Internet from anywhere
We’ve been waiting for Elon Musk’s Starlink to roll out for years. According to a report from PCMag, that just might be happening. This isn’t an official rollout of the service, mind you. No, that’s apparently still in the pipeline. SpaceX has begun sending out emails to interested parties, offering a “global roaming service” that works “almost anywhere on land in the world,” for those that can’t access the service regularly.
Two people reportedly received the email despite being outside Starlink’s list of available countries. The two people in question told PCMag that they signed up for the service back in 2021 and have been without an update concerning availability since then.
It’s possible that Starlink is going down this route because it hasn’t been able to obtain the necessary approval from certain countries’ governments. “If required, Global Roaming services are contingent on regulatory approvals.” It also adds: “If you are based outside of the US, you will also be responsible for acting as the Importer of Record for the Starlink Kit, which may include the payment of customs duties and import taxes.”
Unfortunately, should the global roaming service be deemed real, it’ll cost $90 more than the current service in America. There’s also no escaping the $600 fee that’s needed to buy the necessary Starlink dish. But yay, faster downloads.
Meta copies Twitter
As the old adage goes; ‘great minds think alike’. That surely goes both ways, right? Well, where Meta and Twitter are concerned, it is. Meta has announced a new subscription service, known as Meta Verified which, you guessed it, throws an unnecessary verification tick next to your name on Facebook and Instagram. Why? Money. Duh.
The service is being launched later this week, costing $12/m (around R220) on the web and $15/m (R270) through the Android and iOS apps. It’s said to offer extra protection for your accounts, though it’s not clear exactly how that’ll work upon launch. Australia and New Zealand will be the first to get the service, with a rollout to more countries expected to follow.
Unlike Twitter, verification will require a valid ID, rather than just giving anyone the “power” of a blue tick. Alongside the verification badge and extra impersonator security, members will get access to better customer service, better post visibility and exclusive stickers to be used with Stories and Reels.
Whether Meta’s verification will ever come to South Africa is still a mystery. We’re sure Meta won’t pass up the opportunity to scam an entire country, so it’s a safe bet that it’ll make its way here eventually.
Projecting on yourself
In a move that feels right out of Star Wars, Samsung has filed a patent for a new Samsung Galaxy Watch. This isn’t the Galaxy Watch we usually see once a year, however. This one features a built-in projector because why the hell not? It’s similar to one of Samsung’s I8530 Galaxy Beam smartphones, though this is designed to project onto the back of your hand rather than a desk.
Based on the patent, it’ll feature a projector built up of several LED emitters and lenses in the shape of an arc to permit the image to display on the user’s hand better. It can mirror the main screen or “display information that is different from the information displayed on the display module.” There’s also a possibility for the watch to have multimedia capabilities, like displaying images or even videos.
It’s possible that Samsung filed this patent just because, and has no real plans of ever releasing it. Or, we could see the South Korean conglomerate pursue the tech aggressively, with a model ready as early as next year. There’s a chance that Samsung doesn’t believe the tech is ready just yet and is saving it for future endeavours.
A new Civilization is in the works
Six years after the last installment, Firaxis has finally confirmed a new mainline Civilization game is in the works, presumably titled Civilization VII. The game’s announcement came from a press release sent out by the devs, showing off the company’s staffing changes that have recently taken place. Firaxis confirmed that Ed Beach, one of the series’ longstanding developers, is taking up the mantle of creative director of the project.
With it came the news of Steve Martin’s departure (no, not that one), after nearly seventeen years as Firaxis president. The new CEO is Heather Hazen, the company’s former COO. It was with the new CEO announcement that we got official confirmation of the new game.
“I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to carry on the studio’s storied legacy, beginning with the announcement that Firaxis is in development on the next iteration of the legendary Civilization franchise,” Hazen said. “I’m lucky to be working with some of the best developers in our industry, and we have plans to take the Civilization franchise to exciting new heights for our millions of players around the world.”
Otherwise, there’s not much to know just yet. It’s coming, and that’s good enough. It’ll most certainly make use of a new engine, meaning we’ll finally get to see what a Civilization game in the ‘20s looks like.