Saturday coffee №108

It was a good week for news, especially positive ones. So Alfa-Bank, it seems, has completely changed its SMM department and for the second time they are firing at competitors, and very accurately and with humor. So, recently they went through Sberbank for the hidden settings for enabling the system of fast payments, and last week they went to Tinkoff Bank for changes in tariffs on the Yandex.Plus co-branding card. Interestingly, it was not by chance that the guys from Rocketbank came there, otherwise the latter are almost inaudible.

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On July 1, an all-Russian vote on amendments to the constitution will take place, and for the first time it will also be held online. Yesterday I took part in a test electronic voting, in general everything is simple and understandable, however, the main thing is to be honest. But now the agitation of voting for the amendments, which is pouring from all the cracks, is a little fed up and you are already thinking about not voting on principle against. And also voting on a rather serious issue for all of us is turned into some kind of entertainment event with prize draws, disgusting.

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Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 4 NFC is already on sale

Xiaomi has announced the start of sales of Mi Smart Band 4 NFC – a special version of a fitness bracelet that supports contactless payment. The product was developed in cooperation with Mastercard and is available for cardholders
of this payment system. Russia became the first market in the world to launch this version of the device with full support for contactless payments.

Holders of Mastercard cards issued by Raiffeisenbank, VTB, Tinkoff Bank, Otkritie Bank, Rosselkhozbank, PSB, Russian Standard Bank, MKB, Credit Europe Bank (Russia) JSC will be the first to be able to use payments. It is reported that the number of issuers whose customers will be able to pay with a smart bracelet Mi Smart Band 4 NFC will grow.

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To set up contactless payment, you need to install the proprietary Mi Fit application on your smartphone and add a supported bank card in the appropriate tab (you can link up to 6 cards). To implement
payment on the Mi Smart Band 4 NFC bracelet, you need to go to the “Cards” menu, select the added bank card and bring the device to the payment terminal.

The cost of Mi Smart Band 4 NFC in Russia is 3 rubles. And if you want to get such a fitness bracelet with the possibility of contactless payments as a gift, then take part in the competition that we are holding together with Xiaomi. Details at the end of the material.

According to the usual version of the Mi Smart Band 4 bracelet, we have already published material:

Voice messages appeared on Twitter

The social network Twitter reports that over the years, photos, videos, gifs and emojis have allowed its users to add their own style and personality to their discussion topics. But sometimes 280 characters are not enough, and some of the nuances of tweets are lost in translation. Therefore, the company decided to launch a new feature in test mode that will add the user’s own voice to tweets.

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For the time being, voice tweeting will be available to a limited group of people in the Twitter app for the iOS platform. Then this feature will appear in the coming weeks for all users of the iOS platform. At the same time, every user of the social network can listen to and respond to such messages.

While users are asking the social network to finally edit posts, Twitter is introducing an option that, in my opinion, is completely useless. Voice messages are already infuriating in instant messengers, and even now they will be on the social network. The developers had to at least add automatic decryption of such tweets to be at least somehow convenient. Plus, this feature will most likely be available only in a branded application and will not work in third-party clients.

Telegram unblocked

The Telegram messenger, blocked since April 2018 by a court decision, will be unblocked. In agreement with the General Prosecutor’s Office of the Russian Federation, Roskomnadzor removes requirements to restrict access to the Telegram messenger, the regulator said in a statement. In June of this year, a proposal was made to the State Duma to unblock Telegram, it says that the declarative blocking of the messenger damages the government and prevents the public from informing, since a number of government agencies used the messenger to inform about the situation with the spread of coronavirus at the federal and regional levels.

Positive news, although the messenger has worked so well in Russia lately, and difficulties in use arose only at the moment of clicking on the links leading to the messenger. The network, however, has a split opinion about the reasons for this decision on Telegram, someone suggests that Roskomnadzor simply surrendered in this fight against windmills, and someone suggests that Durov nevertheless handed over the access keys to law enforcement agencies. Be that as it may, but Telegram is now completely legal and many providers have already begun to unblock access to it.

Since Pavel Durov positions Telegram as the safest messenger, in the subject he will recommend you our material on digital security:

Boston Dynamics robot goes on sale

Robotics company Boston Dynamics announced the start of sales in the United States of its four-legged Spot robot. The device will ship to commercial customers in the US for $ 74500, while other countries are currently only available for rent. Despite the high price of the robot, it is able to solve a number of unique tasks due to its mobility and ability to move wherever a person can pass, with the exception of rope and ladders. Now the main direction of using the robot is observation and data collection, especially in places that are difficult to access or hazardous to human health. The latest modification of the robot is offered to buyers with the updated Spot 2.0 software, one of its features is the ability to remotely control, allowing buyers to test the robot remotely without visiting the company’s office. Boston Dynamics said it plans to unveil a head-mounted arm later this year that will enable capabilities such as picking up items, opening doors, pressing switches and opening valves.

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The future has already arrived. Yes, the robot from Boston Dynamics is not yet suitable for the needs of ordinary consumers, but if it has already become available for commercial use, then robots will appear en masse in the possession of private clients and will solve everyday tasks.

Robots that are available to everyone today and probably already have many at home are robotic vacuum cleaners. Back in 2010, these were quite expensive, and in many respects useless devices, but technologies do not stand still, and today a quite decent housekeeper can be purchased within 20-000 rubles. By the way, we had a review of the new robot vacuum cleaner this week, read:

OPPO A72 arrived in Russia

The Chinese company OPPO has officially presented on the Russian market its new smartphone model – OPPO A72, equipped with a 6.5-inch IPS display with FHD + resolution, a 5000 mAh battery and a camera with four lenses and a 48 megapixel main one. The smartphone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 processor, is equipped with 4 GB of RAM and 128 GB of permanent memory, and the operating system is Android 10 with a proprietary shell ColorOS 7.1. The gadget also has NFC support, it has a 3.5mm audio jack, and an 18W charger is already included in the package. The design of the device is without any revelations, just in the spirit of the times, however, the color solutions are pretty nice. The cost of new items will be 22 rubles.

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And this week we released material on two new products from another Chinese manufacturer, read it if you miss:

GeForce NOW has added a library of games

NVIDIA announced that profiles for 21 new games have been added to Game Ready drivers for the GeForce NOW game streaming service as part of weekly updates. Including 14 projects from Square Enix, including BATTALION 1944, Boundless, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, the Tomb Raider series including Shadow of the Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition with RTX effects (and more), as well as the latest game releases of Hardspace: Shipbreaker and more. In addition, GeForce NOW users can already start playing in the third season of the second chapter of Fortnite.

In Russia and the CIS, the GeForce NOW service is provided on the GFN.RU platform and until the end of the summer, access to it is free. The service allows you to play the most popular and technologically demanding games from virtually any device – including low-end PCs, Macs, TVs (via NVIDIA SHIELD TV) and Android phones.

And this week we published four reviews of laptops at once, and on each of them you can use the GFN.RU service and play the most demanding games:

New Lexus IS presented

This week, the Japanese automaker Lexus officially unveiled the fourth generation of its IS sedan, but so far only the IS 350 F Sport modification has been fully declassified. Despite the fact that this is officially a new generation of the model, the platform and engine lineup remain the same. The interior of the novelty has not really changed, and the worst thing is that the Japanese left the touchpad to control the media system, the most inconvenient controller that can only be imagined in a car. But for some reason now the head unit has received support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, previously it was added to other models of the company in the current generations.

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You can find out what the new Lexus cars are and how the media system installed in Japanese cars works from our Lexus ES test:

The Week With 51 Worldwide Games

Today I will share with you my impressions of 51 Worldwide Games, which was released on Nintendo Switch. This is a collection of various games from around the world, in which there are chess, checkers, backgammon, dominoes, billiards, card games (including blackjack and solitaire) and many more different games, some of which I have never even heard of. Interestingly, the developers for each game added a visual video about the process itself with comments, as well as text instructions with pictures, so you can quickly figure it out even with games unfamiliar to you. In addition to the classic board games, this collection also includes others, so to speak, more active ones, such as tanks, table football and boxing, bowling, darts, golf and fishing.

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It’s nice that some games can be played together on one device, in the same chess it is not necessary to fight with a computer, but you can also fight with a real opponent offline. Moreover, for playing together, an option is provided using a touch screen or Joy-Con controllers, depending on this, the list of available games also changes. There is also a mode of online games both in a local network for up to four people, and via the Internet. And also the developers offer Mosaic Mode, in which you can combine up to 4 consoles into a local network and thereby expand the capabilities of some games, but since I have only one console, I have not seen this mode.

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As a bonus, the version of 51 Worldwide Games: Local Multiplayer Guest Edition, available in Nintendo eShop, is worth noting. It makes it possible to play all games in the local network, if there is at least one purchased copy. And it also opens up free access to four games: Dominoes, Four in a Row, President and Slot Cars.

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Overall, 51 Worldwide Games turned out to be a good selection of various games for every taste. When you get tired of going through Mario, you can get distracted and play, for example, billiards or play solitaire, and with a child, you can play chess or a toy box on one device.

… and dessert

Adidas will be releasing a special edition of its Alphaboost sneakers in partnership with Disney. The shoes will feature an image of the cartoon character Mickey Mouse, one of the symbols of The Walt Disney Company. This is not the first collaboration between Adidas and Disney, earlier sneakers with Mickey came out in the Superstar and Stan Smith series, but now it’s the turn to Alphaboost.

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On the occasion of the release of the Mi Smart Band 4 NFC fitness bracelet in Russia, we, together with Xiaomi, decided to give away two such devices among our readers.

Saturday coffee №108

In the past two contests, it turned out that the topic of the photo is very close to many of you, so we will not change anything this time either. Since Mi Smart Band 4 NFC is a fitness bracelet, the topic of today’s competition will be sports and gadgets. Take a photo that includes both sports and a gadget. The originality and beauty of the image will be assessed, creativity is encouraged.

Send your photos to with the subject line #CompetitionVCoffee, one participant can send only one image, and works will be accepted until July 1 inclusive. I will publish the contest works in “Stories” on my Instagram account, so you can see all the photos, and the works of the winners will be published in “Saturday Coffee No. 110”, which will be released on July 4, 2020. We can send the prizes across Russia, or you can personally pick them up in Moscow.

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