Martin Latimer

Martin Latimer

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Following 16
UK
Sky has done a deal with high-end speaker company Devialet to produce a soundbar co-branded by the two firms.The speaker will retail for a fairly staggering £799, but there's good news.Current Sky customers will get the speaker for £299 and Sky Q Multiscreen punters will pay just £249.There is a dialogue enhancement option, which is a common complaint with TV viewers who claim they can't hear speech over background music and effects.There's a late night mode, which cuts the bass so others in the house can sleep.The most interesting option, and one that's less common, is the "kid" mode, which puts a limit on the maximum volume.
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UK
Your phone's most important feature is easily the camera - a good one makes the difference between an all-conquering champion and an also-ran.Sure, picture quality and battery matter too, and for a lot of folks design is just as vital to a phone's appeal.But this year, there's little to choose between the top devices on any of those issues.To help work out once and for all which is best, we've put eight of the best smartphone cameras through their paces, and will be presenting the results to you very soon.Below is a blind test of photos taken with the eight phones: Apple's iPhone 7 Plus, the Google Pixel XL, HTC U11, Huawei P10 Plus, LG G6, OnePlus 5, Samsung Galaxy S8 and Sony's Xperia XZ Premium.We haven't edited, cropped or otherwise tweaked the snaps - they were pulled straight out of each phone.
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China
Foxconn Technology Group founder and chairman Terry Gou Tai-ming could be making the biggest bet of his career as his company builds a highly advanced manufacturing base in the Midwestern United States to rival its operations in China, while dodging the slings and arrows of American politics.Gou joined US President Donald Trump on Wednesday in Washington to unveil Foxconn’s US$10 billion investment in the state of Wisconsin, where a state-of-the-art liquid crystal display (LCD) panel manufacturing plant will be built over the next four years.Taiwan-based Foxconn, known formally as Hon Hai Precision Industry, will receive a generous US$3 billion, 15-year incentive package of tax credits from Wisconsin in the first of a series of expansion initiatives it plans to pursue in the US.But Paul Haswell, a partner at international law firm Pinsent Masons, told the South China Morning Post, warned that since the deal seems to depend so heavily upon tax breaks and initiatives to attract Foxconn to the US, “there’s every risk that with a change of government those tax breaks could dematerialise”.“It’s a gamble insofar as it will associate Foxconn with the Trump administration.”Such a perception did not seem to faze Gou, as he gave credit to Trump, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and the recently established Office of American Innovation, headed by senior adviser to the president Jared Kushner, for supporting his company’s project.
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UK
That’s because DEF CON has long been a source of jaw-dropping (and often profoundly funny) talks.They’re full of cash, and he’s always held an interest in targeting systems with immediate consequences for end-users.Just skip to 5:40 to see what I’m talking about.Michael Robinson – Knocking my neighbor’s kids’ cruddy drone offline (2015)Drones aren’t really toys, but that hasn’t prevented them from finding their way into the hands of young children, who use them to act anti-socially.In a true tale of pettiness, Michael Robinson looks at the countermeasures you can use to protect yourself.
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UK
Suddenly, there is extra light blasting from behind my TV screen, making a day-glow title sequence positively atomic.The DreamScreen, a backlighting system that’s designed to make your TV viewing more immersive, is a luxury that I absolutely don’t need.DreamScreen seemed like an upgrade.There’s a smartphone app that works with your wi-fi to download and set up.You do get the “bigger, brighter” TV the product’s website promises, but the lights don’t exactly extend the screen space; they sometimes echo, and sometimes compliment the colours of pixels around the very edges of your screen, sending rays of colour from behind your television across your walls in time with whatever is on.But it can be confounding in undramatic sequences, with bright blurry bits of clothes and other immovable objects echoing off screen, like dislocated fuzzy chunks.
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China
After success in live streaming followed by an impressive user growth and steady profits during 9 consecutive quarters, China’s biggest location-based social network Momo has set out to find the next big thing in China’s social trends.Momo’s foray into live streaming made headlines in March after the company announced that its revenue recorded a 524 percent year-on-year jump to $246.1 million in Q4 last year, while the annual revenue soared 313 percent to reach $553.1 million.But Momo is not willing to rest on its laurels.The company’s COO Wang Li announced during an interview with Tencent Tech (in Chinese) that they are looking to make more room for innovation in live videos.Momo’s version 8.0 update introduced new features the company hopes will capitalize on its streaming success: one-on-one (Fast chat) and group (Party) video streaming as well as new options for playing Werewolf, one of China’s most popular party games.The company plans to add 7 to 8 adjustable new modules for interaction.
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China
AI is basically about a computing system being smart or sentient like a human being, being able to learn and consider moral and ethical dilemmas.AI is far more complex and difficult to achieve with today’s state of technology.Teaching computers to think and understand the world the same way a human brain does is a nearly impossible endeavour.Perhaps the best way to illustrate the delicate and furious challenges that AI must meet is to use the Clint Eastwood film Sully: Miracle on the Hudson, which is about the actual heroic efforts of US Airways pilots Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger and First Officer Jeff Skiles to safely land in New York’s Hudson River after its engines were struck by birds.Aside from landing and take-off, where pilots are generally in full control of the plane, the rest of the journey is characterised as “automation management” where computers control the flight.While that is not machine learning or AI, it is certainly advanced automation at the highest levels.
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UK
Deezer has announced that it's bolstering its streaming service with hundreds of new podcasts, thanks to a partnership with AudioBoom.AudioBoom is a distribution platform for podcasters that has built up a user base of 60 million listeners a month, thanks to high-profile celebrity endorsements from the likes of Stephen Fry and its frankly impressive podcast range.There are over 200 podcasts to choose from, ranging from true crime classic Undisclosed to Bob Mortimer and Andy Dawson's cracking comedy football podcast Athletico Mince.All of which will now be available to Deezer users - given there's 12 million of them, this is a savvy deal for both podcast listeners and those who are making the podcasts.This is the latest in a number of moves by Deezer to make it a streaming service that's about more than just music.In recent months it has expanded its sports coverage on the service, signing deals with both Barcelona FC and Man Utd, which has culminated in player playlists, news and exclusive football content.
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UK
Black Friday is a boon for shoppers hoping to save on big ticket or popular items.Aside from the stiff competition from other shoppers both online and in stores, Black Friday is one of the best times of the year to get some serious shopping done.These early ads will help you identify some of the deals you want to pounce on quickly.Since stock is generally limited, knowing which deals you want and when they start is the best way to snag them.The discount ranges from 50% to 75% off.The Nerf HyperFire Blaster is $11 off for a price of $43.
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UK
Instagram finally added the ability to zoom in on photos last year, which you activated using a pinch gesture.Now Facebook appears to be bringing the gesture over to your News Feed.I was browsing my feed earlier today when I noticed a Facebook animation tell me I could pinch to zoom into a photo.There are a few stray mentions of the feature on Twitter over the past couple of months, but I couldn’t find any other reporting on it, so I assume it was probably a small test that went under the radar.Though the feature didn’t work on any iOS device we tried, we were able to replicate it on four separate Android phones, so it seems the company is rolling out the feature more widely now.Of course, you could already tap on a photo to open it and then zoom in, but the new feature is a faster and more seamless way of expanding a photo without leaving your News Feed.
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UK
The security industry needs to worry less about technology and more about people, said Facebook's security boss.Alex Stamos scolded the security industry in the opening keynote of the 2017 Black Hat conference.He said there was too much focus on technically complex "stunt" hacks and not enough on finding ways to help the mass of people stay safe."We have perfected the art of finding problems without fixing real world issues," he told attendees."We focus too much on complexity, not harm."He cited examples of technically brilliant presentations at the show, such as insulin pumps being hacked, that had little relation to real issues experienced by people who use technology rather than work with it or understand it well.
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US
The applications and benefits of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) in medicine are well known, but the technology is also used in other areas, such as agribusiness, where its applications include quality analysis of seeds and other products of animal and plant origin.NMR has recently reached the retail commerce sector, where it expedites the assessment of meat and fruit quality by supermarkets.Fine Instrument Technology (FIT), a Brazilian company based in São Carlos (São Paulo State, Brazil), has developed a low-field NMR device that takes a few seconds to perform chemical and physical analyses of fruit, grains, olive oil, milk and meat, among other products.It measures the sugar content of fruit, for example, in terms of the fade duration of an incident radio frequency pulse, which is then compared digitally with information in a database that translates the measurement into the chemical composition of the product.In the specific case of SpecFIT, the company partners with the Magnetic Resonance Laboratory at Embrapa Instrumentation, a division of the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa) also based in São Carlos.The same technology can be used to analyze beef in terms of fat content, moisture, tenderness, flavor and succulence.
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UK
On June 25, 2016 at 6pm ET (2pm GMT), a flash of visible light appeared in the sky that, depending on your location, could have been visible with binoculars.It wasn’t a plane or a star: it was a gamma ray burst, one of the most violent explosions in the universe, from a source 9 billion light years away, possibly a black hole.And you’re afraid of explosions here on Earth?Image: Snapshot of burst via S.Karpov, G.Beskin (SAO RAS and Kazan Federal University, Russia), S.Bondar, E.Ivanov, E.Katkova, N.Orekhova, A.Perkov (OJS RPC PSI, Russia), A.Biryukov (SAI MSU and Kazan Federal University, Russia), V.Sasyuk (Kazan Federal University, Russia)This gamma ray burst, named GRB 160625B, was special.The telescope watched the light show happen live and evolve over time.
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US
Plus, Google algorithms are constantly changing – your website’s usability affects your Google search rankings.One of the biggest analytics you should be looking at is your bounce rate.Their algorithms rank pages with faster loading times higher than those who have slower loading times.Take a look at your site from your visitors’ point of view (use different browsers, as this can also be the issue).The tool searches on a standard operating level (3G).The tool shows how many seconds (or heaven forbid minutes) it takes to load your website on a mobile device.
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UK
Online marketplace Amazon is working to deploy augmented reality to give its customers a more personalised shopping experience, according to a recently discovered patent filed by the company.The patent, based on an application filed in 2013, describes a system which would use augmented reality to a give a real-life feel as to how certain items will look on you.The technology uses 3D sensors to generate a cloud of data points to determine the exact position of a real-life object.So, if you're willing to try some watch online, the AR technology will use the camera of your device to capture the position and orientation of your hand and superimpose a virtual image of the object.It will also collect lighting data to give a real-world feel of the object with reflection and finer details."The items may include jewelry, eyeglasses, watches, home furnishings, and so forth.
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UK
Apple has been ordered to pay the University of Wisconsin-Madison's patent licensing arm a sum of $506m (£387.49m).The company was sued for making use of a 'predictor circuit' developed by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF).The verdict was handed by US District Judge William Conley in Madison.He added $272m to the $234m jury verdict that WARF won in October 2015 against the iPhone maker.The company allegedly continued to infringe upon the patent until it expired in December 2016 without paying what they owed WARF due to which the amount payable was increased.However, Apple would be contesting the verdict, Reuters reports.
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UK
A US judge has ordered Apple to pay more than half a billion dollars to a university after the tech firm failed to abide by an earlier court ruling.Apple was sued in 2014 for allegedly using a technology developed by a professor and his students in its iPhone chips without the University of Wisconsin-Madison's permission.Apple was ordered to pay about $234m (£179m) when it lost the patent case.That sum has now been more than doubled because it continued to use the tech.The judge said that additional damages and interest brought the sum owed to $506m.However, Apple still hopes to overthrow the fine by appealing against the original jury verdict.
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UK
We seem to be experiencing something of a flurry of news about the upcoming flagship Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2 phones from Google.Yesterday we had news about its speed, today we have more news about its looks.We may now have a better idea of what the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2 will look like thanks to digital renders based on leaked CAD designs.The designs were apparently given out to accessory makers so we’re fairly confident that they will be accurate.What adds further credence is that these leaks are provided by Steve Hemmerstoffer (who goes by the handle @OnLeaks), a trusted source for leaks.The source of the leak (@MySmartPrice) has made a very attractive video for the renders, which you can see below.
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UK
Adobe Systems has announced plans to kill off its Flash Player plug-in by the end of 2020 due to waning interest and public opinion after years of criticism regarding security flaws and its many, many updates.The platform was once widely used for online videos, animations and games, but has been usurped in recent years by the new standard offered by HTML5, which serves a similar use without the need for a dedicated plug-in.Adobe vice president of product development, Govind Balakrishnan, said the decision was reached because technologies like HTML5 have "matured enough and are capable enough to provide viable alternatives to the Flash player."Few technologies have had such a profound and positive impact in the internet era," he added, referring to Flash, not HTML5.Flash was installed on 98% of PCs when Adobe acquired Macromedia and Flash along with it in 2005.Twelve years later and usage has plummeted.
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China
SK Telecom has developed the world’s smallest “non-hackable” security chip that can be widely used for emerging technologies such as autonomous vehicles, drones and the internet of things (IoT), the company said Sunday.The quantum random number generator measures 5mm x 5mm.The nation’s largest mobile carrier says the chip can create pattern-less numbers in real time, bringing current security systems to another level.The move is in line with the rise of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, when billions of devices are expected be interconnected via the internet and big data.But the development of security systems has so far failed to keep up with those burgeoning tech areas.For this reason, calls have grown in recent years for a more secure encryption system, because possible hackings could cause major problems in the data-driven era.
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