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7
Jun

Xbox E3 2017 press conference to be streamed in 4K, here’s how and where to watch it


Microsoft has announced that its E3 2017 press conference will be streamed online in 4K.

The Xbox Media Briefing will be held on Sunday 11 June, starting at 2pm PDT (so 10pm in the UK). It’ll run for one to two hours and is expected to mainly focus on the all-new Xbox Project Scorpio console – also promising 4K gaming.

The livestream will be hosted here, on Pocket-lint, and will stream in 4K on the official Xbox Mixer Channel. It will also be in 4K on YouTube.

Further livestreams of the event will appear on the Xbox Twitch Channel, Twitter and Facebook Live, albeit not in Ultra HD.

  • E3 2017: Rumours, press conferences and what to expect from the world’s biggest games show

Microsoft has also revealed that it will be streaming daily shows from E3 2017 – Xbox Daily: Live @ E3 – on the Xbox Mixer Channel from Monday 12 June. The exact times it runs are below:

  • Monday 12 June: 3pm to 4pm PDT (11pm to 12am BST)
  • Tuesday 13 June: 1pm to 4pm PDT (9pm to 12am BST)
  • Wednesday 14 June: 1pm to 4pm PDT (9pm to 12am BST)
  • Thursday 15 June: 10am to 4pm PDT (6pm to 12am BST)

In previous years, the Xbox Media Briefing was held on the Monday morning of E3 week. However, the new Sunday time slot puts it on the same day as the Bethesda conference, rather than Ubisoft and PlayStation – thereby spreading the events out a little.

7
Jun

Quench your thirst with Instagram likes from a vending machine


Ever since the dawn of the internet, people have found a way to artificially make themselves look more popular online. In exchange for a small sum, various dodgy-looking websites have long promised to boost your ego by selling you fake followers. Now, one Russian company is taking that concept offline, allowing you to improve your social standing by buying likes at a vending machine.

Spotted in a mall in Moscow by Russian journalist Alexey Kovalev, for $0.89 this machine will give you 100 fake likes on any Instagram post. For those with deeper pockets and a more pressing need for insincere validation, the same company also offers to net you 150,000 followers for $850. The company promises that paying the princely sum will also guarantee delivery of up to 1,500 likes per post. For those wanting a memento of all their new ‘friends’, this machine will also print your Instagram snaps too.

Instalike vending machine is for cheapskates. For $850 you can buy 150,000 followers guaranteed to deliver up to 1500 Likes to each post. pic.twitter.com/5V3HTQ4kfl

— Alexey Kovalev (@Alexey__Kovalev) June 6, 2017

With Instagram celebrities making a living from the alluring social platform, it’s not hard to see how a machine like this came to exist. While arguably a new low for capitalism, this isn’t exactly the first time that a vending machine has embraced the strange world of the internet. In Ethopia, you can get illegal rips of all the latest movies and TV shows downloaded straight to a vending machine-dispensed USB stick.

With pirated entertainment and fake friends now being dispensed as easily as candy bars, let’s just hope that the last bastion of online purity, our Uber ratings, remains honest and true.

Via: Mahable

Source: Twitter

7
Jun

Domino’s will stream ‘Ferris Bueller’ for free on Facebook Live


In case you’ve been off the grid, ubiquitous pizza-chain-of-last-resort Domino’s has been running a weird Ferris Bueller’s Day Off ad campaign with Stranger Things actor Joe Keery. The attempt to tie itself with such a beloved film has met with mixed reviews, however, so it’s taking another tack: Offering fans the entire movie for free on Facebook Live, June 11th at 7 PM EDT.

Though the ad campaign features Alan Ruck, the actor who played Cameron Frye, Domino’s wasn’t allowed to mention the name “Ferris Bueller” and, of course, Matthew Broderick didn’t participate. As Uproxx notes, the Bueller-type character (played by Keery) appears to be Frye’s son, so we’re not sure what the hell has happened over the last 30 years.

Offering the film for free, then, seems like the smartest play as far as a tie-in goes. It’s one of the more unusual ways we’ve seen to sell junk food, and Domino’s has already dabbled with drone and bot deliveries, IFTTT smart home apps and even reverse pizza tracking.

The idea, at the end, is to sell pizza. Domino’s will share a code at the beginning of the film that’s worth a 20 percent discount, or more if enough folks tune in. Of course, you could just enjoy the free movie, and take out a real deep-dish from, say, Gino’s in Bueller’s home town of Chicago. We imagine that’s what he’d do — life moves pretty fast, so why waste it on Domino’s?

Via: CNET

Source: Dominos (Facebook)

7
Jun

Apple’s AR strength is making it available to everyone


Apple is finally getting serious about augmented reality. Amid iOS improvements and new hardware announcements at this year’s WWDC, Cook & Co. also launched ARKit, the company’s first-ever stab at an augmented reality platform. Since ARKit is baked into iOS 11 and there are already so many iPads and iPhones on the market, Senior Vice President Craig Federighi had the audacity to say onstage that this would be “largest AR platform in the world.” That’s a pretty bold statement for a newcomer to the AR space. But Apple could very well be the company to pull it off.

And frankly, it’s about time. Though virtual reality is the one getting mainstream attention, much of the cutting-edge hype in recent years has revolved around augmented reality. In particular, tech giants like Microsoft and Google have gotten involved; Microsoft dared to invoke the sci-fi trope of the hologram with HoloLens while Google’s dance with AR has evolved from the much-too-nerdy Google Glass to more-palatable Project Tango, a 3D-sensing tech so compact that it could live in your phone.

Indeed, Project Tango’s vision of AR is perhaps closest to what Apple hopes to accomplish with ARKit. As Apple’s onstage demo showed, ARKit taps into the iPhone’s camera and motion sensors to add virtual content in real-world environments, like adding steaming cups of coffee onto desks and building miniature worlds on top of tables. It uses “fast stable motion tracking,” “ambient lighting estimation” and the “latest computer vision technologies” to build these virtual worlds. From there, Apple hopes developers will create all sorts of applications, from interactive gaming to immersive shopping experiences.

At the same time, ARKit doesn’t seem to be as powerful as Tango purports to be. After all, Tango’s depth-sensing tech is able to actually map the world around you. You can not only see virtual objects in the real world but also walk over and interact with them — like, say, blasting away enemy combatants or collecting virtual clues in a mystery game by physically walking over to them. What’s more, Tango has a head start: There are already a slew of Tango apps available, and it already has partnerships with stores like Lowe’s, with its In-Store Navigation app that helps you find your way around a shop to locate the part you want.

And yet that probably won’t prove to be too much of a deterrent to Apple, if only because Tango requires depth-sensing hardware and a special camera for it to all work. That’s partly why there’s currently only one Tango phone on the market (ASUS’ ZenFone AR will be the second): It takes time for companies to come together and make the hardware in the first place. Compare that to the millions of iPhones already out there and you can see why Apple’s AR Kit is much more attractive to developers who want a larger audience.

You need only look at Pokémon Go to see the beginnings of Apple’s AR reach. Yes, it was just a game that had you chasing down virtual monsters, but the fact that you could see and interact with them in the world around you made the game that much more fun. It’s no surprise that one of Apple’s demos of ARKit at the WWDC keynote was of an updated Pokémon Go where Pikachu actually has a shadow as it’s jumping around.

If you think Apple’s ARKit sounds similar to Facebook’s Camera Effects Platform, you’re right. In a way, the two are similar. It’s not all just selfie lenses and camera filters; Facebook wants devs to use the platform to create apps like leaving virtual notes on your refrigerator or interacting with 3D objects in the real world. Snapchat’s New World Lenses do the same thing. But Facebook and Snapchat are vertical platforms that are unique to just those two apps. Apple’s AR Kit, on the other hand, has the potential to reach a far wider audience, since it can be implemented in, well, anything. Why limit yourself to camera effects when you can compete on the same field as Pokémon Go?

And even though it’s late to the party, Apple’s ARKit is a historically classic Apple move. Much like how it did with smartphones and MP3 players, the company sat and waited to see how the rest of the tech industry dealt with augmented reality before coming in to offer a simpler and much more mainstream solution. Sure, ARKit isn’t as robust as Tango, and it’s not as cutting-edge as HoloLens or Magic Leap. But with hundreds of millions of iOS devices already out there, it doesn’t need to be. It just needs to be good enough.

Get all the latest news from WWDC 2017 here!

7
Jun

Bosch and TomTom map roads with radar for autonomous vehicles


Bosch and TomTom have come together to create high-resolution road maps based on radar signals. The product of the two companies’ collaboration, a system called “radar road signature,” is a move towards automated driving.

To form the maps, radar signals transmitted by driving cars are used to collect billions of reflection points bouncing off of surrounding structures like road signs and lane dividers. The radar data are then transmitted to a cloud-based server and integrated into a TomTom mapping system, which is then made available to cars on the road. According to Bosch, automated vehicles can use the radar-based map to pinpoint their lane location to within a few centimeters; the first data collection vehicles are expected to hit roads by 2020, starting in Europe and the US.

There are some advantages to radar road signature. For instance, video-based mapping systems can be hampered by low light or weather. And while video files tend to be quite large, the radar data require much less bandwidth to transmit.

But video mapping and LiDAR are pretty reliable. And Sony has even introduced an HDR camera that does rather well in the dark. It may turn out that radar-based systems like this one become more useful when used alongside video-based data, boosting sensing robustness from multiple vantages. So, while radar road signature is certainly an interesting addition to road-sensing technology, whether it’s better remains to be seen.

Via: BusinessWire

Source: Bosch

7
Jun

Remove unused apps in iOS 11 without losing your data


Of the many apps you likely have on your iPhone or iPad right now, how many do you actually use regularly? Chances are that you have at least a few that you’re keeping merely because they have data you don’t want to lose. Well, all that is about to change: iOS 11 will allow you to delete apps, but retain their settings and data. Cydia Geeks first spotted the feature that Apple calls “offloading,” and it’s great news for people who are constantly struggling with storage space on their phones.

The current “Storage & iCloud Usage” option within the iPhone’s settings will be renamed “iPhone Storage” in iOS 11. (Presumably, if you’re working on an iPad, it will be called “iPad Storage.) Within that menu is an innocuous-looking option called “Offload Unused Apps,” with an Enable option. Apple’s menu description says, “Automatically offload unused apps when you’re low on storage. Your documents & data will be saved.”

What’s more, it appears you can choose individual apps to offload if you don’t want to depend on Apple to automatically manage the process for you. Choosing the “Offload App” option for an individual app does the following, according to Apple: “This will free up storage used by the app, but keep its documents and data. Reinstalling the app will place back your data if the app is still available in the App Store.”

It’s worth noting that many apps, such as Google Drive, Facebook and Twitter, already store data in the cloud, so it’s easy to delete and reinstall them as needed. But for any apps that you must keep to avoid losing data (such as games), offloading could be just what people with storage issues are looking for. Indeed, this feature could entirely break us of the habit of keeping apps around just in case we need them one day.

Via: 9to5Mac

Source: Cydia Geeks

7
Jun

Wireless pacemakers could make life easier for heart patients


Since its invention in 1932, the pacemaker has saved countless lives. Now, thanks to researchers at Rice University and the Texas Heart Institute, it looks like this essential medical device could be getting a pretty signifcant upgrade. In a bid to reduce costly and invasive operations, the aforementioned institutions have joined forces to create the world’s first wireless and battery-less pacemaker. Powered purely by microwaves, this new pacemaker is smaller than a dime, allowing it to be implanted directly into a patient’s heart. Doing away with the wires that usually power pacemakers, this new device takes its energy from radio waves emitted by an external battery pack.

With pacemaker maintenance operations often causing complications like bleeding and infection, this breakthrough could help to make an already difficult condition a bit more manageable. As well as reducing the need for surgery, this externally-powered pacemaker would allow doctors to easily adjust the pacing of the signals sent to the device. This would, of course, be done by increasing or decreasing the amount of power sent to the receiver. Cleverly, the device will also store any excess energy, keeping the extra power as a reserve once it hits its pre-defined threshold.

While this certainly isn’t the first attempt at modernizing the pacemaker, the creators state that without a battery or leads cluttering up the form factor, patients will reap the benefits. Thanks to their small size, these new wirelessly powered microchips can be inserted into multiple places either inside or outside the heart, allowing them both to keep an identical pace. This could help patients whose heart problems are more severe, giving their ticker an extra helping hand.

So far, their experiments have been pretty successful. Testing the pacemaker on a pig, the device managed to boost its heart rate from 100 bpm to an impressing 175 bpm. With the pacemaker being introduced at a medical event running in Honolulu this week, let’s hope that the medical community helps to fully test and approve this potentially impressive device.

Source: Eureka Alert

7
Jun

Apple now insures your Mac in case of spills and drops


AppleCare is Apple’s extended warranty program for almost all of its products, while AppleCare+ covered iOS devices specifically. That little plus sign is important, too, since it protects your beloved iPhone and iPad against accidental damage. So it’s pretty big news that, as of this week, AppleCare+ is now available for Macs, protecting your pricey desktop and laptops against trips, spills and falls.

Much like its near-namesake, AppleCare+ for Mac covers your device for three years at a pop, including telephone support. The company will look after you for two accidents during that time, although each one still carries a hefty premium. Should you break your screen or dent your external enclosure, you’ll pay $99, while anything more severe is priced at $299.

The desktops are the cheapest to insure, with the Mac Mini setting you back $99, while an iMac is $169 and the Mac Pro costs $249. Laptop-wise, the MacBook and Air models are priced at $249, while the 13-inch MacBook Pro is $269 and the 15-incher is $379. Then again, if it’s a choice between AppleCare+ or shelling out the better part of three grand on a new laptop, three or four Benjamins is preferable.

Via: 9to5Mac

Source: Apple

7
Jun

Apple Retains #3 Spot in Annual Fortune 500 Rankings


One year after rising to claim the third spot on the annual Fortune 500 list, Apple hasn’t moved places in 2017 and remains #3 on the list of the top U.S. corporations based on gross revenue. Going back seven years, Apple’s previous rankings include 5th place in 2015 and 2014, 6th place in 2013, 17th place in 2012, 35th place in 2011 and 56th place in 2010.

A few rankings surrounding Apple have shifted around in 2017, however, with Berkshire Hathaway and Exxon Mobil swapping places this year. In 2016, Berkshire Hathaway sat at #4 on the Fortune 500 while Exxon Mobil was #2, and this year Berkshire Hathaway climbed to second place while Exxon Mobil dropped below Apple to sit in fourth place.

Otherwise, Walmart is still #1, with the rest of the list rounded out by companies like CVS (#7), AT&T (#9), Alphabet (#27), Microsoft (#28), Disney (#52), Netflix (#314), and Tesla (#383).

A chart of Apple’s Fortune 500 history, including its lowest spot at #325 in 2002
Apple’s profile on the Fortune 500 list this year talked about the company’s recent sales troubles with Apple Watch and iPad, as well as an increasing reliance on iPhone sales, stating that, “Apple finally appeared to hit a wall.” References were also made to Apple’s look forward into an self-driving vehicle system and its focus on software services.

After more than a decade of solid growth fueled first by the iPod music player and then by the even more popular iPhone, Apple finally appeared to hit a wall, with lackluster sales—relatively speaking—for other products such as the iPad and Apple Watch and a heavy reliance on upgraded phone models. But the most profitable publicly-traded company in the world is investing heavily in software and its efforts in new areas of opportunity, including automobiles, remain in development (and under wraps). Apple was founded in 1977 and is headquartered in Cupertino, Calif.

This year marks 23 years that Apple has been on the Fortune 500 list, with $215.6 billion of revenue in the 2016 fiscal year, down 7.7 percent from the previous year. Apple’s annual profit also dipped down to $45.6 billion — a 14.4 percent decrease — but still remained more than the annual profits of Walmart ($13.6 billion) and Berkshire Hathaway ($24 billion).

Tag: Fortune 500
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7
Jun

Apple Watch on Track to Include Advanced Micro-LED Display ‘As Soon As 2018’


Apple’s micro-LED plans are making headlines again today, with Nikkei quoting industry sources that believe the Cupertino company is still on track for a wide adoption of micro-LED screens in its wearable devices “as soon as 2018.” That timeline fits into a previous report from May, which pegged Apple for a trial production of micro-LED displays by the end of 2017, and a predicted inclusion on an Apple Watch launched in 2018 or later.

If true, analysts speculate as to whether this means Apple would then cut dependence on Samsung and its production of OLED screens currently used on Apple Watch. Separately, another rumor has suggested that Samsung is looking into purchasing micro-LED manufacturer PlayNitride, which could then lead into a scenario where Apple sources micro-LED screens from Samsung for Apple Watch. Falling in line with previous reports, Nikkei’s sources state that Apple’s micro-LED efforts will be housed in a plant in Taoyuan, Taiwan.

According to a person with knowledge of the display industry, Apple remains “the only company” that could potentially roll out micro-LED on a wide scale at this early stage in the technology’s development. Devices with micro-LED have the chance to be thinner, lighter, see an improved color gamut with increased brightness, and sport higher resolutions. Micro-LED isn’t expected to become a leader in the smartphone display supply chain, including that of iPhone, until 2020 at the earliest.

“Apple is working very hard to foster the micro-LED technology … the company could push the use of new display tech as early as next year,” said an executive with close knowledge of display technology.

“At this point, Apple is the only company who is able to roll out micro-LED, a technology that is still at an early stage of development, and cover the high costs incurred by the low yield rate,” the person said.

According to Eric Chiou, an analyst at research company WitsView in Taipei, “With micro-LED, Apple is looking to bestow brand-new products with unique designs to really differentiate itself from rivals such as Samsung.” Of course, being so far out from a product launch with a micro-LED screen, it’s impossible to know exactly what Apple plans to do with the technology, whether it’s placed within a next-generation Apple Watch or a separate, unannounced device.

Apple’s production ramp-up on micro-LED is said to be the final realization of its acquisition of low-power microLED-based display maker LuxVue in 2014, with rumors specifically surrounding a new micro-LED-powered Apple Watch beginning in summer 2016. Foxconn is also entering the micro-LED supply chain, with plans to acquire display startup eLux, “for development of next-generation micro-LED display technology.”

Related Roundups: Apple Watch Series 2, watchOS 3, watchOS 4
Tag: nikkei.com
Buyer’s Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)
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