Instagram lets you revert to classic icons for its birthday — here’s how

Noble Horvath

Welcome to TNW Basics, a collection of tips, guides, and advice on how to easily get the most out of your gadgets, apps, and other stuff.

It’s Instagram‘s 10th birthday — yes, it’s now been in our lives for 10 years, and no I don’t feel old at all. As a treat for users this month, Instagram‘s giving users the option to change their app icon to one of the old classics. Here’s how you can do it.

The icons are somewhat hidden in the app itself, so you’ll have to do a little snooping to find it. To start, you’ll have to go to the settings within the Instagram app. Once you’re there, pull down as hard as you can. You’ll see a string of progressively more curious emoji.

Pull down as far as the present emoji, and you’ll get some confetti

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Dual-reality horror game ‘The Medium’ arrives on December 10th

Noble Horvath

We finally have a release date for The Medium, the next spooky game by Layers of Fear and Blair Witch developer Bloober Team. A new trailer, which shows some unsettling environments inspired by Polish artist Zdzisław Beksińsk, ends with confirmation that the game will be out on December 10th. The title revolves around Marianne, a medium who can slide between our world and a spiritual plane which is structurally similar but chock-full of creepy objects. You’ll need to switch between the environments and, thanks to some clever button mapping, occasionally explore both simultaneously to solve particularly tricky puzzles.

As Eurogamer reports, The Medium was originally announced back in 2012. The “dual-reality” concept wasn’t possible on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii U, however, so the developer shelved the idea temporarily. Now, thanks to modern gaming hardware, Bloober Team is able to render “two fully-fledged and visually distinct worlds

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Bill Nye is pissed | Engadget

Noble Horvath

“When it’s science fair time in your elementary school,” he said, “What does everybody do? They make a volcano, right?” That time-honored tradition is one of the projects you’ll be able to create in the kit, along with some other fun and familiar experiments that Nye will guide your child through with some AR popups if you point your phone at the book. Stick your phone into the VR goggles, and your child can visit a volcano or go to a classroom and science lab in VR with the Science Guy himself. “It’s what you’d expect from a modern virtual reality experience,” he said.

The Bill Nye VR science kit is available on Amazon (and soon on Target) for $60, and it includes equipment like test tubes, a beaker, volcano mold, food coloring as well as a basic VR headset and a book with augmented reality bonus content. 

Nye teamed

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Google Chromecast Review: A Streaming Device That Gets Better the More It Knows

Noble Horvath

All told, I was disappointed. Given how much Google knows about me, I was hoping it would do a better job at predicting what I would like to see. In the top row, labeled “Top picks for you,” Google recommended that I watch “The Wendy Williams Show,” a celebrity talk show, as well as “SportsCenter.” (For the record, both my wife and I don’t watch talk shows, and we’re not sports fans.)

It also recommended I check out “Wonder Park” and “Bigfoot Junior,” both children’s animated movies. (We don’t have children.)

A few of Google’s recommendations were spot on. “Snowpiercer,” a movie from my favorite Korean director, was a top pick. One row of recommendations was devoted to home improvement shows, which makes sense because I’ve been watching dozens of do-it-yourself repair videos to work on my house amid pandemic-induced boredom. Another row presented cooking videos from YouTubers I frequently

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Gadgets for brewing the perfect cup of coffee

Noble Horvath

Supercharge your mornings

A high-end coffee machine – all chrome, brushed steel and Italian branding – is a proven way to “prompt coos of admiration” from anyone who enters your kitchen, says Brad Nash in GQ Australia. “Imagine the reactions you’ll draw if you install one of these bad boys.” The look of the RS Black Edition from South African firm Super Veloce is based on the flat-six engine that powered Porsche’s 911 GT1 car to victory at Le Mans. It has a hand-crafted carbon-fibre exterior and perfectly combines “elegance and muscle”. Is it the “coolest coffee machine ever? Yep, we reckon so”, says Top Gear. It had better be – it’ll set you back £9,000. See superveloce.co. 

A barista for your home

For a coffee “as close to a barista-brewed cup of the nice stuff as you’ll get”, look no further than De’Longhi’s Dinamica Plus, says Esquire magazine.

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‘Call of Duty: Modern Warfare’ multiplayer is free this weekend

Noble Horvath

Smitten by Call of Duty: Warzone, but not sure if the rebooted Modern Warfare is worth the price of admission? Good news: for three days, the multiplayer portion of Infinity Ward’s latest shooter is going free-to-play. Download Warzone (if you haven’t already) and Modern Warfare‘s multiplayer offerings will unlock at roughly 1PM ET/10AM PT/7PM CET on April 3rd. To celebrate this so-called “multiplayer moshpit,” Infinity Ward has developed a special playlist called Stocked Up, Locked Down that cycles through two maps, Atlas Superstore and Shoot House, and a range of modes including Team Deathmatch, Domination and Hardpoint.

The free multiplayer access will expire on April 6th at 1PM ET/10AM PT/7PM CET. It’s a nice gesture, and one that Activision no doubt hopes will persuade more people to buy Modern Warfare. Unlike Blackout, which required Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, Warzone is completely free-to-play. That

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Bagotte BG800 robot vacuum review

Noble Horvath

Having a robot vacuum in your home is pretty damn cool. There’s something about the peace of mind that comes with owning one, knowing it can put in the time when we don’t necessarily want to. Even better, it’s great that they can get a head start on cleaning the house in the event of guest.

We’re a few generations into robot vacuum cleaners and the kinks have been largely ironed out. Indeed, they’re one of those things that often work better than expected.

We’ve seen and used our share of smart/robot vacuum cleaners over the last few years. Offered at different price points, there are various features one might look for or need when considering one.

As is the case with other gadgets you can usually apply the old adage of “you get what you pay for” with robot vacuums. But, much like we’ve seen in headphones, speakers, and

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Microsoft Surface Duo review: double troubles

Noble Horvath

Microsoft’s Surface Duo aspires to be something different from any other gadget you’ve used. It could be mistaken for a phone or a small tablet, but it’s both less and more than those things.

When it’s closed, there are no screens or cameras. In shape and appearance, it’s like a small book, a digital version of the Field Notes notebook I carry around in my back pocket. When open, you get two screens side by side or one screen with the other folded back. And like a notebook, it feels somehow more natural to hold than a phone’s vertical slab shape. You hold it in your hand with the two sides angled toward you like a book.

In truth, there’s nothing the Surface Duo can do that you can’t do on your current smartphone or tablet. Your smartphone surely takes better photos, and your tablet doesn’t have a big gap

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This Watch Isn’t as Futuristic as it Looks

Noble Horvath

Curvy, yes. Advanced? Eh, not so much.

Curvy, yes. Advanced? Eh, not so much.
Photo: Victoria Song/Gizmodo

A curved AMOLED smartwatch sounds like the stuff of science fiction, and the Nubia Watch has certainly been described as futuristic—including by yours truly, who has used the word to explain the watch to coworkers and friends. But after wearing one for over a week, it’s more 2016 than 2020, much less like anything from the future.

You wouldn’t be able to tell how old-school it is just by looking at it. After all, as advanced as the Apple Watch and Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 3 are, they still look like what you’d expect from a smartwatch. Meanwhile, the Nubia Watch is a curved 4.01-inch flexible display that wraps around your wrist. It’s sort of like someone took the concept of a smartwatch being a smartphone for your wrist extremely literally, and then made it a reality.

Like many

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‘Startups should develop teaching aids for blended learning’

Noble Horvath

Startups should develop aesthetically appealing teaching aids for teachers to enable blended learning in the post-Covid scenario. There should be more apps to make the job of teachers and administrators’ easier while reducing the dependence of students on gadgets and devices, according to educational experts at the 63rd Rajagiri Round Table conference held via Zoom Meet on the topic “ How Edu-startups can help schools with blended learning”.

Suma Paul, Principal of Assisi Vidyaniketan and CBSE ICT award-winning teacher, said that edu-startups can develop a variety of solutions to enable teachers to correct pronunciations and grammatical errors in vodcasts . What is required is customised solutions not to readymade software. Startups can focus on providing support to teach coding, develop virtual labs and augmented reality solutions. “Each teacher has a different pedagogy, and they need to impart individual learning experience for students,” she added.

Loyola Antony, Principal of St Christopher

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