Tech round-up for October 19: Facebook and Twitter and live TV, Note 7s and airplanes, PlayStation and virtual reality, photographers and comedic creatures of the wild

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This week, how you can watch live events on social media, how you can see some crazy funny photos of wild animals, and how you can become Batman. But first, how you should not take a Note 7 on an airplane.

Taking a trip? Do not try to fly with your Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Samsung is setting up booths in airports because airlines and transport authorities are outright banning the device from being on their planes, on or off.

I’m not surprised. An enclosed box 35,000 feet in the sky is no place for a small fire.

There aren’t trade-in booths at any Canadian airports that I know of. Maybe there should be.

In the past couple of weeks I’ve been on some planes, and in just a couple of days, the warnings from flight attendants went from, “Please ensure that your Note 7 is turned off,” to, “You are not allowed on the plane with a Note 7.”

Transport Canada has officially prohibited the Note 7 from being in checked or carry-on bags.

Samsung Canada says in a statement that Note 7 owners should “return their Note7 device to where it was originally purchased in advance of their trip”.

The company is offering cash credits on top of a new replacement phone, too. $100 if you trade for a Galaxy S7 or S7 edge, or $25 if you get a straight refund or opt for a different manufacturer’s handset.

Keep in mind that it’s only the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 that is subject to the recall and bans. Samsung’s other Galaxy handsets, the S7 and the S7 Edge, are not considered problematic, nor are previous generations of the Note handset.

There are reports of travellers mistakenly handing in the wrong device and some airline officials not distinguishing between the different models and model names.

How social media is getting in on the live experience

The last U.S. presidential debate took place tonight at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

In the past, people would be gathered around television sets during the event, but this U.S. federal election is different in many ways, including how people can watch it.

Both Facebook and Twitter streamed the debates live, and Facebook gathered questions from Americans for the first debate in September.

Twitter is also streaming NFL’s Thursday night games this season (except in Canada, due to territorial rights).

The cool thing about watching these events in your social media channel is that you can also engage in conversations with others about what’s going on. It’s like having an office water cooler right in your home.

And the bathrooms are way cleaner than at your local pub.

Reason we love the interweb #642

There’s always been awards for fantastic photography, but in the past the only people who could see the amazing work were those who knew about them, those who bought the magazines, or those who happened to live in a place where the images were being exhibited.

The Internet changed all that. Now we can all appreciate the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards

It’s an initiative of U.K. media company, the Guardian, and it is the kind of thing that can make a bad day so much better.

My favourite? The water buffalo. We’ve all been there.

PlayStation VR is the easiest way to get into virtual reality

Sony’s PlayStation VR released last week, but unless you pre-ordered, or you were standing in line the night before the release, you might be waiting a bit to get one.

If you want to get a taste of what’s in store, you can check out one of a number of demos that PlayStation Canada are staging across Canada.

The Batman and Battlezone VR experiences are pretty solid, but the VR game I’m most looking forward to playing through is an on-rails shooter called Farpoint. And EVE: Valkyrie is as close to flying a spaceship as I’m ever going to get.

There’s also a Tomb Raider VR experience that you can get with the Rise of the Tomb Raider 20 Year Celebration edition.

If you’ve got a PS4 and a PlayStation Camera, you can get virtual reality with PSVR for $550. That gets you the headset, headphones, and all cables.

If you don’t already have the camera, it’s $75, and some games use the Move Controllers, which come in a two-pack for $130.

All in, you’re looking at $750 on top of the price of your PS4. But that’s still considerably cheaper than the two other decent VR options.

The only other thing to keep in mind is that you’ll need space for PSVR. PlayStation recommends a 10 foot by 10 foot space for your VR play. That might be the trickiest obstacle to overcome for many.

But I’ve been in there. It’s worth it.


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