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2
Apr

Here’s how the Galaxy S7 handles heat


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Phones get warmer when they do things, but do they get hot?

One of the many questions we see anytime there’s a new phone out there, especially after all of the excitement last year with the Snapdragon 808 and 810 processors, is how a new phone handles heat. The Galaxy S7 is no different, and like all glass phones the first thing you’ll notice about this phone is it gets a little warm during the initial setup.

Last year we saw the Galaxy S6 edge had a nasty habit of radiating quite a bit of the heat generated by its processor right next to the power button. This year, we’re taking a look at the S7 and S7 edge next to the S6 edge and Note 5 to show how differently these phones deal with heat buildup and dissipation.

To perform this test, each of the four phones used are on the same network with as close to the same app load as possible. Since these are all Verizon Wireless variants of Samsung phones — that’s just about as close to identical as we can get with phones that don’t have the Nexus logo on the back. Each phone has the AnTuTu benchmark app running to push the phone to generate some heat, and we’re capturing everything with the Flir One thermal camera connected to a Moto X Pure Edition set to Semi-Gloss emissivity in the Flir app.

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From left: The Galaxy S6, Note 5, GS7 and GS7 edge

The first thing you’ll notice from the images captured in this series is the noticeable difference in the starting point for the Galaxy S6 edge. The leftmost photo in the series was taken after the phones sat for 15 minutes doing nothing. The Galaxy S6 edge runs warmer than the others by default, usually by 2 to 3 degrees internally. It’s not enough that you’d notice it when holding these phones, but the thermal camera sees it easily. The Galaxy S7 is slightly warmer than the Note 5, and the S7 edge runs the coolest of the four when idle.

The Galaxy S7 edge is able to deal with the heat much better than either of the other three phones.

If you look at the middle photo in the series, you’ll see what these phones look like when the they’re in the middle of the 3D graphics part of the AnTuTu benchmark. Here you’ll see the S6 edge and S7 have quite a bit in common. The phones spike up as high as 130 degrees internally, radiating a lot of that heat right onto the power button. The older Galaxy S6 edge gets slightly warmer than the S7, but not by enough that you’d feel the difference. You absolutely feel the difference between the two smaller phones and the two larger phones in this test, but the Galaxy S7 edge is able to deal with the heat much better than either of the other three phones.

The final photo in the series was taken 60 seconds after the benchmark app was complete, and this image has the most interesting bit of information. The S6 edge gets 2 degrees hotter than any of the other phones in the middle of the benchmark, but the S7 takes longer to dissipate that heat. Samsung’s heat pipes are clearly doing the job spreading the heat, as you can see by the heat moving down the side of the phone, but the S6 edge had already become noticeably cooler at the same time. Meanwhile, the S7 edge had already returned to the same internal temperature as its resting temperature.

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None of the phones in this lineup is accused of overheating when pushed — even though the Galaxy S6 edge dumps out of the AnTuTu 3D test once it hits 130 degrees — but heat is always a concern for some. More than anything, the difference between the way Samsung’s latest phones handle heat is interesting. The Galaxy S7 edge can handle just about anything you throw at it without getting overly warm, and when coupled with the larger battery that could be further evidence for some that this is the phone to buy.

Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge

  • Galaxy S7 review
  • Galaxy S7 edge review
  • Galaxy S7 edge with Exynos: A Canadian perspective
  • Here are all four Galaxy S7 colors
  • Details on the Galaxy S7’s camera
  • The SD card is back on the GS7
  • Join our Galaxy S7 forums

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2
Apr

Sony’s RX10 III is an impressive but overly expensive camera


Superzoom cameras aren’t exactly the most exciting category when you’re looking at photography equipment. They’re usually almost as large as a DSLR but don’t offer the advantage of interchangeable lenses. But Sony’s just-announced RX10 III made me sit up and pay attention — it may look nearly identical to the model Sony introduced last September, but there’s an entirely different piece of glass on this camera.

You’re stuck with one lens, but what a lens it is: it covers an insane focal range from 24mm to 600mm (35mm equivalent) and has an impressive f/2.8 – f/4 maximum aperture range. That offers significantly more zoom capability than the 200mm lens on last year’s model. It comes at a cost, though: the RX10 III will set you back a whopping $1,500. That’s a lot of money for a camera with a fixed lens, even one as impressive as the one in the RX10 III (at least on paper). Fortunately Sony let me take the camera out for a spin at the San Francisco Zoo along with a bunch of other journalists to see how it stands up.

This isn’t a full review, but I got a good sense of the camera’s capabilities in the two hours I got to spend with it. First, the good news: the RX10’s new lens is indeed very impressive. A zoo is a perfect place to test out that long telephoto capability, and I came away with some fairly impressive pictures of the creatures I encountered. I rarely shoot with a lens this long, so it was a lot of fun trying to get sharp and detailed close-ups of the many animals around the zoo, and the camera largely delivered.

The telephoto lens combined with a reasonably intuitive control scheme, solid viewfinder and fast focus meant I came away with some pretty good shots (you can be the judge by looking through the gallery below). The camera fortunately includes image stabilization technology to go along with its long lens, and there are plenty of dials for quickly adjusting the aperture and shutter speed on the fly if you like to shoot in manual mode. I’m not a wildlife photographer, and I don’t use lenses like this very often, but this camera seems like it can turn in solid results.

That said, there are some undeniable drawbacks to the RX10 III, and they’re essentially the same as those that have existed throughout the previous models. Probably the most important is that the camera only has a 1-inch sensor, significantly smaller than you’ll find in all DSLR and mirrorless cameras with interchangeable lenses. Sensor size is a key factor in image quality, including its dynamic range and performance in low light. While I didn’t get a chance to test the latter, the camera did struggle to resolve all the details in scenes where there was a lot of contrast in the light. Most of my shooting with the camera came in the late afternoon under a very bright sun, and a lot of the brighter parts of the shots felt a bit blown out to me.

Then there’s the question of price — does it make sense to spend $1,500 on a camera with a tiny image sensor and a lens you can’t swap? Sure, it helps that the lens is extremely versatile, but a lens that covers that wide of a focal range will certainly make some tradeoffs in image quality. To me, it feels like anyone investing that much money into a camera system will want something with a bigger sensor and / or more flexibility in terms of lens choice. For $1,500, you could buy the excellent Fujifilm X-T10 along with its 18-55mm f/2.8-4 lens along with a 55-200mm lens for when you need to go telephoto. Or if you want a DSLR, you could pick up the newest Canon Rebel with a kit lens for a paltry $549 and have nearly a grand left to play with for lenses. And if you outgrew the Rebel, all of your investment in lenses would carry over to your next camera.

Yes, the RX10’s zoom lens is an impressive feat of engineering, and yes you can take excellent photos with the camera. But I’m just not sure who is going to spend that much money on it. Superzooms have proven they have a place in the camera market, but I’m not sure they deserve a place at a $1,500 price point.

To view full-resolution sample photos show with the Sony RX10 III, click here.

2
Apr

Watson made a simple apple pie complicated


‘Cognitive Cooking with Chef Watson’ is a collaboration between IBM and the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. As part of an ongoing series, we’ll be preparing one recipe from the book until we’ve made all of them. Wish us luck.

When given the opportunity to prepare a recipe from Cooking With Watson, I picked Baltic apple pie because hey, it’s apple pie. You mix up some filling, dump it into a tin lined with dough, bake for 40 minutes and voila, you have a delicious dessert that you can even put ice cream on. Oh, the Baltic apple pie has pork in it? OK, forget the ice cream. But, a savory meat pie can’t be that hard, right?

This is where I’m supposed to say “wrong,” but to be fair, the Baltic apple pie isn’t really that hard. But the recipe also includes two sauces and a garnish, requiring a total of 23 ingredients and hours to make. It wasn’t even an entire meal. My colleague Terrence O’Brien has noted how Cooking With Watson isn’t really intended for home cooks, and with this project, I learned that the hard way.

The ingredients came from a variety of supermarkets, but it’s not necessary to shop around so extensively; most of the ingredients for the Baltic apple pie and its accoutrements are common items such as milk, eggs and garlic. It does require three different sugars as well as two salts: fine sea and smoked. Smoked salt is one of the two hard-to-get ingredients on the list, along with agar. Agar can usually be bought at Asian grocers, but I went to Whole Foods only because there’s one close to the Engadget office. I wouldn’t recommend that due to cost: If you can’t find them at your local market, buy the ingredients online instead.


The one thing I had trouble locating wasn’t an ingredient, but a kitchen tool: Tart rings. Any time I was in a store that offered household goods I looked for them to no avail. I could have gone to a kitchen supply store or ordered online, but ultimately decided not to given I had little use for them after this recipe.

I set aside an afternoon to get this done, thinking that a savory pork and apple pie would be lovely at dinner. First item on the list was the “mayo,” written in quotes because this mayo lacks oil, vinegar and lemon juice. Instead, it utilizes eggs, milk and cream with agar to set, and is flavored with allspice and vanilla bean. I have learned that scraping out a vanilla bean is not fun and a bit anxiety-inducing: Given that they’re so expensive, you want to make sure you use every last bit, and the process can be messy.

Everything was fine from there until I popped the mixture into the blender. It never thickened into a gel. The flavor was correct, at least. I left the “mayo” to chill and went to work on the apricot and blueberry preserves. It also failed to gel properly, but still made a fine tart compote.


At this point I decided to tackle the apple pie itself. The first step was to dice and brine the pork, but didn’t specify which salt to use. I opted to use the fine sea salt, sprinkling in just a handful of the smoked version for flavor. I prepared the rest of the filling, throwing diced apples and onions along with chopped garlic into a pan to sauté with butter. “That smells divine,” my roommate called out from the other room. The instructions then say to sprinkle brown sugar and salt on the filling… but again failed to specify which salt. I used the smoked one.

Next up was the puff pastry sheets. The recipe wanted me to cut them into 6- and 4-inch circles. However, when I unfolded the puff pastry sheet it quickly became apparent it wasn’t enough for four full-size tarts. I checked to see if I had screwed up: The recipe says one to two pounds of puff pastry dough, which could be one or two boxes, and I had only purchased one box with roughly one pound.

Undeterred, I opted to cut the circles smaller. Remember how I didn’t buy tart rings? I decided to use my muffin tin instead, and my reduced circles fit inside each slot perfectly. I put a spoonful of filling into each cup, used the remaining dough to cover each nascent pie, and popped it in the oven to bake.


While I waited I worked on the garlic chips. The recipe called for sliced garlic to be blanched three times in milk. The process of blanching can remove intense or harsh flavors, but boiling a shallow pan of milk three times felt like such a waste of dairy it depressed me, especially for something as minor as a garnish.

I took the pies out of the oven and they actually looked appetizing. Unfortunately, they never properly browned up, even after I put them back in the oven sans pan.

I assembled a full plate with all the components and it all looked pretty good. I cut one open with a fork to discover the dough never got light and flaky because of how I cooked it. It was more like a pot pie, which was fine with me. The dough was moist and chewy and had absorbed flavor well. The pork was nice and juicy too, thanks to the brining.


Unfortunately, the pork was also really salty. Even after draining out the brine enough remained in the meat to throw off the flavor and overwhelm the taste of the Granny Smith apples. This is where the two sauces really shined here, with the mayo nullifying the salt while the intense flavor of the compote matched the brightness of the salt and accentuated the pork well. In that moment the extra work made sense.

I had plenty of filling left over, so there was room to try again. And, since my editor Dana Wollman asked me to bring her one of the finished pies, I felt obligated to make more. But, as it’s not a good idea to be overly salty with your boss, I needed to fix the brine problem first.

That was easy; I just sauteed more apple and onion and combined them with the existing pork mix. That went a long way toward dispersing the brine, and I even felt confident enough to add more smoked salt.


I also needed more puff pastry dough, but wasn’t thrilled at the thought of having to cut more discs and stuff them in the muffin tin again. So I was absolutely delighted to find a box of Pepperidge Farm puff pastry cups at the supermarket. They’re basically small hexagons of dough with a circle cut in the middle. After baking them ’til they’re nice and fluffy you punch out the circle and then you have a small bowl for creating hors d’oeuvres.

To make a completely covered pastry I improvised, using a second disc of uncooked dough as a lid and gluing it on with some egg wash. After 20 to 30 minutes, I had a tray of 12 puffy, flaky pork apple pies. The bottom half was a little browner than the top, but it didn’t matter: The insides were chewy and sweet, and the meat was cooked perfectly. They went over well at the office.

Baltic Apple Pie
I still have plenty of filling left, and even if I didn’t, the Baltic apple pie is something I probably would make again. But in the future, I’d skip the mayo and compote and just be more careful with my brining. I wouldn’t bother with the garlic chips either: The parsley, chives and apple were fine garnishes in their own right. There’s no reason to spend so much time spent gussying up a pie that can be excellent even by itself.

2
Apr

How to encrypt your iOS or Android device – CNET


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Sarah Tew/CNET

The battle between Apple and the FBI brought a renewed focus on the importance of encryption. Regardless of what your opinion on the case may be, I shouldn’t have to explain the significance of protecting your personal data, and it all starts with your smartphone.

These devices hold personal photos, private messages, emails, and sometimes even sensitive health information. It would be devastating for this data to fall into the wrong hands. While using a security code is a step in the right direction, you should really consider encrypting your device.

Apple’s iPhones and iPads, and a majority of Android devices can all be encrypted. Here’s what you need to know:

iOS

Apple introduced device encryption with iOS 8 back in 2014. All it takes is a security code or fingerprint to enable it. While a basic four-digit passcode will do, for better protection I recommend using a longer numerical passcode or a password.

  • Head to Settings
  • Select Touch ID & Passcode (or “Passcode” for older devices without a fingerprint sensor)
  • Click on the “Turn Passcode On” option
  • Enter a strong passcode or password

Android

It’s a little more complicated for Android devices. Google’s Nexus phones and tablets come with encryption enabled by default. A majority of new devices that ship with Android 6.0 Marshmallow, such as the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge, are also encrypted. Similar to the iPhone, all you have to do is add security code or fingerprint to enable it.

  • Head to Settings
  • Click Security
  • Select Screen Lock
  • Create a security code.

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Sarah Tew/CNET

For older devices, however, like the Moto X Pure and Galaxy S6, you will need to manually encrypt it. Before we start, make sure the phone is plugged in since it could take up to an hour to complete depending on the amount of data on your device. Next create a passcode using the method outline above and the follow the steps below:

  • Head to Settings
  • Select Security
  • Click on Encrypt phone

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Sarah Tew/CNET

The method is slightly different on the Galaxy S6. It involves going to Settings, selecting Lock Screen and Security, followed by Other Security Settings, and clicking on Encrypt phone.

You also can encrypt your SD card to keep data safe and prevent the card from being used in another device (unless wiped first). Head to Settings, select, Security, followed by Encrypt external SD card and click Enable. Unlike device encryption (which required you wipe the phone to remove it), SD card encryption can easily be reversed in the Settings menu.

Reasons not to encrypt your Android device

Encrypting your phone may seem like a no brainer, but there are a few reasons why you may want to hold off. The method is slightly different for each device. Motorola, for example, lets you continue to use a pin and pattern after the phone has been encrypted, but Samsung only lets you use a password or fingerprint.

Samsung also requires you enter the password after each reboot. While this makes it less likely for thieves to access you data, it may be too much of an inconvenience for some people.

Your device will also take a slight performance hit when you encrypt it. It’s barely noticeable on recent high-end phones, however older models and low-end devices could suffer. I recommend only encrypting recent high-end devices, such as the Galaxy S6, LG G4, HTC One M10, and their newer models (Galaxy S7, LG G5, etc…).

2
Apr

Recommended Reading: Crying Jordan has taken over the internet


The Evolution of the
Michael Jordan
Crying Face Meme

Laura Wagner,
NPR

If you’ve been paying attention to Twitter over the last few months, especially sports Twitter, you’ve certainly noticed Michael Jordan’s crying face pasted on a variety of images. Meant to visualize that “welp” moment of disappointment, the Crying Jordan meme has taken over the internet, and NPR has the story of its evolution.

How We’re Unwittingly Letting Robots Censor the Web
Caitlin Dewey, Washington Post

We’ve all heard about YouTube copyright takedowns, but do the algorithms policing content have more power than they should?

Dwarf Fortress’ Creator on How He’s 42 Percent Towards Simulating Existence
Wes Fenlon, PC Gamer

Tarn Adams has been working on Dwarf Fortress for a decade. He’s not even half-way done with a list of 2,600 features and tasks that will appear in the final version.

2
Apr

ICYMI: Portable DNA lab, drone inspired by bug and more


ICYMI: Portable DNA Lab, Drone Inspired by Bug and More

Today on In Case You Missed It: Bento Lab is releasing a portable lab to analyze DNA, the Picobug drone can autonomously switch from flying to crawling and back again, and NASA is giving the people what they want, since what they want is a HoloLens tour of what Mars is really like.

We’re also summing up the week for you in our TLDR segment. While we didn’t include it because the news keeps changing, please do read up on the Japanese satellite that may or may not have splintered into five different pieces, but then sent some communications. Very X-Files. As always, please share any great tech or science videos you find by using the #ICYMI hashtag on Twitter for @mskerryd.

2
Apr

Head of mobile chips said to be to leaving Intel


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Aicha Evans talked of company’s struggles in the mobile market in February.

Aicha Evans may be leaving Intel, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday, citing unnamed sources. The move may be part of a larger management change, WSJ said. Bloomberg also reported Friday that Evans had submitted her resignation.

Evans had been with Intel for more than 10 years but was still in the early stages as head of the Communication and Devices Group, part of the Platform Engineering Group and, specifically, responsible for the modems in Intel’s phones.

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Intel’s Aicha Evans, seated at right.

Evans had a frank talk with journalists at Mobile World Congress in February in Barcelona, where she in no uncertain terms admitted that Intel simply hadn’t done as well as it had hoped over the past year, and that the company basically had blown things a dozen years ago.

“A lot of people say that we lost the handset battle, which we did,” Evans said. I believe we lost it in 2004, when LTE was being defined and we were on Wimax. And then in 2007, we totally misread the iPhone, and that one really gave us a heart attack.”

Intel’s grand re-entrance into the mobile market came in 2015 with the ASUS Zenfone 2, a mid-ranger that had a small but fervent fan base. (See our interview with Evans and ASUS’ Jonny Shih.) The company had its chipsets (sans modem) in a handful of tablets, but the ZF2 was the first to sport an Intel modem. And MWC 2016 was the coming out of the next-generation of modem, the Intel XMM 7480. But Evans told us in February that the Android space — and particularly the players involved — was more difficult than anticipated. “I learned that running Android on [Intel Architecture] is not as easy as I thought,” she said in Barcelona. “I learned that China is not like getting Google certification and you’re done.”

Intel has yet to publicly comment on the reports of Evans’ departure.

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2
Apr

DARPA’s reusable unmanned ‘gremlin’ planes are a go


Four aerospace and security corporations will attempt to make DARPA’s “gremlins program” dream a reality. The Department of Defense division has joined forces with its frequent collaborator Lockheed Martin, Dynetics of Alabama, as well as Composite Engineering and General Atomics Aeronautical Systems of California. Dan Patt, the program manager, said these four contractors are “exploring different, innovative approaches” to create a system of reusable unmanned vehicles (called gremlins) that can launch from bigger aircraft, such as bombers and cargo planes.

These gremlins will be deployed in groups to go after a target. Once their mission is done, they’ll be collected by a Lockheed C-130 military plane mid-air and prepped for the next mission 24 hours later. They’re expected to be able to fly 20 times before they need to be replaced, unlike single-use drones and missile, to save the military money. At the same time, DARPA envisions small planes that aren’t as costly to maintain as fighter jets.

For the project’s first phase, the companies will have to conjure up launch and retrieval techniques, low-cost airframe designs and the drones’ navigation system/digital flight controls. This is merely the first step, though, and it’ll take more time before the military can release swarms of low-cost autonomous gremlin planes to do its bidding.

Source: DARPA

2
Apr

Bloomberg: Facebook rejects NFL Thursday night livestreams


It looks like Facebook’s flirtations with pro football are over. The social network was apparently in discussions with the NFL to livestream Thursday night games, but is backing out of the deal according to Bloomberg. The killer? Commercials and the NFL’s insistence on a TV-style advertising system for its streams. From the sounds of it, Zuckerberg and Co. weren’t exactly keen on early morning London-based NFL International games that come part and parcel with the package, either.

Bloomberg says that the NFL is still trying to court other buyers for the Thursday night streams, though, specifically calling out Verizon as a potential suitor. Which would make sense given that Engadget’s parent company also offers Sunday streams on mobile, and was throwing ads over the NFL’s previous news clips on Facebook.

If anyone has the pocketbook to cover the close to $45 million per-game that the NFL is currently charging CBS and NBC for five games each, Big Red is a solid bet. If you’re still looking to scratch that NFL on Facebook itch, the league continues to post game clips on its fan page. Even this featured one with former New York Jet Curtis Martin talking about growing the sport’s popularity in the UK. That probably wasn’t intentional at all, nope.

Source: Bloomberg

2
Apr

Acer Chromebase is an all-in-one video conference system


We first met Acer’s Chromebase at CES 2016, but that one wasn’t loaded with Google’s enterprise software like this version is. The company’s new Chromebase for meetings is a dedicated video conference system that tracks schedules and supports 25-person Hangouts sessions, even with people with no Google accounts. Unlike Chromebox for meetings, which the big G launched back in 2014, this is an all-in-one device that already comes with a display. Google says getting the computer up and running is as easy as plugging it in and connecting it to a network.

Chromebase has a 24-inch, 720p touchscreen display, an adjustable camera, two speakers and a four-mic array for use during conferences. It has several ports at the back, including three for USB 3.0, one for USB 2.0, another one for headphones, as well as an SD card reader. The device also comes with remote management tools an office’s IT team can use to troubleshoot video or audio quality, among other issues. Businesses in the US, Canada, UK, Ireland and Australia can now call their suppliers to get one for $799, which includes management and support fees for one year.

Just take note that this is a device meant for use in smaller spaces and by two people in one room. Those who need a more powerful system for bigger meeting areas may want to get a Chromebox with better specs instead.

Source: Acer, Google for Work

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