Shared posts

21 Jan 10:21

Giuliani as Trump's cybersecurity adviser is an unfunny joke

by Violet Blue
I had just finished hacking the Gibson when I heard the news: Rudy Giuliani, the guy who said he was gonna solve cybersecurity, had just been named Trump's cyber advisor. I hopped onto our hacker mafia's government-proof encrypted chat app to make su...
21 Jan 10:18

Track Trump will keep tabs on the President's first 100 days

by Andrew Dalton
President Trump was clear about the goals of his first 100 days in office before the election was even over, eventually laying out those goals in a PDF titled "Donald Trump's Contract with the American Voter." While Trump's policies can often be obsc...
20 Jan 09:14

Wyoming is basically trying to outlaw clean energy

by Eleanor Cummins

Solar and wind would be penalized under proposed law

Last week, Wyoming legislators filed a measure that would prevent utilities from selling residents electricity generated by wind or solar farms.
20 Jan 09:13

This soft robot hugs your heart to help keep it pumping

by Sarah Fecht

It could help you survive heart failure

About 5.7 million Americans have heart failure, meaning their hearts don't pump blood as well as they should. A squishy, air-powered robot might be able to help.
20 Jan 09:13

Meet China's Sharp Sword, a stealth drone that can likely carry 2 tons of bombs

by Jeffrey Lin and P.W. Singer
China Sharp Sword stealth UCAV Lijian

It just won a technology prize, so China's pretty proud of it.

The Sharp Sword won a big national technology award, showcasing China's secretive research into stealth drones.
20 Jan 09:11

Microsoft is testing an ebook store on Windows 10

by Steve Dent

The more stores the better

Microsoft has unveiled an ebook store in the latest Windows 10 Insider Preview, the first time it has dabbled in bookselling since its ill-fated Barnes & Noble Nook partnership. Beta testers will be able to purchase ebooks from the Windows store,...
20 Jan 09:10

Self-driving cars 'could reduce organ donations'

by Darren Cassey

Now that is a side effect which I can't decide is good or bad..

Autonomous cars are no longer science fiction – it's now a matter of when, not if, they'll take over our roads. Outside of car enthusiasts, this is mostly seen as a good...

-- This feed and its contents are the property of AOL, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

20 Jan 09:10

Renault Clio driver takes 18 attempts to park in space

by Darren Cassey

Play it on repeat :)

The driver of a Renault Clio has been filmed taking 18 attempts to park her car in one five-minute spell. The embarrassing scene was caught on camera by a passenger in a van parked on Guildford...

-- This feed and its contents are the property of AOL, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

20 Jan 09:08

Swedish drivers will be forced to hear ambulance sirens thanks to radio-jamming technology

by Laura Thomson
Emergency vehicles in Sweden have been fitted with radio jamming devices to ensure that their sirens are heard by nearby motorists. The new warning device, known as the Evam System, is able to...

-- This feed and its contents are the property of AOL, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

20 Jan 09:08

On-the-spot fines on the cards for motorists who their leave engine running in London

by Laura Thomson

Should be the same for all countries

London drivers caught leaving their engines idling while stationary could face on-the-spot fines under a new anti-pollution campaign. The campaign, by Westminster City Council, has been launched...

-- This feed and its contents are the property of AOL, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

20 Jan 08:58

Is the future of 4K TV completely panel-less?

by Jamie Carter

My TV is bigger than your TV. That's always the thrust of consumer electronics exhibitions, and CES 2017 was no different, with 100-inch+ TVs all over the place. Except that this year one manufacturer – while also making the usual bigger-is-better argument – came to a completely different conclusion. 

“The future of television is panel-less,” says  Amy Lessig, ‪National Training and Execution Manager at Hisense. 

She was talking about Hisense’s 100H10D, a laser TV being shown-off at CES 2017, but it’s really a projection system. It’s a short-throw model capable of projecting onto a wall from barely 13 inches away, it deals in 4K Ultra HD resolution, and it creates images as big as 100-inches in diameter. 

“We think it’s going to be the future of television.” 

Lessig might have a point here. But are people really ready to ditch screens for projectors? 

At its most basic, the Hisense 100H10D is merely an update on previous concepts; last year the Chinese company showed-off a 100-inch Full HD laser TV.

However, this 4K version is confirmed to go on sale in the US in 2017. 

“This technology allows you to place the laser projector on a table about 24 inches from the wall,” says Lessig. However, 24-inches is the maximum; the 100H10D can actually be placed a lot nearer to the wall, about 13-inches to be precise. So what about audio? This is where many similar projection concepts fall over – nobody wants a mess of cables in their living room. 

“It includes 5.1 audio,” confirms Lessig. The left, right and centre channels are delivered purely through a soundbar that stretches right across the bottom of the 100-inch projection area that, naturally, can be wall-mounted. “Rears are wireless, as is the subwoofer, which makes it very easy to move around the room,” says Lessig.

Projectors 1, TVs 0. 

Meet the competition.

The 100H10D also deals in 4K Ultra HD 3840x2160 pixels resolution. Of course it does. It has to. But it also has HDR

“We’re very excited about its HDR 10 compatibility and wide color gamut technology – users will see a nice throw of colour,” says Lessig. 

The 100H10D also boasts Ultra HD upscaling and 120Hz motion processing. The product itself also has three HDMI inputs, three USB slots, digital audio out, a headphones jack, VGA and composite. Although it suggests a panel-less future, at its core the concept of a laser TV is still about screen size. It’s also about price. 

“In comparison to a big TV of this size you would be looking at about $25,000-30,000,” says Lessig, who points out that other projection systems similar to Hisense’s cost $50,000. She’s referring to Sony’s LSPX-W1S 4K ultra short-throw projector – the only other such product on the market – which does indeed sell for precisely $50,000. 

So how much is the 100H10D? Hisense’s effort will cost ‘just’ $12,999.99 when it launches in the US in summer 2017.

Sony’s effort can manage a 147-inch image from even closer to the wall and is best put on the floor rather than on a table. Although Hisense’s 100H10D is far cheaper, it could also find a challenger closer to home. 

“Another Chinese vendor ChangHong has also been making short-throw products,” says David Tett, Market Analyst at Futuresource. “It’s a phenomenon that started in China because of the inability of some people to hang a 65-inch TV on the wall for structural reasons, so it addresses that.” 

Does that mean the world is willing ditch TVs entirely? That might not be the best thing for Hisense, considering it’s China's largest TV manufacturer in terms of sales volume. The answer? Probably not. 

“It’s in direct competition to a 65-inch or larger screen, but these projection systems are still relatively very pricey,” says Tett. “You can buy a 65-inch OLED TV for less than half the price.” 

LG has shown its 100-inch ‘Hecto’ laser display

LG also showed-off a similar laser screen product at CES 2013; LG’s Hecto projected a 100-inch Full HD image from 22-inches, and sold for $19,999. Are concepts like these really the future of television, or a sideshow to the trend of ever-growing TVs? 

Tett calls the market for 4K short-throw projection systems a “niche within a niche” that’s likely to stay that way, largely because 2017 will see a step-in TV panel production globally, but also because projectors are generally a hard sell. 

“Projectors are very under represented in stores, most retailers are not set-up to show them,” says his colleague Jack Wetherill, Senior Market Analyst at Futuresource Consulting. “They’re more for custom install because, for the mass market, they’re super-expensive.”

Could LG's 'wallpaper' OLED TVs challenge laser TVs?

Even Lessig admits that Hisense is going after a niche market. “It’s a go-getter for people with new custom-built homes and new constructions that are looking for the big TV option,” she says, stressing the ease of set-up. 

“Since it goes on a table, you don't need a ceiling mount, so you don’t need professional installation.” However, there is the small matter of the screen. “We’re looking at several manufacturers to come up with a solution that provides the best picture quality,” says Lessig, though she confirms that a screen will be included in the price.  

However, for now the TV industry is becoming increasingly focused on OLED and its technical possibilities. While not exactly panel-less, LG’s paper-thin W-Series OLED TVs are just 1 mm thin and flexible – making them a nice compromise between traditional larger LCD screens and projectors. 

So what do we think the future of TV will entail? It’s probably not huge panels, or pricey projectors, but something in between.

Want a 4K projector right now? Check out our reviews of the Sony VPL-VW300ES and Sony VPL-VW520ES. 

20 Jan 06:44

Why Powerless Added its Bruce Wayne Connection

by Eric Goldman

When the new DC Comics comedy TV series Powerless debuts on February 2nd, it’ll look very different from the version that screened at San Diego Comic-Con last summer.

Original creator Ben Queen departed the series after the pilot was filmed, and ultimately, the decision was made by new showrunners Justin Halpern and Patrick Schumacker to completely overhaul the series – discarding the original insurance company setting and now placing the characters as employees at Wayne Security.

Explained Schumacker at the Television Critics Association press tour today, “15 weeks into this we thought that the insurance company angle wasn’t really generating the storylines we hoped,” saying they sat down and spoke to DC about wanting to change the series. They felt the new security company setting still let them “tell classic workplace stories but in a way that activates the DC universe more.”

Continue reading…

19 Jan 21:50

Low-cost DNA sequencer uses Nokia 1020's camera as a microscope

by Mariella Moon
If the Nokia 1020 has a memorable feature, it's surely the phone's 41-megapixel camera -- the same one a team of researchers are now using for their phone-based DNA sequencer and molecular analyzer. The scientists from the University of California, L...
18 Jan 21:58

MAJOR CRIMES Renewed for a Sixth Season

by Clarissa
Today TNT announced that it has picked up a sixth season of the crime-drama MAJOR CRIMES. The show’s ensemble cast – including two-time Oscar® nominee Mary McDonnell, G.W. Bailey, Tony Denison, Michael Paul Chan, Raymond Cruz, Phillip P. Keene, Kearran Giovanni, Jonathan Del Arco and Graham Patrick Martin – will return for the 13-episode sixth […]
18 Jan 13:46

Russia will let Edward Snowden stay for another three years

by Matt Brian
Less than 24 hours after President Obama commuted the majority of Chelsea Manning's 35-year sentence, the Russian government has updated its position on whistleblower Edward Snowden. Local authorities have confirmed that Snowden has been granted anot...
18 Jan 06:47

President Obama commutes most of Chelsea Manning's sentence

by Jessica Conditt
President Barack Obama on Tuesday commuted the majority of Chelsea Manning's remaining prison sentence, and she is now scheduled to be released on May 17th, 2017, rather than in 2045. Manning is the former army intelligence analyst who provided hundr...
18 Jan 06:46

Obama pardons Stuxnet leak source James Cartwright

by Jon Fingas
Chelsea Manning isn't the only source of online leaks to get a new lease on life. President Obama has pardoned General James Cartwright, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI when it investigated leaks that revealed details of Stuxnet, the US-backed...
17 Jan 15:43

Sherlock: Season 4 Finale Review

by Daniel Krupa

The following review contains full spoilers for this week's episode of Sherlock.

If there isn’t to be another season of Sherlock, The Final Problem provided a fitting conclusion to Moffat and Gatiss’s incarnation. Not only did it provide fresh insight into what made Sherlock the way he is, it also left him in a stronger, happier place, and also much closer to the character we know from other adaptations.

Last week's episode concluded with the reveal of Eurus, the forgotten sister of Sherlock and Mycroft, who has been posing as various characters throughout the season and manipulating her brothers. The closing scene saw her shoot John. In true Sherlock fashion, that cliffhanger is quickly pushed to one side (it was apparently a tranquilliser, though you never get to see how it played out). Anyway, Eurus: we learn that she was the youngest of the Holmes children, and was considered by a variety of professionals to be an 'era-defining genius' – comparable to Newton – but her prodigious intellect placed her beyond 'small' moral concepts, like good and evil.

Continue reading…

17 Jan 15:25

Should we get our hopes up again for cloud gaming?

by Jessica Conditt
"We, in no way, take credit for the idea." LiquidSky CEO Ian McLoughlin knows video game streaming isn't a new concept. For years, various companies have promised players they'd be able to load up any game on any device via cloud streaming. Play the...
17 Jan 11:56

Autopilot update rolls out to all Teslas with HW2 hardware

by Mariella Moon
Tesla's Enhanced Autopilot update has rolled out to all its HW2 vehicles, company chief Elon Musk has announced on Twitter. HW2 is what the automaker calls its second-generation self-driving hardware found in its newer models, including the Model S a...
17 Jan 11:56

Apple hikes UK App Store prices by 25 percent because Brexit

by Nick Summers
If you're an iPhone, iPad or Mac user in the UK, prepare yourself: App Store prices are on the rise. As 9to5Mac reports, developers are being notified that their software will soon be bumped up in price. Apps worth 79 pence before will soon cost 99 p...
15 Jan 16:56

Alan Tudyk Plays Batman's Cousin in Powerless

by Alex Osborn

NBC's upcoming DC Comics comedy series Powerless will star Alan Tudyk as Batman's cousin, Vanderveer Wayne.

In Powerless, Vanderveer runs Wayne Security, the division of Wayne Enterprises that specializes in tech that protects humanity from those with superpowers, Entertainment Weekly reports. Check out the new promo clip below for a sneak peek at Tudyk as Bruce Wayne's troublesome relative.

13 Jan 22:44

How Legion Will Be Different From Any Other Marvel Show

by Eric Goldman

While FX's Legion is the latest comic book-based series making its way to TV, Marvel Television’s Jeph Loeb says he’s not concerned that viewers will expect something similar to other Marvel series on the air.

“We don’t know anyone will come to this show because they think it’s gonna be like The Defenders,” said Loeb at the Television Critics Association press tour today, saying he thinks people will, “Come to it because of Noah Hawley and incredible cast and writing and FX." Loeb described Legion -- which marks the first true co-production between Marvel TV and Fox/the X-Men movie producers -- as clearly standing as, “A show Marvel’s never made before.”

Showrunner/executive producer Hawley, the creator of FX’s acclaimed Fargo, said that when it came to taking the Legion job, “The first thought I had looking at the genre was if you remove the genre is there a compelling show you’d want to watch there? The underlying show, whatever the genre, has to be compelling.”

Continue reading…

13 Jan 22:38

Researchers warn peace sign photos could expose fingerprints

by Jamie Rigg
As if the constant data breaches that threaten to expose the one password you use for absolutely everything weren't enough, apparently you now need to start worrying about posting that cute selfie. The peace sign is many people's go-to picture pose,...
13 Jan 22:38

Google's new image compression tech is actually pretty cool

by Tom Regan
In a bid to save you precious mobile data, Google has developed a technique that improves image quality without taking up more bandwidth. Entitled RASIR (Rapid and Accurate Super Image Resolution) this impressive software quickly reads large photos a...
13 Jan 14:58

Netflix's 'iBoy' trailer introduces smartphone superpowers

by Steve Dent
Netflix has unveiled a new original film with a pretty ludicrous tech angle. iBoy (yep) stars Maisie Williams and is set to arrive on the streaming service January 27th. The plot, unfortunately, reads like a "Toast parody of a Black Mirror episode,"...
13 Jan 14:58

Glympse brings its location sharing to connected home devices

by Billy Steele
The Internet of Things is set to expand in a big way if all the voice-controlled and Alexa-equipped tech we saw at CES last week is any indication. Glympse has been offering handy location sharing from its apps for quite some time, but now the compan...
13 Jan 14:56

Massive meta-study confirms the health benefits of cannabis

by Andrew Tarantola
After digging through more than 10,000 separate clinical studies, the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine on Thursday issued a groundbreaking, 400-page report on the potential benefits and detriments posed by cannabis use. The bi...
13 Jan 10:58

Nintendo Switch Hardware Launch Details - 32GB w/Expandable Storage, 6.2” 720p Screen, 2.5 to 6.5 Hour Battery Life

by Ryan Smith

This morning in Tokyo, Nintendo held their long-awaited full product launch briefing for their upcoming console, the Nintendo Switch. Previously unveiled back in October of 2016, Nintendo has been keeping a fairly tight lid on specific details about the console, including its specifications, capabilities, and software lineup. Now with just less than 2 months to go until the console goes on sale, Nintendo is ramping up their promotional campaigns, releasing a good deal of new details on the console, though in a very Nintendo way.

Back when the Switch was unveiled, we learned that the handheld console would be powered by an NVIDIA SoC, NVIDIA’s first console win since 2006. At the time Nintendo and NVIDIA had been very quiet on the specifications of the SoC, and while the full specifications were certain to be off the table, I had been hoping that Nintendo would open up at least a bit more on the SoC. Unfortunately, in admittedly traditional Nintendo fashion, the company has skipped right past anything involving the SoC, and I suspect we’re going to be waiting for the console launch and full teardown before we get any more hard facts here.

For what it is worth, Eurogamer strongly believes that the underlying SoC is a Tegra X1 – NVIDIA’s 20nm Cortex-A57 CPU + Maxwell GPU SoC that’s also used in the NVIDIA SHIELD TV – and while I can’t confirm this at this time, for the moment I don’t have any reason to doubt their suspicions. Tegra X1 is ready and available in volume, and in this respect Nintendo has been conservative for quite some time. Still, it will be interesting to crack open the Switch in March to see if it’s actually Tegra X1 under the hood, or if it’s some sort of Nintendo-specific derivative.

Handheld Game Console Specification Comparison
  Nintendo Switch New Nintendo 3DS XL Sony PlayStation Vita Slim
SoC CPU 4x ARM Cortex-A57? 4x ARM11 4x ARM Cortex-A9
Display 6.2-inch 1280x720p LCD
(HDMI: 1080p60)
Top: 4.9-inch 800x240
Bottom: 4.2-inch 320x240
5-inch 960x544
Size 102 x 239 x 13.9 mm, 297g (tablet only)
398g w/Joy-Cons
160 x 93.5 x 21.5 mm, 329g 85.1 x 183.6 x 15 mm, 219g
Battery 4310mAh (16Whr?)
2.5 to 6.5 Hours
1750mAh (6.5Whr)
3.5 to 7 Hours
2210mAh (8.2Whr)
4 to 6 Hours
Storage 32GB NAND + microSDXC 1GB NAND + microSDHC 1GB NAND or Proprietary Card
Wireless 802.11ac
Bluetooth 4.1
802.11g 802.11n (2.4GHz)
Bluetooth 2.1
I/O Console USB Type-C Proprietary (USB Compatible) Micro-USB
Dock 1x USB 3.0
2x USB 2.0
1x HDMI 1.x
1x USB-C (power only)
Launch Date 03/03/2017 10/14/2014 10/10/2013
Launch Price $299 $199 $199

Moving on to new information, while Nintendo held off on SoC information, they have published some new information on the console as a whole. As long suspected, the Switch features a 1280x720p capacitive touch screen LCD. Though lower in resolution than comparable phones and tablets, this is a logical fit for the console giving its performance characteristics, battery life needs, and cost concerns. Nintendo’s website does not specify the type of the underlying panel, though I will be surprised if it’s not IPS or *VA.

For storage, the console will feature expandable storage. 32GB (presumably eMMC) is built in to the console, while the console can be further expanded using microSDXC cards, similar to the current-generation 3DS consoles. And as revealed in Nintendo’s teaser video last year, there will also be a separate game card slot for games released on physical media.

Meanwhile Nintendo isn’t being quite as forthcoming on the underlying specifications of the console’s integrated battery, but they are providing some ballpark power figures. The Switch is rated to last between 2.5 and 6.5 hours on a single charge, depending on the game, with the forthcoming Zelda game said to run for 3 hours. This is roughly comparable to the New Nintendo 3DS XL, which is rated for 3.5 to 6 hours, with the Switch having a slightly wider range (ed: though well short of the DS Lite’s 8+ hours). Still, for a long trip it’s clear you’ll need to bring some extra power.

The good news here is that for the Switch, Nintendo is giving up on proprietary chargers and power connectors. The Switch will charge via a standard USB Type-C connection, so it’s possible to use USB power banks with the console. Though without more details on the battery it’s hard to say just how large of a power bank will be required; given the higher power consumption of a gaming console, I expect the Switch will need a larger power bank than similarly sized tablets (perhaps something iPad Pro-sized). The Switch will also come with an AC adapter (curiously, with a hardwired cable), a welcome change after Nintendo didn’t include a power adapter with the New Nintendo 3DS.

As for the Switch’s companion dock, Nintendo has previously confirmed that it would largely be a “dumb” device. That said, today’s unveiling does confirm that it includes a single USB 3.0 Type-A port and a pair of USB 2.0 ports, the former presumably using two SuperSpeed lanes off of the Type-C connector, and the latter using the two USB 2.0 channels built-in to USB Type-C. Nintendo hasn’t officially announced any USB peripherals at this time – and it will be interesting to see what does arise, since this is a portable console – though a quick straw poll around here is that we’ll be disappointed if Nintendo doesn’t support the GameCube adapter for the obligatory Super Smash Bros. game.

As an aside, this hardware revelation also gives us just enough information to figure out how Nintendo is supplying HDMI out of the Dock. Since the Switch only offers USB Type-C connectivity, there isn’t a dedicated HDMI port/path coming out of the console. I had thought Nintendo might be using HDMI alt mode for USB-C, but the USB 3.0 port inside the dock rules that out since it consumes 2 of the 4 high speed lanes that HDMI alt mode needs. Instead Nintendo has to be using DisplayPort alt mode with 2 lanes, and then doing active conversion from that to HDMI. This handily explains why Eurogamer’s sources point to 1080p60/4Kp30 being the maximum output of the console – this being what 2 lanes of DisplayPort 1.2 can support – and it means that the Dock is not a dumb plastic shell, but rather has some basic, active electronics in it (it’s essentially Apple’s USB-C Digital AV dongle with some extra features). Though this does make me wonder whether the active conversion of video signals adds any appreciable input lag.

Otherwise, as far as hardware goes the bulk of Nintendo’s focus with respect to hardware has been on the console’s two detachable controllers, the Joy-Cons. Besides being the console’s primary control mechanism (ed: a tablet with buttons, thank you!), the Joy-Cons are actually a lot more sophisticated than Nintendo originally let on last year. In terms of controls, each Joy-Con features the previously depicted 4 face buttons, a large shoulder button, an analog stick; also confirmed today is that on the inside, rail edge of the Joy-Cons are a pair of smaller shoulder buttons for when a single Joy-Con is used as a controller. So the Joy-Cons are essentially miniature versions of the SNES controller with an analog stick in place of the D-Pad.

It’s what’s under the hood that’s particularly interesting though. As one might expect, Nintendo is sticking with motion controls. Each Joy-Con contains a gyroscope and set of accelerometers, making it roughly equivalent to the Wii remote with Motion Plus.

Beyond that, each Joy-Con features its own special set of features. The right Joy-Con contains an NFC reader/writer for use with Nintendo’s Amiibo figures, and what Nintendo is calling a "IR motion camera,” An IR camera would imply that it’s the same basic functionality as the Wii Remote, which used an IR camera to orient itself relative to the IR LEDs in the console’s sensor bar, however Nintendo also quickly demonstrated that the Joy-Con could measure distance and motion from a human hand facing the camera, something the Wii Remote could not do. Finally, the left Joy-Con contains what Nintendo is calling “HD rumble” functionality, their name for high fidelity rumbling. Given the diminutive size of the Joy-Con, coupled with Nintendo’s examples, I suspect that we’re looking at multiple linear actuators for vibration (similar to Apple’s Taptic Engine), as opposed to traditional motors. Not too surprisingly then, a second set of Joy-Cons won’t come cheap, with Nintendo listing the MSRP at $80.

Finally, taking a brief look at the software side, retailer pre-release information has unveiled that Switch games will go for $60. This is the same price as Wii U games and $20 higher than most 3DS games. The one bit of good news here is that Nintendo has done away with region locking, so it’s possible to buy and play games from any region. Launch day games will include the previously announced Zelda game, and Nintendo’s new mini-game collection, 1-2-Switch.

Wrapping things up, the Switch will be receiving a world-wide release on March 3rd (coincidentally the final day of the 2017 Game Developers Conference). It will be priced at $299 in the United States, with similar regional prices elsewhere across the globe. Ahead of the launch retailers have already put up pre-order pages (and some have started taking pre-orders), including Amazon, Best Buy, and GameStop.

12 Jan 15:23

Opera Neon turns your web browser into a mini desktop

by Jon Fingas
As much as modern desktop web browsers can do, their basic concept is stuck in a rut. It's not really designed for the way many people use the web, such as chatting while you surf. Opera wants to climb out of that hole, and it's trying an unusual a...