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Tesla drops the price of its most expensive EVs

The prices of Tesla’s top-of-the-range vehicles dropped overnight thanks to efficiency improvements in the way the brand’s 100 kWh batteries are made. Better efficiency means lower production costs, and Tesla is passing its savings straight on to you. Discounts range from $3,500 to $5,000, include both the Model S and Model X, and put prices back to where they were before a small increase was added back in April. The discounts also follow a price drop for the Model X earlier this month, which came about due to its improved profit margins.

Of course, Teslas aren’t the cheapest vehicles available, but if you’ve been considering joining the EV club, now’s the time to buy (the discounts also affects current orders that haven’t yet been fulfilled). Here’s the new price list:

  • Model S 100D: $97,500 down to $94,000
  • Model S P100D: $140,000 down to $135,000
  • Model X 100D: $99,500 down to $96,000
  • Model X P100D: $145,000 down to $140,000

Via: TechCrunch


SanDisk crams 400GB into a microSD card

SanDisk just unveiled a 400GB microSD card, which it claims is the world’s biggest. Really, it was only a matter of time until something of this stature arrived. Especially, now that we’re capturing every aspect of our daily lives in glorious 4K, in 360-degrees, and from drones way up high. All those high-res images are taking up a lot of space on our devices. Therefore, storage providers had to step it up, which brings us to this miniature marvel.

The 400GB SanDisk Ultra microSDXC UHS-I card (yes, it’s a mouthful) comes two years after the release of its 200GB predecessor. The company claims it can rack up transfer speeds of 100MB, meaning you can expect to move up to 1,200 photos per minute. It also meets the A1 App Performance Class specification, allowing it to load apps faster. Ultimately, it can hold up to 40 hours of full HD video. That all sounds enticing, but it comes at a hefty price: The microSD card will set you back $250.

For that money, you get 144GB more storage than any other microSD card out there. There were rumblings of a 512GB microSD card hitting the market this year (courtesy of Microdia), but we’ve not heard anything recently. Plus, that half-a-terabyte of storage was going to set you back $1,000 — which makes SanDisk’s card look cheap in comparison.

All you iPhone owners feeling left out right now, SanDisk has your back. Well, kinda. The company’s also dropping a new local storage dock for Apple’s handset. Just plug your iPhone into the SanDisk iXpand Base to backup your files, with up to 256GB of storage (for $200). Additional versions include 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB storage, with prices starting from $50.

Source: Business Wire (press release), Business Wire (press release)


Garmin Announces Three New Wearable Devices Alongside Contactless Payment Solution ‘Garmin Pay’

Garmin today announced three new wearable devices that it will debut at IFA 2017, including the vívomove HR, vívosport, and vívoactive 3. The Garmin vívoactive 3 closely resembles Apple Watch in terms of features, with Garmin’s device tracking heart rate, packing in 15 indoor and outdoor activity apps, and supporting a new “Garmin Pay” contactless payment solution.

Garmin Pay supports Visa and Mastercard debit and credit cards from major issuing banks, and the company said that more will be added every day. The smartwatch includes a stainless steel design and an always-on high-resolution Garmin Chroma display, with a watch face that supports thousands of different faces and widgets from the Garmin Connect IQ store. The device is safe to wear when swimming or showering, and will last up to seven days in smartwatch mode, and thirteen hours with GPS turned on.

The heart rate variability monitor in the vívoactive 3 can keep track of stress levels as well, which users can track both on the smartwatch itself and on the Garmin Connect mobile app. The vívoactive 3 is available in three colors: black/stainless and white/stainless ($299.99), and black/slate ($329.99). There are also various bands users can purchase to attach to the smartwatch, and both the smartwatch itself and the bands are available at Best Buy.

The Garmin vívomove HR is the company’s “hybrid smartwatch,” combining the advanced features of a smartwatch in the body of a classic analog watch. The device can monitor much of the same data as the vívoactive 3, including heart rate and stress, as well as display smartphone notifications, but the readouts are placed more subtly within a traditional watch face.

There are various stainless steel finishes, as well as both leather and silicone band accessories. The “Sport” version costs $199.99 and the “Premium” leather band version costs $299.99.

Lastly, the company announced a basic activity tracker called the vívosport, which focuses more on fitness features like GPS tracking and a few new built-in sports apps for strength training, cycling, cardio, and more. Users also won’t have to worry about battery life thanks to seven full days of battery in smartwatch mode, and then eight hours when using the device’s GPS.

Garmin Move IQ automatically tracks data users might forget to log, and LiveTrack lets authorized family members track the wearer’s outdoor workouts for safety precautions. The vívosport costs $199.99 and comes in black/slate (small/medium and large), black/fuchsia (small/medium only) and black/limelight (large only).

All of Garmin’s new wearable devices connect to the Garmin Connect app, which saves the user’s activity stats, connects them to a community of workout enthusiasts, provides more detailed graphs, tracks sleep patterns, and more. For more information on all of Garmin’s new smartwatches, visit the company’s website.

Tag: Garmin
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Capcom to re-release $100 ‘Street Fighter II’ SNES cartridges

As if grabbing the SNES Classic Edition weren’t challenging enough, retro gamers have another limited re-release to look out for: brand-new Street Fighter II cartridges. Capcom and iam8bit have teamed up to produce a run of 5,500 units, available in either “Opaque Ryu Headband Red” (4,500 cartridges) or “Glow-in-the-Dark Blanka Green” (1,000 cartridges). The boxes are all identical and will be sealed, so which one you might actually get is random.

iam8bit promises the games will be playable (assuming you have a working SNES or compatible substitute) and come with a “Premium” instruction booklet as well as retro pack-in surprises. The extras may help to justify its $100 price tag (Gamestop has the used game listed for $10, I remember it selling brand new for $80 in 1992), so if you’re interested, pre-orders are open now and the games are scheduled to ship in November.

SURPRISE! Happy 30th Anniversary @StreetFighter. Street Fighter II Cartridge Legacy Collection SNES Limited Edition

— iam8bit @ PAX (@iam8bit) August 30, 2017

Source: iam8bit


Take your own Street View images with Ricoh’s latest camera

Ricoh Theta’s newest 360-degree single-shot camera model comes with a bunch of cool new features, including 4K video capture, spatial audio recording and live streaming. The Theta V, which is the first Street View mobile-ready camera to be certified by Google, also uses high-spec photography technology originally developed for top-of-the-range Pentax DSLRs, which means you can expect eye-wateringly high-quality images. And you can get them where they need to be quickly, too, as the camera’s new high-speed data transfer is 2.5 times faster than previous Theta models. The camera can be connected to and controlled by any Android or iOS-based device using the Theta S app.

A really interesting addition, however, is that users can now create new functions for the camera via software plug-ins. One example — already developed and integrated into the device by Ricoh — enables the world’s first wireless remote playback in a 360-degree camera. So the device effectively operates as a remote control (and its slim design means it doesn’t look to dissimilar to one, either). The camera is also getting two accessories: a 3D microphone, designed for shooting music performances or for use outdoors; and an underwater case (coming in October) which will allow the camera to be used at depths of up to 100ft. It’s available now for $430.

Follow all the latest news from IFA 2017 here!


Three’s Smarty network buys back your unused data each month

It’s been a while since we’ve seen a new mobile provider dive into the saturated UK market, but like buses, today it seems that fresh options are arriving all at once. Alright, so technically the new players are sub-brands of existing networks, with Vodafone announcing Voxi, and Three, Smarty. Naturally, both providers have a hook to differentiate them from every other mobile product out there at the moment. Voxi is offering zero-rated, “free” data for all manner of social media and chat apps, while Smarty effectively buys back the data you don’t use each month and refunds that cost on your next bill.

Smarty is a SIM-only affair for now, with three different tariffs on offer. Each plan carries a £5 monthly charge that pays for unlimited calls and texts, and on top of that, you can pay £7.50 each month for 2GB of data, £10 for 4GB or £15 for 8GB. Any data you use above and beyond those caps is charged at £1.25 per GB, which is the same price Smarty will pay you for any unused megabytes. Say you’re on the £15 plan and only use 6 gigs of data that month, then you’ll get £2.50 off your next bill. It also functions as an incentive to stay allied to the provider, since all plans are of the rolling monthly kind rather than having a minimum term attached.

Smarty’s three tariffs are available from today, but beware certain standard features aren’t live just yet, including roaming and calling international numbers. The last biggish new provider launch happened in January, when Sky Mobile opened its doors to new customers. Sky Mobile’s key perk is rollover data (and no complementary, limiting small print), and it’s almost like Smarty’s is reserve data rollover. Instead of banking unused data that may or may not be useful to you in the future, you’re getting a refund at the same price it’d cost you to buy additional data in a month where you exceed your cap. That’s kinda clever, but Smarty? Cue the copyright suit when Three begins referring to subscribers as Smarties.

Source: Smarty


The Indie Megashow gaming and music festival is headed to Tokyo

Indie Megabooth has long been a breath of fresh air at bloated games conventions. Gamers apparently agree. These days, thousands of attendees and hundreds of developers flock to its indie showcases. Its growing popularity saw it branch out beyond games for the first time earlier this year. Its latest offshoot, Indie Megashow, made its debut in Atlanta in July. Now, the daylong gaming, arts, and music festival is going global. As its name suggests, The Indie Megashow Tokyo is bringing the good times to Japan. And, as usual, it will feature kickass indie titles, along with a bunch of special guests.

Over a dozen games will be on the agenda, including Asura, Iconoclast, Superhot, and Fresh Body, among others. Arika, the Tokyo-based developer behind the Street Fighter EX series, will also use the event to unveil its upcoming fighting game. The studio was founded by Akira Nishitani, who made his name working on Capcom’s legendary Street Fighter 2, and Final Fight. Arika’s first original fighting game in decades could well be the highlight of the festival. Tunes on the night will come from “nerdcore hip-hop extraordinaire” Megaran, and Tokyo’s very own DJ Uppercut.

Indie Megabooth is already doing its bit for Japan’s indie gaming scene by organizing Kyoto’s annual BitSummit festival. And, its latest pop-up should cast even more attention on independent devs. The more indie gaming events the better, we say. Indie Megashow Tokyo will be held at SuperDeluxe in Roppongi on September 20. You can grab tickets for the fest here. And, if you can’t make it to all the way to Japan, worry not, as the entirety of the event will be streaming on Twitch.


Google Assistant will take a screenshot for you if you ask

Taking a screenshot on an Android smartphone can be achieved a number of different ways, but nearly all of them require a number of taps or button presses. However, thanks to a recent update to Google’s AI assistant, that task can now be performed simply by using your voice. Say “OK Google, take a screenshot” and the Share panel will pop up, allowing you to capture whatever is on display.

The feature replaces the quick on-screen shortcut that was added to Assistant at the very start of the year. If voice commands aren’t your thing, Assistant will let you type the command instead. The resulting screenshots differ slightly to manual button captures, with Assistant only showing what’s active on your display — the status bar and navigation buttons are cropped out.

Assistant does make a simple feature a tiny bit easier to access, but holding the power and volume button at the same time can be unnecessarily fiddly. In the future, Google will include a built-in screenshot editing tool, letting you fine tune your screenshots before they’re shared.

Via: 9to5Google


B&O Play launches the E8, its first wireless earbuds

Bang & Olufsen never adopt a new technology until it can guarantee that the audio quality is up to its usual high standards. But the firm has moved fairly quickly, by its standards, to build its first pair of in-ear Bluetooth earbuds. The Beoplay E8 is a pair of Bragi and IconX-esque in-ears that come with their own charging case, just like its rivals.

The earbuds offer up to four hours of playback on a single charge, while the case’s built-in battery will re-juice the cells twice more. Touch controls on the side, meanwhile, will let you switch between tracks, answer calls and activate both voice commands and transparency mode. The latter feature enables you to tweak the amount of ambient sound that you can hear to snoop on the office chit-chat.

Sound-wise, the E8 comes with a 5.7mm electro-dynamic speaker with 16 Ohm impedance and a 20 – 20,000 Hz frequency range. You can further tweak those with the E8’s companion app, which lets you tweak individual sound profiles on your Android and iOS devices, as well as the Apple Watch. Certainly, given the company’s pedigree in audio, it’s likely that other earbud makers should be mildly concerned.

The Beoplay E8 retails for €299 / $299 / £259 and will come in a choice of either black or charcoal sand, whatever that’s meant to represent. Both versions will be available for purchase on October 12th 2017.

Follow all the latest news from IFA 2017 here!


Sony Announces New Smart Home Speaker With Built-In Google Assistant and Gesture Controls

Sony today announced a collection of new products that it plans to showcase during the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin, Germany this upcoming weekend. One of the biggest additions to the company’s line-up is a new smart home speaker, called the LF-S50G wireless speaker, which looks similar to Apple’s upcoming HomePod, has a built-in Google Assistant, and is being pitched with a “high quality” music-focused message.

Users can start off music playback by saying “OK Google,” and from there they can ask the assistant for any information that it normally provides, including basic trivia, unit conversions, nutritional information, recipes, and more. The sides of the speaker have an LED clock display, while the top includes various sensors that support gesture controls for starting a song, skipping a song, and adjusting volume.

“Now you can get Sony’s awesome sound quality and design with the Google Assistant built-in,” said Mike Fasulo, President and COO of Sony Electronics. “This functionality is another example of Sony’s commitment to customer choice by delivering new and innovative technologies.”

The LF-S50G wireless speaker includes a 360 degree, vertical two-way facing speaker system, which Sony said provides for “maximum sound coverage” in any average-sized room. The device’s full range speaker reproduces vocal and treble notes, while a dedicated subwoofer reproduces bass sounds and an omnidirectional two stage diffuser evenly spreads the sound to anyone in the room. For music playback, the speaker supports smartphone pairing through Bluetooth and NFC.

Sony is billing the device as a kitchen assistant thanks to its included clock and timer functionality, as well as its IPX3 splash-proof design and a water repellant surface. Users will also be able to control connected smart home electronics, and connect other supported Sony wireless speakers that have Chromecast built-in, syncing the same music across multiple speakers in one home. The LF-S50G wireless speaker will cost $199.99, and Sony said that it will go on sale this October.

Sony also revealed a trio of new wireless headphones that are coming to the 1000X family of products, each bringing advanced noise cancellation features for users. The collection includes the “truly wireless” WF-1000X with an in-ear design, the WI-1000X with a behind-the-neck design, and the WH-1000XM2 with an around-the-ear design and more sound options to adjust to various noise levels and environments. The WH-1000XM2 headphones are the newest versions of the MDR-1000X from last year.

The first device, the WF-1000X, is similar in functionality to many wireless headphones on the market, like Apple’s AirPods. When taken out of the included charging case, the earbuds automatically connect to the user’s smartphone, and Sony said that the case allows users to listen to nine hours of music on the go. In terms of price, the WF-1000X earphones will cost $199.99, the WI-1000X will cost $299.99, and the WH-1000XM2 will cost $349.99, and all three devices launch in September.

For more information on Sony’s announcements, check out the company’s IFA-focused press release here. One of the other notable unveilings centered around three new Xperia smartphones coming this fall, with a flagship feature called the “3D Creator.” Sony described this as its in-house solution for 3D object scanning that allows users to create avatars, play with augmented reality camera effects, set a live wallpaper, send to friends as a sticker on social media, print on a 3D printer, and various other AR-related options.

Tag: Sony
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