Impulse purchase: complete!
You can grab the 32GB Samsung EVO Select microSD card for just $8.99 today at Amazon, which happens to be the lowest it’s ever sold for. This card hasn’t fluctuated much in price and was once selling for around $16 regularly. With read speeds of up to 95MB/s and write speeds of up to 20MB/s, this card is great for adding to your Fire Tablet, dash cam, phone, and much more. You can put the microSD card inside the adapter to use it in places that accept a full-sized SD card, like a camera, or other card readers.
Need more storage? Opt for the 64GB card for $17.99, or go for the 128GB option for $33.99. This discount is part of a larger one-day sale on PC components, accessories, and more at Amazon today only.
See at Amazon
Samsung today announced the launch of its newest portable solid state drive, the SSD X5. The X5, which uses Thunderbolt 3 technology, is the company’s first NVMe-based portable solid state drive for super fast transfer speeds in a form factor that’s compact and durable.
Samsung says the X5 offers read speeds of up to 2800MB/s, which is 5.2 times faster than SATA interface portable SSDs and up to 25.5 times faster than external hard drives.
It also features a maximum write speed of 2300MB/s, allowing for a 20GB 4K video to be transferred in approximately 12 seconds. It uses Samsung’s Portable SSD Software, which includes AES 256-bit hardware data encryption, optional password protection, and configurable security settings.
“As a leader in high-performance and reliable storage solutions, we are thrilled to continue to advance the external SSD market with the introduction of our first Thunderbolt 3 portable SSD,” said Dr. Mike Mang, vice president of Brand Product Marketing, Memory Business at Samsung Electronics. “The X5 is yet another testament to Samsung’s commitment to providing innovative portable storage solutions that enable faster transfer of large data files, saving users’ valuable time.”
Design wise, the X5 includes an all-metal body with a glossy finish and a non-slip mat at the bottom. It uses a shock-resistant internal frame that Samsung says can withstand drops of up to two meters. Inside, Dynamic Thermal Guard technology and a heat sink protect the X5 from overheating.
Samsung’s new X5 works with all Macs and PCs that have Thunderbolt 3 ports, which for the Mac lineup, includes 2016 and later MacBook Pro models, 2017 iMac models, and the iMac Pro.
The X5 will be available for purchase starting on September 3. The 500GB model will be priced at $400, the 1TB model will be priced at $700, and a 2TB model will be available for $1,400. Additional information is available on Samsung’s website.
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Following an unveiling at CES in January, Samsung has announced the launch of the Thunderbolt 3-enabled CJ79 curved monitor, coming in September for $899.99. The 34-inch monitor is compatible with both Mac and PC computers, marking the first time that Thunderbolt 3 connectivity is available on a curved monitor.
On the unit there are two Thunderbolt 3 ports that transmit display, data, and power at a processing speed of up to 40 Gbps to compatible docks, other displays, computers, external GPUs, and more. Thunderbolt 3 connectivity also allows Samsung’s monitor to supply up to 85 watts of charging power to compatible MacBooks.
Thanks to the 3440×1440 ultra-wide curved display and a 21:9 aspect ratio, the CJ79 can also provide a dual monitor experience on one screen. Using a Picture-by-Picture feature, users can multitask by displaying two sources on screen at the same time, and even resize the second source to up to 25 percent of the screen, and position it anywhere.
The CJ79 includes a height-adjustable stand and tilt functionality, ensuring a comfortable position while working for extended periods of time. Samsung lists a few other details on its website:
– Supporting up to 125% sRGB color space, Quantum Dot technology delivers not only more hues than conventional monitors but also colors that are brighter, crisper, and more natural — especially reds and greens. And every monitor is factory calibrated to ensure the most accurate and life-like images
– Samsung’s VA panel technology provides a 3000:1 contrast ratio that delivers deeper blacks, brilliant whites, and richer colors for clearer, more vibrant images.
– AMD FreeSync synchronizes the refresh rates of your graphics card and the CJ79 to minimize image tearing and stutter. The smoother transition between image frames provides seamless gameplay and video playback for uninterrupted viewing.
– The fast 100Hz screen refresh rate provides smoother, silkier mouse sensitivity for enhanced productivity in any application. It also reduces screen stutter in fast-moving action scenes for a flawless gaming experience.
Samsung also briefly mentions the CJ89 43-inch curved monitor, but it does not support Thunderbolt 3 connectivity and is USB-C only. Otherwise, that monitor has a 3840×1200 resolution and a 32:10 aspect ratio.
The company says that both the CJ79 and CJ89 are available in Europe right now, and the monitors will launch worldwide “soon.” On B&H Photo, the CJ79 Thunderbolt 3 monitor is listed as being available to purchase around the “beginning of September 2018” for $899.99.
Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with B&H Photo. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.
Tags: Samsung, Thunderbolt 3
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Apple’s upcoming trio of iPhones will see an estimated 70-75 million units shipped from suppliers to Apple by the end of 2018, according to supply chain sources speaking to DigiTimes. Thanks to the expected solid performance of the iPhones this year, Apple’s main supply partners TSMC and Foxconn are looking forward to new revenue highs in Q4 2018.
Specifically, if suppliers hit this range it will be the best performance for an iPhone since the launch of the iPhone 6 models in 2014. One of the main reasons for the boost is given to the “price-friendliness” of the 6.1-inch LCD iPhone, which Apple is expected to introduce as a cheaper alternative to the other two models: an updated 5.8-inch iPhone X and a larger 6.5-inch “iPhone X Plus,” although Apple may not go with the “Plus” branding this year.
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes Apple will use an aggressive pricing strategy for its 2018 iPhone lineup: the 6.5-inch OLED device will be priced at $900 to $1,000, the 5.8-inch OLED second-generation iPhone X will be priced at $800 to $900, and the 6.1-inch LCD iPhone will be priced at $600 to $700. While the 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch will be available in September, a few reports have stated the 6.1-inch model will face a delay.
DigiTimes also references “smooth production and strong shipment momentum” picking up soon:
Most supply chain partners are expected to see revenues pick up significantly along with smooth production and strong shipment momentum before peaking in the fourth quarter of the year.
The impressive upgrades in overall designs and functions as well as the price-friendliness of the 6.1-inch model should give the new devices a shipment momentum much stronger than their two preceding generations, the sources said.
For TSMC, the supplier is expected to “fully recover” by the fourth quarter, following a “debilitating” computer virus that hit many of its fabrication tools in early August. Concern quickly spread about the company’s inability to fill Apple’s orders in the wake of the virus, but follow-up reports quickly suggested that TSMC would be able to “fill orders on time for Apple Inc.,” ensuring no delays in chip shipments for the 2018 iPhones.
In regards to the 2018 iPhone assembly, both Foxconn and Pegatron will share duties building the models. Foxconn will build the majority of the two OLED iPhones, while it has just 30 percent of the orders for the LCD model, with Pegatron getting the majority of the duty building the cheaper iPhone this year.
Yesterday, a report from Bloomberg provided a hint at one name that Apple has brainstormed for the 2018 OLED iPhones — “iPhone Xs” — but it’s still unclear what the final names will be. The actual reveal event is now rumored to be held on Wednesday, September 12 at Steve Jobs Theater, according to two unnamed sources speaking to French radio station Europe 1, followed by iPhone pre-orders kicking off on Friday, September 14.
Despite concern over sales figures quickly dropping after first-adopters purchased the ten-year anniversary iPhone X, the flagship device performed well in Q4 2017 and remained popular among customers throughout 2018. Addressing concerns over dwindling sales and those worried about numbers, Apple CEO Tim Cook in May said: “I think it’s one of those things where a team wins a Super Bowl. Maybe you want them to win with a few more points, but it’s a Super Bowl winner and that’s how we feel about it.”
Related Roundup: 2018 iPhonesTag: digitimes.com
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ZTE is back! After a long and stressful year for the company, it finally looks as though ZTE is ready to get back to business by announcing the new ZTE Axon 9.
Unlike most other smartphone launches, all we know at this point is that there will be a ZTE Axon 9 — and that it’ll be announced in full at an event on Thursday, August 30. We also know that, unfortunately, the ZTE Axon 9 will not be coming to the U.S. at any point in the near future.
It’s not known what we can expect from the ZTE Axon 9 just yet, but we can speculate. At launch, the ZTE Axon 7 feature flagship specs — so we expect the Axon 9 to boast a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, at least 4GB of RAM, and plenty of storage. The jury’s out on design — but we certainly wouldn’t be surprised to see an edge-to-edge display with a notch for facial recognition tech.
The Axon 9 comes a full two years after the Axon 7 — and as reports earlier this year noted, ZTE opted to skip the ZTE Axon 8. We’re not quite sure why ZTE chose to skip the Axon 8 name. In between the Axon 7 and Axon 9, however, we were treated to the Axon M, ZTE’s foldable phone that largely failed to live up to expectations considering the fact that it was basically just two phone displays with a hinge in between them.
Smartphones aside, ZTE has had a rough year on the business side of things. Troubles began in 2017 when ZTE was fined $892 million for violating laws prohibiting sales of American tech to Iran and North Korea. On top of the fine, the company was forced to let go of four of its senior employees and reprimand other employees, but it did not disclose that while it did let go of the four executives, it also gave staff bonuses rather than letters of reprimand. ZTE was then banned from selling devices in the U.S., which almost led to the company being shut down. Eventually, the ban was lifted and the company was allowed to start selling its devices in the U.S. again.
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There are no shortage of new milestones being reached by artificial intelligence these days. But unless you work in computer science, chances are that most of them won’t really resonate with you. The A.I. landmarks that do capture the public’s imagination are the ones that are only partially to do with machines at all.
They’re the ones that are about humans every bit as much as they are about robots: Chess champion Garry Kasparov’s loss to Deep Blue. IBM Watson’s 2011 Jeopardy win over former human trivia kings Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter. The success of Google DeepMind’s Go-playing bot against Korean grandmaster Lee Sedol in 2016. As stunning as these feats are from a technical perspective, they’re just as profound on a human level because they make us question the increasingly thin line that exists between machines as labor-saving tools and machines as our superiors. They make use of A.I.’s purposely provocative challenge of a name and force us to question what it is that makes us human — and why that really matters.
It’s in this vein that a newly announced A.I. milestone arrives. Later this year, Christie’s — the auction house that initially banged its auctioneer’s gavel in 1766 — will sell its first work of art created by an algorithm. And, yes, it’s actually rather good. The portrait in question is of a somewhat rotund man, apparently named Edmond Belamy, in a dark frock coat and white collar. His face looks unfinished, as if machines figure that we all look pretty much alike anyway.
The 70cm x 70cm print on canvas was generated by a type of A.I. called a GAN, or “generative adversarial network.” The GAN was created by a Paris-based art collective called Obvious, and was fed 15,000 portraits painted between the 14th and 20th century. This is the kind of collection that art collectors would do unspeakable things to assemble in one place. For an A.I., of course, it’s just another data set — like Scrubs scripts or signs of tumors on a brain scan or any of the other things machines can make sense of, but don’t care about the actual contents.
As a technical achievement, it’s pretty darn impressive. The GAN has swallowed centuries of art history and used it to generate something that references the past, but does so in a way that appears new. It’s not like one of those A.I. filters you find in a smartphone app that makes your summer selfies look like they were painted by Picasso or Monet. It crunches data about how art has changed over the centuries, and then spits out a piece that looks both modern and like an old 18th-century portrait.
Generating art that we’ll accept as art is one of the biggest challenges for an A.I.
Obvious’ A.I. combines both artist and critic in one. The GAN consists of “generator” (the artist) and “discriminator” (the critic) components. The generator creates new portraits in the style of the pictures it’s been shown. The discriminator then tries to spot the difference between the generator’s work and that of the human artists. When it can’t, the work is finished.
Like generating realistic human faces (the challenge of the so-called “uncanny valley” effect), generating art that we’ll accept as art is one of the biggest challenges for an A.I. That’s because we hold machines to a different standard than we do humans. We’ve been purposely vague about what actually constitutes art precisely because we like to flatter ourselves that it is non-automatable. Sure, A.I. can generate stock music for YouTube videos or background characters for Hollywood movies, but we put artists on a platform that we don’t extend to too many others. We talk about artists as geniuses, and praise them for stirring emotions within us. We don’t do this for Siri or Amazon’s Alexa.
Is the October Christie’s auction in New York about novelty? Sure. Are machines painting 18th century-inspired portraits going to disrupt the workforce in the same way that, for instance, factory robots or self-driving cars will? Absolutely not. Is there still a human hand in this, insofar as someone programmed the Obvious A.I. to begin with? Obviously.
Something tells me this isn’t going to settle the debate about whether machines can create art. Not by a long shot. The double standard will persist, and we’ll endlessly nitpick about whether Obvious is showing actual creativity since it honed its expertise on centuries of human creativity. We’ll ignore that human creators do exactly the same thing.
But does this represent another crucial step in showing us that A.I. is capable of pretty much anything we can throw it? It does indeed. And once it sells at auction, it will have the monetary value to prove it.
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They share a name, and that’s about it.
LG finds success in using its well-known brands and design language from its high-end phones across a variety of lower-end models, focusing on the value and price-conscious buyers. In its latest attempt, LG is announcing two new LG G7 models — the LG G7 One and LG G7 Fit — with a similar design and brand, but different software and internals focused on differentiating and cutting costs.
The much more interesting of the two is the LG G7 One, which as the name implies is an Android One phone — LG’s first running the software. That means it drops the ThinQ brand and all of LG’s software customization, which a lot of people will see as a plus. The G7 One has the same metal-and-glass hardware, along with its core features like IP68 resistance, quad DAC, 3000mAh battery, SD card slot, boombox speaker and 6.1-inch QHD+ display. LG hasn’t said it’s the exact same display, but all of the specs and messaging indicates that it would be the same as the original LG G7.
If the price is right, LG could have a hit on its hands with the LG G7 One.
LG made some … interesting decisions on where to cut corners to drop the price, though. The G7 One has a step-down Snapdragon 835 processor and 32GB of storage — though with Android One (8.1 Oreo, by the way) on board you would hope performance wouldn’t really take a hit. And just like other Android One phones, LG is making a commitment to having security and platform updates out consistently and extensively. It also says that it will be adding in its AI Cam features later this year, but the phone has dropped the beloved wide-angle rear camera.
Now let’s talk about the LG G7 Fit, which is a much more traditional LG approach to a mid-range version of its high-end phone. Once again it has the same basic external hardware design, same display, IP68 resistance, quad DAC, 3000mAh battery, SD card slot and boombox speaker. But the costs cut back the processor to the Snapdragon 821, which is the same processor in the LG G6 — and even at that time, it was considered past its prime. Once again there’s 4GB of RAM here, and either 32 or 64GB of storage. LG also cut way back on the rear cameras, dropping the wide-angle sensor and moving to a main 16MP camera with an f/2.2 lens … and presumably a step-down sensor.
Per usual LG doesn’t have pricing or availability information just yet, but the LG G7 One could be extremely interesting if the price is palatable. If LG can offer this level of hardware with that clean Android One software for less than the OnePlus 6, it could have a hit on its hands.
LG G7 ThinQ
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- LG G7 Specifications: Everything you need to know
- Join the LG G7 forums
This might be the biggest VR game launch we’ve seen so far.
When we last saw Creed: Rise to Glory back at GDC in March, I walked away more than a little impressed. Since then, Survios has worked overtime to really make the game feel like it’s a part of the Creed movie universe. You get to choose from a bunch of iconic characters, you get to train with Rocky himself, and of course the game itself has you punching your arms in the real world while you dodge punches in a virtual boxing ring. All we really needed was a launch date, and now that’s exactly what we have.
Creed: Rise to Glory is dropping on Oculus Rift, Steam VR, PlayStation VR, and over 5,000 VR Arcades around the world on the same day, September 25th. That puts the game release almost exactly two months away from the launch of Creed 2 in theaters, where Adonis “Hollywood” Creed prepares for the fight of his life.
Pre-orders across Oculus Home, Steam VR, and PlayStation VR are available now for $29.99. For PlayStation VR folks, there’s an exclusive theme and avatar pack for your PS4 when you pre-order. If you’re excited about boxing with Creed, or if you’re excited by a fitness-focused VR game with a cinematic focus, this is going to be well worth your time and cash.
Pre-order at Amazon
This can make that $999 price more palatable if you planned on buying accessories.
Typically the best way to get lots of free goodies with a phone is to either pre-order it right from the start, or wait a few months for the hype to wear off. In the case of the Note 9, Samsung has some solid deals even though we’re just a week removed from its retail launch. If you buy from either Amazon or Samsung.com, you’ll still pay full price for the phone but get some free accessories you may have been angling to buy anyway.
Over on Amazon, you can buy a Galaxy Note 9 for the typical $999 retail price and get a free Wireless Charger Duo ($119 value) and a free DeX Pad ($69 value) thrown in. Just be sure to select the option for the bundle rather than the phone. This is the same proper U.S. unlocked phone with a warranty and compatibility with U.S. carriers you’d find from Samsung’s website.
See at Amazon
If you buy the Note 9 from Samsung instead, you can grab the Note 9 and get a free Wireless Charger Duo and your choice of one of many cases that retail for $39-59 each. The deal isn’t applicable to every case Samsung sells, but most of them: the S-View Flip Cover, Rugged Protection Cover, LED Wallet Cover and Leather Wallet Cover.
See at Samsung
This may make that $999 price a bit more palatable in the end.
If you’re just looking for something else to spend that new-found savings on, Samsung’s own site has an additional deal where you can drop an extra $99 on the bundle to get a pair of IconX (2018) wireless earbuds, which normally retail for $179.
These incentives may not be quite as widely appealing or valuable as some of the pre-order incentives and deals we saw with the Galaxy S9 and Note 8, but if you were already planning on dropping the big money on Samsung’s new Duo charger or one of its (very expensive) cases, this is a pretty substantial savings. It may even make that $999 price a bit more palatable in the end.
Samsung Galaxy Note 9
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- Join our Galaxy Note 9 forums
The Oculus Go is a portable VR system that gets rid of the need for cables while still offering a powerful and immersive experience. Thanks to a free app called Bigscreen, you can stream your PC’s display output to the Oculus Go, essentially making it an external display that you wear on your face.
Products Used In This Guide
- Amazon: Oculus Go (From $199)
- Steam: Bigscreen Beta for PC (Free)
- Oculus: Bigscreen Beta for Oculus Go (Free)
How to use your Oculus Go as a monitor for your PC
Once you’ve grabbed Bigscreen for Oculus Go and PC, you can get started with the steps below.
Right-click Bigscreen Beta in your Steam library.
Click Play Remote Desktop streaming client.
Click Start Streaming.
Click Connect to your Mobile VR Headset. A small window will appear containing a code. It’s now time to turn your attention to the Oculus Go.
Launch BigScreen Beta on your Oculus Go.
Select Join Rooms.
Select the Room ID field.
Type your unique room code that is displayed on your PC.
Select Join Room ID.
You will now join a lounge within which you’ll see your PC desktop. Sharing the code you received in Step 5 with others will also let them see whatever you’re doing on your PC.
Our equipment picks
These three products are all you need to make a portable external monitor for your PC.
From $199 at Amazon
The centerpiece of the operation.
Choose from either a 32GB or 64GB model depending on how much storage you think you’ll need, and get an included motion controller with either option.
This one is a no-brainer. We recommend going with the 64GB model, as you’ll find the smaller storage fills up quicker than you think once you start adding games and experiences from the Oculus Store.
Free at Steam
It makes streaming from your PC possible.
Bigscreen is still in Beta stage, but that doesn’t mean this free app isn’t full of features. Use it to stream your PC’s display output to your Oculus Go.
In order to turn your Oculus Go into a monitor for your PC, you need Bigscreen Beta installed on your PC. It’s been around for years, with new features still being added. Besides using it to set up an external monitor, you can also use it to watch movies with friends in a virtual theater or set up chat rooms.
For Oculus Go
Free at Oculus
It makes streaming to your Go possible.
The Bigscreen Beta app is likewise available for Oculus Go, which makes completing the stream possible.
Like the PC version, Bigscreen Beta for Oculus Go is full of features. It’s a great way to make new friends, and you’ll no doubt find some new interesting content before long. Having it installed on your Go is required for streaming.