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Sony introduces Team Tournaments in latest PS4 update

Today, Sony released a big software update for PS4 users. It includes quite a few new features, including broadcast updates, family accounts and updates to the Messages app. While many of these features were previewed in the beta release, we’ve got a run down for some of the newly announced features for you.

The big news is the debut of Team Tournaments, which allow players to form teams and compete for prizes. You can be a part of a maximum of 60 teams; each team will have both an owner and a captain (or captains) that will be able to manage it. The teams feature will initially be available on Uncharted 4, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, Mantis Burn Racing and World of Tanks. It will be available starting October 5th.

There have also been improvements to the Messages app. Some have already been previewed in the beta release: If you’re in multiple group messages, you can leave more than one at once. Additionally, you can share music via the PS4 Messages app. A new feature, just announced today, is a website thumbnail preview for links in messages.

Sony also touts the new ability to follow anyone, regardless of whether you are friends (subject, of course, to individual users’ privacy settings). Previously you could only follow a user you weren’t friends with if they had a verified account. PlayStation has also updated their Communities app with landscape mode, as well as support for animated GIFs and the languages Czech, Greek, Hungarian, Indonesian, Romanian, Thai and Vietnamese. They PlayStation Messages app has also been updated with stickers and support for the afore-mentioned languages.

Source: Sony (1), Sony (2)


Nobel Prize for Physics awarded to gravitational wave scientists

The 2017 winners of the Nobel Prize for Physics were announced today. One half of the prize will go to Ranier Weiss from MIT, while the other half is being awarded jointly to Barry C. Barish and Kip S. Thorne, both from Caltech. The three scientists worked on gravitational wave observation, collaborating between the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) and Virgo, its European counterpart. The prize was awarded “for decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves,” according to the Nobel Prize website.

The first confirmed detection of gravitational waves, caused by the collision of two black holes, occurred back in September of 2015. These ripples in spacetime were first predicted by Albert Einstein himself. Subsequent detections followed; the fourth, and most recent detection of gravitational waves occurred just last week. “Gravitational waves contain information about their explosive origins and the nature of gravity that cannot be obtained from other astronomical signals,” said France Córdova, the director of the National Science Foundation. “These observations have created the new field of gravitational wave astronomy.”

The committee chose these three men because the “2017 Nobel Laureates have, with their enthusiasm and determination, each been invaluable to the success of LIGO.” Their hard work contributed to the project’s success and ensured that the 40-year hunt for gravitational waves resulted in a successful detection. However, the good people over at Popular Science point out (and rightly so) that three men won the Nobel Prize in Physics for the hard work of over 1,000 people who worked on the project. They list the names of all the people who should be recognized for their contributions to the discovery of gravitational waves.

Source: Nobel Prize, National Science Foundation


Philips retroactively adds extra HomeKit support to Hue

Philips has added HomeKit support to a number of existing Hue accessories, expanding their capabilities and making them easier to configure. With the latest software update Hue tap, dimmer switch and motion sensor will all be compatible with Apple’ Home app. Tap and dimmer switch can now be configured with HomeKit scenes and can be used to control other accessories (not just Hue lights), while motion sensor will now appear in the Home app as a sensor that can activate both HomeKit scenes and other automations. As well as retroactively adding HomeKit features, the latest update for iOS also brings scheduled automatic updates to accessories, plus the option to reset them to their default state.

Via: 9to5Mac


Court filing shows what former Waymo engineer allegedly took to Uber

Last year when Uber was considering a purchase of newly founded self-driving truck company Otto, it commissioned a due diligence report that dove into the company, its assets, cofounders Anthony Levandowski, Lior Ron and Don Burnette and a few other employees that left Google for the startup. It became a hot item in the Waymo lawsuit against Uber and though Uber and Levandowski fought to keep the document out of Alphabet’s hands, a judge ordered it to be turned over to Google’s and Waymo’s parent company by September 13th. Well that document has now been made publicly available, Recode reports, and some of its contents don’t look great for Uber.

The report was put together by cybersecurity firm Stroz Friedberg which found that Levandowski had 50,000 work emails on his computer from when he was employed at Google. On his phone, he also had pictures of a Google car, technical diagrams and a LiDAR patent application. Waymo’s LiDAR technology is the basis of the company’s suit against Uber. The report also describes five disks that held proprietary Google information that Levandowski supposedly discovered in his possession and alerted Uber to. Travis Kalanick, Uber’s CEO at the time, reportedly said he “wanted nothing to do with the disks” and Levandowski claims he had them destroyed. However, the Stroz Friedberg report notes some difficulty in confirming Levandowski’s story.

Aside from Levandowski, Stroz Friedberg also found that cofounder Lior Rion possessed confidential images on his phone and had deleted files from his computer in the midst of its investigation as had Otto Chief Operating Engineer Colin Sebern.

However, while this report highlights what sorts of proprietary information Otto employees may have taken with them after leaving Google — as well as some shady behavior — it doesn’t prove that any of that information was ever used by Uber to develop its technology. And that’s something Alphabet will need to demonstrate in order to win its case against Uber.

Last month, after receiving this document, Alphabet requested the trial be delayed in light of new evidence that it needed to work through. The judge is supposed to decide today whether the October 10th start date will be pushed.

Via: The Verge

Source: Scribd


Former Intel CEO Paul Otellini has passed away at 66

Paul Otellini, Intel’s previous CEO, died in his sleep on Monday, the company announced this morning. He was 66. Otellini served as Intel’s fifth chief executive from 2005 through 2013, and leaves behind a legacy of the company’s dominance in x86 processors. Notably, he also worked with Apple as it moved away from PowerPC chips and adopted Intel’s wares. After retiring in 2013, Otellini revealed one major regret during his tenure: not working hard enough to get Intel’s chips in the iPhone. Consequently, Intel mostly missed on the smartphone revolution.

“We are deeply saddened by Paul’s passing,” Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said in a statement. “He was the relentless voice of the customer in a sea of engineers, and he taught us that we only win when we put the customer first.”

Otellini joined Intel in 1974 and served various roles throughout his career, including chief operating officer from 2003 to 2005. He would go on to spend almost 40 years at the company. He was an intriguing choice as CEO, since he was the company’s first non-engineer to hold that role.

Source: Intel


Instagram’s new Stories sticker is all about polls

Instagram has introduced quite a few stickers for their Stories feature recently, but their latest update adds some valuable functionality as well. Now you can add a poll to your Instagram Stories through a sticker. You can write out your question, customize the choices and see real-time results within the app.

To check out poll results, simply swipe up when viewing the story, and you’ll see who voted and what they thought. The people who see your story can also view poll results; the vote tallies are refreshed in real time, so if they come back later to see it, they’ll see new poll numbers. Additionally, Instagram announced a new alignment tool to help you place stickers. You can make sure your sticker is aligned correctly and also ensure that you aren’t covering up an important part of your story.

The temporal nature of Instagram Stories (they’re only viewable for 24 hours) makes pairing them with polls a smart idea. Just make sure you check back in before the story disappears to see the poll results!

Source: Instagram


Augmented reality teddy bear teaches kids about being a doctor

Kids frequently don’t need much more than their imagination to bring a teddy bear to life, but what if they had a little boost? That’s what Seedling hopes to do with Parker. The teddy by itself is the same sort of fluffy companion you likely had as a child, but an augmented reality app for iOS turns the bear into something much more. If you want to play doctor, you can look at Parker’s insides to cure a stomach bug or ease a sore throat. You can create magic forests and sea gardens using the AR camera. And importantly you’re rewarded for being kind: the more you take care of Parker, the more the bear uses AR to ‘transform’ the world around you.

Parker is available now for $60 with all the accessories you need to get started (besides an iPhone or iPad), including an interactive toy thermometer. That’s not a trivial amount for a stuffed toy, but Seedling is betting that the AR element will be worth it as it teaches empathy and problem solving in addition to whatever your young ones imagine. The catch? You’ll have to visit an Apple store (online or retail) in “select countries,” and the use of ARKit for Parker’s magic puts a damper on the possibility of Android support in the immediate future.

Source: Seedling


A hyperloop route may zip between Kansas City and St. Louis

The earliest hyperloop routes might not be limited to wealthy tech havens like California or the UAE. Missouri officials and Hyperloop One are seriously exploring the possibility of a hyperloop route that would run between Kansas City and St. Louis. In theory, the pod-based system would shuttle you between the cities in under half an hour, instead of the nearly 4 hours it takes by car — you could commute from one end of the state to the other for work.

There still needs to be a feasibility study that will cost about $1.5 million (thankfully, paid from private funds) before there’s any construction. As far as hyperloop routes go, however, this is potentially ideal. Hyperloop One’s Dan Katz observes that it would be an “incredibly straight” route, which is rather important for pods that can hit speeds of up to 760MPH.

This isn’t the only other proposal in the middle of the US. Colorado is also considering possible links between Colorado Springs, Denver and (in Wyoming) Cheyenne. However, it may be indicative of what you can expect if and when hyperloop technology takes off. You might not see routes everywhere you’d like to go, but it could streamline travel in areas where cars take too long and aircraft are impractical.

Via: The Verge

Source: St. Louis Regional Chamber


You Can Now Poll Your Followers in Instagram Stories

Instagram today introduced an interactive poll sticker in Instagram Stories that lets you ask a question and see real-time results from followers.

After you’ve taken a photo or video for your story, select the “poll” sticker and place it anywhere on the screen. Then, you can write a question and customize two answer options for followers to choose.

Once the poll has been shared, followers can immediately start voting and see the results. Once someone has voted, they’ll see which choice is in the lead at any given moment. The story and poll both disappear after 24 hours as usual.

To see your own poll results, swipe up to open the viewers list for that part of your story. The menu that appears displays how many votes each option received, and you’ll also see who voted and which option they chose.

Instagram Stories has also gained a new color picker for text and brushes, and an alignment tool for text and stickers.

On iOS, when you position text or a sticker on your photo or video, new blue lines will appear to help you center it or avoid placing it anywhere that might get covered up when someone watches your story.

Instagram version 17.0 is available now on the App Store [Direct Link] for iPhone.

Tag: Instagram
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Apple Releases iOS 11.0.2 Update With Fix for iPhone 8 Crackling Earpiece Issue

Apple today released the second official update to its new iOS 11 operating system, iOS 11.0.2. iOS 11.0.2 comes one week after Apple released iOS 11.0.1, and two weeks after Apple released iOS 11 to the public.

The iOS 11.0.2 update can be downloaded to all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the update, go to Settings –> General –> Software Update.

Today’s update addresses bugs that have been discovered following the release of iOS 11. According to Apple’s release notes, the update fixes an issue that caused some iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 users to hear a crackling or static noise coming from the earpiece during phone calls and FaceTime calls.

The bug, described by users as “very annoying,” was first discovered shortly after the launch of iOS 11, and in late September, Apple said it was working on a fix that would be released in a future update. For affected users, the only way to avoid the static sound was to use headphones or the speakerphone function, as changing cellular settings and resetting the device did not help.

Following the update to iOS 11.0.2, iPhone 8 and 8 Plus owners that have been plagued by crackling should be able to resume phone calls as normal with no further interruption. Today’s update also addresses an issue that could cause some photos to become hidden and it fixes an email bug.

– Fixes an issue where crackling sounds may occur during calls for a small number of iPhone 8 and 8 Plus devices
– Addresses an issue that could cause some photos to become hidden
– Fixes an issue where attachments in S/MIME encrypted emails would not open

iOS 11 is a major update to the iOS operating system, introducing a redesigned Lock screen experience, a new customizable Control Center, a more natural Siri voice, a redesigned App Store, new HEVC and HEIF codecs for better photo and video efficiency, and an entirely overhauled interface for the iPad. For more info on all the new features in iOS 11, check out our iOS 11 roundup.

Related Roundup: iOS 11
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