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15
Sep

Apple’s Hardware Tech Chief Johny Srouji to Speak at Carnegie Mellon Next Week


Johny Srouji, Senior Vice President of Hardware Technologies at Apple, will speak at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh next week.

The university’s School of Computer Science today announced that Srouji will attend a distinguished industry lecture on Monday, September 18 at the Rashid Auditorium, where he will speak at 5:00 p.m. local time.

Johny Srouji, Apple’s SVP for hardware tech, will speak Monday at 5 pm in Rashid Aud. https://t.co/OdeGvTv0CC Any questions?

— CMU Computer Science (@SCSatCMU) September 15, 2017

Carnegie Mellon didn’t reveal what Srouji will be talking about, but at Apple, he leads the team responsible for custom silicon and hardware technologies like batteries, storage controllers, and application processors, including its new A11 Bionic chip in the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X.

An excerpt from his executive profile on Apple’s website:

Johny has built one of the world’s strongest and most innovative teams of silicon and technology engineers, overseeing breakthrough custom silicon and hardware technologies including batteries, application processors, storage controllers, sensors silicon, display silicon and other chipsets across Apple’s entire product line.

Johny joined Apple in 2008 to lead development of the A4, the first Apple-designed system on a chip. Prior to Apple, Johny held senior positions at Intel and IBM in the area of processor development and design. He earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Computer Science from Technion, Israel’s Institute of Technology.

In a recent interview with Mashable, Srouji revealed that Apple began exploring and developing the core technologies in the A11 chip three years ago, when the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus launched with A8 chips.

The A11 Bionic is a six-core chip with two performance cores that are 25 percent faster, and four high-efficiency cores that are 70 percent faster, than the A10 chip in iPhone 7 models. Geekbench scores suggest the A11 Bionic is even on par with the performance of Apple’s latest 13-inch MacBook Pro models.

(Thanks, Benedict Evans!)

Tag: Johny Srouji
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15
Sep

ReMarkable tablet review


Research Center:
ReMarkable tablet

A low-power, no-frills tablet that mimics the look and feel of real paper sounds almost too good to be true, but that’s startup ReMarkable’s sales pitch. The eponymous ReMarkable tablet’s custom-designed screen lets you doodle, sketch, and write just like the Microsoft Surface Pro or Apple iPad Pro. But unlike most other stylus-touting tablets on the market, the ReMarkable doesn’t suffer from screen glare, lasts days without needing to recharge, and syncs seamlessly with your PC and phone — in theory, that is.

After spending a little more than two weeks with the ReMarkable tablet, we can confidently say that it’s the foundation for something great. But like any first-generation technology, not everything about the ReMarkable tablet is as well-executed — or remarkable — as it could be.

Large but lightweight

The ReMarkable is a little larger than the picture on the box lets on, but it’s also surprisingly lightweight.

The 10.3-inch screen’s measurements (6.9 by 10.1 by 0.26 inches) put the ReMarkable tablet within striking distance of Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD 10 (12.04 by 8.96 by 0.27 inches). But when it comes to the overall heft of the thing, it’s no contest between the ReMarkable and behemoths like Apple’s iPad. The ReMarkable weighs in at 0.77 pounds, or almost a third of a pound lighter than the iPad Pro 10.5 (1.03 pounds).

That makes it really portable. I took to carrying it around one-handed and balancing it on my lap like a legal notepad, as well as stowing it between books on my desk. It’s thin enough to squeeze in a crowded book bag or backpack, but I can’t attest to its durability — the ReMarkable’s exposed screen made me a little wary of trying.

In terms of aesthetics, the ReMarkable tablet keeps it simple. It has a shiny, silver-brushed backplate, with white plastic trim that stretches the length and width of the tablet’s screen. An oblong button on the top switches between the tablet’s sleep modes and powers it on and off, while three (slightly wobbly) square-shaped buttons on the front handle basic software navigation.

Underneath the plastic housing is the ReMarkable tablet’s guts: A 1 GHz ARM A9 CPU, 512MB of RAM, a 2.4GHz/5GHz Wi-Fi chip, and 8GB of internal memory that can store about 100,000 pages of notes.

It’s not quite like paper, but there’s resistance and texture akin to a really thin sheet of notebook paper.

But the true innovation is the screen. ReMarkable calls it a Canvas display, and if you’ve ever used a Kindle ebook reader, you’ll recognize it right away. The technology is called E Ink Carta, and it produces a picture by electrifying microscopic particles roughly the width of a human hair.

E Ink screens are generally less prone to glare than traditional liquid crystal displays and much more power-efficient, but pose a challenge for touchscreen tablets like the ReMarkable because of their low refresh rate. That’s where the ReMarkable is different.

Most E Ink screens take 100 milliseconds to refresh completely, which is fast enough for flipping pages in an ebook but too slow for real-time sketching and note-taking. ReMarkable’s 1,872-by-1,404-pixel (226 dots per inch) Canvas display, in contrast, achieves a 55 millisecond response time.

So how does writing on the ReMarkable tablet actually feel? It’s not quite like paper, but there’s resistance and texture akin to a really thin sheet of notebook paper. That’s thanks in part to the ReMarkable tablet’s felt-tipped stylus, which has a marker tip custom-designed to mimic the feel of paper. (ReMarkable says it has more than 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity and 512 levels of tilt.)

The felt tips don’t last forever, though. ReMarkable sells replacement kits in packs of 10 for an undisclosed price, but warns that they could degrade in as little as six months. We didn’t notice any serious wear after two weeks of light use, but it’ll depend on how aggressively you sketch.

Disappointing performance and middling battery life

The pen’s stellar performance stands in contrast to the rest of the experience, unfortunately.

The ReMarkable tablet suffers from the telltale limitations of E Ink technology: Tapping on a menu key or scroll wheel basically guarantees a delay and screen flashes while the tablet refreshes. It doesn’t come close to the responsiveness of the stylus, and it’s incredibly frustrating.

Kyle Wiggers/Digital Trends

The ReMarkable tablet’s battery life is a little better than its performance, but it didn’t last as long as I’d like. After a typical 9-to-5 day of jotting down reminders, organizing my to-do list, and absent-mindedly doodling, I could count on the 3,000mAh battery dipping well below 40 percent by midweek.

ReMarkable’s engineers say they’re targeting two weeks of standby time, which seems a little optimistic. But we’ll have to take their word for it.

Software

Sketching on the ReMarkable takes place mostly in Notebook, the tablet’s catchall for quick notes and doodles. In the default view, you get a nearly unlimited number of pages and a vast array of drawing tools.

I found the ReMarkable’s basic tools to be the most useful.

The left-hand side is where you’ll find different stylus types: A pencil, a pen, a brush, and a highlighter. Tap on one, and sub-menus for stroke thickness and color appear in the top-left corner. (You can choose between a ballpoint pen and a marker, for example, and a sharp pencil or a tilted pencil.) Other tools include the eraser, which lets you delete portions of drawings or the entire page; the magnifying glass, which lets you zoom in or out of the page; and a “minimalist” mode that hides the toolbars from view.

On a day-to-day basis, I found the ReMarkable’s basic tools to be the most useful. The built-in move button saved me the trouble of having to erase and rewrite things I’d written, and the undo button made getting rid of mistakes as easy as the press of a button.

For folks more artistically inclined than myself, ReMarkable’s notebook is chock-full of drawing aids. A Photoshop-like layering tool lets you add, remove, edit, and switch between backgrounds and foregrounds, and a gallery of templates provides premeasured grids and lines for sheet music, weekly schedules, and more. (ReMarkable says that users will eventually be able to create their own templates.)

Those features tie into the ReMarkable tablet’s companion app for Android, iOS, and PC. When the tablet is connected to Wi-Fi, notebook pages sync automatically each time you make a change. Each app has a built-in viewer, and a handy export tool that lets you convert any sketchbook page into a PDF document or PNG image.

They work well enough, but documents didn’t always sync right away in our testing. There’s also an absence of support for third-party storage services like Dropbox and Google Drive (ReMarkable says it’s working on this). And we couldn’t get Live View, one of the ReMarkable tablet’s most promising cross-platform features, working properly. It’s supposed to show sketches on the PC or mobile app in real time, but neither the Android app nor the PC app acknowledged Live View when we enabled it on the tablet. (ReMarkable says it’s aware of the bug.)

Availability

ReMarkable’s crowdfunding campaign ended in August, but ReMarkable says it’ll open its store for pre-orders later this year ahead of a spring 2018 release window. Those who pre-ordered earlier this year will get the ReMarkable in September 2017.

The ReMarkable tablet and stylus will cost $600. It comes with a folio cover, a USB cable, and 10 pen tips.

Warranty information

ReMarkable offers a limited one-year warranty that protects against manufacturing defects. If there’s anything wrong with the tablet upon delivery, it’ll offer a repair and/or replacement at no charge.

The warranty doesn’t cover wear and tear, accidental damage, or “improper” modifications like reengineering or software modifications. In other words: If you drop the ReMarkable tablet on a hardwood floor, you’re liable for the damage.

ReMarkable tablet Compared To

Apple iPad 9.7

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3

Dell Venue 8 7000

Nvidia Shield Tablet

Apple iPad Air 2

Lenovo ThinkPad 10

Apple iPad Mini 2

Microsoft Surface 2

Smart Devices SmartQ U7

Razer Edge Pro

Dell XPS 10

Acer Iconia Tab A700

Amazon Kindle Fire

Lenovo IdeaPad K1

Acer Iconia Tab A100

Our Take

The ReMarkable tablet delivers on its promise of imitating pen and paper, but at a premium most people won’t be happy paying.

Is there a better alternative?

It depends on whether you’re willing to settle.

The ReMarkable tablet is the closest thing we’ve tried to paper, and its E Ink screen has a theoretical advantage when it comes to battery life. But as it stands, more conventional tablets are the better buy.

For $700 (plus the price of the Apple Pencil), Apple’s iPad Pro 10.5 puts a wider array of drawing, note-taking, and general-purpose apps at your fingertips. And the $800 entry-level Surface Pro, while a little on the pricey side, runs full-blown Windows 10 and the millions of applications it supports.

How long will it last?

The ReMarkable tablet’s future is a bit murky. The eponymous company behind it doesn’t have a proven track record.

But the company is already planning software updates. ReMarkable has working prototypes of a handwriting recognition system that transcribes notes to written text, and it intends to enable live sharing of notes through web links in the first half of 2018. In late 2017, the company tells Digital Trends, it will begin development on a web app for notebook pages and a plug-in for apps like OneNote and Evernote.

It remains to be seen if ReMarkable will follow through on those promises, of course. But given its transparency with crowdfunding backers so far and its detailed support webpage, we’re inclined to believe that the ReMarkable tablet will last well past its launch date.

Should you buy it?

The ReMarkable is a great idea that’s in need of refinement.

There’s no disputing its technological achievement. Simply put, there’s nothing on the market like the ReMarkable’s Canvas display.

But that’s not enough to justify the $600 asking price. ReMarkable pitches the tablet as a “distraction-free” alternative to the iPad and Surface Pro, but it’s almost a moot point. If you’re willing to pony up a few extra dollars, you can pick up a much more capable tablet that might not feel like paper, but offers a much more robust ecosystem.

That’s not to mention the ReMarkable tablet’s worrisome number of bugs and missing features. There’s no way to annotate existing documents or search the content of notes, for example. And features like USB file transfer remain inexplicably in “beta.”

Perhaps a future, cheaper version of the ReMarkable tablet will live up to all of its promises. But this one doesn’t.

15
Sep

Best iOS app deals of the day! 6 paid iPhone apps for free for a limited time


Everyone likes Apple apps, but sometimes the best ones are a bit expensive. Now and then, developers put paid apps on sale for free for a limited time, but you have to snatch them up while you have the chance. Here are the latest and greatest iOS app deals available from the iOS App Store.

These apps normally cost money and this sale lasts for a limited time only. If you go to the App Store and it says the app costs money, that means the deal has expired and you will be charged. 

Nutrition GPA

Answer ten simple questions about what you ate today and get a grade on the nutrition quality of your diet. Then, track your Nutrition GPA over time. Feedback, motivation, and accountability in just two minutes a day.

Available on:

iOS

Thankful For

“Thankful for…” helps you pick up the healthy habit of giving thanks with a curated list of hundreds of things to be grateful for. Pick the ones that adjust better to you, get reminders throughout the day and share your gratitude with the world.

Available on:

iOS

Extreme Week Calendar

This app is the light version of the popular Extreme Agenda organizer app. It gives you a seven-day weekly view and inline day view to add great features not found in the default Apple calendar.

Available on:

iOS

Easy Spending

Over a million users agree that Easy Spending is the best way to take control of where the money goes and effectively build wealth using the simple and yet powerful money management app.

Available on:

iOS

noScroll

Gone are the days of asking friends and family not to swipe through when showing pics from your last trip. Pass your device to friends and family to show them only the photos you’ve selected.

Available on:

iOS

Translate Website Extension

Translate websites directly inside Safari on iPhone and iPad. Download the app, set your output language, follow quick tutorial to enable extension and you are ready to go.

Available on:

iOS




15
Sep

How to troubleshoot Casting problems with YouTube TV


youtube-tv-cast.jpg?itok=U5VhPSmK

These tips can let you troubleshoot issues with Casting on YouTube TV!

YouTube TV lets you Cast your favorite shows from your phone to your television. However, you can run into some pesky problems while Casting. If you’re having issues loading videos, or running into glitchy playback, these are the tips to solve your problems!

  • Restart the app
  • Check for Updates
  • Check your connection
  • Reboot your Chromecast
  • Contact YouTube TV support

Restart YouTube TV

When you run into issues with YouTube TV, the first thing to try is to restart the app by closing and reopening it. This is an easy way to solve some problems, and only takes a moment.

Close the YouTube TV app.
Reopen the YouTube TV app.

Check for Updates

In some cases, your problem may be caused by having an app that hasn’t been updated. By updating, you’ll ensure that everything is working properly, and patches may outright solve many issues.

Open Google Play.
Search for YouTube TV.
Tap update if your app is out of date.

Check your connection

In order to Cast to YouTube TV, you’ll need a solid internet connection with a Wi-Fi network that both the device you are Casting from and your Chromecast on it. Additionally, you’ll need to ensure that you have a 3Mbps connection for the best viewing experience. If you’re having continual issues with video playback, then lowering the quality may well do the trick.

Open the YouTube TV app.
Tap the program you want to watch.
Tap the overflow button on the video player.
Tap quality.
Tap to choose a new quality for your video.

Reboot your Chromecast

If connection problems seem to be the bane of your existence, then you may need to go ahead and reboot your Chromecast.

Unplug your Chromecast from the wall.
Leave unplugged for about a minute.
Plug your Chromecast back in.

Contact YouTube TV support

In some cases, none of the tips we’ve listed out here will do the trick. If that’s the case, then the next step ought to be to contact YouTube TV support. You can chat with someone, correspond via email, or request a phone call to get help to resolve your issue.

Questions?

Did these methods help to solve your problems?Is there a method for troubleshooting YouTube TV that we missed? Let us know in the comments below

15
Sep

Camera cutouts: The next horrible smartphone trend?


essential-phone-desk.jpg?itok=0BUCnHn6

Smartphone trends take lots of different forms, but this latest one sucks.

Some smartphone trends are borne of necessity, like the trend towards larger onboard storage. Some smartphone trends are borne out of a desire to curb costs and space, like the trend of removing the headphone jack. Some trends are useful, such as the wide adoption of fingerprint scanners. Some trends are nuisances, such as the removal of the headphone jack. We’re seeing the beginnings of a new trend, and it’s going to take a chunk out of our screens, if not our sanity.

essential-phone-front-camera.jpg?itok=Pn

Phones have trended larger and larger for the last several years, and then this year Samsung decided to go extra tall while keeping the Samsung Galaxy S8 reasonably narrow to hold and use. Bezels shrank almost ridiculously small on that phone, but other manufacturers saw that they could go further. Essential announced the Essential Phone, which stood out from the pack in a few ways, but most noticeably for the black divot in the middle of the screen’s top edge, where the camera intruded upon the status bar. It’s there, and while most of the time it’s easy enough to ignore, there are some instances where that’s just not possible, such as when watching videos or using the Essential Phone in landscape. It was an oddity, a daring experiment in just how far manufacturers could shrink bezels and give users usable touchscreen on the front of their phones.

Then Apple said hold my micro-brewed IPA.

iphone-x-wonder-woman-video-hdr.jpg?itok

The iPhone X is here, and while there’s a lot going on here, the design feature your eye instantly gravitates to isn’t that new vertical camera setup, nor the shiny glass back or the loving sculpted stainless steel frame. It’s to that depression in the top of the screen, where the selfie camera and all of the sensors that make Face ID more than a glitchy fad dip down into the touchscreen, giving the iPhone screen stubby, sawed-off devil’s horns.

iPhone X’s screen is edge to edge all the way around the front face of the phone, minus that rectangle of sensors and cameras. While I’m looking forward to seeing how accessory makers handle having so little purchase for their front case lips, the real test here is going to be how users respond to having so little to grip around the edges of this edge-to-screen, and how users respond to that awkward bar at the top of the screen.

iphone-x-home-screen.jpg?itok=cne-kFFK

Apple could’ve hidden this deformity and taken advantage of their first OLED display to have those horns blend back into the display by dying the status bar black, but they decided to lean into their choice. For that, I do have to respect them. My eyes, however, just keep twitching as they gravitate up to that black abyss in an otherwise bright, beautiful screen. I don’t know if I’ll ever adapt, and I’m sure I’m not alone.

I am sure of one thing, though, once Apple does it, it’s bound to be imitated by other manufacturers, so get ready to see more divots, devil horns, or whatever they decide to call them.

They certainly look evil to me.

15
Sep

Best Smart Switches for Amazon Alexa


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Because turning on things with your fingers is so 20th century …

So you’ve got a home. You’ve got Amazon Alexa doing her thing, be it in an original Echo or an Echo Dot or maybe the new Echo Show. (Or in any one of the third-party offerings that take advantage of what she can do.)

It’s time to ramp things up a little more. Let’s talk switches.

This actually is a two-parter. It’s absolutely possible to have a switch that works with Amazon Alexa. But you also have to ask yourself what the switch is controlling. That’s going to factor into figuring out exactly what it is you want to buy.

Philips Hue light switch

51ZLqbBpuKL._SL1000__0.jpg?itok=Dn03X483I’ve got Philips Hue bulbs all over my house. And the ability to turn them off and on with my phone or my computer or my voice — or my new favorite, a motion sensor — is excellent.

But I also have switches. Because sometimes I just want to turn the things off as I’m walking by.

They have buttons for on/off and for increasing and decreasing the brightness. (And if you have color bulbs, hitting the on button over and over will cycle through the different scenes.)

As an added bonus, the switches themselves come off the wall plate (they’re magnetic), so you can keep them more handy if you want, like on a nightstand. They’re not inexpensive at $25 each, but they’re definitely something I’d recommend if you’re getting into smart lights.

See at Amazon

Note: If you want something a little more futuristic-looking, check out the Smart Tap Switch. It’s also compatible with Apple’s HomeKit.

If you don’t have smart lights — Wemo Switch

Wemo_Dimmer_1_0.jpg?itok=lF7GDeuOI get that not everyone has switched to smart bulbs. (In fact, I haven’t switched all mine.) For everything else, check out Wemo’s switch. You’ll have to do a little rewiring here — the same sort of thing if you’ve ever swapped out any other kind of switch. And after that, you’ve got something that’s controllable by your phone, and Alexa, and all sorts of other things that hook into it. They’ve got options for dimmer switches as well.

And while you’re at it, Wemo’s got a good stable of smart outlets (I took a look at one a while ago) and plugs and stuff. So some things will require wire cutters, others will just plug into your regular outlet — and all of them make your home that much smarter.

Short version? It’s a great alternative. Switches run between $48 and $80.

See at Amazon

If you also don’t have smart lights — Lutron Caseta

51QG0RZ7VbL._SL1407__0.jpg?itok=G2JUGA_aAnother great option for traditional light bulbs is Lutron Caseta switches.

One caveat here is that fan control isn’t quite as complete as you’d hope. As in, we’re talking about light control only. Without getting too far into the details there, you’ll have to look elsewhere for that, and for now I’m just sucking it up and going old school.

But for everything else, Lutron Caseta is an excellent way to put dumb fixtures under smart control. Pricing starts around $50.

See at Amazon

What’s your favorite Alexa-enabled smart switch?

Let us know in the comments below!

Amazon Echo

  • Tap, Echo or Dot: The ultimate Alexa question
  • All about Alexa Skills
  • Amazon Echo review
  • Echo Dot review
  • Top Echo Tips & Tricks
  • Amazon Echo vs. Google Home
  • Get the latest Alexa news

See at Amazon

15
Sep

These $20 Bluetooth earbuds were designed for the active lifestyle


As part of Amazon’s Deal of the Day, the SoundPeats Q12 Bluetooth Earbuds are on sale for $19.99, a savings of just over $5 off the average price. This deal is available in blue, black, and red.

soundPeats-Q12_0.jpg?itok=foodXCTx

Headphone wires are notoriously annoying, whether they’re getting snagged on something around the house or causing you to slow your workout to try and stop them from flailing everywhere. With the SoundPeats Q12 Bluetooth in-ear buds, you can quit worrying about the extra nuisance and get back to what you were actually doing.

These small, lightweight earbuds can be connected to two devices simultaneously and feature high fidelity stereo sound. There’s a built-in microphone and volume controls so you don’t have to deal with your phone to take calls. Battery life lasts around six hours on a single charge. Another cool feature is the magnetic end on each earbud which can be attached together to keep them hanging around your neck like a necklace while not in use.

SoundPeats were designed with an active lifestyle in mind which is why they also have ear hooks to keep the earbuds in place while you’re in the groove. They come with multiple interchangeable hooks and ear tips so you can find the right fit for you.

These earbuds have a 4.3 out of 5-star rating on Amazon after over 600 reviews and include a one-year warranty with purchase.

See at Amazon

More from Thrifter:

  • Tips for leveraging Uber as a side gig
  • How to save money when driving

For more great deals be sure to check out our friends at Thrifter now!

15
Sep

UK police are using detection dogs that can sniff out USB drives


Devon & Cornwall and Dorset Police have begun utilising special FBI-trained sniffer dogs that have been specifically trained to detect hidden storage devices. Police dogs Tweed, a 19-month-old springer spaniel, and Rob, a 20-month-old black Labrador, are the first dogs outside of the US that will help track “terrorists, paedophiles and fraudsters” by tracing the unique chemicals found in hard drives, USB sticks and SD cards.

The dogs have been busy. While executing one warrant, Tweed sniffed out what looked like a Coke can. On closer inspection, officers found that the can was instead a can-shaped money box, which had been used to hide a number of SD cards. In a separate search, Rob was able to track down a device hidden carefully in a draw that would likely have been missed during a visual search. The duo have already been used in a over 50 warrants across Britain, including Hampshire, Essex, South Wales and North Yorkshire.

So-called Digital Storage Detection Police Dogs are widely used in the US, with both the Connecticut State police and the FBI employing their own device-seeking canines. A collaboration was formed between Devon & Cornwall and Dorset Police and the US authorities in December 2016, allowing Police Constable Graham Attwood and his team to begin working on training Tweed and Rob, which were specifically brought in for the programme.

“Myself and members of the alliance dog school, initially handled and trained Tweed and Rob, mainly in our own time, as we were committed to our usual daily duties of training the forces other operational police dogs,” PC Attwood said. “The majority of the dogs we have in the force either come from our puppy breeding scheme or are gift or rescue dogs, but this was a unique challenge for us as so we identified and purchased Tweed and Rob last December when they were around 15 months old, and embarked on this journey with them.”

Devon & Cornwall and Dorset Police aren’t shy when it comes to tech. They were one of the first units to deploy drones to help with crime scene photography and missing people searches. That trial has since been extended, with Devon police recently setting up the UK’s first 24/7 drone squad. Rob and Tweed are currently part of a pilot programme, but the force says it will assess their performance before the end of the year with a view to rolling it out wider.

Via: The Guardian

Source: Devon & Cornwall Police

15
Sep

‘Cowboy Bebop’ director made a ‘Blade Runner’ animated short


Over 35 years since Blade Runner came out, its sequel is almost upon us. Blade Runner: 2049 hits theaters in less than a month. And (depending on who you ask) it’s either been too long a wait, or it should never have seen the light of day. For anyone still on the fence, the film’s marketing blitz is on hand to help part you from your cash. We’ve seen trailers, a VR tie-in, and a short prequel featuring Jared Leto’s impeccable beard. Just in the last 24 hours, a new promo starring Dave Bautista has hit the web, along with another (more exciting) teaser: Sony Pictures just unveiled a new anime spinoff for the upcoming film.

Blade Runner Black Out 2022, as it’s known, will be directed by none other than Shinichiro Watanabe. For all those out of the loop, he’s the legend behind Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo.

As you can tell by its title, the anime short will serve as a prequel to the upcoming film, with the action taking place during a power outage, according to NetLab. The brief video above also offers a closer look at its test animation, concept art, and some actual footage.

“The work that has influenced me the most in my anime profession would be, of course, Blade Runner,” says Watanabe in the video. That’s high praise. But, Ridley Scott’s sci-fi classic left its imprint all over pop culture, so it’s no surprise its reach extends to Japanese animation. Anime studio Cygames Pictures is producing the short, and Shukou Murase (Halo Legends, Mobile Suit Gundam Wing) is on hand as character designer and animation director. Plus, electronic mastermind Flying Lotus will be in charge of the score.

You can watch Blade Runner Black Out 2022 in full on the Sony Pictures Japan YouTube channel on September 26th.

Source: Sony Pictures Japan (YouTube)

15
Sep

The cost of off-peak UberPool trips is going up in London


Uber is quietly increasing the prices of some journeys in and around the London area, the ride-hailing service revealed in an email to drivers. In an attempt to pad the wallets of drivers during slow hours, UberPool ride-shares will be a bit more expensive for passengers. Typically, an UberPool trip is 25 percent cheaper than an UberX journey. Between the hours of 4AM and 8PM on weekdays, however, that discount will be reduced to 15 percent. UberPool is also being disabled at Heathrow Airport, meaning you can no longer get a cheap lift home by sharing with randoms that’ve also just touched down.

The cost of trips in the ‘burb boroughs of Spelthorne, Elmbridge and Reigate & Banstead are also increasing to bring them more in line with London prices. The tweaks were noted alongside several improvements to Uber’s driver-facing app. These include an alert when a trip is expected to take longer than an hour, in-app messaging between drivers and passengers, and the ability for drivers to share real-time journey info (passengers already had this option). Uber says it’s also cooking up a feature that’ll tell drivers when and where is the best place to pick up jobs.

All good news for drivers, not so much for passengers. Just last week, Uber said it was slapping an extra 35 pence on any non-UberPool trip in London to top up the coffers of its “Clean Air Fund.” This pot will be used to give drivers up to £5,000 towards a new hybrid or electric car. The ride-hailing service has set several green goals, including making its London fleet purely electric by 2025.

With prices increasing in the capital, it’s the perfect time for rival Taxify to shine. Taxify promised to be a cheaper alternative to Uber, but it’s currently offline while it butts heads with Transport for London over its private hire licence, or lack thereof depending on which side you’re listening to.

Source: Business Insider

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