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April 20, 2017

The Morning After: Thursday, April 20th 2017

by John_A

Hey, good morning!

Google getting into the ad-blocking business? A SNES Mini console? A Sony camera built for pros? It’s as if all the good news has come at once. Come join us for the last 24 hours in tech.

Whoa.
Is Google about to get into the ad blocking business?

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A Wall Street Journal rumor indicates that Google Chrome will soon come with ad-blocking capabilities built-in. While that may seem like a strange move from what is essentially an advertising company, the blocker would likely target annoying ads that aren’t like the ones Google itself runs. By shutting down ads that autoplay with audio, pop-ups, or full-screen countdown timers, Google could keep users from using add-ons or other browsers to block all ads (including its own.) If it happens, however, the outcry from competitors and regulators could be loud.

An N64 Classic would be interesting.Nintendo rumor points to SNES mini later this year

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Nintendo just announced that its throwback NES Classic Edition machines will abruptly fade out, so what comes next? According to a rumor from Eurogamer, a miniature SNES. It certainly could make sense for nostalgia’s sake, as the console was home to many iconic games. Here’s hoping that this one comes true and that this time around Nintendo remembers to include wireless controllers and downloadable games.

Facebook’s Spaces is fine as a VR tech demo, but….
I don’t want to live inside Facebook’s vision for social VR

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Facebook Spaces was announced at the social network’s F8 conference as a way of blending social media and virtual reality. If you own an Oculus Rift (and Touch controllers), you and four friends can enter a virtual world and hang out together. Unfortunately, hanging out mostly constitutes of chatting, taking “selfies*” and enjoying the virtual world around you. Oh, and it’s not you, per se, but a cartoon caricature that you control. For Senior Editor Dan Cooper, that’s not the social VR experience he’s looking for.

Wait, that’s possible?
Remembering the first ‘photo’ of a black hole

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Black holes are so outlandish that the scientists who first thought them up figured they couldn’t possibly exist in reality. They form from massive, collapsed stars and are so dense that nothing can escape their gravitational pull, including light. Black holes mess with spacetime so badly that scientists have long wondered: How do these things look, exactly? We may be on the cusp of seeing one thanks to the Event Horizon Telescope, but back in 1979, Jean-Pierre Luminet created the first “image” using nothing but an early computer, lots of math and India ink.

“The age of the DSLR being the kingpin is over.”
Sony hopes its full-frame A9 makes pros forget about DSLRs

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Sony’s new flagship full-frame camera, the A9, is geared toward professional photographers — especially those who shoot sports and other fast-paced environments. The A9 features a 24.2-megapixel 35mm sensor, an insane AF system with 639 phase detection points (93 percent frame coverage) and built-in 5 axis image stabilization. Given its target audience, the A9 is naturally all about speed, so you’ll find a blackout-free, 20fps continuous shooting mode and 1/32,000 shutter speed. Sony says it is its fastest digital camera to date. It’s also “half the size and weight” of the DSLRs it wants to dethrone, like Canon’s 5D Mark IV or Nikon’s D5.

They’re designed to produce more immersive content.
Facebook’s new 360 cameras bring exploration to live videos

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404d4b1e2fea”>Last year, Facebook announced the Surround 360, a 360-degree camera that can capture footage in 3D and then render it online via specially designed software. But it wasn’t for sale. Instead, the company used it as a reference design for others to create 3D 360 content, even going so far as to open source it on Github later that summer. As good as the camera was, though, it still didn’t deliver the full VR experience. That’s why Facebook is introducing two more 360-degree cameras at this year’s F8: the x24 and x6. The difference: These cameras can shoot in six degrees of freedom, offering a degree of freedom we’ve not really had in immersive video.

Samsung says it has an easy fix.
Early Galaxy S8 owners complain of red-tinted screens

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Samsung started shipping the Galaxy S8 to customers in South Korea who pre-ordered the flagship phone almost a full week ago. They were probably thinking of how lucky they were to get the phone early, until some of them noticed something off about their screen. According to multiple reports posted on Korean forums like PPOMPPU and social networks like Instagram, some S8 units’ displays have a very noticeable reddish tint.

But wait, there’s more…

  • Toyota is testing a hydrogen fuel-cell powered semi
  • Xiaomi Mi 6 mimics the iPhone’s camera tricks without the bump
  • The Renault R.S. 2027 Vision could be the F1 car of the future
  • Capcom’s collection of Disney NES games does retro gaming right
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