Skip to content

Archive for

19
Sep

What is iPhone 7 HissGate? Plus 4 other “gates” Apple has fallen prey to


The Apple iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus went on sale last Friday to record numbers of pre-orders, the iPhone 7 plus is sold out until November at least. But some of the lucky few who have managed to get their hands on one have noticed a hissing sound when working the A10 processor a little too hard.

Stephen Hackett of 512Pixels.net noticed the problem and posted online about it to bring it to public attention. He first heard the sound when restoring his account from iCloud and said it was loud enough to be heard with the phone sitting on a table, rather than having to hold it up to his ear.

Fortunately, AppleCare replaced the faulty iPhone for him, but since then other owners have noticed the same issue.

It’s not clear if some of the first few batches of iPhones are faulty or just that some owners have been unlucky with their device. In fact, it might just be normal. Rene Ritchie at iMore.com says that when restoring it is acceptable for a device to make slight hissing sounds, especially when putting the processing units under strain.

But hey, where’s the fun in that? After all, every time Apple releases a new device there are reports of some issue or so – and thus a “gate” is born. Here are some of the other famous ones.

BendGate

HissGate is far from the first time that Apple has fallen foul to reports of problems with the iPhone. There have been a number of “gates” with previous models.

One of the standout issues was “bendgate” which saw the iPhone 6 Plus bend when put in a pocket or bag. Nearly 200 people complained to Apple about the problem but the company only replaced some of them, others were left with a charge for replacement or repair. 

AntennaGate

Another gate that received international recognition was Antennagate. Antennagate refers to the iPhone 4 and how signal would drop out if you held it a certain way and bridging the gap between the two antenna pieces around the outside of the phone.

Steve Jobs held an event specifically to debunk the claims and told people to “not hold it that way”. Apple also offered a free iPhone bumper case for anyone that wanted one, but was eventually told to send customers compensation.

U2Gate

U2 Gate spawned at the launch of the first Apple Watch. The Irish band closed out the event and then Bono and Tim Cook confidently told everyone that U2’s latest album would be sent to everyone with an iTunes account. What Apple and U2 failed to realise was that U2 aren’t a band loved by everyone.

Bono issued an apology for the stunt and Apple quickly released a tool to remove the album from accounts. 

MapsGate

It was no surprise that Apple released its own mapping software, after all, why should Apple continue letting Google Maps take the limelight when it could offer its own integral solution instead.

Apple’s first attempt at Maps wasn’t that great, especially when it came to accuracy. What brought even more attention was that Apple removed Google Maps from the App Store. It took a while for Google to release a new app that iPhone owners could download and considering most people probably would have been lost, it was highly appreciated.

Apple has since learned from its original mistakes and now offers a much more accurate mapping tool…although we’d probably still opt for Google.

19
Sep

Fujifilm goes mirrorless medium format: GFX 50S is a 50-megapixel whopper on a small(ish) scale


It’s a rare thing for an all-new camera format to appear, but Fujifilm is pushing into digital medium format with the announcement of its mirrorless GFX line and GF lenses.

The Fujifilm GFX 50S is the first camera announced in the line, complete with a 51.4-megapixel sensor that’s 70 per cent larger than a full-frame DSLR’s sensor. That’s a whole lot more size to benefit from resolution and depth of field effects.

The GFX is interesting for a number of reasons. One, it’s mirrorless, so there won’t be any mirror slap when taking images and, therefore, this ought to negate any sharpness loss that can occur in higher-resolution cameras. Two, it’s small and lightweight by medium format standards – as its 800g body attests. Three, it’s super quiet in operation.

A new sensor needs a new mount, of course, with the new GF lenses arriving initially in 63mm f/2.8, 120mm f/4.0 macro and 32-64mm f/4.0 zoom flavours (remember the crop factor is around 0.8x, making 63mm around 50mm in full-frame (35mm) format). An additional three optics will join the line-up within a year of availability.

With a sensor measuring 43.8 x 32.9mm, Fujifilm hasn’t opted for an unusual X-Trans array as it does with many of its mirrorless cameras, instead sticking to a typical colour array.

With such a large sensor and so much resolution the GFX 50S can benefit from shooting in multiple aspect ratios without losing a huge amount of resolution. Want 16:9? That’ll come in 38-megapixels straight from camera. Same with 1:1 square ratio. And there are all manner of other options, too, from 5:4 to 6:9 and beyond.

The 50S is smaller than you might expect a medium format to be, while embodying some great design concepts: the vari-angle LCD is there for waist-level or overhead work; but in the box there’s a viewfinder included. And it’s no ordinary viewfinder: this clip-on inclusion merges beautifully with the body, but can also be angled through vertical and horizontal rotations to almost any given angle. Very clever.

But if you want big then you’ve got to pay big. When it’s out in the first part of 2017, Fujifilm predicts that the GFX 50S will cost sub-$10,000 with the 63mm lens included. For an all-in-one kit that’s not bad going, if, of course, you’ve got a spare £7,500-odd knocking around.

19
Sep

GoPro’s Karma drone is official, takes flight soon


After months or teasing, GoPro has officially unveiled its latest products, one of which is a company first: The Karma drone. 

GoPro’s aim with the Karma was to build a drone that’s easy to use right out of the box, and one that’s compatible with its own popular action cameras. 

Size-wise, it’s small enough to fit easily in to a small backpack (which it ships with), that the company claims is light enough to wear during any activity without getting uncomfortable. 

What’s more, the controller is designed to be as easy to use as a console gamepad and has a built-in touch screen, so you don’t need a phone to see footage from the Karma. 

As for the camera mounting system, it’s a 3-axis stabiliser which can be removed from the Drone and then attached to an included handgrip and used handheld, giving you super smooth handheld footage. In many ways, the Drone is trying to compete with drones, and handheld gimbal systems with one product. 

Given GoPro’s history in the action camera market, having a drone as part of its product range certainly makes sense. It makes it possible to capture wider action shots, using the GoPro camera equipment that users already have. 

The GoPro Karma will be available to buy from 23 October, though specific country release dates have yet to be detailed. The Karma alone will cost £720 or $799, with no GoPro included. It is compatible with Hero 4 and Hero 5. The GoPro Karma with the Hero 5 Black will cost £999 or $1099. The Karma with the Hero 5 Session will cost $999, with no European pricing available for that bundle as yet.

19
Sep

GoPro Hero 5 Black and Session cameras announced, 4K video with GPS and waterproofing


GoPro has taken the wraps off its latest action cameras; the Hero 5 Black and Hero 5 Session. Like their predecessors, they’re small and easy to mount, but host a number of improved features. 

Chief among the newest additions is waterproofing. That’s right, now when you want to take your Hero 5 Black or Session camera for a spot of underwater shooting, you’ll no longer need a special case. It can survive down to 10 metres deep without being damaged. 

Other features shared between the Hero 5 Black and Session include 4K video recording at 30 frames per second, the ability to auto-upload photos and videos to the cloud when charging, and a simple one-button control system.

They also both have electronic stabilisation during video capture to ensure footage isn’t a hideous shaky mess, as well as voice control with support for seven languages, with new languages on their way.

There’s a new linear view setting for both cameras too which gives you wide angle video and photos without the heavy distortion usually associated with extreme wide angle lenses.

Of course, the Hero 5 Black is the high-end device in the new range. To distinguish itself from the Session it has features like the ability to shoot 12MP pictures in RAW and WDR photo modes and GPS for automatic location tracking. It can record stereo audio, and has some fancy tech to cut out wind noise from recordings.

Like the Hero 4 Silver and Black additions, it has a touchscreen on the back which can be used as a small monitor, and as a control system to change video and photo shooting settings.   

Both cameras are compatible with existing GoPro mounts, including the newly announced GoPro Karma drone. They’ll be available to buy from 2 October. The GoPro Hero 5 will cost £350 or $399 and the Hero 5 Session will cost £250 or $299.

19
Sep

The best air purifier


By Tim Heffernan, John Holecek

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 spending 180 hours running two laboratory tests of more than a dozen different purifiers by an airborne-particle physicist, we find that the Coway AP-1512HH Mighty is the best air purifier for most people. It outperforms purifiers that cost far more, is the cheapest to own long-term, and maintains its performance for years.

How we tested

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The TSI, Inc. 3080/3010 Scanning Mobility Particle Sizer is a specialized particle-test machine we used to count individual airborne particles. Photo: John Holecek

Co-author John Holecek is a former National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration scientist and an expert on aerosols—the stuff that’s suspended in the air we breathe. For this and previous versions of our guide, he seeded a well-sealed room in his lab with the smoke from wooden matches and powdered titanium dioxide (it sounds fancy, but it’s just the main component in white paint) to simulate the particulates present in everyday air. He then measured the initial pollution level and the level after 10 and 20 minutes of operation at “normal” settings for each of our air-purifier candidates. (By “normal,” we mean the highest setting that comes in at under 55 dB of noise—at or below “conversational.”) That gave us superfine data on how well the machines’ HEPA (particulate) filters worked under the conditions you’d find in your home and the filter settings you’re most likely to use.

Previously, John also tested air purifiers for their ability to remove volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, from the air. Whereas removing particulate pollution is a physical process that involves trapping particles via inertia in a HEPA filter—a dense mesh of fibers—removing VOCs, which exist as nanoscale molecules, is a chemical process requiring an “adsorbent” (most often activated charcoal) that essentially pulls them out of the air and binds them to the adsorbent. Simply put, we learned that size matters: No adsorbent with a mass below about 2.5 kilograms has much effect on VOCs, and the larger the mass, the better the performance. So for this guide, we nixed this test, and instead used simple mass-of-adsorbent as our standard.

We also looked at noise levels and cost over time (purchase price plus cost of electricity and replacement filters over five years).

Our pick

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Coway Mighty is inexpensive, efficient, and durable. Photo: John Holecek

Within 20 minutes, the Coway AP-1512HH Mighty reduces airborne particulate pollution by 88 percent—among the best and fastest performance we’ve ever seen. It’s one of the most affordable high-performing HEPA-rated air purifiers available, at about $250 upfront and a total of about $577 over five years’ operation (including electricity and replacement filters). And on several absolute measures, it outperforms purifiers that cost two and even three times as much. Finally—and crucially—the Coway Mighty maintained this exceptional performance long-term, even when we measured its performance using two-year-old filters from our 2014 test—filters that had run almost continuously for a year beyond their stated lifespan. We tested the black version; it’s also available in all-white, which may match your decor better.

Runner-up

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The elegantly monolithic Winix 5500-2. Photo: John Holecek

If the Coway is unavailable, the Winix 5500-2 is a close runner-up. It, too, is HEPA-certified and rated to clear an area of 350 square feet. After 20 minutes of testing, it slightly outperformed the Coway, reducing particulate levels to 10 percent of their initial levels (versus 12 percent for the Coway). We side with the Coway for its proven long-term performance, its superior long-term cost, and aesthetics. The Winix costs about the same as the Coway upfront, but it is also a bit less energy-efficient and uses slightly more-expensive filters. This means it will end up costing about $130 more over five years’ operation. Because it’s a new model, we don’t have long-term performance data. But if the Mighty is unavailable and you need an air purifier ASAP, it’s a fine choice.

For large spaces and extreme cases

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Coway Airmega 300 looks sleek and is built to clear large spaces. Photo: John Holecek

Though most people don’t need cleaner air beyond what the Coway and Winix offer, those who live with especially dirty air (near a highway, for example) or who are sensitive to chemicals may need more than the Coway and Winix deliver.

If you have severe allergies or other serious health issues related to airborne particles, or if you need to purify the air in a seriously large space, we recommend the Airmega 300. This is a large but attractive machine; it’s HEPA-rated and can clear spaces of about 500 square feet at five complete air-changes per hour (about 1.5 times the coverage of the Coway and Winix), or 1,250 square feet at two complete air-changes. Its unique twin filters permit very high airflow, allowing it to run on lower settings when the air is relatively clean (quieter, less energy) or to rapidly filter very large volumes of air on the highest setting, as you might when allergens or pollution are elevated. In our test, it gave the overall second-best air-purification performance—more a function of its higher airflow and dual filters than inherently superior filtration. It is expensive upfront and costs about $1,400 (including the purchase price) to maintain over five years; this is in line with most of the high-end models we tested, but more than the cost of a pair of Coway Mightys.

For odors and chemical sensitivity

The Austin Air HealthMate Standard HM-400 has a large activated-carbon filter that removes most VOCs and odors.

In our tests for odor/molecular-pollution removal, the Austin Air HealthMate Standard HM-400’s 15-pound activated-carbon filter bested all other air purifiers by a wide margin. (Most air purifiers, including the other picks above, contain no or only token carbon filters, and do effectively nothing to remove molecular pollutants). Its exceptional performance in this area is a big part of why FEMA and the Red Cross chose Austin Air units for deployment at Ground Zero and the surrounding areas in the aftermath of 9/11.

Its annual operating cost ($283, according to calculations at the time of writing) also makes it by far the cheapest high-end purifier to run, but note that this is due to a filter that’s designed to be replaced every five years instead of annually. Against that, its power consumption is rather high, due to its high airflow and the airflow-resistance of the carbon filter; and though it’s HEPA-rated, when running the fan at comfortable sound levels, the Austin Air was less efficient than other models at removing particles from the air. But a little extra background noise isn’t too much to bear if serious health concerns over molecular pollutants are an issue.

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

19
Sep

Microsoft’s ‘Project Scorpio’ games will run in native 4K


You’d be forgiven for doubting that Microsoft’s Project Scorpio could really deliver on the promise of 4K gaming. Most PlayStation 4 Pro games won’t run in true 4K, and the current wave of 4K-capable PC video cards cost more than whole consoles. However, Microsoft vows that there won’t be any trickery involved with its own titles. In an interview with USA Today, the company’s Shannon Loftis says that all first-party games arriving “in the Scorpio time frame” will run in native 4K — you’ll have at least a few games to show what your new TV can do.

Loftis doesn’t say which games those are, although that isn’t surprising when Scorpio is roughly a year away. All the same, the 4K commitment could be crucial to giving the new Xbox hardware a strong start. Even if many third-party games resort to upscaling instead of real 4K, you’ll have some incentive to buy the new system. It won’t necessarily make you forget about the PS4 Pro (game selection, as always, is a crucial factor), but it might just tempt you to upgrade from an original Xbox One instead of holding out a little while longer.

Via: GamesRadar

Source: USA Today

19
Sep

Watch live as GoPro unveils its Karma drone


Earlier this month, GoPro teased that it would soon be introducing its highly anticipated Karma drone. And today, the company is hosting an event in Squaw Valley, California, where it will be showing it to the world for the first time. Of course, we’re here to bring you the information as it happens, but you can keep up with the action via the livestream below. This is a GoPro event after all, so there’s a chance we’ll also get to meet the rumored Hero5 during the keynote. Don’t go too far, because the event starts at 9AM PT/12PM ET.

19
Sep

Google Trips is a pocket-sized vacation guide


If you’ve ever visited a foreign country and realized that you’re not quite sure what to do after hitting all the major tourist attractions, the new Google Trips app might be the digital tour guide you’re looking for. The new app for iOS and Android helps build itineraries around the places you already want to see to help travelers get the most out of their vacation.

In addition to building a game plan for your time away, the app gathers all the information about your vacation — including flights and hotels from your Gmail account — and automatically places them into the trip. That itinerary is then downloadable and available offline in case you’re unable to track down WiFi or don’t an international data plan.

Google says its new app has information available for the top 200 cities around the world. So there’s a good chance if you’re headed out on vacation, Google Trips will have some ideas on what you can do when you get there.

19
Sep

Fujifilm’s GFX 50S is a mirrorless camera with a giant sensor


Fujifilm’s been trying to take on its rivals by offering larger sensors for better quality pictures, but its latest system takes the cake. The new GFX 50S is the first to use the company’s new G Format sensor, which Fujifilm said it fully customized and designed, and measures 43.8mm x 32.9mm. That’s 1.7 times larger than the typical 35mm (aka fullframe) setup in high-end DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. And despite that huge sensor, the 50S still manages to retain a light 800 gram (body only) footprint and a size smaller than a typical fullframe DSLR. The GFX 50S will be available in early 2017, but price is still unknown.

But that’s not all. The new sensor will be a whopping 51.4-megapixels sharp, and its pixel size is an obscene 5.3 microns. The GFX 50S will be compatible with a series of lenses using the new G Mount that Fujifilm is launching, with three of them arriving at the same time as the camera. These are a GF120mm f/4 macro lens, a GF32-64mm f/4 and a GF63mm f/2.8 prime. In mid 2017, three more options will be available: GF35mm f/2.8, GF23mm f/4 and GF110mm f/2. The company is expecting to hit 100-megapixels with this G-mount format in the future, so this could be the beginning of incredibly high-res pictures to come.

The GFX 50S looks similar to Fujifilm’s X series cameras, which sport a somewhat retro look. It has a foldout display that you can tilt vertically and horizontally, as well as a viewfinder that you can attach with a hotshoe. Fujifilm is also offering viewfinders that you can tilt and rotate to make framing odd angles easier, as well as other accessories that it was somewhat vague about.

Fujifilm isn’t the first to market with a compact medium format camera. Hasselblad took that title with its X1D earlier this year. While the X1D is slightly lighter (725 grams) than the Fujifilm, it’s also jaw droppingly expensive at $8,995. We don’t yet know the price of the GFX 50S, but we are expecting (hoping, really) it will cost less than $5,000. Or cheaper than the Hasselblad, anyway, since that brand tends to be pricier than most.

We’ll be checking out the new Fujifilm GFX 50S, along with a bunch of other cameras, directly from Photokina this week, so stay tuned for our impressions.

Aaron Souppouris and Steve Dent contributed to this report.

19
Sep

GoPro’s Hero5 cameras are cloud-connected and natively waterproof


It’s no secret that GoPro had a new flagship action camera in the works, but you never know how rumors may pan out. Today, the company officially announced the Hero5 Black, featuring a 2-inch touch display, 12-megapixel photos (including RAW support) and, as leaks suggested, built-in GPS. What’s more, GoPro’s Hero has voice control (seven languages at launch, more later) and is waterproof without the housing to 33 feet (10 meters). There’s also electronic image stabilization, which is a first for the Hero line. Like the previous model, it shoots 4K at up to 30 fps, as well as 1080p at 120 fps max.

In addition to the GoPro Hero5, there’s also the Hero5 Session. The refined tiny cube cam does 4K recording at 30 fps and 10-megapixel pictures. Similar to the top-of-the-line Hero5, the latest Session is also natively waterproof and offers support for voice commands — like “GoPro, start recording.” Most importantly, both the Hero5 and Hero5 Session are now cloud-connected, meaning they can auto-upload photos and video to an account when the camera is charging.

That said, the cloud features do require a paid subscription to GoPro’s freshly minted service. With it, you can view, edit and share your media anytime from a computer or a smartphone. This will, without a doubt, open up a whole new world of possibilities to GoPro users.

The Hero5 Black is set to hit stores October 2nd for $399, while the Session will be available that same day for $299. As for the GoPro Plus cloud service, the subscription costs $5 per month — although it’ll only be available in the US at launch.

%d bloggers like this: