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TECH

Virtual reality with Oculus Quest—a self-experiment

Sven Krumrey

For as long as I can remember, virtual reality (VR) has been a dream of many creative minds, and movies like "Avatar" have given this idea mainstream appeal. I, on the other hand, find myself standing very visibly in one of Ashampoo's kitchenette, wearing glasses and frantically waving controllers around. Wandering virtual worlds invisible to outsiders always exposes yourself to a little bit of ridicule. Still, the physical effort pays, as the Oculus Quest, that I'm putting through its paces for you today, is a fairly intriguing piece of entertainment technology. No longer do you need a beefy PC and spread sensors around your room to experience VR. Grab a pair of glasses, a controller and off you go!

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BUSINESS

PSD2: What European bank customers need to know

Sven Krumrey

Have you heard of PSD2? No? No biggie, many companies seem to be feeling the same way! That's surprising since PSD2 stands for the European Commission's latest payment services directive and will govern all credit and debit card related payment transactions above €30. Third-party payment providers like PayPal are also affected. PSD2 will come into full effect on September 14, 2019 and will usher in a new era of credit card payments. After that, the information usually given on the back of the card (owner, credit card number and security code) will no longer suffice to authorize transactions, making successful credit card theft considerably harder. But, although only a few days away, both credit card companies and banks are currently struggling hard to implement the directive.

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TECH

One for all—a new type of OS

Sven Krumrey

The trade war between the US and China is raging on, and it's prompting both parties to look for ways to reduce their mutual economic dependency. In the IT sector, one of the biggest bargaining chips is the declaration of a national emergency concerning telecommunication, as already done by president Trump. This decree can, and already has been, used to ban Chinese companies from cooperation with US companies. And it has become painfully obvious that companies like Huawei, so far, don't have viable alternatives once they're cut off from cooperation with Alphabet/Google. Naturally, the most prestigious Chinese company didn't take this lying down, which is why Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei, recently presented an operating system poised to run on virtually every device, including cellphones, tablets, TVs and cars. Enter Harmony OS.

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BUSINESS

The end of video rental stores

Sven Krumrey

What was your summer like? Mine was as changeable as the weather! First, I gained some wonderful memories during my vacation in Ireland (What an island!). Then, I lost a gall bladder in the hospital. That was less wonderful. And when you waste away on a sofa, slightly battered and at loose ends, you start to read even more. Thus, a headline caught my eye that I would have likely missed under normal circumstances: My old video rental store, to which I was once a loyal and regular customer, was about to close forever—the last of its kind in my area. Time for a swansong to a dear old friend!

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LIFE

How China's authorities spy on tourists' cell phones

Sven Krumrey

Honey bees enjoy a good reputation. They pollinate flowers, make honey, have an intriguing caste system and leave humans mostly alone. The Chinese government, no ill-will intended, enjoys a less stellar reputation, partly because of its tendency to find out as much about its citizens as possible. The mass collection of personal data in China has already made several headlines in the past. Unbeknownst to many, tourists are also spied upon, as has recently been discovered when "honey bee", a government-sanctioned spyware, was exposed and experts zeroed in on the details.

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