Author: Greg Kumparak

YouTube TV subscribers get a free week after World Cup meltdown

TECHCRUNCH When one of the main selling points for your service is the ability to stream live sports, the last thing you want is a full-on service meltdown during a huge game. Alas, that’s exactly what happened on Wednesday to YouTube TV. Just as the World Cup semi-finals game between Croatia and England started heating up, <a href=”http://the service went dark. As something of a mea culpa, YouTube has sent out an email to subscribers promising a free week of YouTube TV service. With most users paying ~$40 a month for the service, that works out to about $10...

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Facebook bug temporarily unblocked people from 800,000+ block lists

TECHCRUNCH If you block someone on Facebook, you probably want them to… you know, stay blocked. At least unless you say otherwise. Facebook has just disclosed that around 800,000 users were impacted by a bug that silently unblocked “some” people they had blocked. The bug was live from May 29th until June 5, the company says. Worth noting: the bug didn’t go so far as to make the would-be blocked individual your friend (even if they were your friend prior to the block), so anything an affected individual might’ve posted to a friends-only audience should have remained private. It...

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Niantic’s latest acquisition lets AR Pokémon hide behind the real world

TECHCRUNCH It seems like a simple concept: when rendering something in augmented reality (like, say, a Pikachu in Pokémon Go) and something in actual reality (like, say, a human, or a car, or a planter) passes in front of it, make the rendered object appear to be “behind” the real one. In practice, it’s pretty damn hard. A device would need the ability to tell which pixels are close, or far, or somewhere in between. While adding more cameras (or lasers!) to the mix can help, achieving that sense of depth from the single rear RGB camera found on...

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Apple will repair busted keyboards on recent MacBooks and MacBook Pros for free

TECHCRUNCH Back in 2016, Apple redesigned the MacBook Pro’s keyboard. It… hasn’t gone as well as they probably hoped. Complaints quickly started popping up of failing keys. Some keys had a tendency to get stuck in place; others move freely, but simply don’t respond. Two years and a lawsuit later, Apple is officially acknowledging the issue with a free keyboard repair program. And if you already paid Apple to fix your keyboard in the past? Give them a call. According to this support page, they’re planning on refunding previous repair charges. Apple says the following models are eligible: MacBook...

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Pokémon GO is finally going to let players trade Pokémon

TECHCRUNCH Just shy of two years after launch, Pokémon GO is finally about to roll out one of its most notably absent features: Pokémon trading. A staple of the series, trading lets players swap their Pokémon with another player’s in the never-ending quest to, well, catch’em all. The trading mechanics will be tied into a new Friend system; the Friend system will roll out later this week, with the trading mechanics going live “soon after” (though Niantic doesn’t want to get more specific than that, presumably in case something breaks.) Here’s how it all works: To trade with someone, you must be their in-game friend *and* within 100 meters (~320 ft.) of them To become friends, you exchange your unique Trainer Codes Once friends, you’ll get in-game perks for playing together. Your Pokémon will get attack bonuses when battling gyms together, for example – and when you raid together, you’ll get extra Pokéballs. The more you play together (raiding, battling gyms, etc), the higher your relationship level will be. Certain Pokémon (Legendaries, Shinies, and any Pokémon you don’t already have) are considered “special trades”. You can only make special trades with the players whom you’ve reached the higher tiers of friendship with. In other words, they mostly want you trading with the people you play with somewhat regularly – not rando spoofers selling Pokémon on eBay. You can only...

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Ring’s $199 security system will finally ship next month

TECHCRUNCH Way back in October of last year, Ring announced “Ring Protect” — a modular, no contract, DIY home security system. After a few delays, a bit of legal drama, and Ring being acquired for a billion dollars by Amazon, the alarm is finally about to ship — albeit with a slightly different (better!) name. Ring Protect has been redubbed as the more intuitive Ring Alarm — a better name if only because competitor Nest has both a security product and a totally different product (a smoke detector) called Nest Protect. Ring’s base level alarm kit starts at $199,...

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Here are the best gags of April Fools’ Day 2018

TECHCRUNCH It’s April Fools’ Day! The official holiday of uncertainty, doubt, and jokes that make you… laugh? Chuckle? Push a bit of air out of your nose and say “heh”? As we do each year, we’ve gathered up all the tech gags worth seein’. The usual champs — Google, ThinkGeek — continue to own the day, but there’s a few surprise entries from new contenders this time around. Tap that “start gallery” button over there to dive...

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TechCrunch’s Favorite Things of 2017

TECHCRUNCH Good news, everyone! We survived 2017! Each December, the TechCrunch staff members (our writers, editors, video, and social teams) get together and make a big ol’ list of our favorite things from that year. The apps, or gadgets, or movies, or music (or really anything) we loved. We tend to be a pretty picky bunch, and these are the things that made, and continue to make, the cut. These are the things that made our year better, and made it through to the end of 2017 right alongside us. Tap that right arrow to proceed — or if...

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