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16
Aug

Watch Intel’s 2016 Developer Forum keynote here


Intel’s 2016 Developer Forum kicks off today with a keynote from CEO Brian Krzanich. We don’t know what, exactly, he’ll be speaking about yet. But the keynote’s title, “Inventing the Future: The Power of a Smart and Connected World,” is a not-so-subtle hint that we’ll be hearing more about the company’s move towards ubiquitous computing. Intel announced earlier this year that it’s going away from personal computers, and towards IoT and connected wearables. And, as we heard from the company’s new consumer head, Navin Shenoy, he hopes to eventually build something like Tony Stark’s ever-helpful AI helper J.A.R.V.I.S.

Intel’s keynote begins at 9 AM Pacific/ 12 PM Eastern, watch it live below:

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16
Aug

Thud Rumble’s Intel-powered DJ mixer has a PC inside


Roughly four years ago, Thud Rumble — a company that’s the brainchild of legendary DJ QBert (Richard Quitevis) and Yogafrog (Ritche Desuasido) — was having an open house. Developer and DJ Rich Johnson (aka DJ Hard Rich) wandered in to talk to the co-founders. During a conversation with Quitevis, Johnson said, “I want to make a mixer for you guys.” Quitevis had long wanted a mixer with an embedded computer so he wouldn’t have to drag a laptop and mixer to gigs. “Can you make something like this?” he asked. Johnson said he could. Finally they’re showing it off.

At today’s Intel IDF keynote, DJs Qbert and Killa-Jewel (Julie Fainer) showed off prototype versions of that four-year-old promise. It’s called “the Invader” and houses a touchscreen display running Windows 10. During today’s presentation, both turntablers were spinning with the popular Traktor mixing software — but they could be using any DJ app that runs on Microsoft’s operating system. It’s an evolution both for mixers and for the company that built it.

Thud Rumble has been designing mixers and other DJ products for third parties like Vestax (which shuttered in 2014) and Sony as well as for itself since 1996. But the Invader will be different. Instead of just ordering a mixer in one of a few different variations, buyers will be able to customize their order with laser-etching options, various colors and a choice of rubber or old-school arcade buttons. Co-founder Desuasido told Engadget, “We’re doing the Tesla business model.”

Johnson is now the company’s lead developer, and he’s been working nonstop to get the two prototypes on stage ready for the Intel keynote. The week before the event, at the Thud Rumble offices in Millbrae, California, Johnson was showing QBert and Killa-Jewel some changes he’d made to the mixers they would be using. So eager to check them out, both DJs started scratching while he was still tweaking the devices.

Thud Rumble DJs demo the company's upcoming mixer

The prototypes are taller than the final product. Johnson says they could be as thin as two centimeters (the plan is to get them thin enough to slip into a backpack), with articulated legs that extend during setup so they’re the same height as the turntables. Along each side are eight buttons that correspond with cuts (a point in a song) set up by a DJ. As usual, the fader sits in the middle, with the volume controls for each deck above it. Additional buttons and topless knobs are scattered along the face of the Invader. Each corresponds with a feature. The knobs will also be buttons that can be depressed to access additional functions.

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One of the biggest features is that the Invader negates the need to drag your personal data around with you. Fainer points out that you already have to carry a mixer around. “You don’t want to be carrying your laptop around too. You have your whole life on that thing,” he says.

Johnson says that he, Quitevis and Desuasido argued about what features to add to the mixer over the course of two days. “It was intense, but it was fun, and we were all really happy about what came out of it.”

The company is hoping DJs will also be happy with what they built. The next step after IDF will be to finalize the printed circuit board (PCB) designs. Native Instruments, which makes Traktor devices, is working with Thud Rumble to create an audio interface. The final Invader mixer will have the usual audio ports, including the ability to switch to phono so DJs can scratch actual vinyl. It’ll have USB 3 ports and an HDMI socket so DJs can use applications like Serato Video to output moving images. As you might expect, given that the device was shown off at Intel’s developer conference, it runs on Intel i5 and i7 processors. It’s competitively priced at $1,699 (the Pioneer DJ DJM-S9 mixer for Serato costs the same without a built-in computer) and will ship at the end of the year.

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Quitevis’ hope is that this setup will return DJs to a simpler time, like when he first started spinning. “I was used to just having my mixer and records and, boom, start scratching,” he says. “Now I gotta set up this fricking laptop and wires and stuff.” With the Invader, the all-in-one-mixer dream Quitevis and Johnson had all those years ago might finally bring some streamlining back to DJing.

Source: Thud Rumble

16
Aug

The best electric and gas ranges


By Tyler Wells Lynch

This post was done in partnership with The Sweethome, a buyer’s guide to the best things for your home. Read the full article here.

After 35 hours of research, we think that the Samsung NE59J7630SS is the best electric freestanding cooking range for most people. It’s a sturdy, easy-to-clean machine with true, heated-fan convection to help baked goods cook more evenly. If you’re fortunate enough to have a gas line in your home, the Frigidaire Gallery Series FGGF3058RF is probably your best bet. It’s a classic-looking range with super-solid parts and an intuitive knob-and-control-panel interface. Both ranges are solidly built—without too many extra bells and whistles—and that simplicity should help them keep running reliably for 10 to 15 years.

How we picked

After comparing specs, reading reviews, and interviewing appliance experts, we learned that the best ranges stick to a simple set of features because they’re more reliable that way. A sturdy build, an uncluttered interface, and easy-to-clean surfaces will make a range more satisfying to live with for the 10 to 15 years that you’ll have it. The only super-important cooking features you’ll need are a strong power burner for boiling big pots of water, a sensitive warming element for simmering sauces, and a convection fan for better baking.

In terms of capacity, we think an oven should have at least 5 cubic feet of space, enough room to roast a large turkey. The best cooktops have a fifth, low-heat burner that makes it easier to simmer or warm food without accidentally scorching it. These features are standard in ranges that cost more than $600, and we considered only models with those specs.

Though all ranges essentially perform the same basic job—cooking food—certain baseline specs will make that job a little easier. The stovetop should have a power burner with at least 17,000 British thermal units (gas) or 3,000 watts (electric), and a simmer element (or “warm zone”) that dips down to 5,000 Btu or less (gas) or 100 watts (electric).

We were unable to test any range’s performance to gauge the real-world value of extra cooktop power. But we did consider performance data from review sites, including Reviewed.com, Consumer Reports, and CNET. Based on their findings and what we learned from experts, we don’t think performance discrepancies will make a huge difference for most cooks. That said, an extra 1,000 Btu or 300 watts will help your water boil faster, so we slightly favored models with stronger-on-paper power burners.

Our pick for an electric range

The Samsung NE59J7630SS is the best freestanding radiant electric range for most people because it has all of the important cooking and cleaning features, with relatively few bells and whistles that might cause reliability problems down the line. Its cooktop is more versatile than those of other ranges at this price, and includes a stronger power burner, a warm zone as sensitive as any other range’s, and a unique three-element burner. The oven cavity is larger than that of most other models and has a true-convection cooking mode. This range is also one of the few that offers two self-cleaning modes. This Samsung’s build is sturdy, its design looks sharp, and its control scheme is more intuitive than that of its closest competitors.

If you need a less expensive electric range, the Amana AER5630BAS is simple, effective, and affordable, with an elegant stainless steel design. The smooth cooktop includes one of the strongest power burners at a budget-friendly price (though it’s not as nuanced as that of our main electric pick).

Our pick for a gas range

If we were buying a freestanding gas range, our choice would be the Frigidaire Gallery Series FGGF3058RF. It looks great and feels sturdier than other gas ranges at this price, and it has a simpler interface and more durable components. All of the most important specs and features you should expect from a gas range are here. The 18,000-Btu power burner is as strong as any you’ll find without moving up to a pro range. The continuous, five-burner cooktop has cast iron grates that stay in place when you slide pots and pans around. And like any good range at this price, it has a convection fan.

If you need a more affordable gas range, we like the Whirlpool WFG505M0BS. It’s one of the few budget-friendly gas ranges with a five-burner cooktop and an oven larger than 5 cubic feet. The cast iron continuous grates are a nice touch, too. Unlike our main gas pick’s oven, this range’s oven doesn’t have convection or self-cleaning modes.

The best freestanding induction range

A great freestanding electric induction range for most people who want one is the Electrolux EI30IF40LS. We like its specs better than those of other models, and test labs and owners alike have given it great reviews. Ranges with induction cooktops cost more but offer performance, safety, and efficiency advantages over both gas and radiant electric models. Overall, we think the Electrolux EI30IF40LS is the best value for an induction range, thanks to its powerful and versatile cooktop, huge oven, and relatively reasonable price.

This guide may have been updated by The Sweethome. To see the current recommendation, please go here.

16
Aug

Ford and Baidu join forces to invest in self-driving tech


Auto manufacturer Ford and Chinese search company Baidu are hard at work resarching self-driving technology, but are obviously looking for ways to make it simpler to get things done. The two companies have just announced a joint investment of $150 million in Velodyne, a firm that creates LIDAR sensors.

Velodyne’s LIDAR sensors are integral for helping autonomous cars navigate the streets, and the joint investment will end up making it cheaper to produce said sensors to in turn lower the price tag of the self-driving technology Ford and Baidu are interested in.

LIDAR operates in a manner similar to radar, substituting light waves for radio waves and bouncing them off objects nearby to measure distance. Light waves allow for more meticulously-detailed maps, which obviously is a good look for self-driving cars. Velodyne is looking to make its sensors as cost-effective as it can after noting an “exponential increase” in the demand for the tech it produces.

Baidu and Ford will no doubt be snapping up a good amount of Velodyne’s product, as both are hard at work on self-driving tech and related services.

Via: The Verge

16
Aug

Intel announces Project Alloy, an all-in-one VR headset


Moving one step beyond Samsung’s Gear VR, Intel just announced Project Alloy, an all-in-one VR headset that doesn’t need to be connected to a phone or computer. Yes, that means it’s completely wireless, with its own processor and battery. Alloy can also track rooms on its own, and it tracks your fingers for interacting with virtual objects. There’s also a camera that lets you see other objects in your room, as well as nearby people. It’s part of Intel’s push around “merged reality,” which combines both VR and augmented reality into a single cohesive experience.

It’s the same idea as Microsoft’s “mixed reality” with HoloLens. And, not surprisingly, Microsoft’s Windows Holographic platform will play a key role with Alloy hardware. Terry Myerson, the EVP of Microsoft’s Windows devices group, revealed at Intel’s Developer Forum that the Holographic platform will be available to all Windows 10 PCs next year. On top of that, Intel will make its Alloy hardware specifications and APIs open source next year.

“Anyone can take Alloy hardware, combine it with Windows Holographic, and build a world-class VR system,” Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said.

In a brief demo at IDF, an Intel rep wearing a Project Alloy headset was able to wander around the stage, while at the same time navigating a virtual room. When he was prompted to open a door in VR, he merely reached his hand out (which showed up in his virtual view) to flick a switch. It took a few moments for the headset to recognize his hands, but the fact it saw it at all was impressive. When he approached Krzanich, his boss’s face appeared in VR, allowing him to avoid a potentially embarrassing (and career ending) “merged reality” tumble on stage.

We still don’t know what the Project Alloy hardware consists of, or what it will eventually cost. But it’s an important step for the future of VR and AR. As great as the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are, they’re both severely limited by all of the wires required to connect them to PCs. We already have a glimpse at wireless virtual reality with the Gear VR, but it looks like Intel is going to push things even further with Alloy.

Source: Intel

16
Aug

Windows Holographic coming to all Windows 10 PCs next year


We already knew that all Windows 10 PCs will be compatible with Windows Holographic, a “mixed reality” experience that’ll let you immerse yourself in faraway lands. Now, we know when that will be. Terry Myerson, Executive VP of Microsoft’s Windows and Devices group, just came on stage at the Intel Developer’s Forum to announce there’ll be an update to Windows 10 to add the holographic shell update as soon as next year.

This means that all mainstream PCs will soon have holographic or mixed reality capabilities. Thanks to a Windows Holographic Platform collaboration with Intel, Myerson said compatible PCs includes tiny Intel NUCs with embedded Iris graphics, as well as the latest and greatest PCs. It’ll have optimization for PCs and laptops, and in addition to HoloLens, it’ll be compatible with Project Alloy as well.

Source: Microsoft

16
Aug

A lab-made black hole supports longstanding Hawking theory


In 1974, Stephen Hawking put forward a hypothesis suggesting radiation can escape the light-sucking grip of a black hole. This week, and over forty years later, newly published research claims to have observed “Hawking radiation” (as it is known) in lab conditions. How do you observe the mother of cosmic monsters in a science lab? With a sonic black hole, a commonly used analogue (that doesn’t swallow your research lab).

The experiments were conducted by Jeff Steinhauer from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, using an analogue black hole in an “atomic Bose-Einstein condensate” — a state where gas bosons are cooled to near absolute zero. It took Steinhauer seven years to perfect his sonic black hole to the point where it was accurate enough to mimic a real cosmic event horizon. Steinhauer was then able to observe phonons (particles of sound) behave at the black hole’s event horizon — and they did so according to Hawking’s theory.

Hawking radiation suggests that a photon pair at the edge of a black hole would split. The negative photon would be swallowed, and the positive photon would be emitted as radiation. This means if a black hole isn’t gaining mass from any other source, eventually it could shrink itself out of existence. The results of Steinhauer’s experiments are the strongest evidence supporting Hawking radiation so far, but until physicists can measure Hawking radiation in a real black hole (no mean feat), it’s a promising start.

Via: Wired

Source: Nature

16
Aug

Microsoft will let you try Windows 10 games early


The Xbox Game Preview program is a nice way to try indie console games before they’re finished, but what about PC gamers? Where’s Microsoft’s answer to Steam Early Access? At last, it’s here. Microsoft has announced that Xbox Game Preview is coming to Windows 10, giving you a chance to play early desktop games and potentially influence their design. The company has only confirmed Rockfish Games’ Everspace as one of the launch titles for the initiative, but it’s vowing that there will be “many more to come.”

The effort could help Microsoft generate some of the indie buzz that has been missing on the Windows Store. You might not have to go to Steam to find the next Ark: Survival Evolved or Kerbal Space Program while it’s still in development. There’s no doubt that the crew in Redmond faces an uphill battle, though. Steam is still the default portal for many gamers, and they may not feel compelled to switch unless they can expect to find a similar volume and quality of titles in Microsoft’s digital shop.

Source: Xbox Wire

16
Aug

Intel’s Euclid is a RealSense PC the size of a candy bar


Intel has just announced Euclid, a unique all-in-one RealSense device that’s packed in the size of a candy bar. As CEO Brian Krzanich said on stage, this is essentially an easy way to bring sensors to any robot. The Euclid packs in a camera, an Atom processor, onboard communications, a battery and even a self-contained PC running Ubuntu Linux and Robot OS. Think of it as a robotics platform you can put in your pocket.

An on-stage demonstration at Intel’s Developer Forum showed it in action. Simply attach Euclid to a robot, and all of a sudden it can see and sense the world around it. “Intel’s Euclid is a developer’s dream for RealSense,” said Krzanich. Along with Euclid, Intel also announced RealSense 400, which is much thinner and smaller than its predecessor. It also boasts increased accuracy, double the number of 3D points captured per second and improved operating range as well.

Source: Intel

16
Aug

iPhone 7 Could Launch on September 23 Following September 9 Pre-Orders


With Apple set to launch the iPhone 7 next month rumors about the phone and the event where it will debut have been picking up. We’ve already heard information suggesting the iPhone 7 will be introduced at an event set to take place on Wednesday, September 7, two days after the Labor Day holiday, and now it appears we may have some insight into the actual release date.

While Apple typically releases the iPhone about two weeks after introducing it, suggesting a September 16 launch date, new scheduling information from AT&T shared by 9to5Mac indicates that the iPhone 7 might not launch until later in the month, on September 23.

A leaked AT&T retail schedule featuring “Merchandising Reset” hours indicates employees will need to spend several hours reorganizing AT&T stores on both September 9, 2016 and September 23, 2016. It’s possible this schedule pertains to the iPhone, but there’s no concrete proof that it does.

Previous information from notable smartphone leaker Even Blass has suggested pre-orders for the iPhone 7 will take place on Friday, September 9, two days after the prospective debut event, which is in line with the schedule from AT&T.

Blass has also predicted an iPhone launch for September 16, but if this AT&T information is accurate and does pertain to release preparations, that previous prediction could be incorrect. September 16 and September 23 are both likely candidates for an iPhone release date.

Regardless of when Apple plans to release the iPhone 7, we don’t have long to wait for an unveiling with only three weeks to go until the rumored September 7 event date. Media invites for the event are likely to go out next week, perhaps on Thursday August 25 or Friday, August 26.

Related Roundup: iPhone 7
Tag: AT&T
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