On Monday, March 19, the Lufthansa Group airline announced the launch of biometric boarding at LAX.The announcement comes after the airline successfully tested the tool and boarded about 350 passengers on an A380 in only 20 minutes.The self-boarding gates use cameras with facial recognition to photograph each passenger’s face.The image is then compared to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) database in real time.Once the system has a match, the computer lists the passenger as boarded, without requiring a boarding pass or passport.The technology was developed through a partnership with Amadeus, along with collaborating with the CBP, LAX Authority, and Vision-Box.
Microsoft just recently released the latest iteration of its Surface Book 2-in-1, which converts from a clamshell notebook to a tablet thanks to an innovative tear-off display.At the same time, while the Surface Book 2 15-inch version is an innovative and potent 2-in-1, it does suffer from some design limitations that hold it back from being a perfect fit for every user.If Microsoft wants to appeal to the widest possible market, then here are a few improvements that it might want to strongly consider for the Surface Book 3.We don’t know the specific reasons why Microsoft limited the power adapter to just 102 watts (with only 95 watts actually going to the system itself), but offering a more powerful adapter would go a long way to making power users happy.In another compromise, both Surface Book 2 models offer USB-C 3.1 ports that enable the ability to plug in some modern peripherals — but, it’s only a Gen1 USB-C port, meaning it’s limited to 5 gigabits per second (Gb/s) performance.Finally, depending on who you ask, Microsoft still has work to do in making the Surface line as reliable and bug-free as it should be.
The new LEAGOO S9 launched during the MWC 2018 in Barcelona just three weeks ago and as the first smartphone of the brand with the notched design it certainly garnered some attention.It got immediately branded as an “iPhone X” clone, but seeing the influx of all the other phones from various brands going the same route like the Huawei P20, Asus Zenfone 5, Oppo R15 and others, it would be quite unfair to stick to such branding.In fact LEAGOO S9 can offer quite some bang for the buck with solid hardware equipment featuring 5,85-inch 19:9 aspect ratio HD display with screen-to-body ratio reaching 90 %.Furthermore it has MT6750T processor, 4 GB RAM, 32 GB of internal storage, dual 13MP+2MP Sony rear cameras and 3300 mAh battery capacity.With the official retail price of $149.99 it’s really not bad at all.As its specialty and feature point it also can take 65-megapixel Ultra HD shots combining multiple pictures taken by the rear 13MP sensor.
With the right set of apps, in fact, you can basically create a Windows-centric environment on any Android device — with everything from the services you adore to the phone-to-PC harmony you crave.On the surface, Microsoft Launcher has the same sorts of features you'll find in other Android launchers — the typical tools for customizing your home screen's appearance, creating gesture-based shortcuts, and so on.To the left of the main home screen panel, meanwhile, sits Microsoft's take on the Google Feed — a card-based collection containing items such as news, weather, agenda info, and quick glances at your notes, tasks, and recent documents from the appropriate Microsoft services.You can even send a document directly from there to your PC and have it pop up immediately using the integrated "Continue on PC" option, provided your computer has the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update installed.For full PC-to-phone synchronization, you'll want to be sure to link your Android phone to Windows by following the steps in the Phone section of your computer's Windows 10 settings (assuming you have the Fall Creators Update).Like the launcher, Edge makes it easy to move content between your phone and PC (assuming, again, that your computer has the Fall Creators Update).
Actor Iain Glen, who plays Jorah Mormont on HBO's "Game of Thrones," says that the series finale is "brilliant," but may not satisfy everyone."You know with something big like 'Game of Thrones' you cannot please everyone," he told IANS.However, a table read for one of the final episodes did make actors cry and applaud for 15 minutes.Series finales to beloved television shows have a lot to live up to with fans, and "Game of Thrones" is no exception.HBO's hit fantasy drama doesn't conclude until next year when it returns with its eighth and final season, but a select few have read the finale — including actor Iain Glen, who plays Jorah Mormont on the show.In an interview with IANS, Glen addressed the finale and said it was "brilliant" but "you cannot please everyone."
Artificial intelligence will help speed up the process of analysing data, in order to find new cures and treatment methods for patients.BenevolentAI has joined forces with Action Against AMD charity in an attempt to use its artificial intelligence (AI) technology to find new cures to the disease.The partnership will find research methods and possible treatments for the disease, which currently only has a limited number of treatment options available.AMD, Age-related Macular Degeneration, is one of the leading causes of blindness in the UK affecting more than 600,000 in the UK right now.Through the partnership BenevolentAI will use its AI platform to review and understand the vast amount of data, from scientific papers, clinical trial information, images and additional data sets related to AMD.The technology will then carry out an analytical process to understand more about the disease, in order to find potential prevention methods of AMD as well as potential treatments.
Microsoft is taking on Google in one of its most famous areas of expertise – deep learning neural networks – to create translation tech that could make foreign news and information more accessible to people across the globe.In an announcement today, Microsoft revealed that its researchers in Asia and the US have created an AI translator that has “achieved human parity”, meaning that its translations are on par with what a professional human translator could accomplish.Microsoft’s language research teams tested their AI on an open-source test set of Chinese news stories from last year that many other tech companies use to benchmark their progress.You can see a simplified version of their translation software here.Ming Zhou, assistant managing director of Microsoft Research Asia, said that now that their AI has tackled a fixed set of news sources, they intend to set it to work on real-time stories, to see how it handles a wider set of content.Once that is achieved, they’ll be able to incorporate this AI into Microsoft Translator.
We’ve known since summer 2015 that NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft would be tasked with a mission to investigate 2014 MU69, a space object located about 1.5 billion kilometers from Pluto, where New Horizons previously completed a flyby.The completion of that mission is now only months away, and ahead of it comes a proper nickname chosen by NASA for the target: Ultima Thule.The NASA spacecraft will pass by Ultima Thule on January 1, 2019, making it the most distant object that humans have ever observed up close.That fact hints at why the team chose the name Ultima Thule, which is a medieval-era term that means “beyond the known world.” Talking about that is Alan Stern, New Horizons’ principal investigator, who said, “MU69 is humanity’s next Ultima Thule.”The space agency put out a call for public input on the name back in early November 2017.In its request, NASA asked the public to help come up with a nickname for 2014 MU69 that is more appealing than its proper “(486958) 2014 MU69” moniker.
Smart home devices have been gaining in popularity in Australia over the last few years, especially after Google Home officially launched Down Under in July 2017 and Amazon Echo devices recently following suit.To help its customers get their homes smartened up, Telstra launched the Smart Home Hub in 2016 to keep different Internet of Things (IoT) devices connected and working in sync.Almost two years on, the telco now boasts a total of 15 smart home devices that work with the Hub, including a water leak detector and the usual run of smoke detectors and lights.To keep the Smart Home hub connected, Telstra now has an internet bundle dedicated to all these smarts.The Smart Home Internet bundle costs $124 a month and includes unlimited data, Telstra TV with 24 months of Foxtel Now access, plus a Telstra Smart Home Starter Kit.Starting today, customers who sign up for this bundle will be able to choose between a Google Home Mini or an Amazon Echo Dot, plus receive a $100 credit to spend on connected devices from Telstra’s online store if the internet connection is activated by April 30.
Most of the world might be betting on electric cars to help wean society off fossil fuels, but there are still plenty out there who haven't given up on a hydrogen-powered future.Which is fair, because despite the issue of infrastructure there's a lot hydrogen fuel has to offer.That's why London's Metropolitan Police are teaming up with Toyota to take on a fleet of 11 Toyota Mirai cars powered by hydrogen fuel cells.According to Toyota this would be the largest fleet of hydrogen-powered police vehicles in the world, though that's clearly not a high bar to hit.The first lot of cars are already in the hands of the MET, and are equipped to handle marked and unmarked police work.As for getting the necessary fuel, the police will have access to the five hydrogen fuel stations that already exist within London with each tank offering a range of around 300 miles.
Out in the desolate wastes of deepest Iceland, magic blooms.The Icelandic sagas tell of fairy houses to magical rings that control the world, and now one of those, the Wave, has landed on the internet.The Wave is a ring that controls sound.It is essentially a wearable MIDI controller that lets you play and modify sounds as it’s made, allowing you to play music in thin air.It’s a clever little solution and is shipping next December.The system works by setting a specific sound or function to a specific gesture.
A big part of snapping a memorable photo is being at the right place at the right time.So to capture one of the US Navy’s Blue Angels F/A-18 Super Hornets taking off, aviation photographer Norman Graf parked himself at the end of a runway.He undoubtedly got some amazing shots, but the sounds and shockwaves he experienced must have been far more memorable.There’s a good reason that fence is covered in so many warning signs, and it’s not just because air bases like the Naval Air Facility El Centro in California house live munitions.As the beautiful, swirling dust trails left by this F/A-18 reveal, there’s an incomprehensible amount of thrust coming out of the back of that fighter jet.Get any closer than this to one at takeoff, and burst eardrums will be the least of your concerns.
In the years to come, what will be the biggest improvement in AI-powered digital assistants?It’s likely to be the ability to accommodate a fundamental aspect of being human: The fact that we all have different personas, we show different facets of ourselves depending on where we are and who we are with, and our personas change over time.And different personas want different things from their AI assistants.Assistants that can understand your personal circumstances are less likely to remind you to pick up your rash prescription as you drive by the pharmacy if there are other people in the car, bug you about work email at home, or keep suggesting fun nightclubs if you’ve just had a baby.That was the message from Sunday’s panel on “Designing the Next Wave of Natural Language and AI” at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas.The panel included Ben Brown from Google; Ed Doran from Microsoft; Karen Giefer from Frog; and Andrew Hill from Mercedes-Benz.
Sometimes, I’m jealous of people who are good at making things with their hands.I’m clumsy, uncoordinated, and could generously be characterised as indoorsy.I’ll likely never be able to take a passion and turn it into a physical object, something to touch and pose with for pictures.But people like Kyle Gilbert can, and we’re luckier for it.Kyle, as reported on by StarWars.com, is the creator of an impressive fan creation— a 17-foot-tall replica of an AT-AT Walker (or, at least, half of one), mounted to a wall as a piece of menacing installation art in his church.Made over the course of four weeks out of household materials, the replica is impressively authentic, with a sort of pure simplicity to the colours and design.
As you guys probably know, Xiaomi does not only produce smartphones & other electronic devices but, through its various sub-brands, also manufacturers an insane number of products.Today, we have a look at their latest Small Smart Toilet Seat launched by their Smartmi sub-brand; keep reading!If you weren’t aware, the smart toilet seat actually isn’t something totally new.Xiaomi did indeed release the first edition some months back but it wasn’t cheap so it didn’t really succeed, the one launched today is a cheaper, smaller and improved variant of that.Let’s get into the actual “hardware” now.The smart toilet seat comes with a circular design which is supposed to be very nice to sit on, according to the manufacturer.
LG V30S ThinQ pricing revealed for South Korean launch.Standard V30S ThinQ and “Plus” variant go on sale on March 6th.Both models priced over 1 million KRW – more than the Samsung Galaxy S9.The awkwardly named LG V30S ThinQ and somehow-even-more-awkwardly-named LG V30S Plus ThinQ have launched in South Korea.Announced at MWC 2018, the pair are now available to order in LG’s home country ahead of a retail release tomorrow (March 9th).Pricing starts at KRW 1,048,300 for the standard V30S ThinQ with 6 GB or RAM and 128 GB internal storage.
But press regulation risks derailing Data Protection Bill debate, warn observersThe UK government's plan to excuse itself from having to hand over information about the data it holds on immigrants has received short shrift from MPs.The Data Protection Bill aims to implement the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation, as well as replacing existing UK laws on data processing by corporate and law enforcement bodies."We would argue that it is a little bit more piecemeal," said Labour MP Liam Byrne.However, we are troubled that the privacy provisions are not quite robust enough."SNP members were equally disapproving, with Brendan O'Hara saying that "in certain crucial areas, it falls short of what we expect from modern data protection legislation".
After 13 years of operation, Aussie Farmers Direct placed a notice on its website Monday 5 March 2018 announcing the closure, a move it referred to as “hugely disappointing”.According to the appointed voluntary administrator, Korda Mentha, approximately 100 franchisees, 260 employees and 100, 000 customers will be impacted by the closure.No further orders or deliveries will take place with Aussie Farmers Direct saying customers waiting on orders will receive refunds shortly.In its closure statement, Aussie Farmers Direct thanked all of its customers, farmers, franchisees, suppliers and staff for their support.“After 13 years of working with many of Australia’s great farmers and delivering their fresh produce to Australian families, it is hugely disappointing that it has come to this.“We are simply no longer able to compete against the domination of the major two supermarkets and the influx of cheap imported produce,” Aussie Farmers Direct said.
More details of the Huawei P20 series have been unmasked ahead of its launch event, already scheduled for March 27, 2018.The latest detail is courtesy of Prolific leakster Roland Quandt, widely known online as @rquandt, who shared the camera and storage configurations of the upcoming Huawei smartphones having obtained same from online retailers.As per Roland’s revelation, the base models of the Huawei P20 Lite and the regular Huawei P20 will come with 32GB of storage and a 16MP rear main camera lens.A recent carrier leak listed the P20 lite with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage, while rumors suggest the P20 lite and the P20 would come with a dual rear camera, so the main camera referenced here is the primary rear sensor, no details about the secondary rear and front-facing cameras yet.As for the premium Huawei P20 Plus, leakster Roland Quandt revealed that its base model could come with 64GB of internal storage, while the main camera lens is set to feature an increased resolution of 18-megapixels.Recall, that previous reports have it that the P20 plus will come with a triple rear camera setup, so the 18MP sensor referenced here could work in union with a secondary 16-megapixel monochrome sensor, and a third 16-megapixel telephoto lens, creating the world’s first triple-camera setup on a smartphone that could displace the Galaxy S9+ off DxOMark list of top camera phone.
The Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, ended late last month, and the most popular event (in our opinion, anyway) was the robotic ski competition.An admittedly hilarious video of the event went around last week, but we checked in with the Ski Robot Challenge organizers at the Korea Institute for Robot Industry Advancement for details, winners, and the adorable battle cries of each competitor.Here’s an overview of the event, from the Korea Herald:And here are the rules:Each robot must be humanoid, with a minimum of 15 degrees of freedom including functional elbows and knees;Each robot must be at least 50cm tall (measured from foot to shoulder);