Skip to content

Archive for

16
Aug

Darth Vader PS4 bundles cater to your ‘Star Wars’ cravings


Darth Vader limited edition PS4

Between The Force Awakens, Battlefront and Disney Infinity, you’re about to get your fill of Star Wars — and Sony is determined to capitalize on that sci-fi feast with some special PlayStation systems. It’s releasing two limited edition Darth Vader PS4 bundles that each include a distinctive 500GB console (emblazoned with the Sith Lord’s face, naturally) and a controller whose red and white accents mimic Vader’s chest panel. The core Battlefront Vader bundle includes both a Deluxe edition of its namesake shooter as well as a voucher for four vintage Star Wars games (Super Star Wars, Bounty Hunter, Jedi Starfighter and Racer Revenge). Head to Walmart, meanwhile, and you can spring for a Disney Infinity 3.0 Vader bundle that replaces Battlefront with Infinity and a matching figurine kit. And if you’re just interested in software, there will be a plain PS4 bundle that includes Battlefront and the classic games.

Sony hasn’t divulged pricing just yet, but we’d expect at least the Darth Vader kits to carry a premium over run-of-the-mill 500GB systems. All of the new hardware will be available on November 17th, and pre-orders are poised to start “soon.”

Filed under:
Gaming, Sony

Comments

Source:
PlayStation Blog

Tags: battlefront, bundle, darthvader, disneyinfinity, gaming, infinity, playstation, playstation4, ps4, sony, starwars, starwarsbattlefront, video, videogames

16
Aug

OnePlus releases OxygenOS 1.0.2 update, Stagefright pach on board


oneplus 2 unboxing initial setup aa (19 of 32)

The Stagefright vulnerability that leaves your phone defenseless against MMS-induced attacks has been all the hype the past weeks. Every manufacturer out there is working on sending out patches, and if you are a OnePlus user today is your lucky day.

The Chinese startup has just released the OxygenOS update version 1.0.2, which comes with the anticipated patch for the Stagefright vulnerability. No other improvements or bug fixes are mentioned, making it safe to assume this update is all about this specific issue.

oneplus 2 launch aa (51 of 93)

You can go ahead and flash the software manually. Simply download the necessary files from OnePlus’ forum post. Not sure how to install updates? OnePlus also made sure to keep you well informed and created a step-by-step guide on how to flash OxygenOS.

With that, we can go back to our normal lives and forget this whole Stagefright issue ever happened. Just make sure you are smart about your smartphone usage! Stay safe and don’t download anything weird. You never know what’s out there.

oneplus 2 launch aa (43 of 93)

16
Aug

Get This Look: ‘Stealthy Zooper’ Zooper Widget


We’re huge fans of changing the home screen around a bit and creating a new user experience for our Android. So much so that we present our ongoing series of Get This Look posts. In a nutshell we show you a new layout, app, widget, or icon set for your Android handset and tell you which apps you’ll need to mimic the feel.

Some of these are a little easier to create than others and many of them can be tweaked to no end. The following details are but the ingredients to which you can create your own delicious Android dish; your results will vary. Which is awesome! If nothing else, this is a great way to discover new apps, widgets, icons, and more!

Stealthy Zooper by Stealthychief Designs

Screen Shot 2015-08-16 at 20.06.21
Screen Shot 2015-08-16 at 20.06.28

Why we love this look:

Everyone loves a fancy looking clock widget, and this Zooper widget is the perfect addition to your homescreen. There’s some really great pre-built widgets in this pack and with 29 of them included, you’re bound to find something that hits home with you. There’s a blend of futuristic, dark/sleek, modern/minimal, and retro/vintage widgets so don’t wait to get Stealthy Zooper right now.

What you’ll need:

The post Get This Look: ‘Stealthy Zooper’ Zooper Widget appeared first on AndroidGuys.

16
Aug

DJI’s Phantom 3 has its biggest rival in Yuneec’s 4K Typhoon drone


We’d understand if you’re not familiar with Yuneec; we’ve only written about its products twice. However, it’s fairly well-known in the quadcopter world, and best described as a direct rival to DJI. When I reviewed DJI’s 4K Phantom 3 Professional drone ($1,259), a reader asked if we could compare it to Yuneec’s rival Typhoon Q500 model (around $1,100, but with a lower-res 1080p camera). Days later, Yuneec announced an updated Typhoon with 4K shooting for $1,299, making the comparison much easier. It only seemed fair to grant our reader’s wish, and check out what the new Typhoon had to offer.

Yuneec Typhoon Q500 4K Sample Footage

The similarities between DJI’s and Yuneec’s consumer quadcopters are many. Both have 4K cameras with stabilizing gimbals. Both are “ready to fly,” which mostly means there’s no assembly required; just charge and go. Both are easy for beginners to control, and both offer first-person view (aka FPV), or the ability to see what the camera is seeing in the air in real time, usually via the transmitter/controller. There are other products that offer a similar feature set, but DJI and Yuneec have done a good job packaging them in ways that appeal to new flyers and hobbyists alike.

There are also some significant differences and on paper, at least, many of them are in Yuneec’s favor. Despite being slightly more expensive, the Typhoon offers better value. The $1,299 4K version is available with a carry case (you’ll need to buy one for your Phantom). It also comes with two batteries versus one on the Phantom. Then there’s the transmitter, which has a built-in touchscreen display. This is how you view what the Typhoon’s camera sees (you can also use it to access settings). In contrast, DJI users need a phone to do this, this approach works well, but is one more thing to bring along/charge. The last, and perhaps coolest extra with the Typhoon, is the Steadygrip, a hand-held mount for the 4K camera. Detach it from the drone, clip it to the accessory and you can film smooth video on the ground, too. DJI’s working on a similar product, but it’s not available yet, and won’t ever be in the box of the Phantom 3 (the camera is non-removable).

You’re also getting more flight features with the Typhoon. The ground station has GPS in it (actually, most quadcopters do, but not always the transmitter). This means the Typhoon has options like “follow me” and “watch me,” which Phantom 3 doesn’t have right now (but some features are coming eventually). So, the Yuneec is the one to get, right? Maybe. The real test is taking it up in the air and shooting some video. Which is, of course, what I did.

I’ll preface my impressions by stating that I learned to fly on a Phantom, and have flown one for many hours, so this is what I am used to. Yuneec made the Typhoon pretty easy to fly. I had a few minor wobbles the first time, but this might be because of my prior Phantom experience. One example is that, by default, the Typhoon won’t fly within 26 feet of you (or, really, the transmitter).

This caught me off guard when I first tried to land, as I’m used to bringing the Phantom in real close, and sometimes “catch landing” (getting it low enough to hold the landing gear, and make it think it’s on the ground). I had the Typhoon above water, and it wouldn’t come nearer. I had to walk backward far enough to be able to land it on solid ground, and not in an ideal spot (see the photo at the top of this article). The same problem can catch you out mid-flight, too. It’ll suddenly stop moving as it hits the exclusion zone around you. I get it; it’s a safety feature (and one you can turn off).

The Typhoon’s biggest problem in the air, I found, was that it’s not as responsive as the Phantom. DJI’s consumer product is quite a bit smaller, and responds quickly to any touch on the controls. You can throw it left to right quite sharply, and it’ll visibly pitch (but hold its position), and it manages to do so while keeping the camera steady — though if you really throw it, the landing gear/propellers can get in the shot. The Typhoon felt more sedate. Not sluggish, but less immediate. You can control its speed, but that doesn’t change the general responsiveness. Some might say this is a benefit, since I only once got propellers in the shot. But I do prefer the tighter feel of DJI’s setup.

What the Typhoon does have going for it is excellent battery life, so you get more time in the air. On average I got 20 minutes before it would start warning me to bring it home. The Phantom 3 starts complaining between 15 and 17 minutes, I’ve found. It might not seem like a big difference, but those extra few minutes feel like hours when you’re behind the sticks. One minor thing: I’ve never been a fan of how the Phantom 3 looks, but I like the Typhoon even less. As one colleague put it, it looks like it should fire Nerf bullets. It’s a little… on the boyish side. The Phantom 3 isn’t handsome, but smaller and more unthreatening.Slideshow-312875

Most important for many people will be the quality of the camera. The quadcopter is going to be secondary for customers that are interested in the aerial video first. Here, I think DJI wins. The camera on the Typhoon is pretty decent, but it reacts to different light conditions with mixed success. In the sample video, you can see the difference with the direct sun in the opening clip (the second clip is just moments later, without the sun in shot), or spot the color/temperature of the ground change as I adjust the camera pitch between the 1:50 and 1:56 minute mark. On a positive note, there’s very little fish-eye curving going on, and the results are generally pleasing. But, between the two, the Phantom 3 Professional appears to have the edge.

With more time, I might get to love the Typhoon a bit more, who knows. Right now, though, I’m still leaning toward the Phantom 3. The Typhoon definitely offers more value, and the extra flight features will appeal to some people. But, if your priority is video and photos, or ease of flying, or both, the Phantom 3 steals it.

Filed under:
Misc

Comments

Tags: 4k, dji, drone, engadgetirl, irl, phantom3, q500, quadcopter, typhoon, typhooneq500, video, yuneec

16
Aug

Why ‘Sesame Street’ had to turn a corner


You might say Sesame Street‘s newest move is being brought to you not by a letter or number, but by a symbol: $. If the show’s production company, Sesame Workshop, didn’t find a new way to win financial support for the venerable kids’ program, it would not be able to continue in its mission of educating children in the same way it has since 1969.

“The current path we were walking on wasn’t going to work,” explained Steve Youngwood, chief operating officer of Sesame Workshop, in an interview Thursday afternoon. The new one – a five-year deal with Time Warner’s HBO that will result in the production of nearly twice as many “Sesame Street” episodes per season than usual (albeit each half as long) – will, he said.

“Sesame Street” is a national treasure, formed in the late 1960s as a way to use TV to help young kids prepare for school. Its characters – ranging from Big Bird to Elmo to Abby Cadabby – are touchstones for parents and kids and often some of the very first figures to which TV’s youngest viewers are exposed. Behind the treasure, however, was a failing economic model, Youngwood explained: The DVD revenues that had fueled the program in recent years have been drying up, a testament to the new ways kids access video.

“Yesterday’s DVD is today’s SVOD,” he said, a reference to subscription video on demand services like Netflix and Amazon that have grown in popularity among children.

Youngwood, a former executive at Viacom’s Nickelodeon, joined Sesame Workshop in April, but his boss was already on the hunt for a new way to support the program. Jeffrey Dunn came aboard as chief executive in the fall of 2014, Youngwood said, and had already realized that with PBS providing just about 10 of the program’s production budget, something had to give.

Sesame Workshop in recent months met with a number of players that Youngwood declined to name. “We talked to everybody, but the focus was on cross-platform on-demand providers,” he said. Sesame, which made the outreach with PBS’ knowledge, also had a condition that many regarded as a deal-breaker: “Sesame Street” had to remain available in some fashion to the public TV outlet.

“It was a concept many people couldn’t get around,” Youngwood said, “and that was a prerequisite to any conversations we were going to have.”

The pact with HBO ensures PBS has access to new episodes, but after they run on HBO for a nine-month window. And it will spur the creation of new content: a “spin off” featuring one of the current “Sesame Street” Muppet crew – Youngwood declined to offer candidates under consideration – as well as a potential new series that would “allow us to educate in a different way.”

What if a new episode of “Sesame Street” contains a parody of something in the zeitgeist, or refers to a current event? The show has in recent years spoofed HBO programs like “True Blood” and “Boardwalk Empire,” for example. Just as some of John Oliver’s routines from HBO’s “Last Week Tonight” make it on to YouTube after the show is broadcast, so too could some of Sesame’s timeliest routines, said Youngwood. “YouTube will still be a very important platform as we try to connect,” he said.

Whether it’s seen on HBO or PBS, “Sesame Street” going forward will be 30 minutes long, not an hour. Youngwood said the show will retain its “magazine” format, but is likely to have shorter segments and not as many as the 60-minute version. The vignettes are likely to hew more closely to the theme of each episode. He predicted the opening “street story” segment featuring the cast would remain and hinted that Elmo would stay a feature of the show, along with many interstitials. He declined to elaborate on what might be removed or truncated as part of the new time allotment.

“Given the way kids have evolved, that was the most engaging format that fits both linear and on-demand viewing habits and allowed us to be all about engagement,” Youngwood said. “Without engagement, you don’t educate.”

[Image credit: Kaufman Astoria Studios]

Filed under:
Home Entertainment, HD

Comments

Tags: hbo, hdpostcross, partner, sesamestreet, syndicated, variety

16
Aug

Why ‘Sesame Street’ had to turn a corner


You might say Sesame Street‘s newest move is being brought to you not by a letter or number, but by a symbol: $. If the show’s production company, Sesame Workshop, didn’t find a new way to win financial support for the venerable kids’ program, it would not be able to continue in its mission of educating children in the same way it has since 1969.

“The current path we were walking on wasn’t going to work,” explained Steve Youngwood, chief operating officer of Sesame Workshop, in an interview Thursday afternoon. The new one – a five-year deal with Time Warner’s HBO that will result in the production of nearly twice as many “Sesame Street” episodes per season than usual (albeit each half as long) – will, he said.

“Sesame Street” is a national treasure, formed in the late 1960s as a way to use TV to help young kids prepare for school. Its characters – ranging from Big Bird to Elmo to Abby Cadabby – are touchstones for parents and kids and often some of the very first figures to which TV’s youngest viewers are exposed. Behind the treasure, however, was a failing economic model, Youngwood explained: The DVD revenues that had fueled the program in recent years have been drying up, a testament to the new ways kids access video.

“Yesterday’s DVD is today’s SVOD,” he said, a reference to subscription video on demand services like Netflix and Amazon that have grown in popularity among children.

Youngwood, a former executive at Viacom’s Nickelodeon, joined Sesame Workshop in April, but his boss was already on the hunt for a new way to support the program. Jeffrey Dunn came aboard as chief executive in the fall of 2014, Youngwood said, and had already realized that with PBS providing just about 10 of the program’s production budget, something had to give.

Sesame Workshop in recent months met with a number of players that Youngwood declined to name. “We talked to everybody, but the focus was on cross-platform on-demand providers,” he said. Sesame, which made the outreach with PBS’ knowledge, also had a condition that many regarded as a deal-breaker: “Sesame Street” had to remain available in some fashion to the public TV outlet.

“It was a concept many people couldn’t get around,” Youngwood said, “and that was a prerequisite to any conversations we were going to have.”

The pact with HBO ensures PBS has access to new episodes, but after they run on HBO for a nine-month window. And it will spur the creation of new content: a “spin off” featuring one of the current “Sesame Street” Muppet crew – Youngwood declined to offer candidates under consideration – as well as a potential new series that would “allow us to educate in a different way.”

What if a new episode of “Sesame Street” contains a parody of something in the zeitgeist, or refers to a current event? The show has in recent years spoofed HBO programs like “True Blood” and “Boardwalk Empire,” for example. Just as some of John Oliver’s routines from HBO’s “Last Week Tonight” make it on to YouTube after the show is broadcast, so too could some of Sesame’s timeliest routines, said Youngwood. “YouTube will still be a very important platform as we try to connect,” he said.

Whether it’s seen on HBO or PBS, “Sesame Street” going forward will be 30 minutes long, not an hour. Youngwood said the show will retain its “magazine” format, but is likely to have shorter segments and not as many as the 60-minute version. The vignettes are likely to hew more closely to the theme of each episode. He predicted the opening “street story” segment featuring the cast would remain and hinted that Elmo would stay a feature of the show, along with many interstitials. He declined to elaborate on what might be removed or truncated as part of the new time allotment.

“Given the way kids have evolved, that was the most engaging format that fits both linear and on-demand viewing habits and allowed us to be all about engagement,” Youngwood said. “Without engagement, you don’t educate.”

[Image credit: Kaufman Astoria Studios]

Filed under:
,

Comments

Tags: hbo, hdpostcross, partner, sesamestreet, syndicated, variety

16
Aug

Can’t wait for the Galaxy Note 5? Get your hands on the stock wallpapers


Galaxy Note5_Black_White_2P

Thanks to folks over at XDA, the stock wallpapers from the Korean version of the Galaxy Note 5 have been extracted. We are here to bring these to you, as we try to do whenever a new device is released. Let us know what you think about Samsung’s latest devices to hit the market in the comments below. 

The post Can’t wait for the Galaxy Note 5? Get your hands on the stock wallpapers appeared first on AndroidGuys.

16
Aug

The past, present and future of ASUS, according to its chairman


The past, present and future of ASUS, according to its chairman

“Namaste!”

That was how ASUS Chairman Jonney Shih greeted some 2,000 fans at his “ZenFestival” event in New Delhi last week. And yes, he yelled on stage, just as he always does, with a generous helping of buzzwords and “thank yous.” And there have been other memorable moments. One time, Shih “performed” a magic trick to extract a PadFone out of the back of a tablet, and later he “conducted” an orchestra of audio-centric laptops that were blasting out music. But don’t be misled by his seeming goofiness: This is also a man who’s evolved from stamping out motherboards to building smartphones. There’s no better person than Shih, then, to tell us how times have changed for his 26-year-old company, and where ASUS is headed next.

ASUS Jonney Shih Interview 2

The bumpy ride from Acer to ASUS

ASUS was founded by T.H. Tung, Ted Hsu, Wayne Tsiah and M.T. Liao in April 1989. Notice that Shih wasn’t part of the founding team, but he was still very much involved from day one.

“We dreamed about how to start up a small but beautiful company.”

“Let me tell you the real story,” the 62-year-old exec said, while pouring some Chinese tea. “At the beginning, those four engineers were my engineers, and we were with Acer, and I had been in charge of Acer’s R&D for quite a long time (12 years). One time, at a cafeteria, we dreamed about how to start up a small but beautiful company. They all elected me to lead them.”

At the time, Jonney was reporting to Stan Shih, the then-chairman and CEO of Acer. The two Shihs are not related, but young Jonney looked up to Stan as his mentor, so he went to ask for Stan’s blessing to let him start a new company. Stan convinced Jonney to stay, since Acer wasn’t in great shape — largely due to a downturn in the US economy at the time. Still, Jonney ended up supporting the team of engineers by providing 60 percent of their startup funding, and Stan was fine with that.

ASUS in the form of a tiny workshop in its first year. Jonney Shih didn’t join until three years later.

Without Jonney Shih’s direct guidance, the ASUS co-founders were still able to make a huge breakthrough. In its second year, the startup beat its local rivals and launched an Intel 486 motherboard around the same time as IBM. But unlike the American giant, ASUS achieved this feat without getting a preview of Intel’s chip; the engineers based their motherboard design on their understanding of earlier chipsets. Intel was so impressed that it started giving ASUS early access to its upcoming CPUs, and ASUS would later manufacture motherboards for the likes of Dell, HP and Sony.

Fast-forward to 1992: The two Shihs finally got Acer back into shape, but it was quite the opposite for ASUS. The company was suffering from quality issues plus a loss of “second-generation” engineers. Jonney recalled how he came across ASUS’ empty lab at around 5:30PM one evening, which was a worrying sign for what was supposed to be an ambitious startup. He also implied that the young co-founders often struggled to come to a common ground over issues regarding business and technology, and would often seek his advice.

Jonney asked Stan once again to let him join ASUS. Seeing that Acer was in good health, this time Stan gave the go-ahead, under the condition that Jonney would take a half-year break beforehand.

Best friends forever: Shih supporting former Intel exec Sean Maloney for completing his Heart Across America cycling campaign. Maloney is credited for the creation of ASUS’ Eee PC netbook category.

Soon after taking charge of ASUS, Shih quickly started working on replenishing ASUS’ talent pool, which wasn’t easy for the tiny company. He would pick up the phone and work through a list of graduates he obtained from his alma mater, the National Taiwan University, to convince them that they would learn a lot by joining ASUS.

Fortunately for Shih, most of the candidates were so touched after their phone call with him they ended up joining ASUS. What won them over was probably the fact that Shih was also an electrical engineering graduate, and his passion for the science was — and still is — apparent. The exec would later set up electronic classes for the software engineers, and vice versa for the electronic folks.

Fundamentals

Not even ASUS’ cute mascot, Zenny, could steal people’s attention away from Shih.

Today’s ASUS is over 13,800 people strong, around 6,000 of whom are based in Taiwan. Even though the company now offers a broad range of products including laptops, tablets, all-in-ones, smartphones, graphics cards, routers and more, it is still very active in the motherboard market. In fact, at the beginning of this year, ASUS sold its 500 millionth motherboard.

It’s worth noting that ASUS has long stopped making motherboards for other companies. The OEM business was offloaded to its subsidiary Pegatron in 2008, before that company was spun off completely two years later. And, while it’s more famous for manufacturing iPhones and iPads these days, it also still makes devices for ASUS.

An art installation made of ASUS motherboard parts.

Despite the growing number of laptop and tablet users, Shih believes there is always room for motherboards in the consumer market, courtesy of power users. From an R&D perspective, the motherboard is where engineers can go back to the fundamentals, as well as experiment with the latest technologies that will eventually be applied to other products. It’s no wonder the Zen Garden, situated at the heart of the ASUS campus, resembles the layout of a motherboard.

“Can you feel the electromagnetic wave? If you don’t, go back.”

“I always ask my engineers that when you take this [motherboard], can you feel the electromagnetic wave? If you don’t, go back,” Shih chuckled, but he was serious. What he means is even if you’re just looking at digital signals, they can still be affected by noise and interference due to the nature of electromagnetism. But if the engineers still don’t understand where the issues are coming from, then Shih would tell them to go “read the electromagnetic theory 20 times,” because that’s what he would do as well.

Shih knows his science. After all these years, he still shows a lot of enthusiasm when talking about calculus, Maxwell’s equations, high-speed signal design, signal simulation, quantum physics and even the theory of relativity. If that’s not a sign of a true geek, then nothing is.

When design meets engineering

The ASUS ZenBook UX305.

What sets Shih apart from many engineers is his well-known appreciation of classical arts, which contributed to his determination to strive for perfection. For instance, he followed in his grandfather’s footsteps by picking up Chinese calligraphy, which is an art that requires regular practice to achieve significant improvement. Shih is also a fan of Mozart’s music, and in his opinion, the musician’s real breakthrough wasn’t until his “Piano Concerto No. 7.” “Even a genius has to practice at least 10,000 hours,” he said. This is the kind of spirit that he expects in his team: Keep practicing until you truly understand your work.

But not everyone’s an artist, as some engineers would confess to Shih. Sometimes, he said, they would get too absorbed in debugging a product, and end up not understanding why it doesn’t sell well. To push his colleagues to their maximum potential, Shih has since set up mandatory classes on “design thinking.” This methodology is nothing new in the design industry: It’s all about product developers putting themselves in consumers’ shoes; thinking out of the box; and striking the right balance among desirability, financial viability and technical feasibility. That way, the products are more likely to be embraced by consumers.

ASUS launched the ZenFone 2 in Taipei back in March.

In Shih’s opinion, the ZenFone 2 is a good example of design thinking. It’s very affordable, but still packs an impressive punch in the specs department. Plus it looks and feels solid, even if it sticks to plastic for the body. The numbers reflect some success in certain regions. According to research firm BCN, ASUS topped Japan’s SIM-free smartphone market with a 29.6 percent market share in the first half of 2015. Specifically, the ZenFone 2 ranked number three in July, which was already its second month in the country. On the other side of the world, the ZenFone 2 is listed as the top and second best seller on Amazon in Italy and the US, respectively, at the time of publication (Amazon updates its list hourly). Looking ahead, the company expects to ship 25 million smartphones this year, though Shih wouldn’t confirm whether the upcoming high-end PadFone refresh would fall into this window.

But can ASUS fend off other aggressive smartphone brands such as Xiaomi, OnePlus and Huawei? Shih said it’s inevitable that consumers will be drawn to the best blend of price and performance, and his company has to go with the mobile trend or else risk becoming irrelevant. The least his team could do is to follow the old wisdom and focus on customer happiness. Slideshow-312871

Next stop: robotics and more

Big data and robotics would complete the third generation of the industrial revolution.

At Computex, ASUS already announced plans for its smart home ecosystem, which include door and window alarms, smart power peripherals and IP cameras. But the company isn’t stopping there. Throughout the interview, Shih kept name-dropping his company’s mysterious advanced research center, the Da Vinci Lab, a few times — mainly to tease ASUS’ next big thing: big data and robotics. “That would complete the third generation of the industrial revolution,” he said.

The work going on inside the Da Vinci Lab is pretty secretive, but its location isn’t. According to OpenStreetMap, if you stroll across the street from ASUS HQ’s main entrance and make a left turn, you’ll see a convenience store at the corner. If you happen to be a deliveryman looking for the store’s back entrance, you might just accidentally walk into the lab. This is where ASUS came up with its scented laptop, its first-ever tablet and its PixelMaster camera technology to boost low-light sensitivity. A quick search on Google also reveals the lab’s development on natural language processing.

So what’s hiding behind the curtains in the Da Vinci Lab at the moment? Shih teased that he’s personally driving a robotics project. The aim is to come up with a machine that can proactively interact with humans, so it’ll probably be similar to Pepper and other intelligent robots. We may see it as soon as next year, if ASUS can keep up with its “very aggressive schedule.”

ASUS booth at Computex 2015.

With such high ambitions and recent achievements, ASUS is a stark contrast to some of its local rivals: HTC is practically worthless now, though it may revive with other types of products; Acer’s struggling big time after a major reshuffling; and Gigabyte has suspended its smartphone operations as of last month. In Shih’s view, many of the Taiwanese PC makers relied too heavily on Intel plus Windows, and just focused on driving the specs. The only way out now is to upgrade themselves in all aspects. “No cheating,” Shih said with a grin.

[Image credit for first three photos: ASUS; video taken with help from Ross Wang and Andy Yang at Engadget Chinese]

Filed under:
Cellphones, Desktops, Laptops, Tablets, Mobile, ASUS

Comments

Tags: asus, beitou, chairman, DaVinciLab, featured, features, interview, jonney shih, jonneyshih, mobilepostcross, motherboard, padfone, taiwan, video, zenfone

16
Aug

Knowing when to pay attention to life


I will be the first to tell you that smartphones are one of the best electronic devices to have ever been created. They allow us to interact with people across the entire world, keep in touch with friends that have moved away, stay up to date on news and stories from around the globe, and access anything on the internet from wherever we are. Unfortunately, we sometimes find ourselves relying too much on these tiny, pocket sized computers. 

FOMO

I have been a sufferer of a “condition” people are referring to as FOMO, or “fear of missing out.” Whenever I hear that I have a new notification or feel my phone vibrate, I almost immediately go to check it. It does not matter what I am doing or where I am, and that is because I have convinced myself that something cooler could have just popped up on my phone.

Since I have started writing for AG almost a year ago, I have used that as an excuse to always check my phone because it might be an email from a company about a product or app review, or maybe it is a message from someone else on the team who needs advice or opinion on an article. So I will check my phone, and 99% of the time it is just an email from Best Buy telling me about some amazing sale that I will miss out on or a message from Twitter saying that some of my friends have retweeted something. Anytime that it is a notification I actually care about, it is never something that need to be looked at right away.

But this does not stop me from always checking Twitter, or Slack, or Feedly, because I think that the one time I do not check, I will miss out on some amazing story that everyone will be talking about later. Believe it or not, that has never happened to me, and I have recently learned that you can miss more important things by always checking your phone than you can by not checking it.

Don’t miss an amazing sight

Persied meteor showerLast Wednesday and Thursday nights, I told my girlfriend we should watch the Perseid meteor shower because it was supposed to be spectacular. We had never watched one before, but she agreed that it would be fun. So we went out to a field and lied down on a blanket looking up at the sky. I must say, the meteor shower was breathtaking. We spent three hours out there each night watching the meteors streak across the sky, and never once took out our phones.

Thursday night, we had gone about fifteen minutes without seeing a meteor, and I felt my phone vibrate. I wanted so badly to check it, but I decided that whatever it was could wait. Only a few seconds later, the most amazing meteor we saw the entire time flew across the night sky. It was huge, bright, colorful, and zoomed from one end of the sky to the other. If I would have checked my phone, I would have missed the best meteor of the whole night.

Later, when we had finished watching and I actually did check my phone, it turned out to be an email from Best Buy letting me know I only had four hours to snag their latest deal.

Don’t miss an amazing time

Saturday, my family got together to celebrate my grandmother’s and uncle’s birthdays. I have two younger cousins who are three and six. The six-year-old loves technology, and when we got to my uncle’s house, he was already on an iPad trying to learn how to play solitaire. He did not even come say hi to me for the first hour I was there. The three-year-old is much less technology dependent and greeted us at the door when we walked in.

Clicking away!We all talked for a while, finally got the six-year-old off the iPad, and sat down to eat dinner, cake, and open some presents. Before dinner was even over, my six-year-old cousin told his mother he was done and wanted to go play on the computer. Unfortunately, everyone said it was okay, and we lost him for basically the rest of the party. We left a little more than an hour later, and someone had to go get him so he could say goodbye to us.

I understand where he is coming from because there are plenty of times that I would rather be alone than out there talking to everyone, but he missed some great times with everyone. His little brother played a pretty intense game of “I Spy” with all of us, and it would have been nice to have him there, too.

Of course, he will eventually grow out of it, or at least get to the point where he wants to socialize with everyone. But there are many times that I see other members of my family, myself included, missing out on moments while we are busy on our phones.

Phones are absolutely amazing, and I would be lying to you if I said I though otherwise; however, they should be used in moderation just like everything else. Whenever you get that email, see that article, get that tweet, or hear that notification, stop and think if you really need to look at it right now. Odds are nothing will change between you doing something about it now and doing something about it later.

The email will still be in your inbox, the article will still be on that site, the tweet will still be on Twitter, and the notification will still be on your phone. As I have constantly learned, these notifications are never as important as the people you are with.

Many times, you can miss out on something great by keeping your eyes focused 45 degrees down and a few feet in front of your face.

The post Knowing when to pay attention to life appeared first on AndroidGuys.

16
Aug

The After Math: Periscope views and new Samsung phones



While Google was busy reinventing itself as Alphabet, Twitter quietly annihilated its 140 character limit for direct messages, and Samsung released two new, big phones with appropriately big names. Here’s a completely numerically biased version of the week’s events. Slideshow-312088

Filed under:

Comments

Tags: aftermath, cvs, Flock, hack, nasa, periscope, samsung, sls, theaftermath

%d bloggers like this: