Michael Fewell

Michael Fewell

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Following 20
US
Samsung’s semiconductor division will soon allow smartphone cameras to prioritize speed, low light or a bezel-free design.22, Samsung’s new Isocell series of camera sensors each has a different priority.With a handful of options in each category with different resolutions, Samsung’s Isocell Fast focuses on speed, Isocell Bright on low-light performance and Isocell Slim on eliminating that camera bump, while Isocell Dual is designed for two lens devices.(Samsung’s stacked sensor announcement comes almost a year after Sony announced a similar stacked design, the first time a stacked DRAM was designed for a smartphone.)Stacked sensors use a traditional layer of pixels mixed with another layer dedicated entirely to processing all that information and a third layer of temporary memory to store the data.The design allows the sensor to process data faster and for Samsung’s Isocell Fast, that means at least the 480 fps Samsung is teasing in the product graphics.
US
It's been almost a year since we saw the first Nokia phones running on Android.Now we're being promised another "awesome" announcement next month.A tweet on Thursday from the chief product officer at HMD Global -- the company that licenses the right to make Nokia-branded phones -- teased a phone launch for Mobile World Congress, also called MWC.The world's largest global phone conference takes place Feb. 26 to March 1, with announcements beginning as early as Feb. 25.However, an official invitation to the "Home of Nokia phones" at MWC also hints at a connected home product.The invitation to a Feb. 25 event depicts a couple sitting on the floor inside an apartment or house, with sketches of a side table, overhead lamp, framed wall photo and window around them.
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A couple years ago, Hasselblad released a 200-megapixel, Multi-Shot version of its H5D medium format camera.Now it’s back with a bonkers, 400-megapixel version of the H6D: the H6D-400c.Hasselblad’s Multi-Shot technology is pretty straightforward: it takes four 100-megapixel images, shifting the sensor by one pixel for each capture, and then two more shots that shift the sensor by half a pixel.By combining all six stills, the resulting file is a single 400-megapixel (23200 x 17400 pixel) 16-bit TIFF file that weighs in at 2.4GB.In fact, the images are large enough that the camera needs to be tethered to a computer to capture them.Obviously, this sort of sensor-shifting technique takes a bit of time, so it’s best suited for very still scenes.
US
The first standards are out and the 5G frenzy is beginning, but France isn’t getting caught up in the euphoria, as Arcep makes slow and steady steps towards the next generation of mobile.Arcep, the French telco regulator, has announced it will release temporary frequency authorisations to develop 5G pilots in the 3400 – 3800 MHz and the 26 GHz band.In this sense, the French are very much falling in line with the rest of the continent, as the two bands are proving to be a popular 5G choice in many nations.“In the 3400 – 3800 MHz band, frequencies are already available in the metropolitan areas of Lyon, Bordeaux, Nantes, Lille, Le Havre, Saint-Étienne, Douai, Montpellier and Grenoble,” Arcep said on its website.“This is not an exhaustive list and may change over time: interested parties are invited to contact Arcep if they plan on deploying networks in other frequency ranges, or in other geographical locations.”It does seem like a very calm and reasoned approach to the mobile tsunami.
UK
It’s exceedingly rare to catch a black hole spewing out matter and gas.Yet, that is what scientists were able to do with a black hole at the center of a galaxy called SDSS J1354+1327 or J1345 for short.Scientists say that two massive outpourings of this type within the span of 100,000 years confirms that supermassive black holes have cycles of hibernation and activity.The thought for many is that anything a black hole captures is sucked in and disappears, but that isn’t the case.Sometimes black holes spit material back out.As the black hole consumes matter such as gas or stars, they generate a powerful outflow of high-energy particles from close to the event horizon.
UK
It might seem like a distant memory but, once upon a time, smartwatches were made by smartphone makers.Having lost interest in what was deemed a business failure, the wearable market was salvaged by fashion and luxury brands instead.This time, it’s announcing the Connected Modular 41, designed for smaller wrists.Its petite size, however, can be deceiving.The “41” in the name refers to its 41 nm diameter.At least it’s also selling it with an appropriately smaller price tag, though, like its size, the difference isn’t exactly earth-shattering.
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Last year I wrote about the GPD Win, a clunky but ultimately impressive Atom-powered gaming laptop the size of a 3DS.Now, Shenzhen-based GPD has announced its successor, the Win 2.It’s looking like a much more potent device, but comes with a price tag to match.The Win 2 upgrades the original model’s Atom processor to a Core m3-7Y30 with integrated HD Graphics 615, doubles the RAM to 8GB, and increases the screen size to a 6-inch panel while remaining at 720p.The battery capacity has also been increased by nearly 50 percent, courtesy of two 4900mAh batteries.Otherwise, some design tweaks here and additions like rumble support there, the Win 2 is a similar proposition to the original Win — it’s a pocket-sized Windows 10 laptop with built-in gaming controls.
US
Another CES has come and gone, we finally made it everyone.We had a blast scouring for all the crazy gadgets from the show floor, and showing the best of what we found on Circuit Breaker Live.For our last episode, we gave out The Verge Awards for categories like “Best Robot” and “Most CES”, which you can see for yourself!This is our last episode for a while, but we can’t wait to do it again.If you want to relive the good times, watch the full episode above, and check out our Storystream below for all the other episodes!
UK
Donald Trump appears to have revealed just how little he knows about energy and the climate during yet another bizarre press conference, this time with the Norwegian Prime Minister, Erna Solberg.During a Q session he was asked by a reporter what it would take for the United States to remain in the Paris Accord on climate change.The President repeated his claims it treated the US “unfairly” and was a “bad deal” but did say “we could conceivably go back in”.Solberg then took the opportunity to push the virtues of environmentally sound technology but Trump responded with a brusque - and bizarre - answer.He said: “One of the great assets of Norway is a thing called ‘water’ - they have tremendous hydropower, tremendous.In fact most of your energy is produced by hydro.
UK
Atlassian's code version control system Bitbucket has been suffering an ongoing failure in its storage layer, affecting developers across the globe.Problems arose yesterday (January 9) at 13:47 UTC, when the service website performance and SSH/HTTPS transactions slowed.After four hours of degraded performance, Bitbucket said it was investigating possible network or storage layer issues, and then working with its storage vendor an hour later.We are in the process of fixing the overall issue with our vendor, but cannot currently give an accurate eta for when this will be completed."bitbucket @bitbucket is really making our lives hell today.— Kettle River (@KettleRiver) January 10, 2018
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UK
The BlackBerry Motion will arrive in the US and Canada on Friday, January 12 with an all-touch form factor that ditches the brand’s iconic physical keys in favor of more screen.Already available in a number of markets around the world, the BlackBerry Motion will be unlocked from Amazon and Best Buy for $499.99.Currently there are no announcements of any carriers offering the handset, but as the BlackBerry KeyOne is ranged by carriers in both the US and Canada, so the Motion could well find its way into their stores too.Big on battery and securityPossibly the biggest selling point for the BlackBerry Motion is its battery life.We found it could last two days on a single charge, making it perfect for on-the-go professionals.
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US
We were promised flying cars.Intel said it's closer than we think.At CES on Monday, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich showed off the Volocopter, an autonomous passenger drone, which he called "essentially a flying car."The Volocopter comes from a Germany-based company that launched in 2012, with its first flight in 2013.Intel brought it to its stage at CES at the Park Theater at the Monte Carlo Hotel on Monday, with two seats open.It took off inside the keynote venue without a pilot flying it, while it was tethered down.
US
We're fans of HP's Spectre range, and the 15-inch model CES is finally getting its turn to be refreshed to Intel's latest and greatest processors at this year's CES.The new Spectre x360 15 is one of the first systems to be announced that uses the new Kaby Lake-G processors from Intel.These processors combine an Intel CPU (with its own integrated GPU) with an AMD GPU, all within a single package.While Intel has positioned the Kaby Lake-G as a gaming chip—the company's benchmark scores are all games—the Spectre x360 15 doesn't have the usual bright LEDs and garish design of gaming systems.It uses HP's "Dark Ash Silver" with "Copper Luxe Accents" color scheme that we've seen on a few of the company's machines over the last few years.The color scheme is attractive and serious, but with enough accents to add visual interest.
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At CES 2018, Asus announced the newest version of its diminutive Chromebox, the Chromebox 3.And while usually I wouldn’t expect too much from a 4.5 x 4.5-inch desktop PC that only runs Chrome OS, Asus deserves some credit for including both a USB-C port and Intel’s newest eighth-generation Core processors.It’s something that puts it ahead of plenty of full-fledged Windows computers.Asus hasn’t revealed the full specs for the Chromebox 3, but it does highlight that the device supports dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi and gigabit LAN, which the company says should be enough to support 4K streaming.Like other Chromeboxes, it’s probably meant to be more of an enterprise or education device, but it’s nice to see that Asus is keeping its hardware updated with the latest ports and specs.The Chromebox 3 is set to be released sometime in the first half of 2018, although no exact price or release date has been announced.
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US
Whirlpool's Wi-Fi-connected ovens, washing machines and dryers will work with Apple Watch so you control your appliances from your wrist, the manufacturer announced today at the CES tech show in Las Vegas.The Whirlpool app for the Apple Watch will debut later this year and will connect to more than 20 connected Whirlpool appliances.This appears to be the first time an appliance manufacturer has coupled its products with the Apple Watch.An Apple integration illustrates how Whirlpool is attempting to cover work with a variety of tech giants to attract a broad audience to its suite of connected appliances.An Apple Watch app is a smart addition to Whirlpool's connected appliances.It provides an easy way for folks to check on the progress of their laundry or see how much longer a dish needs to bake without having to go to the appliance itself.
US
Nvidia’s big push into the world of autonomous vehicles has attracted a vast amount of customers for what is still early stage technology — over 320, by the company’s count.This week at CES the company announced that it’s finally making Xavier, an AI chip made for self-driving vehicles that Nvidia announced in 2016, available to customers.And the company’s also adding a few marquee names to its list of self-driving technology customers, including Uber and VW.Volkswagen announced that it will use Nvidia’s Drive IX platform in some of its upcoming vehicles, including the I.D.Drive IX is a software developer kit that Nvidia created to tap into the power of Xavier, and Volkswagen will use it to build in features like facial recognition, gesture control, natural language processing, and more.Volkswagen will also work with Drive AR, a new augmented reality-based SDK that works off the same Nvidia technology platform.
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After just a few minutes of deliberation, the jury returned a verdict in the Monster LLC v. Beats lawsuit, awarding Beats nearly $8 million in reimbursement for their legal expenses — and the electronics manufacturer may be on the hook for as much as $100 million more.It’s the latest twist in a case that dates back nearly a decade.The Hollywood Reporter has a summary of the case, where rapper and entrepeneur Dr. Dre (Andrew Young) and the other two founders of Beats sold Monster the rights to manufacture and sell the popular headphones in 2008.Beats ended its partnership with Monster in 2011 and hooked up with smartphone maker HTC instead.When they then sold the company to Apple several months later in a deal worth more than $3 billion, Monster sued for fraud, claiming the HTC acquisition and turnaround sale was a “sham” to cut them out of the lucrative Apple profits.Much legal wrangling ensued, and a judge basically told Monster “don’t hate the player, hate the game” and tossed Monster’s case in June, ruling that Beats was entitled to the legal fees as determined by a jury.
US
A team of researchers at the University of California San Diego has developed macrophage "nanosponges" that can safely absorb and remove molecules from the bloodstream that are known to trigger sepsis.This work is one example of the cell membrane cloaking technology pioneered by the lab of Liangfang Zhang, a professor of nanoengineering at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering.Previous examples include red blood cell nanosponges to combat and prevent MRSA infections; nanoparticles cloaked in platelet cell membranes to repair wounded blood vessels; and nanofibers cloaked in beta cell membranes that could be used to help diabetes patients produce more insulin.In the current study, Zhang's lab developed macrophage nanosponges that offer a promising solution for effectively treating and managing sepsis.The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that more than 1.5 million Americans get sepsis and about 250,000 die from this condition each year.In response, macrophages produce inflammation-causing proteins called pro-inflammatory cytokines, which in turn activate other macrophages to produce more cytokines, setting off a dangerous domino effect of inflammation throughout the body.
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Peter Thiel, right, is one of President Trump's closest allies in Silicon Valley.PayPal billionaire Peter Thiel is looking to develop a conservative cable-news outlet to rival Fox News, BuzzFeed News reports.Thiel had been working on the project with Fox News founder Roger Ailes before Ailes died in May, but has since moved forward with the project, according to the report.Thiel, who sits on Facebook's board, is a known adversary to outlets such as Gawker Media.Thiel funded a lawsuit which ultimately bankrupted Gawker in 2016.Tech billionaire Peter Thiel has been in touch with the influential Mercer family about launching a new conservative cable network, BuzzFeed News reports.
China
Driving in Beijing can be a stressful experience both for drivers and pedestrians and now, AI will also get to endure its notorious traffic jams.Beijing’s first self-driving pilot zone will be set up in Yizhuang, a southeast suburb that hosts the Beijing Economic and Technical Development Area (BDA).The news was announced today by the Beijing Municipal Traffic Commission, Legal Evening News reports.The city will help promote the development of autonomous driving technology by updating road facilities such as signaling and marking to enable “car and road synergy,” an official from the Commission said.A high-precision map is also being developed.In December 2017, Beijing became the first city in China that passed regulation allowing automakers to test self-driving vehicles on public roads.
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