What do you think?

Use a battery-saving mode
Ever since Lollipop, Android devices have a battery saving mode of some description (usually Settings>Battery>Battery Saver), whether it’s the stock option or a manufacturer-specific feature such as Motorola’s Doze. Switch this on to conserve power while your phone recharges.

No matter what Android phone you have, you can always find some battery-saving solutions. / © AndroidPIT

Switch off unnecessary features
Check to see if you have any unnecessary features on, such as Bluetooth, GPS, Wi-Fi or NFC, which could be using up battery power. Close all your apps and stop your phone from doing automatic backups or updating apps from the Google Play Store.

Switch off some system features when you aren’t using them.  / © AndroidPIT

Don’t touch it
If you need your phone on and out of airplane mode while it’s charging, because you are expecting an important call, try not to keep using your phone every 30 seconds. Why? Because the screen is the biggest battery drainer of them all.
The more you wake your phone, the faster its battery will drain. So try to avoid the urge to check every notification that comes through, leave it to charge, and it will reach the desired level much faster.
Buy a portable USB charger
This won’t actually charge your phone faster, but it will solve the problem of having a low battery and not enough time to fully charge it. Portable USB chargers come in small, lightweight packages and often can be picked up for less than $20.
Carry one of these in your pocket and you can charge your phone on-the-go – meaning you don’t have to worry about that last minute dash to pump some juice into it. Have a look at what we’re talking about over at Amazon.

The lipstick-sized Anker PowerCore+ mini can be picked up for just 15 bucks. / © Anker

Anker PowerCore+ mini
 
Did you try any of these suggestions? What do you do to make your phone charge faster? Let us know in the comments.

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The content sourced from: https://www.androidpit.com/charge-android-phone-faster

Facebook fights creeps and apathy with expiring friend requests – TechCrunch

Snapchat has ephemeral messages, and now Facebook has ephemeral friend requests. The big blue social network feeds off your social graph, and every time you expand it, it has more content to show you. But if you leave a questionable friend request in limbo for too long, you’ll probably never confirm or delete it. So Facebook is betting that by making those friend requests into exploding offers, you’ll be more likely to accept than lose the opportunity to connect. And if you didn’t want that friend request in the first place, it will self-destruct even if you don’t bother to manually reject it.
On Friday, TechCrunch reader  provided screenshots of a new expiring friend requests feature that gives you a 14-day countdown to make a decision. Now a Facebook spokesperson has confirmed the feature to TechCrunch, writing “I can confirm that this is a test to help surface the most recent requests.” Facebook tells me it’s a way to assist people with managing unwanted friend requests by eventually deleting those people saw but didn’t accept. It’s currently only appearing to a subset of users, not to everyone.

Those in the test group will see a “14 days to respond” countdown on their friend requests. A “Learn More” link leads to this Help Center article we’ve screenshotted here, as it only shows details about expirations to those in the test.
Keeping people’s friend request queue clean is critical to the company because if you can’t find the legitimate ones from people you know amongst all the randos and spam, you might stop growing your graph. Expiring friend requests could also solve a problem for social media stars and other public figures on Facebook. The app only lets you have up to 5,000 friends, and a limited number of pending requests that seems to be 5,000 minus your friend count (Facebook wouldn’t say). After that, you won’t receive inbound friend requests any more. The expiration date makes it much less likely that you’ll ever hit the pending friend request maximum.
The “limited time offer” trick has been around in shopping forever as way to boost your sense of urgency. Humans love optionality, but hate to miss out. People buy things they don’t actually want off of infomercials because if they “ACT NOW!” they’ll get a discount before it disappears. This same approach compels people to open Snapchat so they don’t miss their friends’ Stories that delete themselves after 24 hours.
The feature comes at a time when Facebook is especially sensitive about appearing respectful of your data, following the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Friend requests from total strangers can make users feel like they’re already sharing too much public information, and that one wrong click could expose their friends-only photos and posts. Keeping these requests from piling up could make users feel safer while ensuring they can keep adding real friends.
For more on what’s up with Facebook, read our feature pieces:

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The content sourced from: https://techcrunch.com/2018/03/26/facebook-expiring-friend-requests/

Sony A7 III Review | Photography Blog

Mac users, the all-in-one photo editor Luminar 2018 is out now and available for just $69£64 for new users, with big discounts for upgrading users. We rated Luminar as “Highly Recommended“. Visit the Luminar web site to try it for free.
Use coupon code “PHOTOBLOG” to save another $10£9 on Luminar.

Download Luminar & Try Free »

Windows users, the all-in-one photo editor Luminar 2018 is out now and available for just $69£64 for new users, with big discounts for upgrading users. We rated Luminar as “Highly Recommended“. Visit the Luminar web site to try it for free.
Use coupon code “PHOTOBLOG” to save another $10£9 on Luminar.

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Introduction

The Sony A7 III is a new “entry-level” 35mm full-frame compact system camera which, as you’ll discover in our review, is far from being entry-level, despite being the cheapest model in the Sony full-frame line-up. The Sony A7 III has a 24.3 megapixel back-illuminated full-frame sensor with an optical low-pass filter, BIONZ X processor, expanded dynamic range of 15 stops at low sensitivity settings, dust/moisture-resistant magnesium alloy body, ISO range of 50-102400, hybrid auto focus system with 693-point phase detections points that cover 93% of the frame and 425 contrast-detection points, Eye AF in both AF-S and AF-C modes, 10fps burst shooting with full AF/AE tracking (up from 5fps on the A7 II), XGA OLED electronic viewfinder with 2.36m-dot resolution and 0.78x magnification, tiltable 3.0″ 922k-dot rear LCD touchscreen, NFC, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, UHD 4K movie recording with XAVC S and S-Log2/3 support, and greatly improved battery life.
The Sony A7 III is priced at around £1999 / $1999 body only or £2299 / $2299 with the Sony FE 28-70mm f3.5-5.6 OSS kit lens.

Ease of Use
In terms of its external design, the new Alpha A7 III camera doesn’t really depart too much from either the previous A7 II model or the more expensive models currently in the range, the A7R III and the A9.
The aluminium bodied Sony A7 III is slightly bigger and heavier than the 3-year-old Mark II that it replaces, but it’s still quite small and slender overall, measuring 26.9mm x 95.6mm x 73.7mm, and weighing 650g (almost 100g more than the A7 II) without a lens, battery and memory card fitted.
This increase in depth and weight is largely down to the much bigger battery and the subsequently larger handgrip to accomodate it. The larger capacity battery more than doubles the CIPA-rated battery life to 710 shots, the longest of any Sony Alpha camera, addressing one of the most common complaints about Sony’s mirrorless camera range, namely the poor battery life. Subsequently the A7 III is slightly heavier then the Mark II version, but both easier to hold and capable of lasting for a full day’s shooting on one battery, something that Sony shooters have long been wishing for.
The shutter release button sits in a logical position on top of the larger handgrip, with a command dial also conveniently located on the front. Also located on the front of the A7 III is the newly reinforced lens mount which has been further improved to better support heavy lenses, and a small porthole on the left for the self-timer/AF illuminator.

Front of the Sony A7 III

The A7 II’s awkwardly positioned one-touch movie record button, which was previously located on the corner of the rear thumb-grip, has been moved directly to the right of the viewfinder, a much better location, while the C3 button is now on the rear-left of the camera.
Look under the memory card flap and you’ll find not one, but two, SD card slots, although somewhat disappointingly only one of them supports the fastest UHS-II standard, a missed opportunity on such a fast shooting camera. Finally, Sony have als added both USB-2 and USB-C / 3 ports, the latter meaning that you can now power and tether the camera at the same time, a great boon for studio shooters, although it lacks the A7R III’s PC Sync port.
The Sony A7 III features an in-body 5-axis image stabilization system to help prevent unwanted camera shake in low-light. It automatically corrects for pitch and yaw movement, plus horizontal shift, vertical shift and rotary motion (rolling) for both still images and movies. The A7 III offers an improved 5-stops of compensation, 1/2 stop more than the A7 II, which is very impressive considering that the A7 III has such a large sensor.
Furthermore, the use of an in-body system, rather than a lens-based system, ensures that the Alpha A7 III can stabilize all kinds of lenses, not just those with the FE designation, including E-mount lenses without Optical SteadyShot (OSS), A-mount lenses and even third party lenses mounted via the popular Sigma MC-11 or Metabones adapters. Note that lenses without any electronic contacts only benefit from three axes of compensation, and you also need to manually input which focal length you’re using to ensure that the stabilization works properly.

Rear of the Sony A7 III

On the top of the A7 III is a familiar external hotshoe, dubbed the Multi Interface Shoe, for attaching one of a range of accessories, including an external flash. As with the other Alpha cameras, thanks to its electronic front curtain shutter the A7 III has a sync speed of 1/250th sec, making it well suited to flash-based portrait photography, especially when used in conjunction with the amazing Eye-AF mode.
Completing the top of the A7 III is a second prominent dial for setting the Exposure Compensation and two small button marked with C1 and C2, which as the names suggest can be customised to access one of the camera’s key controls. We wish Sony had made the EV button lockable, as its position on the corner of the camera meant that it was often inadvertently knocked into a different (unwanted) position when stored in a camera bag.
Just like the previous model, the A7 III uses a hybrid AF system which employs both phase-detection and contrast-based auto-focusing, but the number of AF points and the frame coverage have both been greatly increased. There are now 693 phase-detection points (up from 117) that cover 93% of the frame, plus 425 contrast-detection points (up from 25), and the AF system is subsequently twice as fast as the A7 II.

Top of the Sony A7 III

This is something that I definitely appreciated in the field, where the camera rarely if ever missed the moment because of an issue with the auto-focusing. It proved adept at both locking onto and tracking a moving subject, and excelled at portraits thanks to the dedicated Eye AF mode, which instantly recognises, locks onto and tracks a human eye in both the AF-S and AF-C focusing modes. In our tests this mode even worked impeccably with a lot of third-party lenses – we successful used an old Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L lens with a Sigma MC-11 adapter to take great portraits of fast-moving children, all thanks to the Eye-AF mode, which never missed a beat.
The AF experience has been improved by the addition of a thumb-operated joystick to set the AF point, something that several rival cameras now offer and a much more intuitive method than using the navigation pad, as on the Mark II. Accompanying this is another addition in the form of a new AF-On button, which makes it a snip to back-button focus using your thumb rather than half-pressing the shutter button, a method that many photographers swear by. The main casualty of these changes is the loss of the A7 II’s AF/MF switch, which you’ll now need to set via the Function menu or the dedicated button on the lens (if there is one).
The other major speed increase offered by the Sony A7 III is its continuous shooting speed. The Mark II had a reasonable 5fps burst mode, but the new Mark III takes things to another level by offering 10fps burst shooting with Full AF/AE tracking for up to 177 JPEGs, 89 compressed RAW or 40 uncompressed RAW images in one high-speed burst, available with either the mechanical shutter or a completely silent electronic shutter. It can also shoot continuously at up to 8fps in live view mode, much like the A6500 camera.

Tilting LCD Screen

The A7 III features a very good, but not class-leading, electronic viewfinder. This is an XGA OLED electronic viewfinder with 2.36m-dot resolution and 0.78x magnification, which isn’t quite as good as the viewfinder on the A7R III camera. Likewise, the LCD screen on the rear isn’t quite as well-specced as the A7R II, either. It’s the same 3-inch size and tilts in the same way as on the A7R III, but the resolution is lower at 922k-dots, rather than 1.44m. You’d probably be hard-pressed to notice either difference unless using the two cameras side-by-side, but they are two of the ways that Sony have managed to hit the A7 III’s aggressive price-point.
The LCD screen is now also touch sensitive, which can be used for some elements of operation, including operating the auto-focus whilst looking through the EVF, a feature that we’ve seen on several other high-end mirrorless cameras recently. Unfortunately Sony have again stopped short of offering a full touchscreen experience – somewhat inexplicably, you can’t use the menu system in this way, press the on-screen icons, or even scroll through images during playback, a la smartphones.
The Sony A7 III can shoot and record 4K video in multiple formats, including full-frame and the Super 35mm formats. It can output uncompressed UHD 4K, 3840 x 2160 pixel video (30p/24p/25p) at a 4:2:0 color depth to the inserted memory card or 4:2:2 over HDMI to compatible third party recorders.

The Sony A7 III In-hand

The A7 III supports the XAVC S format, which is based on the professional XAVC codec, and can record Full HD at 120fps at up to 100Mbps, which allows footage to be edited into 4x or 5x slow-motion files, with a new S&Q mode (Slow and Quick motion) on the shooting dial providing selectable frame rates ranging from 1fps to 120fps. A new HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) mode is available that supports an Instant HDR workflow, while both S-Log2 and S-Log3 are available for increased colour grading flexibility.
The A7 III uses the same recently revised menu system as the A7R III and A9, which is clearer and easier to navigate than on previous A7 cameras, although still frustratingly difficult to navigate though, with no less than 35 different screens of options.
As denoted by symbols on the side of the camera, the Sony A7 III is both wi-fi and NFC capable, and it also now offers location data acquisition via a Bluetooth connection to a compatible mobile device, allowing you to geo-tag your images.
It’s not all good news on the connectivity front, though, as the A7 III no longer offers the PlayMemories app support that its predecessor, which amongst other things means that this new camera doesn’t currently offer any time-lapse functionality, whereas the A7 II did. We hope that Sony will reinstate this and some of the other PlayMemories app functions via a future firmware upgrade.

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Grayson Allen was a hero, a villain, and everything we want from a Duke star

Grayson Allen never stopped being the biggest story in college basketball.
Grayson Allen had a Final Four trip on his finger tips. Duke and Kansas were tied in the closing seconds of the Midwest Regional title game, and Allen had the ball isolated at the top of the key.
Four long, strange years were coming down to this.
Allen drove the ball at Malik Newman. He spun to his left. He took an off-balance runner that hit the rim, hit the backboard, and hit the rim again. It felt like it hit every part of the rim. And then it missed.
Kansas buried Duke in overtime with one bucket at a time from Newman. And just like that, it was over.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Grayson Allen was one of four Duke commits at the McDonald’s Game in 2014. He wasn’t as touted as Jahlil Okafor, Tyus Jones or Justise Winslow, but it was easy to see how talented he was in his own right.
Allen spent the first two days of practice that year ripping jumpers. Even while sharing a court with D’Angelo Russell and Devin Booker, Allen stood out as one of the best shooters in the gym. He had hops, too. Allen won the McDonald’s dunk contest by putting on a Jay Williams jersey and jumping over Jahlil Okafor.
Opposing fans were going to hate this guy. You could just tell. Allen had the look of a Duke villain down pat, presenting himself as a choir boy but playing with a mean streak. Even as a high schooler, Allen knew what was coming.
“I think it’s going to be a lot of fun,” Allen told me at McDonald’s festivities when asked about the taunting likely coming his way. “As far as me, I kind of take that as fuel. I had a little of that in high school, but I know it wasn’t as extreme as it’s going to be next year. It’s always been fuel. I’ve never let it get to my head too much.”

Allen barely played for the majority of his freshman year. He was regularly getting DNPs late into conference season as Mike Krzyzewski kept his rotation short and trusted veteran guards Quinn Cook and Matt Jones around his three freshman studs.
That started to change in the Final Four. Allen was Duke’s spark plug, scoring nine points and throwing down one memorable dunk to help Duke drop Michigan State. It set the stage for his true coming out party in the national title game.
Allen was electric against Wisconsin. He blew past Sam Dekker for clutch layups. He hit a big three in the second half. He finished with 16 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the field, forever establishing himself as a national championship folk hero.
At least that could have been Grayson Allen’s legacy. Instead, it was just the start.

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

All Allen did as a sophomore was turn into one of the best players in America. He raised his scoring average from 4.4 points per game as a freshman to 21.6 points per game. Duke was supposed to be Brandon Ingram’s team that year, but it was Allen who turned into the Blue Devils’ biggest star.
Allen wasn’t just good as a sophomore, he was great. He posted a sparkling 61.6 true shooting percentage. He finished top-50 in the country in offensive rating. He also almost never came off the floor, playing more than 90 percent of Duke’s available minutes.
Allen’s rapid improvement should have made him one of college basketball’s best stories. That was overshadowed by when was caught tripping a Louisville player in February, and then a Florida State player three weeks later.
The country spent days watching grainy footage of Allen’s trips and debating his intent. The next great Duke villain was officially born.

Allen had a way out. He could have entered the NBA. After his fantastic sophomore year, Allen was widely projected as a late first round pick. He chose to come back to school instead. He spent the summer trying to rehab his image in the wake of the tripping incidents.
“Duke’s Grayson Allen ready to get his reputation back,” wrote ESPN. The rest of the country took a wait and see approach.
Duke’s 2016-17 roster drew superteam praise from the very start. The Blue Devils had the best recruiting class in the country, headlined by top-three prospects Jayson Tatum and Harry Giles. Allen’s return put them over the top. In our preseason ranking of the 100 best players in college basketball, Grayson Allen was No. 1.
Nothing worked out as planned, not for Allen and not for Duke in general. Giles had another knee surgery before the start of the season and never turned into an impact player. Luke Kennard turned into Duke’s breakout player and took much of the shine away from Allen.
Meanwhile, Allen had his third highly publicized tripping incident. On Dec. 21 against Elon, Allen was caught again. He proceeded to have a full blown meltdown on the Duke bench:

Duke stripped Allen of his captaincy and gave him an “indefinite suspension.”
That suspension lasted one game. Allen was back in the Duke lineup, but the rest of his season was defined by the public wondering if his every move on the court was a dirty play.
Duke’s purported superteam would get bounced in the second round by South Carolina. Again, Allen could have taken his chances in the draft, even as his stock fell. Again, he decided to come back for one more season.

Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Grayson Allen’s senior season was so strange because of how relatively normal it was. While the rest of college basketball burned around him, Grayson Allen was just another guy.
Aside from a dominant performance against Michigan State in the Champions Classic, Allen felt lost in the shuffle for most of the season. Duke started four freshmen around him who drew considerably more attention.
Everyone wanted to talk about Marvin Bagley III’s incredible scoring ability and Wendell Carter’s rise up draft boards. No one was talking about Allen.
It felt like Allen had one more moment left in him. He couldn’t possibly go quietly one way or another, could he?
Allen had his chance in the final seconds against Kansas. He just missed.

What’s Grayson Allen’s ultimate legacy? Duke fans will remember him as the surprise national championship game hero. They’ll remember him as the player who could have jumped to the NBA but decided to stay all four years instead.
Everyone else will remember him for the tripping incidents. He is Duke’s modern day Christian Laettner, a player that brought the country together by rooting against him.
Allen’s Duke career was full of contrast. He is the most recognizable college star of his era, partly for his allegedly dirty play, partly because he kept coming back year after year.
Grayson Allen was a star. Grayson Allen was a villain. One thing is for sure: he was never boring.
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Harry Herbert denies Al Shaqab departure is linked to payment failures | Sport

Harry Herbert said on Monday that his decision to part from Al Shaqab was a natural consequence of the expansion of his own business and was unconnected to the news in January that some trainers were having trouble getting their bills paid by the Qatari operation. Herbert was appointed racing adviser to Sheikh Joaan at the end of 2013, a position he will quit at the end of next month.
“My attention needs to be focused on the future growth plans that I have for my own business,” Herbert said, in reference to Highclere Thoroughbred Racing, which he set up in the early 90s. Highclere is expanding into Australia and is now buying yearlings there in addition to importing established racehorses from Europe.

“Four years of doing both was hard work,” added Herbert, who noted also that Al Shaqab’s focus continues to move away from England and towards France, where its European racing office is based. While it still has 50 horses in training in Britain, only a dozen of those are two-year-olds, an indication that the total number is likely to taper away over time.
Herbert spoke of the pride he took in the achievements of Al Shaqab horses here, which included a treble at Royal Ascot in 2014 and a 2,000 Guineas triumph for Galileo Gold in 2016. However, he must have privately despaired over the middle-management failures, over which he had no control, that led to Al Shaqab owing a sum thought to be more than £1m to various trainers and service providers, some of whom were kept waiting half a year to be paid.
It is believed that funds have since started to flow more reliably and one of Al Shaqab’s trainers said yesterday that he had “no complaints” on that score. However, the Racing Post reported that Herbert had at one stage paid some of Al Shaqab’s bills from his own funds in order to help some of those who had been kept waiting.
Meanwhile, it was announced that the last day of this jumps season will also be the last day in the racing career of Cue Card, who will have his final outing in Sandown’s Oaksey Chase. “We just thought it would suit him because it tends to be a small field for that race,” said his owner, Jean Bishop. All four previous runnings of the Oaksey Chase have been won by the now-retired Menorah, who raced against Cue Card several times, including when they were first and second in the Bula Hurdle of 2010.

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The Rangers’ new pickle dog will either make you drool or recoil in fear

Would you eat it?
The Rangers have a new ballpark item that will either make you drool or recoil in fear. There is no middle ground.

The Rangers Dilly Dog looks interesting.
— Anthony Andro (@aandro)

Do I like corndogs? Yes. Do I like pickles? Yes. This all checks out.
More than anything I’m impressed by the culinary science of this. It takes a deft hand to make a corn dog and ensure the hot dog stays hot despite being wrapped in a pickle insulator. Really this is a ballpark beef wellington, and I’ve seen enough people mess those up on Hell’s Kitchen to be impressed.
I also like that it looks like a giant olive when you have a cross section. All hail martini dog.

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