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14
Jul

Hisense M7000 ULED TV gives you 55-inches, 4K UHD and HDR for just £799


Hisense continues down its path of offering the highest TV spec on a budget. The Hisense M7000 55-incher has 4K HDR tech for just £799.

There’s also a 65-inch model for just £1,199.

The range uses what Hisense calls ULED technology. That’s the name it associates with its picture tech and local dimming backlight tech. The proprietary ULED software offers enhanced colour, definition and motion control.

As with most televisions released this year, the M7000 series is 4K Ultra HD-ready, with a 2160p resolution. It also features High Dynamic Range (HDR) tech for a wider colour gamut and better contrast. This complies with 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays, which come with HDR encodes.

Hisense

Both the 55 and 65-inchers have quad-core processors, which drive the Smart TV functionality. Netflix is available on the sets in 4K, plus BBC iPlayer, Amazon Video, Wuaki.tv and many more apps.

A built-in web browser is available, and Anyview Cast and Anyview Stream can mirror content on your smartphone on the screen itself.

The Hisense 55M7000 and Hisense 65M7000 TVs are available to buy in the UK through John Lewis now.

The company also offers a range of even cheaper sets, some with 4K HDR tech, but it is good to see it coming in at a slightly more premium level.

14
Jul

10 reasons the Honeywell Lyric Security and Home Control System is amazing


Many of us lead busy and sometimes stressful lives, rushing about here, there and everywhere trying to get things done. It is hard enough to fit everything in and keep everything ticking along smoothly, without having to worry about things such as your home and whether it is safe and secure while you’re going about your business.

That’s where advancements in technology can really help you out though. These days, it is possible to have control over your home when you’re in it as well as when you’re not.

Systems like Honeywell’s Lyric Security and Home Control System are all about giving you peace of mind, taking the stress out of everyday concerns you shouldn’t need to worry about on top of your daily life. Here are 10 reasons why the Lyric Security and Home Control System is amazing.

Lovely design

Honeywell offers numerous devices within the Lyric Security and Home Control System, each of which will perform brilliantly individually, and even better together.

Each device, including the 7-inch touchscreen Lyric Controller look great, featuring sleek designs that will blend in with most decors, while ensuring protection throughout the entire home. The main controller can be wall-mounted or placed on a table at a 30 or 60-degree angle.

More control

The Lyric Controller, mentioned above, provides a central control point for all the devices within their system from thermostats and cameras to lights and locks, but users can also take control from their smartphones too using the Total Connect app.

It means you’ll be able to see what’s happening in your home at any point, as well as ensure you’ve locked the front door for example, whether you’re at the neighbors or in another state. The system uses 128-bit encryption so you can rest assured a high level of security is in place.

Notifications of threats

The Lyric Security and Home Control system ensures you are notified of any threats to your home, whether this be an intruder, a fire or an increase in carbon monoxide.

The system consists of a Smoke Detector, Motion Detector, Glassbreak Dectector, Door/Window Contact and Siren, all of which contribute to keeping you in the know of potential threats to your home.

Motion detection

As we mentioned, the Lyric Security and Home Control System is made up of several devices, one of which is the Motion Detector. This detector will identify an intruder’s movement and notify you accordingly.

What’s great about this particular motion detector is that it recognises pets up to 80lbs so you won’t be alerted every time the cat decides to hop onto the sofa. It means you won’t be interrupted unnecessarily but you will still know if there is an unwelcome guest in your home.

Voice commands

The Lyric Controller isn’t just a touchscreen that can be controlled with your fingertips, it will also respond to your voice, delivering hands-free home control.

Say “Hello Lyric”, followed by a simple command, such as “Wake Up” and the system will get your home ready for the day. This might include the lights being turned on, or increasing the temperature on the Lyric thermostat to ensure you enjoy your breakfast in a comfortable environment, for example. It could also be something as simple as “Returning Home” if you had your hands full when you walked in, which will lock the front door and disarm the system.

Easy to use

The Lyric Controller puts your home in your hands, offering an intuitive, easy to learn and easy to use system that will allow you to control it easily.

Its high resolution display ensures icons are crystal clear, while the interface keeps things simple with no complex menus so controlling security, cameras, lights, locks and thermostats are a breeze. There is also the Lyric Keypad for easy, on-premises security system control.

24/7 monitoring

We may have a routine, but many of us don’t operate on a fixed schedule and therefore nor do our homes. The beauty of the Lyric Security and Home Control system is that it is monitored by a professional monitoring station 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

This means if there is an alarm, the appropriate emergency response can be notified. Users can also check in on their homes from wherever they are. You can go about daily activities, or head off on vacation, safe in the knowledge you can see what’s happening in your home from your smartphone, or from the central control unit when you are home.

Smart Scenes

The Lyric Security and Home Control System isn’t just about monitoring your home, it also allows you to tune it to your life using what Honeywell calls Smart Scenes.

These scenes can consist of anything from scheduling lights to turn on as the sun disappears for the day, to the front door unlocking every Friday evening at 19:00 for the babysitter as you leave for date night.

Peace of mind

You can’t be at home all the time and even if you could, you can only be in one room at a time. The Lyric Security and Home Control System allows you to be away from home and go about your life, with the knowledge that your home is protected.

The system can’t fight a fire, or stop an intruder, but it is able to alert you when your children are home from school for example, or let you know if glass has been broken, delivering a great first line of defense and offering peace of mind that if something has happened or there is a problem, you’d know wherever you are.

Simplifies life

The Lyric Security and Home Control System has the power to make your life much simpler. That can come in plenty of formats, whether it’s putting the control of your home at your fingertips, or setting your alarm, followed by reducing the temperature on your thermostat when you leave to save you energy.

The wireless connected system offers whole-house protection in a stylish way, meaning you can worry about the little things without needing to worry about the big things too.

The Honeywell Lyric Water Leak and Freeze Detector is an early warning system that notifies you on your smartphone when a leak is detected or the temperature drops below a temperature of your choice. By catching it early, you may be able to avoid expensive repairs and loss of treasured items. To find out more visit Honeywell.com

This article was created in association with Honeywell.

14
Jul

Razer’s new keyboard turns your iPad Pro into a pseudo-laptop


If you weren’t fully onboard with the iPad Pro’s stock cover/smart keyboard, Razer announced its mechanical alternative on Thursday. It uses Razer’s new “Ultra-Low-Profile Mechanical Switches” that provide the same acuity and responsiveness that made the company’s line of full size mechanicals so popular, just in a smaller form factor.

Each key requires just 70 grams of force to activate and is covered in a chicklet-style key cap. And if they’re anything like their larger versions, these keys should hold up for around 80 million clicks. While the Razer product does offer a detachable polycarbonate cover, it appears that the Razer keyboard case — which pairs to the iPad Pro via Bluetooth — does not recharge the tablet while in use, as Apple’s proprietary Smart Connector does.

The keyboard is now available in both Razer’s digital storefront and brick-and-mortar locations. It retails for $170.

14
Jul

‘Evolve’ added over a million players by going free-to-play


It looks like that last ditch effort to save Evolve actually worked. In under a week, developer Turtle Rock Studios says that its monstrous 4-versus-1 multiplayer game has picked up over a million new players on PC. Regardless of how many will actually stick around, that’s a much higher number of players than the game saw just a few weeks ago. Peak concurrent users in June totaled 234, according to Game Informer.
All those folks playing on PC won’t go away empty handed this week, either. Between now and Monday, logging into the game will snag you different skin for the hunter Griffin. Now, let’s see if Evolve can maintain this number moving into its massive overhaul of the core game.

Source: Evolve

14
Jul

Pilot a disembodied head on July 26th with ‘Headlander’


Headlander, the Adult Swim game with a ’70s science fiction vibe, comes to the PS4 on July 26th. First announced last December at the PlayStation Experience, it puts you in the head of the “last organic life left in the known universe,” according to the PlayStation blog post. Even though you’re just a disembodied head, you do have a spacesuit helmet and rocket booster. That lets you dock your dome on any object with a “universal docking ring,” including humanoid shepherds, robot dogs and even vacuum cleaners.

After that, you visit levels in the “Pleasure Port” with help from your personal assistant Earl, blasting enemies with increasingly powerful lasers or deflecting fire with a bounce shield. All the while, you’ll be trying to figure out who you are and why you’re the only human around. The trailer (below) captures the look, fun and nonsense of classic films like Dark Star and Westworld, and if the side-scrolling game can live up to that, it should be a hoot to play. It arrives on the PS4 and PC on July 26th.

Source: Sony

14
Jul

Google’s first indie gaming festival comes to San Francisco this fall


Indie game developers, Google wants to hear from you. The company has just announced the first Google Play Indie Games Festival, and you can submit your game for consideration now. The festival, which will take place Sept. 24th in San Francisco, will highlight 30 upcoming and recent games that will be available in the Google Play Store to Android users, with prizes going to the top submissions.

“Google Play is the largest store for digital content; 65 billion apps and games were downloaded over the past year,” says Google’s Jamil Moledina, a strategic lead for Play Games. “It’s an immense platform that we have, and along with that is an opportunity to better support the indie games community.”

In this case, that support looks like better “discoverability” for indie game developers, something that’s an issue for just about anyone publishing apps on Google Play. There’s well over a million apps in the store at this point, and standing out in this crowd is incredibly difficult — especially when you’re competing with high-profile, prolific developers like Glu, EA, Gameloft and others.

The Indie Games Festival won’t solve that, but it’s another way for Google to try and highlight entertaining and unique games. Moledina said the reach of Google Play makes the company want to make the store diverse as possible. There’s a place for the mass-market, free-to-play games like Candy Crush, but there’s plenty of room to serve gamers who want more unconventional or in-depth experiences as well.

That’s where this human element of picking out the cream of the crop for the Indie Games Festival comes in. “It’s incumbent on us to help people find games that are not only ones that they would naturally be interested in,” Moledina says, “but also to highlight from a human tastemaking point of view what’s truly standout now.” With the amount of content available in the Google Play Store, human curation is a must. There’s already an “indie corner” in the store, and it goes without saying that the 30 finalist games will be highlighted as well.

As to how those 30 finalists will be picked, Moledina says it comes down to fun and innovation. “Ultimately, we’re looking for fun games that have truly innovative and artistic elements,” he says. On the innovation side, Google is expecting to see a lot of indie developers take advantage of the company’s augmented-reality and virtual-reality games to craft new experiences. “These are areas that are really important trends for everyone, but specifically for indie developers,” Moledina says. “They have a natural agility and focus that can help them jump into areas like VR and AR.”

Games must have been released in 2016 or be published by the end of the year. And they need to come from studios or publishers with fewer than 15 full-time employees; no public companies allowed. Moledina admits the guidelines are a bit arbitrary, but Google needed to draw a line somewhere.

Lastly, the festival is open only to developers in North America — at least this time. “We’re starting with North America,” Moledina says, “but we could [hold festivals] in other regions to focus on local developers who are more comfortable pitching in their own language and can highlight games that make sense for their countries.”

Submissions are open from now until Aug. 14th, at which time Google plans to quickly narrow the field, to allow the 30 contenders as much time to prep for the September event as possible. Come Sept. 24th, those 30 games will be shown off, with consumers and developers alike getting a chance to put them all through the wringer.

Attendees will have the chance to vote on their favorites, and developers for the top 15 games will have a chance to formally pitch their games to a panel of judges. Seven semifinalists will come out of that group and all will win a prize; three of them will take the top honors. Google says prizes will include Tango devices, I/O 2017 tickets and ad support for their creations on Google’s networks. If you’re a developer and want to get a chance to show off your game in San Francisco this fall, you have a month to get it in. And if you just want to attend and see what’s on display, Google should have more details on the festival itself in the coming weeks.

14
Jul

Twitch’s HTML5 player is available to subscribers today


Twitch is taking steps to improve its video streaming experience by bringing viewers a closed beta of its HTML5 video player. Anyone with a Turbo subscription will be able to join the beta beginning today and can test out the new player before other users later this summer.

The HTML5 player promises smoother streaming, faster load times and more consistent frame rates than the Flash player that’s currently in use. Anyone who participates in the closed beta doesn’t have to switch over permanently just yet, however. They can continue to toggle between the new player if they’re not quite ready to make the switch.

Twitch is following in the footsteps of YouTube as it plans to eventually retire its Flash player, something the streaming giant already took steps to do back in January 2015. It’ll no doubt resonate well with viewers as well as streamers. If you’re interested in checking it out and are a Turbo subscriber you should be able to do so beginning today.

14
Jul

Apple’s kid-friendly Swift Playgrounds taught me to code


In 2014, Apple introduced a new programming language called Swift. Though that might not seem like much to everyday users like you and me, this announcement was actually a pretty big deal for the developer community. One of the reasons for that is that it’s a lot simpler than Objective C, the lingo that Apple had been using for over 20 years. So simple, in fact, that Apple believes that Swift could be anyone’s first programming language. That’s why at this year’s WWDC, the company introduced Swift Playgrounds, an iPad app designed to teach kids how to code. After a few days playing around with it, I can safely say that it also managed to teach me — a clueless grownup — a few Swift programming basics as well.

It’s available for developer preview now and will be in public beta in July, with a much wider release when iOS 10 launches this fall. An iPad-only app, it’s compatible only with the following models: iPad mini 2, 3 and 4; iPad Air and Air 2; and both the 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

When you first launch the app, you’ll see a Featured tab with a gallery of highlighted lessons. Each set of lessons is called a “Playground,” and if you’ve already started playing with one, you’ll see it listed in the My Playgrounds tab. The app ships with two basic modules, which are ‘Learn to Code 1″ and “Learn to Code 2.” As I’m a beginner when it comes to programming languages — last I learned was MS Basic when I was 12 — I decided to start with the first one.

In this particular Playground, you’ll learn basic Swift commands by guiding a character called Byte around to solve puzzles. The screen is split in two; one side shows the actual code, while the other is a live view of Byte and a 3D world. You can spin the world by swiping it around or pinch to zoom to get a closer look. As for the code, you don’t even have to type anything in; you can cherry pick what commands you like from a QuickType keyboard at the bottom of the screen. You can also bring up an on-screen keyboard at any time to enter in custom text.

The first few lessons are pretty easy, at least to my adult brain. To get started, all you do is compile a few simple commands like moveForward(), turnLeft() and collectGem() to get Byte moving the way you want. Once you’re happy with your list of commands, you can simply tap “Run My Code” to see if it works. Later on, I learned how to repeat commands in loops as well as how to ascribe several commands into a single function. I have to admit that even though Playgrounds is meant for the average 12-year-old, as the lessons got progressively harder, I was definitely challenged. I did consult a few hints at times when I was stuck.

That’s part of the cool thing about Swift Playgrounds; there is no one right solution. The code can be as complex or as simple as you want it to be. As long as you get the objective done — be it collecting gems or toggling switches — the app will celebrate your success. There’s no shame in giving up and looking up the answer either; you won’t get penalized if you do. Still, if you’re smart enough to enter in the most optimal code, you’ll be given even further praise — sort of an extra pat on the back, if you will. Plus, optimizing code is a good lesson to learn in general; better code leads to better apps.

The other thing that I found fascinating is that the experience is pretty open-ended. You don’t have to follow the curriculum exactly; you can jump around from lesson to lesson if you feel like it. That way you can skip ahead if you feel like being challenged.I should also mention that the fact that this is all done via an iPad makes the coding process feel more intuitive. The ability to tap and drag around bits of code makes an otherwise tedious process a lot faster.

Along with lessons and challenges, the app ships with a couple of templates for building Playgrounds of your very own. Indeed, the company is encouraging educators and developers to create their own lessons and challenges for the app so that the app can be used in the classroom. Apple is also planning to release additional lessons and challenges on a regular basis.

An important takeaway is that the language you’re learning on Swift Playgrounds is actual, real code, and not some pretend pseudocode common in a lot of educational apps. “It’s the exact same language as Swift,” said Cheryl Thomas, Apple’s Vice President of Software Engineering Operations. “This is very unique; you can learn to code in something that is the same as the one you can use to make very powerful apps.”

Because Playgrounds lets you code in actual Swift, even seasoned programmers can use it to draw up prototype of an app. It can even call on real iOS APIs. From there, you can transfer that code via iCloud to Xcode, Apple’s more advanced developer tool, to finish up the process. What’s more, because the latter uses much of the same language and syntax as Swift, a Playgrounds graduate could theoretically pick it up simply by reading the documentation.

“When we first created Swift Playgrounds, we wanted to really inspire the next generation to want to learn to code,” said Thomas. “It reflects an Apple engineer’s viewpoint and perspective on the best practices on how to do so.” The team recruited several educators to help them figure out how kids will respond to the app and the best way to motivate them. “We feel like the app appeals to a broad base of learners. It appeals to boys, girls and is very accessible. It can be used by folks with different levels of sight.”

Apple also brought kids in to get their feedback and, according to Thomas, it was fantastic. “Folks at all different ages seem to like the product a lot.” Thomas and her colleagues also realized that kids love to share what they’re building. So if you want, you can send screenshots right from the app and even record a video or broadcast what you’re doing live.

“It assumes zero knowledge,” said Wiley Hodges, a product marketing director for Tools and Technologies at Apple. “You can come to it a complete beginner and it’ll introduce you to all the core concepts.”

“We’re pretty excited about the idea that we can give people better access to this ability to learn and experiment with code,” he continued. “There’s a value beyond just the idea of learning to code. You’re not necessarily going to be a programmer […] Learning to code can teach kids problem-solving, persistence… it’ll serve them well regardless of what they go on to do.”

14
Jul

FCC adopts new rules for the foundation of 5G networks


We knew it was coming, and now the FCC has made it official. The commission voted today to adopt new rules that would facilitate the development of 5G wireless networks in the US. More specifically, the guidelines relate to wireless spectrum above 24 GHz and makes the United States the first country in the world to make the spectrum available for so-called next-gen networks. The FCC said in a press release that it’s taking a similar approach that it did when 4G (LTE) networks were developed, a strategy that will “set a strong foundation for the rapid advancement to next-generation 5G.”

Of course, 5G technology is still being developed, but the new rules will “provide clarity” as companies begin to invest in it. This includes opening up 11 GHz of spectrum for flexible, mobile and fixed use wireless broadband, with 3.85 GHz of that for licensed spectrum and 7 GHz for unlicensed spectrum. Today’s vote also creates a new Upper Microwave Flexible Use service in the 28 GHz, 37 GHz and 39 GHz bands in addition to a new unlicensed band at 64-71 GHz. AT&T and Verizon have already revealed plans for 5G tests, and others will likely follow in the near future.

According to the FCC, the new rules also aim to facilitate innovation without letting regulations hold up the process. The commission approved a set of service and technical rules “to allow new technologies and innovations to evolve and flourish without needlessly prescriptive regulations.” Guidelines are also in place to balance all of the different use cases for 5G, from wireless service to satellite and federal use. If you’re looking for more info on what this all means for the future of high-speed connectivity, consult our explainer on the FCC’s vote.

Source: FCC

14
Jul

Samsung’s Serif TV is designed to blend in with your furniture


Other than size difference, most televisions on the market today look practically the same. With Serif TV, a sleek set that’s designed to blend in with your furniture at home or office, Samsung wanted to take a different approach. Earlier this month, the company announced that Serif TV would be coming to the US in August, after making its debut in Europe last year. We had the chance to see it ourselves at a launch event in New York City’s Museum of Modern Art, and walked away rather impressed.

The first thing that stands out from Serif TV is how it doesn’t look like any of the latest televisions. Rather than sporting a thin bezel, the Serif TV features a thick plastic frame that drew inspiration from the typography in the serif fonts. More specifically, a capital letter “I.” Serif TV was designed by the Bouroullec brothers, a pair of French designers who are known for their high-end furniture creations.

Naturally, the user interface had to be different than the one on Samsung’s other smart TVs. While it’s still based on Tizen OS, meaning it can run applications such as Netflix, the UI is much simpler here. As you turn the Serif TV on, you’re greeted with these options: TV, apps, speaker, photos and clock. Everything looks extremely sharp, thanks to the screen’s 4K resolution. Samsung says it is the best picture quality it’s ever put in a 40-inch TV.

What’s more, the TV has a removable back that’s made out of fabric, which is intended to keep the cables coming out of it relatively hidden. Speaking of, the Serif TV comes with three HDMI inputs and two USBs. For the US version of the TV, Samsung went with a 40-inch model, though we’re told the company could introduce larger models in the future, depending on how this one plays out. In Europe, for instance, Samsung also offers 24- and 30-inch variants.

It’ll be interesting to see people’s response to Serif TV in the US, but chances are it will definitely appeal to some. The Serif TV will be available next month for $1,499, with pre-orders for the white version now open on Samsung’s online store. Meanwhile, the blue one is being sold exclusively thorough the Museum of Modern Art.

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