Martin Latimer

Martin Latimer

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UK
Despite latest year’s flagship phablet having put users in danger with batteries that were prone to bursting into flames, the looming shadow of the Note 7 recall haven’t hampered sales of the new Samsung Galaxy S8.According to Samsung, pre-orders of the Galaxy S8 and larger Galaxy S8 are up 30% on last year’s Galaxy S7, a device that the company previously stated was its best ever launch.Here in the UK the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 won’t go on sale until this Friday, April 28.As well as being easy on the eye, the S8’s spec sheet is finished by a mass of top-end components including a 12-megapixel low-light specialising camera, a powerful new octa-core processor, 4GB of RAM and Android’s latest Android 7.0 Nougat OS.This is a dedicated Bixby button – which I'll cover in more detail in the Software section – and while it shows Samsung is taking its new virtual assistant seriously, it feels too much for Bixby to have its own button.Unlike with the G6, though, the display here melts into the sturdy metal rim.
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Next time you put a quarter into the jukebox at your corner bar, you won’t only hear a song; you may also see a programmatic ad.On Monday, TouchTunes — the company that owns over 63,000 digital jukeboxes in the U.S. — made the inventory on the machine programmatically available for the first time.Last year, over 1.1 billion songs were played on TouchTunes’ digital jukeboxes and its jukebox mobile app, according to Susan Danaher, the music network’s head of advertising, sales and marketing.“Previously, we were limited by direct sales in terms of how many advertisers we could talk to,” said Danaher.“But now, we can customize our offering on a more granular level for more advertisers.”TouchTunes is selling ads programmatically through both private marketplaces (mostly videos priced on effective cost per thousand impressions) and open exchanges.
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Google is updating its search and Maps services with a small but significant update that should make it easier to find the best places to go and things to do when you travel.The next time you’re abroad and look up a place, restaurant, store or point of interest, both Maps and search will surface reviews from locals, translated into your preferred language so you don’t need to decipher them yourself.I typically use Foursquare to scope out places to eat, but they’re usually filled with reviews from travelers from around the world who aren’t always on the mark about which nearby restaurant offers the cheapest or most authentic cuisine.Being able to tap into insights from locals should help folks find better recommendations.Between this and Google’s excellent Trips app that launched last September, the company’s got you covered with the basics for planning your next vacation.The feature is currently rolling out on mobile and should be live worldwide soon.
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A Silicon Valley “flying car” startup, Kitty Hawk, reportedly backed by Google co-founder Larry Page, released a video Monday of its airborne prototype and announced plans for deliveries of a “personal flying machine” this year.“Our mission is to make the dream of personal flight a reality.We believe when everyone has access to personal flight, a new, limitless world of opportunity will open up to them,” said a statement on the website of the Kitty Hawk company, based in Google’s home town of Mountain View, California.“Today we’re announcing our first prototype of The Flyer, a personal flying machine that will become available for sale by the end of 2017.”The video showed the single-seat aircraft -- with two pontoons and a spider web-like platform -- taking off from a lake at an undisclosed location and hovering above the water, where it is meant to be used.The craft, propelled by eight rotors, takes off and lands vertically, like a helicopter.
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The Juicero story is a funny one in some ways and a sad one in others, so let’s just assume they cancel each other out and admire the machine itself in a nice judgment-free moral vacuum.Or rather, let’s let someone qualified do it for us.Ben Einstein, general partner at Bolt, served up this excellent teardown of the Juicero on the company blog.If you were wondering how a juice press could possibly cost $400… well, this is how.Without getting into the nitty-gritty (Einstein does it far better than I would anyway) the gist is that this thing is extremely overengineered in the most fabulous possible way.Everything is custom, using the best processes and materials, and lots of ingenuity and care is on display at every level.
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I don’t want people to think I enjoy having my picture taken.Even when I slavishly follow an instruction to smile, I try to make sure my eyes betray a little resentment.I may be saying cheese, but my face is saying: I hate cheese.FaceApp uses “deep generative convolutional neural networks” to turn your frown upside down.It is meant to be more realistic than previous selfie filters, making subtle adjustments to the eyes and the rest of the face to produce a look of genuine merriment, instead of a cheese-hating grimace.It’s a bit disconcerting to see a picture of yourself smiling, using what are demonstrably someone else’s teeth.
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During CES 2017, Sennheiser took the wraps off a unique pair of earbuds that feature microphones built into the ear pieces for binaural audio recording.While binaural audio is nothing new, the ability to record it has largely been limited in the consumer world.Sennheiser’s Ambeo Smart Headset aims to change that by making so-called ‘3D audio’ (binaural) recording as easy as putting in earbuds, and now the company has announced that Apogee tech will be used to refine the headset.Binaural recording has traditionally involved two separate microphones placed apart from each other, with the distance between them being about the same as the distance between a person’s ears.The idea is to record audio as it is heard by a person as if they were in the room with the noise; by merging the two microphones’ audio together, the resulting ‘3D’ audio sounds more realistic than something recorded with one microphone.For the average consumer, recording this binaural audio usually meant strapping two microphones to a mannequin head, then using software to later merge the two audio files into one.
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The constant rain in the capital didn’t dampen the spirits of the tens of thousands of marchers who slogged through the mud to cheer for science this weekend.“Hi, my name is Dana from the University of Maryland.“I’m not going to crowd you, but I’ll be here if you have any questions.”Fisher is a sociologist who studies protest movements.Those results will be compared with similar surveys at other protests around the world.Is it for science or for people concerned about Black Lives Matter or immigration and this is a chance to protest the president?”
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Ganondorf as depicted in 'Zelda: Twilight Princess'.In an interesting twist, the ongoing antagonist Ganondorf from The Legend of Zelda games has recently had his surname resurface on one of Nintendo’s official sites.Specifically, that his full name of Ganondorf Dragmire is now in wider circulation again, as Nintendo has included the name on its online guide to the Zelda games.To understand why this is a bit weird, you need to realize that the last time Nintendo acknowledged Ganondorf’s full name was back in the instruction manual for A Link to the Past during the 90’s.Even in the incredibly thorough Hyrule Historia, Ganondorf’s full name is omitted, so the fact this was added on an official Nintendo site only a few days ago is indeed curious.For those not versed in Zelda lore, Ganondorf is the name of the character when he is in human form.
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How do spacecrafts manage to travel long distances with so little fuel?originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.Answer by Robert Frost, Instructor and Flight Controller at NASA, on Quora:How do spacecrafts manage to travel long distances with so little fuel?Recall the words of Sir Isaac Newton, in his first law of motion:"An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force."
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In a sign of the times, a Dutch architect has adorned their latest building with emoji gargoyles.The building in Amersfoort, Holland, has a range of the iconic digital symbols around its sides and was designed to memorialise contemporary society."In classical architecture they used to put heads of the king - or whatever - on the facades," Changiz Tehrani, the architect who made the emoji building, told the Verge."We were thinking, what can we use as an ornament so when you look at this building in 10 or 20 years you can say, 'Hey, this is from that year'."The answer, for Tehrani, as to what symbols capture the current age was emoji.Tehrani, who works for Attika Architekten, created the emoji gargoyles using a template from WhatsApp, which he converted into a 3D model.
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Yet another attempt to recreate the success of Sir Clive Sinclair's ZX Spectrum microcomputer has hit the crowdfunding circuit, but this one's a little special: an entirely new machine in a full-size case designed by Rick Dickinson.To say that previous attempts to relaunch the 8-bit Sinclair ZX Spectrum have been underwhelming is not an understatement.The first to hit the big time was the ZX Spectrum Vega, a compact device which lacked the keys for full compatibility with all Spectrum software and hit the market at a whopping £100 - almost as much as the ZX Spectrum cost at launch, without correcting for inflation.Its follow-up, the ZX Spectrum Vega Plus, has fared even worse: a PlayStation Portable inspired design again lacks a full keyboard, while the company behind it is reportedly suffering financial and legal troubles while backers clamour for refunds of the long-delayed device.The ZX Spectrum Next, though, is different.Based around a Xilinx Spartan field-programmable gate array (FPGA), the machine features an implementation of the Z80 processor architecture that ran the original machine - but switchable between 3.5MHz and accelerated 7MHz modes.
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London's mayor has come up with a great idea to make housing in London more affordable -- build worse houses.Literally make something resembling a shipping container then put people in it to cry alone while living the dream that is owning a home in thrilling London, is the idea.The concept of these so-called "naked houses" is that they're so basic inside they're significantly cheaper to build and finish so they might retail for 40 per cent less than the equivalent-sized proper homes, which is great news for any overseas property investors looking to buy up a portfolio off-plan in London.The catch being they don't have internal walls or even a proper kitchen beyond a simple sink, so if you're happy to live in a featureless cube ordering takeaways for dinner every day in exchange for being able to tell your old school friends that you're having a great time living in a flat all by yourself London, it should be a cheaper way into owning a small, fairly rubbish, bit of housing.22 of these Dogme 95 apartments are going to be built as a tester for the scheme on three sites in Enfield, backed by a grant of £500,000 of public money.
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An unassuming house in Blackheath, South East London could be funding North Korea's nuclear weapons programme.The Guardian reports that the Korean National Insurance Corporation (KNIC) is registered to the detached house on Kidbrooke Park Road - and this is a company that the EU has already identified as identified as one that is generating "substantial" revenues that are being funnelled to North Korea.The unusual residence has come to light because of EU sanctions that have been imposed on North Korea, and sadly not because North Korean soldiers have been turning up at the Homebase at the end of the road, looking to buy ballistic missiles.According to The Sun the company had been generating £33m a year and was controlled directly by Pyongyang, before it was shut down last year.But the upshot is obvious: If you live on Kidbrooke Park Road, try not to get into a dispute with your neighbours just in case they decide to go nuclear in response.
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The chief executive of email unsubscription service Unroll.me has said he is “heartbroken” that users felt betrayed by the fact that his company monetises the contents of their inbox by selling their data to companies such as Uber.Founded in 2011, the free web service allows users to unsubscribe en masse from mailing lists, newsletters and other email annoyances.To do so, it requires access to the users’ inboxes, and permission from them to scan the data for unsubscribe links.But following an acquisition by shopping app Slice in 2014, Unroll.me developed a side-business: selling aggregated data about users to the very apps they were unsubscribing from.The revelation came as part of a New York Times story about Uber, which was one of Slice’s big data arm Slice Intelligence’s customers: the cab app wanted to find out information about the corporate health of its key US rival, Lyft.The data Slice sells is anonymised – customer’s names are not attached – and it covers both Uber and Lyft ride receipts, but the company won’t confirm or deny its customer list.
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Jack Ma, Chinese tech billionaire and chairman of ecommerce giant Alibaba, has a chilling warning for the world: Get ready for a"In the next 30 years, the world will see much more pain than happiness," the Chinese entrepreneur said at a conference in China, according to a report from Bloomberg."Social conflicts in the next three decades will have an impact
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Power banks are like umbrellas – you always forget to bring it along when you need one.Eyeing a niche market, Shenzhen-based Ankerbox hopes to be the leader in China’s power bank rental sector.In November 2015, power bank manufacturer Anker started a project incubation in the southeastern Chinese city of Shenzhen to provide power bank rental services in public locations such as bars, shopping malls and concerts.In the last few years, the project has grown to become a startup with Anker as its angel investor and has placed more than 100,000 power banks in over 10 Chinese cities.“We aim to provide power bank rentals as a basic service for 900 million smartphone users,” said Wang Zhe, Ankerbox CEO, in a telephone interview with AllChinaTech.Ankerbox CEO Wang Zhe.Photo from AnkerboxPower bank sharing heats upFrom March to April 2017, the power bank rental sector saw more than RMB 300 million (USD 44 million) financing in just 10 days, according to Chinese investment website pedaily.com.Though it is hyped as a business inspired by the sharing economy, power bank rental startups have created a new business model by offering power bank rentals to consumers.This is unlike Uber or Airbnb where owners and users “share” a car or house.In this niche field, Ankerbox competes with the likes of Tencent-backed Xiaodian and a couple of other players.Ankerbox received RMB 100 million (USD 14.5 million) Series A financing earlier this month from IDG and Sunwoda.“The sharing economy is like an incubator, providing a suitable environment for new shared models to emerge.People need power banks to charge their smartphones when they are outside and don’t have access to power sockets or charging cable,” said Wang.The race and challenges aheadStartups in the field use various business models to offer power bank rental services.
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In terms of good publicity, it’s not been the best couple of months for ride-sharing service Uber.From being hit with a nationwide ban in Italy to repeated claims of sexism in the workplace and law-dodging rule breaking, the app-based taxi company has hit the headlines again for its questionable practices.According to new reports, Apple threatened to pull Uber from the App Store back in 2015 after it was discovered the service was wrongfully tracking users without their permission.It’s claimed that Uber had been “fingerprinting” iPhones with permanent identities, letting the company monitor users’ phones even after the Uber app had been deleted.As well as breaking Apple’s iOS app privacy guidelines, it’s suggested that Uber actively looked to hide the matter from the Cupertino company, with Uber boss Travis Kalanick reportedly telling his team to “obfuscate” the app’s wrongdoings from anyone at Apple’s headquarters.Inevitably, Apple found out, with Kalanick called in front of Apple CEO Tim Cook personally.
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It’s hard to imagine a world without YouTube - how else would we get our daily fix of cute cat and funny doggo videos?Despite the video sharing site having become a mainstay of our daily browsing habits, however, the now Google-owned platform is still surprisingly young.Today, April 24, actually marks just 12 years since the very first video was uploaded to YouTube.The first video was uploaded on the west coast of America at 12 seconds past 8:27pm PDT on April 23, that was 3:27am UTC on April 24.The video, which we’ve got to say isn’t exactly a classic, was an 18-second clip entitled “Me at the Zoo” and features YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim.Despite showing Karim blandly chatting about how it’s cool that elephants have long trunks - we told you it wasn’t video gold - the clip, shot by his friend Yakov Lapitsky, has racked up 37 million views to date.
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While the act of physical teleportation remains in the realms of sci-fi, National University of Singapore (NUS) researchers have now developed a way to transmit a drink over the Internet — or at least replicate the taste of a particular drink from anywhere, at any moment on the planet.The project, led by Dr Nimesha Ranasinghe, was presented to the public last month at a conference in Yokohoma, Japan.The “lemonade sensor” is actually two sensors in one device: The first sensor detects the colour of the drink, the other measures the drink’s pH level (a numeric scale used to specify the acidity of a solution).The tumbler then uses LED lights at its bottom to replicate the colour of the drink, while electrodes around the rim send electrical pulses to your taste buds in order to mimic sourness.The process is almost instantaneous, as demonstrated to TODAY by Dr Ranasinghe and his team.Except for a little more sweetness in the store-bought lemonade, the virtual lemonade was practically identical in taste.
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