Robert Slater

Robert Slater

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Following 27
US
To be perfectly frank, $500 is probably too high for a pair of wireless headphones in 2019 — even a pair as lovely as Master and Dynamics’ MW65.The problem is, whenever we muster up the angst to rebuff the cost of one of Master and Dynamic’s glittering creations, such as the MW07 wireless earbuds or the MW50 on-ears before them, we just can’t seem to go through with it.We’ve certainly seen more opulent packaging throughout our years reviewing headphones — a wooden case is always a nice (if not extraneous) touch — but unboxing the M65 is a pretty classy experience in its own right.A stealth-black box opens to reveal the headphones in an earth-friendly paper cradle, their gunmetal frames glinting subtly against black leather accents.The MW65 come in two colors, including the black-and-flint-gray model we received and a flashier version in copper brown and silver.The “M” brand on the exterior of the oval-shaped earcups’ flashes softly in the light, but otherwise it’s all curvy lines of smooth leather and sculpted aluminum.
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This week’s is particularly haunting, though — the resurrected corpse of the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities, aptly known as ZombieLoad.Unlike in 2018, the major companies’ products affected by this vulnerability have responded quickly.It’s great to see Intel confidently announce the problem it discovered and present the available solutions to its customers.There are, however, performance compromises to some of these solutions.As in the early days of the fight against ZombieLoad and other Micro-architectural Data Sampling (MDS) vulnerabilities, we’re seeing signs of that same problem.It’s one of the primary features that distinguishes between desktop Core i5 processors and the more expensive Core i7 desktop options.
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The move comes in response to the live broadcast of the terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand.The social media platform broadcast the incident for 29 minutes, with around 200 people viewing the content, before it was cut.After heavy criticism, Facebook needed to act in an attempt to prevent a repeat of such a broadcast.“Following the horrific terrorist attacks in New Zealand, we’ve been reviewing what more we can do to limit our services from being used to cause harm or spread hate,” said Guy Rosen, VP Integrity at Facebook.“As a direct result, starting today, people who have broken certain rules on Facebook – including our Dangerous Organizations and Individuals policy – will be restricted from using Facebook Live.”Although some might suggest this is a potential limitation of free speech principles, Facebook has had to do something about the grey areas.
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Google Translate is one of the company’s most used products.It helps people translate one language to another through typing, taking pics of text, and using speech-to-text technology.Now, the company’s launching a new project called Translatotron, which will offer direct speech-to-speech translations – without even using any text.In a post on Google’s AI blog, the team behind the tool explained that instead of using speech-to-text and then text-to-speech to convert voice, it relied on a new model (which runs on a neural network) to develop the new system.“Dubbed Translatotron, this system avoids dividing the task into separate stages, providing a few advantages over cascaded systems, including faster inference speed, naturally avoiding compounding errors between recognition and translation, making it straightforward to retain the voice of the original speaker after translation, and better handling of words that do not need to be translated (e.g., names and proper nouns),” the Google research team wrote in the blog post.Translatotron can also preserve the characteristics of the voice of the speaker when translating from one language to another.
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Ever been stuck in a traffic jam, wishing you could take to the skies and leapfrog the gridlocked cars below?German startup Lilium hopes that by 2025, it will let you do just that, after staging a successful maiden flight of a prototype five-seater flying taxi, capable of whisking passengers from place to place above the congested streets.Read more: We could see a flying car in action by the end of this yearThe all-electric, battery-powered aircraft took off in Munich earlier this month, marking the first successful voyage of a product Lilium claims will revolutionise urban travel.“Today we are taking another huge step towards making urban air mobility a reality.In less than two years we have been able to design, build and successfully fly an aircraft that will serve as our template for mass production,” said Lilium’s chief exec Daniel Wiegand.
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Ride-hailing company Ola has launched Ola Money SBI Credit Card in partnership with SBI Card, one of India’s largest credit card issuers, Livemint reports.The Bangalore-based company aims to provide a flexible and convenient payment system, powered by Visa.Users will not be charged a joining fee and will able to manage their credit card directly on the Ola app.Ola is targeting to issue 10 million Ola Money SBI Credit Cards by 2022.(And yes, we’re serious about ethics and transparency.
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Samsung's may have solutions for the Galaxy Fold's defects, weeks after review units experienced screen breaks, flickering and bulges.The Korean electronics giant solved the problem with the protective plastic layer on the delayed $1,980 foldable phone's display, Yonhap News reported Wednesday.Since this part of the display wasn't attached to the end of the plastic bezel surrounding the screen, some reviewers assumed it was an ordinary screen protector and pulled it off.To stop this from happening, Samsung apparently extended this layer so it's under the bezel and the edge isn't on the screen to tempt you.The company also addressed problems with dust and fluff getting caught under the phone's hinge mechanism by reducing the size of that part so it'll be covered by current protective frame, according to Yonhap.Samsung didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
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Drones are agile things, but they’re not exactly known for their quick reactions.If you want to knock one out of the sky, a well-thrown ball or even a spear should do the trick.You can see the quadcopter showing off these skills in the video above (though no-one tested it with a wrench).And okay, some of those throws are pretty easy, but the drone is still reacting completely autonomously.“We wanted to really push the boundaries and see what these robots are capable of,” University of Zurich research Davide Falanga told The Verge.Giving drones an auto-dodge feature would be handy for a lot of use-cases.
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At every one, a glass cup of human urine with a screened lid sits at the level of the animal’s nose.Among humans—whose toolmaking prowess has given the world self-driving suitcases and reusable rocket boosters—prostate cancer is notoriously difficult to detect.Properly trained dogs, on the other hand, can detect prostate cancer with better than 90 percent accuracy, and with sleek, tail-wagging efficiency.“We have $100 million worth of equipment downstairs.For millennia, humans have prized dogs for their tracking abilities; police and armed forces have long used them to sniff out bombs, drugs, and bodies.Tipped off by a Scottish nurse with a highly attuned nose, scientists have recently learned that people with Parkinson’s disease begin emitting a distinct “woody, musky odor” years before they show symptoms.
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The gaming market is changing at a rapid pace.But in such an environment, new issues will arise and new solutions will need to be found.In two areas specifically, Experian believes machine learning can help.Namely, the protection of minors and the identification of problem gamblers.Machine learning: more than a buzzwordAs most parents will be aware, teenagers nowadays have access to a host of internet connected devices, whether that’s their phone, laptop, or games console.
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Ariana Grande has become the target of a copyright lawsuit after posting photos of herself on Instagram.The two images, taken by New York-based paparazzi photographer Robert Barbera, show the singer leaving a building while carrying a bag with the word “Sweetener” printed on it.For those not up to speed on all things Grande, that’s the name of the album she released in 2018 — the same year that the photos were taken by Barbera, and posted by Grande.Grande, who has more than 155 million followers on Instagram, added the caption “happy sweetener day” to the post (below), which showed the two images stitched together.Upon learning of the Instagram entry — it scored more than 3.3 million likes before being removed from the photo-sharing site — Barbera decided he didn’t much like how Grande had used his images without his permission.The photographer is asking for up to $25,000 for each of the images, or the profits generated by the post — whichever is greater.
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Chinese electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer Xiaopeng on Thursday launched a ride-hailing service in southern China, as automakers look to the industry and market leader Didi accrues losses from its operations.The move comes after the EV maker was granted a ride-hailing license by city authorities earlier this week.Unlike Didi, Xiaopeng will employ all of the “trained, verified and monitored professional drivers” on its platform, the company said in a statement.Xiaopeng is rolling out the service with an initial “several hundred” of its G3 SUVs, though it plans to increase its fleet size to 2,000 by the end of 2019.“The Pengstar service will allow Xpeng Motors to gain important operational experience from a diversified range of driving scenarios, [and] deeper understanding of customer behavior and preference,” the company said.Operating a ride-hailing fleet also gives the company access to additional training data that could be used to further develop its autonomous driving system.
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Last month, Samsung faced a wave of criticism when review units of its ambitious Galaxy Fold phone started to break down.Now, according to Korean media outlet Yonhap, the company’s made some improvements, and is testing the units with mobile carriers in South Korea.Some units’ screens cracked or were damaged because reviewers peeled off the protective layer above the screen.Samsung failed to effectively communicate that the protective layers shouldn’t be removed.There were also issues with the sturdiness of the hinge holding the two parts of the screen.The Korean giant had to eventually cancel all pre-orders and postpone the launch.Yonhap’s report suggests that with new units, Samsung has integrated the display’s protective layer inside the screen to prevent people from tearing it off.
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Tesla has announced it’s updating its battery software following recent fires that wrecked three Model S vehicles located in Shanghai, San Francisco, and Hong Kong, respectively.The Elon Musk-owned automaker said in a statement that its investigation is continuing, but as a safety precaution it has started to push out an over-the-air software update for Model S and Model X batteries that will revise their charge and thermal management settings.Tesla said the update will help “further protect the battery and improve its longevity.” The California-based company added that it’s yet to identify an issue with the battery but will be sure to act if one is identified.“The safety of our customers is our top priority,” it said.The move comes after three Teslas caught fire while parked in less than a month.The first incident occurred in April in Shanghai, China, when a Model S suddenly caught fire in a parking garage.
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Now, four years later, E3 is once again upon us, and Final Fantasy VII Remake is once again expected to make a presence.The game was also a smash hit among critics, holding a 9.2 rating on Metacritic.Combine an illustrious cast of heroes and villains with an expansive world and a deep battle system and it becomes easy to understand why Final Fantasy VII has had such an enduring legacy.The company teamed up with Sony in 2005 to give fans a huge tease.Imagine George Lucas shooting a trailer for a Star Wars: A New Hope remake, flush with 2019-level cinematics and cinematography, but saying that it was only a demo and that no actual release was planed.We don't know when exactly that will be, but hey, you've made it this far right?
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Nissan in recent years has embraced the overlanding trend -- essentially long-distance off-roading in tough trucks and SUVs -- in a big way, showing off a variety of concept models designed to cater to the enthusiasts.The latest of those vehicles, revealed Wednesday, is the Destination Frontier, a one-off creation that Nissan says would cost someone less than $40,000 to recreate (that price excludes the custom wrap shown here).The truck will be displayed at Overland Expo West, which runs from May 17 through 19 in Flagstaff, Arizona and bills itself as, "the world's most unique event series for do-it-yourself adventure travel enthusiasts."The goal of sticking to the relatively strict budget was "to help democratize the overlanding experience by showing a more affordable approach to the sport," Tiago Castro, Nissan North America director of light commercial vehicles, said in a statement.The Destination Frontier is based on a 2019 Frontier Crew Cab SV Midnight Edition with four-wheel drive; its list price is $32,925 before any options.To help upgrade it for better off-road performance, it has been outfitted with a 3-inch lift kit from Nisstec, as well as new American Racing wheels wearing Nitto Trail Grappler off-road tires.
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An initiative called the Christchurch Call, led by the governments of New Zealand and France, calls on other world leaders and tech giants to be more vigilant in policing live streams on social media platforms.While the United States government has refused to endorse the effort, Facebook is trying to do its part.Two months after the horrific mass shootings at two Christchurch mosques that left 50 people dead, Facebook has imposed what it calls a “one strike policy” that will determine who can use its live-streaming platform.According to the announcement made on its blog, the social media giant will ban any user who has broken its rules from using Facebook Live for a set period of time.“From now on, anyone who violates our most serious policies will be restricted from using Live for set periods of time – for example 30 days – starting on their first offense.For instance, someone who shares a link to a statement from a terrorist group with no context will now be immediately blocked from using Live for a set period of time,” explains Facebook’s vice president of integrity Guy Rosen.
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A new kind of scam has accrued almost $1 million in bitcoin from frightened porn viewers, says a new report — and they’re staining the good names of Shakespeare and Austen to do it.According to the report, from cybersecurity firm Area 1, this scam involves a threatening email, in which the victim is told videos or pictures of them watching pornography will be leaked to their contacts, along with whatever they were watching, unless they pay a ransom in Bitcoin.That hits some soft spots, so I can see why it works — threatening to expose intimate images and porn preferences is a double whammy.Needless to say, it’s fake — they don’t actually have such videos of the victim, but are hoping to scare them into paying up.It’s not exactly new that scammers try to use language that will trigger fear — a quick look at the spam folder on my work email shows things like “Trying to Reach You,” and “Reply Urgent.” But in this case the sad part is that it works.According to Area 1’s report, the scammers have earned $949,000 from this, as the blockchain record associated with their digital wallet shows.
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Nintendo aired the Super Mario Maker 2 Nintendo Direct on May 15 and announced a truckload of new features for the Make-Your-Own-Mario-Course game, the sequel to 2015's Super Mario Maker for WiiU.While the Direct veered into pure advertisement territory for a while there (and some fans online were calling it boring), a staggering amount of new features and modes were revealed showing just how much Mario Maker 2 looks to have improved from the original.Nintendo suggested clear conditions such as "defeat all the dry bones in a level"New course themes: Desert, Snow, Forest and SkyThe moon (more on that below!)It's cute for a square dog.
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The move is a change from its traditional strategy of leasing space from other building owners.Most of the money in the fund will come from outside investors, but WeWork will have majority control over it.WeWork CEO Adam Neumman has a new plan for the $47 billion office-sharing company: Instead of subleasing space in other people's buildings, he wants WeWork to buy its own buildings.The fund will be separate from WeWork and most of the money it will invest will come from outside sources, according to Bloomberg Businessweek, which first reported the new fund.Read this: WeWork's CEO explains why he thinks his $47 billion company is recession proof, and how he keeps his ego in check as a young billionaire"Now that people believe in us and are willing to give us money to buy [properties], we're very happy to have [partners] like Ivanhoé Cambridge," Neumann said.
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