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11
Aug

LG V20: Specs, release date and rumours


LG has announced it will be introducing a successor to the V10 smartphone in September. We also know that it will be called the V20.

In true LG style, there have been a couple of other snippets of information revealed too, even if the exact details of those snippets are still unconfirmed.

This is everything we know so far about the LG V20, including confirmed specs from LG mixed in with a few rumours for good measure.

LG V20: Release date

LG has confirmed that it plans to announce the V20 in September. The company has sent out invites to a press event taking place in San Francisco on 6 September, which is the day before Apple’s iPhone event is expected to happen, as well as the day before consumer electronics show IFA finishes.

The invite reads: “Play More”, along with “The second story begins, LG V20”. There is therefore no doubt that 6 September is the date the V20 official launch will occur, but whether it will hit shelves immediately is not yet clear.

Android Authority / OnLeaks

LG V20: Design

LG has revealed that the V20 will sport a dual-rear camera, as well as a dual screen, the latter of which can be found on the V10. Aside from that, no other official details regarding the design have been confirmed.

Some renders have been published by Android Authority in association with @OnLeaks however, showing the V20 from a range of angles. Based on this leak, it looks like the V20 will sport a circular fingerprint sensor on the rear, along with a protruding dual-camera setup.

The leak also shows a button to the right, coupled with what appears to be a removable bottom, like the LG G5, suggesting the modular design might make its way onto the V20. According to Android Authority’s sources, the V20 will measure 7.7mm slim, aside from the camera part, which will be 8.8mm. It is said to be 159.5 x 78.1mm, which would make it narrower than its predecessor.

Based on the images, USB Type-C appears to be on board and the secondary display from the V10 remains, while the dual camera array on the front looks to have been scrapped. Bear in mind these are merely rumours and renders though, so take everything with a pinch of salt for now.

LG V20: Display

LG hasn’t detailed what size display the V20 will arrive with, though it has confirmed there will be a secondary display like the original device, as we mentioned previously.

The LG V10 had a 5.7-inch main display with a Quad HD resolution that put its pixel density at 515ppi. The secondary display measured 2.1-inches and had a resolution of 1040 x 160.

We’d expect a similar size and resolution for both displays on the V20.

Android Authority / OnLeaks

LG V20: Camera

It has been confirmed that the LG V20 will feature a dual-camera setup on its rear, as we mentioned. LG hasn’t detailed the resolution of the camera offering, but it wouldn’t be too surprising to see the company take from the G5.

The renders don’t show a duo camera for the front like the V10 featured, so again, we wouldn’t be too shocked to see the same front-facing camera sensor as the G5.

The LG G5 has an 8-megapixel front-facing camera. On the rear, there is a 16-megapixel snapper, coupled with an 8-megapixel wide-angle sensor.

LG V20: Hardware

No details on hardware specs for the V20 have been detailed, except for that the new device will feature 32-bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC capabilities. LG claims the Quad DAC will deliver a crisp and clear sound that comes closest to a live performance when compatible wired headphones are used.

Apparently, V20 owners will “feel as if they are carrying around a professional home-audio system in their smartphone”.

Other hardware details have yet to be shared by the company, but we’d expect either the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, or Snapdragon 821, along with 4GB of RAM. We’d also expect to see USB Type-C as the renders show.

The V10 came in 32GB and 64GB models with microSD support. It offered a battery capacity of 3000mAh, which we wouldn’t expect to see reduced for the V20.

LG V20: Software

The LG V20 is set to be among the first to launch on Android Nougat. In fact, if it launches on 6 September and hits shelves soon after, it will be the first device to come with the software from the box.

Traditionally, the Nexus devices have been the poster boys for the new software build but the HTC-rumoured devices aren’t due until the end of September, beginning of October.

It might be that LG launches the V20 but we may not see it on shelves until after, or at the same time as the Nexus handsets though. You can read our Android Nougat preview to see what software features you can expect with the new build.

LG V20: Conclusion

What do we know so far? Well, the LG V20 will be announced at an event on 6 September and it will feature a secondary display, a dual-camera on the rear and Android Nougat.

It will also sport a Quad DAC for those that want better quality audio from their device. Other than that, LG hasn’t confirmed anything else as yet but that is likely to change before launch day.

We will update this feature as we hear more so keep checking back for the latest.

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11
Aug

Audi’s active suspension converts road jolts into electricity


Regenerative brakes capture a lot of wasted energy in hybrid and electric cars, but there’s another energy source automakers could exploit: potholes. To harness those tailbone scourges, Audi developed an active suspension called eROT that replaces hydraulic shocks with electromechanical ones. “Every pothole, every bump, every curve induces kinetic energy in the car,” says Audi’s Dr. Stefan Knirsch. “With the new electromechanical damper system in the 48-volt electrical system, we put this energy to use.

To convert kinetic to electrical energy, the shocks use a lever arm that captures up-and-down wheel motion and transmits it to a 48 volt alternator. It’s then converted into electricity, with an average recuperation output of 100 to 150 watts — as little as 3 watts on a freeway, and up to 613 watts on a rough county road. That’s not enough for your AC, but it could power other accessories and reduce fuel consumption a bit.

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Audi’s A3 e-tron plug-in hybrid

As with any active suspension, it’ll also smooth out the ride by adapting to road surface defects and the driver’s style. “With eROT, Audi configures the compression stroke to be comfortably soft without compromising the taut damping of the rebound stroke,” the article explains. It also saves space in a vehicle’s luggage area by eliminating the telescopic shock absorbers.

These aren’t the first regenerative shocks we’ve seen, but Audi says that “initial test results for the eROT technology are promising, thus its use in future Audi production models is certainly plausible.” Before it can be commercialized, however, Audi says the vehicle needs a 48-volt electrical system — luckily, it’s is planning on releasing a hybrid vehicle in 2017 equipped with one.

Source: Audi

11
Aug

Waze will help you avoid traffic jams around big events


Navigation apps like Apple Maps, Google Maps and Waze are good for letting you know when you’re approaching a traffic jam. Waze is taking that task a bit further with its new Global Event Partner Program. The company is teaming up with organizers of big events like marathons and pro sports to keep you from experiencing unnecessary delays. Those partners will now be able to use the Waze Closure tool to input any scheduled closures ahead of an event. TechCrunch reports that event organizers will be able to add details like turn restrictions, lane reversals, parking locations for more than 65 million users.

What’s more, a Live Map can be embedded on an event’s website to provide updated information on traffic flow and more. Waze says that the new effort will help get attendees to and from events faster which will lead to happier fans and, in theory, more merchandise and concessions sales for the venues. Even if you’re not going to the race or game, the app will let you know the areas to avoid when you’re heading out on the roads close to where an event is being held.

The mapping app is launching the new initiative with 20 partners in North America, Latin America, Eastern Europe and Asia. Here in the US, that list includes the Atlanta Falcons (Georgia Dome), Washington Redskins (FedEx Field), Detroit Lions (Ford Field), Washington Nationals (Nationals Park) Atlanta Hawks (Phillips Arena) and the Rock n’ Roll Marathon Series. Timing couldn’t be better for Waze as a new NFL season is set to kickoff next month.

Via: TechCrunch

Source: Waze

11
Aug

SeatGeek aims at Ticketmaster with a new ticketing platform


Hoping to be more than just an online reseller, SeatGeek is making its biggest move against Ticketmaster yet with its own platform for selling tickets directly to events. SeatGeek Open will let event spaces, teams and other groups offer ticket sales within their own mobile sites and apps, as well as SeatGeek’s main app. For the most part, the company is trying to offer a more modern ticket buying experience than what’s currently available on Ticketmaster. That means it’ll focus on mobile purchases, easy reselling (SeatGeek’s bread and butter, after all), and potentially tying in other event purchases (like concession stand items and souvenirs) together with tickets.

“One of the complications of having a single place to sell is there’s no incentive to create a good service,” said SeatGeek cofounder Jack Groeztinger, referring to Ticketmaster’s inability to innovate since it’s practically a ticketing monopoly.

It’s ultimately up to event owners to price their tickets, but SeatGeek’s platform most likely won’t have the same ridiculous service fee overhead as Ticketmaster. And it’ll allow for things like dynamic pricing, which could help event owners more efficiently determine prices without changing things manually.

Sporting Kansas City, the Major League Soccer team, will be the first to use SeatGeek Open. That comes on the heels of the company’s partnership with MLS (don’t be surprised to see other teams move over to the platform eventually). It’s unclear if SeatGeek Open will be able to tempt major players away from Ticketmaster, but for now it could end up being a useful alternative for smaller events.

11
Aug

Virgin V6: This is Virgin Media’s 4K TV box


We’ve known for a while that Virgin Media has been working on a new set-top box, but information on the next-generation hardware has been hard to come by. Thankfully, the company has begun teasing various aspects of what is believed to be its answer to Sky Q, today sharing both a photo of the box and a name: Virgin TV V6. Virgin Media has confirmed that like its predecessors, the V6 will support TiVo software and formally launch later this year.

Earlier today, Virgin Media shared a snapshot of the box via its Corporate Twitter account and said we can look forward to an “unboxing” tomorrow. A company spokesperson has confirmed that while it will share more information on the V6 in the coming days, it will hold an official launch event, allowing us to get up close and personal with the 4K box.

Sneak Preview: Say hello to our new Virgin TV V6 box, powered by TiVo. More to come soon. #VirginV6 pic.twitter.com/SBvpkRjvEz

— VirginMediaCorporate (@VirginMediaCorp) August 11, 2016

Source: Virgin Media Corporate (Twitter)

11
Aug

Google fined $6.8 million by Russian antitrust body


Russia’s antitrust body has slapped Google with a $6.8 million fine after ruling that the firm didn’t do enough to open Android up to other companies. Officials believe that the search engine has abused its dominant position by crowding-out domestic rivals like Yandex, commonly known as Russia’s Google. For instance, other firms aren’t able to pre-load rivals apps for navigation or search on Android devices that are certified ready for Google Play. It’s an accusation that Google denies and its representatives have already told the New York Times that it’s reading the charges “closely.”

Google isn’t a major player in Russia and a fine of $6.8 million is but a scratch for such a highly profitable firm. But these problems are beginning to mount up as antitrust regulators around the globe put the company in the firing line. In Europe, the European Commission is charging the company with abuse of its dominant position for similar reasons, saying that withholding access to Google Play for forked and AOSP versions of the operating system is unfair. Then again, it also has always seemed slightly weird that Google should be obliged to enrich its rivals at the expense of its own products — especially when it already maintains AOSP.

Via: NYT

Source: FAS

11
Aug

Microsoft acquires Beam livestreaming service


Microsoft has just announced its acquisition of the livestreaming service Beam, a platform that allows viewers to interact with streamers during broadcasts.

Beam allows for real-time communication between streamers and their fans rather than focusing on passive viewing like Twitch. For instance, viewers can choose the next weapon you use to dispatch enemies, select a game mode or even fly a drone around your room.

Beam’s SDK allows for interactive experiences that go beyond simple chatting and viewing streams. In addition to directly interfacing with streamers and getting involved in-game, you can also earn XP points, boosters and emoticons based on how much you watch and how often you tune in.

By joining Microsoft’s cadre of services it’s obvious Beam will be able to grow larger together than it would have by itself, a sentiment echoed by Beam CEO Matt Salsamendi: “As part of the Xbox team, we’ll be able to scale faster than we’ve ever been able to before.”

It appears from Microsoft’s announcement that the upcoming Sea of Thieves and Minecraft may be big parts of Beam going forward, as they’re both titles that largely draw from social interaction. Sea of Thieves is an interesting amalgam of first-person gameplay and user-generated content that allows players to create their own stories by playing cooperatively.

They’re the kind of games that seem perfect for the type of interaction Beam can bring to the table, especially when the lines of communication are opened from two or three players in-game to viewers across the world, and as Microsoft has mentioned them expressly during its acquisition announcement, it’s clear what direction Beam integration is meant to go in.

Gaming is always becoming more social, and Beam is an interesting chance to blur the lines between spectating and actually getting involved.

Source: Major Nelson

11
Aug

Facebook wants your News Feed to be more informative


Facebook is on a constant quest to refine and tweak its News Feed algorithm so that you’ll see stories that are relevant and of interest to you. Now it aims to improve it even further with a new “ranking signal” that’s based on whether the piece of news is actually informative. From now on, stories that are more informative will float to the top, while the ones that are not so interesting will sink to the bottom.

The way the company figures out if something is useful is via a Feed Quality Program, a crowd-sourced survey where people rank a link on a scale from one to five, with five being “really informative.” According to Facebook, a link is deemed informative if it’s related to interests, if it prompts greater discussion or if it reveals a lot about current events like, say, the presidential race.

This so-called “ranking signal” is then combined with several other Facebook metrics — such as your relationship to the person or publisher who posted the piece and if you tend to comment or share similar links — so you’ll hopefully get informative and interesting stories that are tailored to you. This NewsFeed update is rolling out today, and will change over time as your interests and tastes evolve.

11
Aug

Karma unveils Revero hybrid with new solar charging roof


Normally, the most exciting part about a new car is seeing the design for the first time. However, Karma Automotive’s unveiling of the hybrid Revero today surprised no one, because it’s identical to the Fisker Karma. That’s not a bad thing — nobody ever criticized the original’s looks, penned by prolific Aston Martin DB9 and BMW Z8 stylist Henrik Fisker. Instead, Wanxiang, the Chinese auto parts company that bought Fisker out of bankruptcy last year, focused on fixing the car’s lack of reliability and tendency to catch fire.

There’s not a lot of new info on the vehicle yet, but the Karma says it’s “the first model sold in the US with a solar roof that will power the vehicle.” We think that means that it will contribute some extra power and autonomy to the car’s main power pack, rather than just charging the lead-acid accessory battery like the original. It couldn’t chip in much juice, though — a panel that small can’t even power the air conditioning by itself.

The Karma Revero’s infotainment system (Karma Automotive)

The Karma will likely use vehicle control and charging systems from BMW, according to an earlier report from the WSJ. “There are huge, serious, major upgrades throughout the electronics systems, wiring, charging, battery,” Karma Marketing Director Jim Taylor said in April. If accurate, that should address the Fisker Karma’s dependability issues. It will also have a new, simple-to-use infotainment system, as Karma said “if you like a 200 page supplement to the owner’s manual … look elsewhere.”

Like the original Fisker Karma, the Revero is expected to cost around $100,000. According to a countdown on the company’s website, you’ll just have to wait another 28 days for a full reveal.

Source: Karma Automotive

11
Aug

iPhone 7 Display Photos Show Reversed Orientation, Usual Home Button Cutout


Mobile phone repair firm GeekBar continues to share photos of iPhone 7 components on its Weibo page, with the latest set showing off the display assembly for the device. One photo in particular is interesting because it includes the display assembly paired with a front panel for the device, revealing that the display is mounted upside down compared to previous iPhone models.

iPhone 7 display and front panel photographed upside down
The iPhone’s display and digitizer flex cables have traditionally come from the top edge of the display, routing toward connectors in the top portion of the iPhone’s main logic board. The 3D Touch chip built into the display assembly on the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus is also located near the top of that display.

When the bare logic board for the iPhone 7 surfaced earlier this week, one notable change was that the main A10 chip had been shifted higher on the board than corresponding chips on other iPhones, and several of the usual display-related connectors were not in their typical locations. Instead, there were extra spots for flex cable connectors found near the bottom of the iPhone 7 logic board, and today’s display assembly photo shows a corresponding change to the display part.

Several other sites reporting on these photos today have been looking at the part upside down and noting that the “bottom” portion of the display appears different with no cutout for the home button, potentially supporting rumors of a flush, Force Touch home button integrated into the front panel.

iphone_7_home_cutout
What these sites are looking at as the home button area is actually the top of the part with the earpiece and camera and sensor holes. With the reversed orientation of the display assembly on the front panel, the home button would be at the top of the photo and a portion of the home button cutout can indeed be seen under the flex cable.

The presence of a cutout does not necessarily mean the home button won’t have Force Touch haptic feedback as rumored, however, as the functionality could still be included in a separate home button component attached in much the same way as on previous iPhones.

iphone_7_displays
The iPhone 7 is expected to be unveiled at a media event tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, September 7, with pre-orders reportedly beginning on September 9 and a launch following on September 16.

Related Roundup: iPhone 7
Tag: GeekBar
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