Month: July 2019
After delaying the June launch of its much-anticipated foldable smartphone “Mate X”, Chinese smartphone manufacturer Huawei has now confirmed its arrival in September.”The company has used the last few months to improve the P-OLED screen on the device to prevent it from getting caught up with the same problems that Samsung had with its foldable smartphone. The device is coming in September,” Vincent Pang, President of Huawei’s Western European Region, told CNET on Friday. “Mate X” was introduced to the world in February this year.Later, the Chinese tech giant said it was taking a “cautious” approach with the shipments, following the failed launch of Samsung’s foldable smartphone “Galaxy Fold” in April owning to foldable display issue. After extensive tests, “Mate X” has passed Chinese 3C certification mark, a mandatory product certification system with the aim of protecting consumer security, under model number TAH-AN00.It is likely to include a new power adapter with a maximum output of 65W with an HW-200200CP1 charger. The smartphone when unfolded, measures in at 8-inches while the Galaxy Fold’s display is 7.3-inches. When folded, the displays are 6.6-inches and 4.6-inches, respectively.The 8GB RAM device is powered by a 1.8GHz octa-core Huawei HiSilicon Kirin 980 processor. The phone runs Android 9.0 and is powered by a 4,500mAh battery and supports proprietary fast charging. foldable phonegalaxy fold vs huawei mate xgalaxy fold vs mate xhuawei First Published: June 23, 2019, 12:06 PM IST
Noted actor, filmmaker and playwright Girish Karnad passed away on Monday. He was 81. Karnad succumbed to a prolonged illness at his residence in Vittal Mallya Road, Bengaluru, a staff from the Cubbon Park Police station, under whose jurisdiction the legendary writer lived, confirmed the sad demise to News18.Karnad predominantly worked in South Indian cinema and Bollywood. He rose to prominence with his coming of age of modern Indian playwriting in Kannada. He was a recipient of the 1998 Jnanpith Award, the highest literary honour conferred in India.He was also conferred the Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan, and had won several accolades for direction in Kannada cinema.Karnad, who often used history and mythology to tackle contemporary issues, had his works translated into various Indian languages and helmed by directors like Ebrahim Alkazi, B V Karanth and Alyque Padamsee among others.Karnad had made his acting as well as screenwriting debut with a 1970 Kannada movie Samskara. The film, based on a novel by UR Ananthamurthy and directed by Pattabhirama Reddy, won the first President’s Golden Lotus Award for Kannada cinema.Some of his popular Kannada movies include Tabbaliyu Neenade Magane, Ondanondu Kaladalli, Cheluvi, Kaadu and Kanooru Heggaditi.His Hindi movies include Nishaant, Manthan, Swami and Pukar. He had acted in a number of Nagesh Kukunoor films, starting with Iqbal, in which Karnad played the role of a ruthless cricket coach. This was followed by Dor, 8 x 10 Tasveer and Aashayein. In 2012, he played the role of RAW chairman, Shenoy, in Salman Khan-starrer Ek Tha Tiger. He reprised his role of Shenoy in Tiger Zinda Hai.PM Narendra Modi and Karnataka CM H D Kumaraswamy tweeted their condolences for the iconic film and theatre personality.Modi wrote: “Girish Karnad will be remembered for his versatile acting across all mediums. He also spoke passionately on causes dear to him. His works will continue being popular in the years to come. Saddened by his demise. May his soul rest in peace.”Girish Karnad will be remembered for his versatile acting across all mediums. He also spoke passionately on causes dear to him. His works will continue being popular in the years to come. Saddened by his demise. May his soul rest in peace.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 10, 2019Deeply saddened to hear of the demise of Jnanpith laureate writer and iconic actor/film maker, Sri #GirishKarnad . His outstanding contribution to literature, theatre and films will always be remembered. In his death, we lost a cultural ambassador. May his soul rest in peace. pic.twitter.com/s5bfbh0VgE— H D Kumaraswamy (@hd_kumaraswamy) June 10, 2019BJP state president B S Yedyurappa also extended his condolences on Twitter.”Saddened to hear the demise of veteran actor-playwright and jnanapeeta awardee Sri. Girish Karnad. My deepest condolences to @RKarnad and his family,” Yedyurappa wrote.Saddened to hear the demise of veteran actor-playwright and jnanapeeta awardee Sri. Girish Karnad. My deepest condolences to @RKarnad and his family. pic.twitter.com/Sr53rnPSso— B.S. Yeddyurappa (@BSYBJP) June 10, 2019Karnad is survived by his wife Saraswathi and son Raghu Karnad.Follow @News18Movies for more bollywoodBS YedyurappaChief Minister H D KumaraswamyEk Tha Tiger First Published: June 11, 2019, 7:15 AM IST
Sujoy Ghosh, our guest for the fourth edition of Film-maker Fridays, lands up with a spring in his steps and with good reason too. Fresh from the success of Badla starring Amitabh Bachchan and Taapsee Pannu, he has a lot to talk about. The film was an official remake of the Spanish film Contratiempo or The Invisible Guest with twists and turns that were riveting to say the least.Ghosh admits that there was a lot he was worried about as in this instance, it was a very successful film he was adapting but he took a Manmohan Desai style approach to it, unravelling it from the point of view of Amrita’s character. No wonder that earlier on he was even uncertain about directing the film but it was his leading man, Amitabh Bachchan who nudged him in that direction. Ghosh recalls the question that his actor put to him-“If the story is as good as you say it is, then why aren’t you directing it?”A pertinent question indeed, and the rest, as they say, is history.Given the eclectic star cast and the fact this would be an adaptation of an already successful film the responsibility was indeed daunting. However, with a little help and much co-operation from the team—for instance, Bachchan even reshot a particular scene –a conversation between Taapsee and him about Jimmy (a character in the film)—the director has added yet another successful film to his repertoire of films in general and thrillers in particular.But there’s a lot more to Ghosh’s work than his most recent success. In this episode we focus on Sujoy Ghosh’s creative style, the challenges of being an untrained film-maker, an actor who passed up an opportunity of working in Jhankaar Beats, Satyajit Ray’s influence and more.Watch the detailed interview with Sujoy Ghosh here:Follow @News18Movies for more amitabh bachchanBadlabollywoodFilmmaker Friday First Published: June 14, 2019, 11:20 AM IST
Akshay Robert DowneyAvengers EndgameBipasha Basu Karan singh groverbollywood news First Published: June 14, 2019, 7:34 PM IST This week it’s a treat for cinegoers as a wide variety of films has hit theaters ranging from Chris Hemsworth MIB International to Malayalam superstar Mammootty’s dark comedy, Unda. Also, popular daily soap Sanjivani is all set to be back with a new cast.In another news, after a week of a steady run at the box office, Salman Khan- Katrina Kaif starrer Bharat struggles to keep momentum at the box office. Also, Avengers star Chris Evans turned a year older and his co-star Robert Downey Jr has wished him in a funny way. Scroll down to read more of these and other entertainment and lifestyle news in our wrap today.Friday is here and it’s a treat for cinema lovers this week. While Taapsee Pannu gets the audience on the edge of their seats with Game Over, Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson’s MIB: International disappoints with the plot. Meanwhile, the younger audience can have their moments of high-octave with The Secret Life of Pets 2, whereas, south cinema offers Mammootty’s dark comedy, Unda.Here’s our review for all the above-mentioned films this weekend.Read: Game Over Movie Review: Taapsee Pannu and Fantastic Storytelling Techniques Keep You HookedRead: Men In Black International Movie Review: Chris Hemsworth’s Charm is the Only BaitRead: The Secret Life of Pets 2 Movie Review: A Fun Film Meant for a Younger AudienceRead: Unda Movie Review: Mammootty Back to Being a Cop in Entertaining Dark ComedyIn spite of a bumper opening, courtesy Eid and Salman Khan’s massive fan following, Bharat is yet to cross the Rs 200 crore mark despite it being nine days since its mega release. The Ali Abbas Zafar directorial, which earned Rs 41.75 crore on day 1—making it Salman’s biggest opening so far—has been struggling to keep momentum at the box office.Read: Salman Khan’s Bharat Struggles to Maintain Momentum at Box Office, Earns Rs 172.50 Crore in 9 DaysAs Chris Evans turned 38 on Thursday, his co-star Downey Jr had plenty to say to the Cap cool. Downey Jr wished Evans a happy birthday on Twitter with a hilarious GIF of Evans’ scene in which he fights himself in Avengers: Endgame.Read: Robert Downey Jr Wishes ‘America’s A**’ Happy Birthday As Chris Evans Turns 38Also read: Thor Was a Wreck in Avengers Endgame And This Sad Video of Chris Hemsworth is ProofWith its first episode aired in 2002, Sanjivani became one of the most successful shows. While its sequel, Dill Mill Gayye with Karan Singh Grover in the lead gave fans some major moments from the show, the show is all set to be back with the reboot of the show.Read: First Pic of Sanjivani Reboot Star Cast Featuring Surbhi Chandana, Rohit Roy, Sayantani GhoshAlso read: Karan Singh Grover is Looking Forward to Working with Parth and Erica in Kasautii Zindagii KayOn the lifestyle front, Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra and Sara Ali Khan have been impressing their fans with their jaw-dropping style statement and sartorial choices. While Priyanka stunned in her orange cape dress, Sara was elegance at its best in her traditional outfit.Read: Priyanka Chopra Stuns in Fiery Tangerine Cape Outfit at an Event in MumbaiAlso read: Sara Ali Khan ‘Sprinkles Some Fairy Dust’ in Regal Ethnic OutfitCheck back tomorrow for more news from the world of films and fashion.
chandrayaan 2 launchChandrayaan 2 launch date and timeChandrayaan-2Chandrayaan-2 Lander First Published: July 14, 2019, 12:57 PM IST New Delhi: India’s second Moon mission, Chandrayaan-2, has evoked great interest in Western media and scientific journals, with many saying the mission that costs less than half of the budget of Hollywood blockbuster “Avengers Endgame” will put India in league with lunar pioneers – the US, Russia and China.The Chandrayaan-2 mission, that takes off exactly 50 years after the astronauts of Apollo II made their historic voyage to the Sea of Tranquillity on the Moon, will attempt a historic touchdown near the Moon’s south pole, “where water ice lurks in permanently shadowed craters”. Only one other mission — China’s Chang’e-4 spacecraft — has soft-landed in this rugged, forbidding region, says the Scientific American.India’s moon mission was, however, called off by ISRO due to a technical glitch, stating that a revised date will be announced soon. The launch was scheduled at 2.51 am on Monday at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota. The space agency had abruptly halted the Chandrayaan 2 countdown at 56 minutes and 24 seconds to launch.”The total cost of the Chandrayaan-2 mission is about $124 million, which includes a $31 million price tag for the launch and $93 million for the satellite. The cost is less than half of the budget of Hollywood blockbuster “Avengers Endgame”, which had an estimated budget of $356 million,” says Sputnik.The Guardian, in a piece titled ‘Everyone’s going back to the Moon. But why?’ writes: As the 50th anniversary of the first Apollo landing approaches, a host of countries are undertaking lunar missions. What’s behind the new space race?”At 2.51 am on Monday, July 15, engineers at India’s national spaceport at Sriharikota will blast their Chandrayaan-2 probe into orbit around the Earth. It will be the most ambitious space mission the nation has attempted.”The New York Times, with a similar sounding headline, ‘Why everyone wants to go back to the Moon’, says, “For India, reaching the Moon would highlight its technological advances. China would establish itself as a world power of planet. For the United States and NASA, the Moon is now an obvious stop along the way to Mars.”The US’ National Public Radio writes: “China, India and even smaller nations like Israel and South Korea are all pursuing robotic Moon missions. Their lunar ambitions are being driven both by a desire to flex their technological muscles and by the rise of global nationalism.”The Washington Post, in an article titled ‘India’s Moon mission signals country’s growing space ambitions’, writes: “Although India’s space program began as early as the 1960s, it has gained new prominence under Prime Minister Narendra Modi… Modi has promoted the space program as a symbol of the country’s rising stature internationally and a bulwark of its defense capabilities.””India’s first Mars satellite cost less than the budget of the space movie, ‘Gravity’. At $141 million, the cost of the current lunar mission is far less than the $25 billion spent by the United States on its Apollo program,” the Post says.Giving details of the Moon mission, the space.com website says: “Chandrayaan-2 consists of an orbiter, a lander called Vikram and a rover known as Pragyan. If all goes according to plan, touchdown will occur on September 6 on a high plain between two craters, Manzinus C and Simpelius N, about 70 degrees south of the equator.”The Moon’s polar regions are intriguing to scientists and exploration advocates because water ice is abundant there, on the floors of permanently shadowed craters. Such ‘lunar cold traps’ contain a fossil record of the early solar system and also harbour a precious resource that could aid human exploration of Earth’s nearest neighbour.”Science news portal, phys.org says “India will step up the international space race on Monday when it launches a low-cost mission to become only the fourth country to land a probe on the Moon. Almost the entire Chandrayaan-2’s orbiter, lander and rover have been designed and made in India.”Scientific American website says: “The new mission’s journey could yield vital information about the Moon’s mysterious troves of water, which could be used for scientific studies of deep lunar history – or for manufacturing rocket fuel, potable water and breathable air in support of future human outposts.”Website Planetary News says that “One of the most compelling results from Chandrayaan-1 was the detection of water (OH) on the Moon by both the Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3), a NASA provided instrument, and ISRO’s Moon Impact Probe (MIP). Contact with the spacecraft was lost in August 2009, putting an end to the science mission, but NASA has since relocated the spacecraft in lunar orbit using ground-based radars. Though it operated at the Moon for less than half of its expected two year lifetime, the mission accomplished approximately 95 per cent of its mission objectives.”
The Nvidia RTX 2080 and 2080 TiIf you’re looking to give your gaming rig a boost, you can score some decent savings as part of Amazon’s Prime Day sale on GeForce RTX graphics cards. As part of this special July event, Amazon is offering up to 17% off of the high-end RTX 2080 Ti graphics cards — which translates into a savings of $220 — on RTX 2080 graphics. If you’re part of Amazon’s Prime membership program, you’ll save even more. If your PC or laptop has a Thunderbolt 3 support, this GPUs also make great companions to eGPU enclosures, like the Razer Core X Chroma.Zotac Gaming GeForce RTX 2080 TiThe cards on discount are manufactured by Zotac, and they feature a twin fan design, RGB lighting, and a metal backplate. The high-end Zotac Gaming GeForce RTX 2080 Ti graphics card is normally listed at $1,299, but Amazon is selling it for $1,079 with free shipping and free returns. Prime members save an additional $40 on the RTX 2080 Ti, with the card selling for just $1,039.Zotac Gaming GeForce RTX 2080If you don’t need the advanced graphics capabilities of Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 2080 Ti architecture, stepping down to the non-Ti version of Zotac’s Gaming card will save you even more. The Zotac RTX 2080 card utilizes a similar twin fan design as the premium Ti variant, comes with IceStorm 2.0 Cooling, and provides active fan control. This card normally retails for $729, but Amazon is listing it for $688, a savings of $41. Prime members can get the card for just $610 as part Prime Day.If you’re on the fence between the RTX 2080 and the RTX 2080 Ti card, be sure to read our comparison review to see how these two cards stack up. And if you’re upgrading from older GTX 1080 graphics, we also have a performance comparison between that card and the RTX 2080.Zotac Gaming GeForce RTX 2070 AMP ExtremeUnless you’re playing games in the most detailed settings at 4K resolution or are pushing the envelope with ray tracing, the RTX 2070 delivers plenty of performance for its price. Casual gamers will find plenty to love, especially at the more wallet-friendly price tag for this GPU. Normally priced at $659, Amazon is offering the Zotac Gaming GeForce RTX 2070 AMP Extreme card on sale for $556, a savings of 16% off of the list price. Prime customers can save even more, with the card slotting in at just under $500 as part of Prime Day, selling for $496.If you’re picking up the RTX 2070, just be aware that Nvidia had recently announced a refreshed version of this graphics card in the form of the RTX 2070 Super.Special purchase bonusIn addition to buying the cards, you’ll also receive a code for Wolfenstein: Youngblood and Control for free when you purchase the card. There are a few stipulations for the free game download. First, you must purchase the graphics card by August 18. Second, the graphics card must be sold and shipped by Amazon. If you meet these requirements, Amazon states that it will email you a download code for the game within two business days after your order ships.We strive to help our readers find the best deals on quality products and services, and we choose what we cover carefully and independently. The prices, details, and availability of the products and deals in this post may be subject to change at anytime. Be sure to check that they are still in effect before making a purchase.Digital Trends may earn commission on products purchased through our links, which supports the work we do for our readers. Editors’ Recommendations Nvidia’s RTX Super GPUs boost performance without jacking up the price Amazon has deals on nearly all of its own services for Prime Day 2019 Amazon slashes prices on Acer laptops, desktops, monitors, and gaming gear Prepare for Prime Day with our price predictions for Echo, other Amazon devices Now’s your last chance to buy an Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K on the cheap
Two further modes are borrowed from DJI’s grown-up drones. TapFly has been updated with a Coordinate sub-mode, that lets Spark automatically swoop over to a location you choose from your smartphone. A Direction sub-mode, meanwhile, flies the drone automatically in a direction you choose from the screen. ActiveTrack, meanwhile, locks onto a person or object you choose, and then follows it, making sure it stays in the center of the screen. If you have the optional controller, however, you can also activate Sport Mode. That raises the Spark’s top speed to up to 31 mph, and sets the camera gimbal to first-person view (FPV). If you’ve got DJI Googles, the company’s drone-centric headset, Spark is compatible with that too. Drone pilots have a new, compact camera-drone option, with the DJI Spark promising not only portability but piloting so simple you don’t even need a controller. Smaller than the DJI Mavic, the Spark mini-drone is designed to be controlled by hand gestures. Indeed, once it’s powered-on and it takes off from your palm, it automatically starts watching for instructions. At the same time, there are still more traditional control options for those wanting to get a little more involved. It’ll support both a dedicated controller, or using a smartphone or tablet. Like DJI’s larger, more expensive models, there are various preset flight modes, too, intended to make creative shots more straightforward to novices. DJI calls it QuickShot Intelligent Flight Mode, and it basically uses a preset flight plan and subject tracking to shoot a quick video. There are four different options: Rocket sends the Spark straight up, filming underneath it, while Drone flies it up and away from the subject. Circle rotates the drone around the subject, and finally Helix spirals it up in the air and away. QuickShot automatically captures a 10-second clip intended for social media sharing. DJI is calling it Gesture Mode, and it gives control over the basics without needing to stare at your phone or a traditional control pad. You’ll be able to send Spark up and away from you and then summon it back, along with taking photos, all with palm movements. As for the hardware, there’s dual-band GPS, GLONASS, a forward-facing 3D sensing system, downward-facing vision system, inertial measurement, and 24 computing cores to process all that. Spark offers visual system assistance at up to 98 feet, and can sense obstacles at up to 16 feet away. If the battery gets low, the connection with the controller is lost, or the user presses the “Return to Home” button, it uses GPS to navigate back to its launch point, avoiding obstacles along the way. The 10.6 ounce drone uses a removable LiPo battery for up to 16 minutes of flight time. With the controller, it can beam back 720p video in real-time over up to 1.2 miles. The camera itself, though, has a 12-megapixel 1/2.3-inch sensor, that can capture up to 1080p videos. There’s a 2-axis mechanical gimbal and DJI’s UltraSmooth stabilization technology. DJI has also thrown in some of its camera modes, but adds two new options on Spark. Pano Mode takes horizontal or vertical panoramas, automatically adjusting the drone’s flight to capture enough still images to stitch together cleanly. ShallowFocus Mode, meanwhile, creates artificial depth-of-field pictures, keeping a section of the frame in focus while blurring the rest. The DJI GO 4 app also has various filters and auto-editing templates. DJI Spark is available for preorder from today, priced at $499. That gets you the drone itself, a battery, a USB charger, and three pairs of propellers. It’ll be available in four colors – Alpine White, Sky Blue, Meadow Green, Lava Red, and Sunrise Yellow – and is expected to ship in mid-July. Meanwhile DJI will also offer a Spark Fly More Combo pack. That’ll be $699, but throw in a second battery, four pairs of propellers, a remote controller, propeller guards, a charging hub, and all of the necessary cables. DJI will even include a shoulder bag to carry the whole lot.
Garmin Speak is relatively tiny at 1.5-inches and it sports an LED light alongside an OLED display; the device attaches directly to a car’s windshield. The unit is designed to be interacted with using voice, such as asking Alexa to ask Garmin for directions to the nearest grocery store or asking Alexa to play the audiobook you’ve been listening to. The audio plays through the car’s own speakers.This is the first time Garmin has offered a device with both its own navigational tech and Alexa, and it could be a decent way to give a car a technological boost in the absence of something like Android Auto. The system also goes a step further than most, enabling users to control their home automation devices via Alexa in the car; this includes turning off (compatible, connected) lights and adjusting thermostats.The device works alongside the free Garmin Speak app; it syncs with the phone running the app, utilizing the handset’s own data connection and abilities. Garmin Speak can be wirelessly connected to a car’s speakers over Bluetooth or through a regular wired 3.5mm cable if the car is older. As expected, the device can be used to take hands-free calls, too.Ned Curic, Amazon Alexa’s automotive VP, said, “Our vision is that the Alexa service will be everywhere our customers want it, including inside the car.” The device is available now via Best Buy and Amazon for $149.99 USD. Garmin has announced a new smart device that’ll bring the best of Alexa into buyers’ cars. The device, simply called Garmin Speak with Amazon Alexa, is said to be the first in-car gadget that gives drivers access to Alexa, as well as navigation via Garmin’s own tech. Alexa can handle more than just tapping Garmin’s navigational database, though.
SmartThings CloudThe SmartThings Cloud is aimed at being a “single, powerful cloud-based hub that can seamlessly connect and control IoT-enabled products and services from a unified touchpoint.” This SmartThings Cloud ecosystem will include one cloud API that’ll cover all SmartThings-compatible products. Samsung’s goal here is to provide “secure interoperability and services for business developing commercial and industrial IoT solutions.” This year’s SDC brought together several Internet of Things brands/groups together into one: SmartThings Cloud. Each of the following names is now part of one bigger group: Samsung SmartThings, ARTIK, Samsung Connect. All three are now under the brand SmartThings Cloud. Of important note – this SmartThings Cloud all-encompassing platform name is what Samsung suggests will be both connected and open – open to 3rd-party brands and developers of many sorts. The most basic run-down of what SmartThings Cloud is and will be from here on out can be found in the video above. This new SmartThings has a new bit of branding to go along with its new all-in-one attitude – simpler, more bold, more blue. Before it had yellows and greens too – now just black, white, blue.Above you’ll see a small guide to the SmartThings Cloud as it exists today. Developers can find more information on getting started with this system in Samsung’s newly-renovated SmartThings Dev portal as of this afternoon.Bixby 2.0This week Samsung also announced they’d be moving into a new “ubiquitous, persona, and open ecosystem” with Bixby 2.0. This next version of the smart assistant ecosystem will include a Bixby 2.0 SDK (software developer kit) with Viv technologies inside. This SDK will be available “to select developers and through a private beta program.”So the Bixby 2.0 SDK wont be so open that just anyone can go out and download – but it’ll be here “in the near future” regardless. “Bixby 2.0 will be open,” said Eui-Suk Chung, EVP and Head of Service Intelligence of Mobile Communications Business at Samsung Electronics. “We know Samsung cannot deliver on this paradigm shift by ourselves – it can only happen if we all, across all industries, work together, in partnership. With Bixby 2.0, the doors will be wide open for developers to choose and model how users interact with Bixby in their services across all application domains e.g., sports, food, entertainment, or travel – the opportunities are truly endless.”AR + GoogleSamsung’s latest move in augmented reality is also with an SDK. They’ve worked with Google to make sure the Galaxy S8, S8 Plus, and Note 8 are all compatible with the ARCore SDK. According to Samsung this week, “This strategic partnership with Google offers new business opportunities for developers, and a new platform for creating immersive new experiences for consumers.” Tie-in with Project AmbienceSamsung wants the internet of things to be intelligent – which means they want it to use Bixby. To tie Bixby to the IoT, Samsung revealed “Project Ambience” – a “small dongle or chip” that will allow seamless connections between devices of many sorts. These connections between these devices with Project Ambience will “create a ubiquitous Bixby experience”. and will bring about “the next generation of IoT, that of the ‘Intelligence of Things,’ which combines IoT and intelligence to make your life easier.”This is Samsung’s biggest move in the Internet of Things yet. Now we’ll see if consumers and IT respond as Samsung intends. Stay tuned for more from the SmartThings Cloud here on SlashGear as we review every connected device we can get our hands on! Story Timeline”Alexa, turn on SmartThings integration” says AmazonSmartThings V2 shipping as home monitoring service goes liveSmartThings Interview: Talking Samsung’s IoT starlet with CEO Alex HawkinsonSmartThings 2.0 is here: First-impressionsSamsung’s SmartThings teams with Scout alarms for “real, tangible benefits”Samsung SmartThings ads show how you can have super powersSamsung SmartThings Link for NVIDIA SHIELD now on pre-orderSamsung’s ADT-powered security system is a SmartThings hub too
Word from Digital Trends is that HTC has laid off “a large portion of its US team, leaving only employees for HTC Global in the U.S. office.” In any case, it would appear that this is only the latest in a line of events that’ll change HTC forever. Or at least change forever the HTC we’ve grown to know over the past ten years or so. AdChoices广告It may be that HTC’s leaving the United States entirely – focusing on VIVE from within its own base outside the USA. Rumors still suggest the next HTC smartphone flagship HTC U12, but given todays news, anything could happen. This might be all that’s left of what HTC has outside of Google. Stick around as we continue to gather data on the subject – and good tidings to all those HTC employees we’ve gotten to know over the past decade! Happy trails to you! … “Then he waddled away…”Cheers, @miggy_smalls https://t.co/wkC8U3QYGN— HTC elevate (@HTCelevate) February 21, 2018 This afternoon HTC announced that some employees would be leaving the company as both HTC smartphone and VR divisions merge together. This is an interesting move from the company as it was acquired by Google at the tail end of 2017. It wasn’t clear how much of HTC Google’d acquired – now with a merge of the two main bits of HTC, the path is a bit more clear. Or is it? Both the VR (HTC Vive) and smartphone businesses were announced internally to be merging insomuch that they’d be lead by the same set of leaders. “We have recently brought our smartphone and VR businesses under common leadership in each region,” said an HTC representative in an emailed statement. “Today, we announced a restructure in North America for the HTC smartphone business that will centralize the reporting structure within the region. In doing so, there have been some employee reductions to align the businesses and empower the teams to share more resources.” Story TimelineGoogle closes HTC deal, welcomes smartphone innovatorsNokia just out-sold HTC, Sony, OnePlus, and GoogleHTC President of Smartphones quits, aims for AI
READ: BeoSound 1, 2 have exquisite detailing for a sky-high priceB&O originally launched the BeoSound 1 and BeoSound 2 speakers in 2016; the cheaper of the two updated models will be available starting next month with the second arriving in October. Both speakers are made with an aluminum structure; they feature five microphones for detecting the user’s voice, echo-cancelling technology, and four favorite buttons on the top.Recurring tasks can be assigned to each button, such as getting the weather, playing a certain radio station, or retrieving a calendar. This, of course, is in addition to the various features offered by Google Assistant. The BeoSound 2 speaker continues to offer 360-degree audio, as well.Bang & Olufsen will start offering the BeoSound 1 in its stores and select markets in the middle of September; BeoSound 2 availability will start in early October. The BeoSound 1 model is priced at $1,750 USD and the BeoSound 2 is priced at a substantial $2,250 USD. Bang & Olufsen has announced the addition of Google Assistant for its gorgeous BeoSound 1 and BeoSound 2 wireless speakers. Both cone-shaped speakers will soon be available with Google’s personal assistant, making it possible to get the weather, play music, and more using voice commands. The addition is joined by Apple AirPlay 2 and Chromecast support.
Aside from the obvious advantages a keyboard would have over a remote when it comes to text entry on a TV, the keyboard also comes equipped with a touch pad and directional pad. The touch pad in particular is geared toward making web browser navigation easier, and it isn’t hard to imagine the D-pad coming in handy for a variety of apps (such as games).Logitech says that the K600 has a 15-meter wireless range, so as long you’re in view of your TV, you can be pretty far back from it and still use the keyboard. If you want to use the K600 with a PC (or a mobile device) you can do that too, as it uses Logitech’s Easy-Switch technology to facilitate switching between different devices.It isn’t very often that we hear of keyboards made specifically for smart TVs, but Logitech’s focus on the living room makes a good amount of sense. As TVs become more capable as computing devices, the amount of time we spend interacting with them grows, and inputting search queries in apps like Netflix with only a remote can be a major pain. Logitech’s keyboard will certainly help with that, and its additional controls mean it could prove useful in a number of other scenarios as well.The K600 should be available at some point today from Logitech’s website, but at the time of this writing, a listing for it doesn’t appear to be live just yet. When that listing does go live, the K600 will be available in black for $69.99. Story TimelineLogitech G Pro gaming mouse goes wireless with PowerPlay and LightspeedLogitech G Pro Wireless Gaming Mouse review: Precision comes at a priceLogitech Crayon for iPad releases for everyone next week Most of the Logitech products we’ve seen throughout the years have been accessories made for PCs, but today, the company is taking that PC accessory know-how and moving it into the living room. Logitech has announced the K600 keyboard, and instead of being a PC accessory, it’s meant to be used with your smart TV. That much is evident in its design, as it doesn’t really look like a traditional PC keyboard.
With a 174hp engine and a top speed of around 100mph, the Clarity is expected to see no more than 200 units sold in the first year, Honda says, with the first buyers being limited to business and government agencies. This is in order for the manufacturer to collect data on usage and driver opinions before making the car available to the general Japanese public. When it comes time to make the purchase, it won’t be cheap, as the Clarity is priced at nearly 7.7 million yen, or $67,300 US. For that amount of money, drivers will be getting a max range of 466 miles, easily topping that of electric vehicles, such as the 250 miles or so of the Tesla Model S. But the trade-off is that hydrogen-powered cars aren’t nearly as efficient or environmentally friendly as their EV counterparts. After all that, should you still have the opportunity to buy a Clarity in Japan, you’ll also have the option of throwing in Honda’s Power Exporter 9000 as well. Similar to the Tesla Powerwall, the Power Exporter is a home generator that can be filled with hydrogen fuel from the Clarity and use it to power your house for up to 7 days. READ NEXT: Driving Honda’s Clarity FCVUnfortunately the only way to fill it again is to take the car to one of those hydrogen filling stations — meaning the Power Exporter can’t be purchased and used on its own. Still, it’s nice to know you could use your car to power your home if needed. And if you can afford the extra 1.2 million yen ($10,000).The Clarity is still on track to come to the US and Europe before the end of 2016, but it will be limited to California in the former. It’s expected to be competitively priced with Toyota’s Mirai FCV, with a sticker price of around $60,000 or a lease option of $500 per month.SOURCE Honda In development for several years now, Honda‘s hydrogen-powered Clarity FCV (fuel-cell vehicle) is finally ready to begin sales. The four-door sedan won’t be easy to get your hands on, however, as it’s only available to a select few: being in Japan is only half the requirement, with the other being that you need to live close enough to the roughly 15 hydrogen filling stations in the entire country. At least you’ll get much better range than an all-electric car. Story Timeline2016 Toyota Mirai First-Drive – Fuel-Cells DawningToyota’s fuel-cell Mirai hits (very few) US dealers in OctoberDriving Honda’s Clarity Fuel Cell hydrogen car due March 2016Honda puts a price on its 2016 Clarity Fuel Cell car
Autonomous driving is huge right now, and Audi is accelerating into the age of self-driving vehicles across a wide range of abilities. First off was the recent Audi AI traffic jam pilot techday, where I got to experience Level 3 autonomy in real-world traffic jams and then hop into the driver seat to experience for myself what happens during the crucial 10 second hand-off period as the tech disengages. Now, at this year’s Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung (IAA) motor show in Frankfurt, Audi is taking the wraps off its new Level 4 and 5 concept cars, Elaine and Aicon respectively, that illustrate its vision of future autonomous mobility. Once the concept car is at the “handover zone” of an “Audi AI Zone”, it can drive itself away into a multistory parking garage. Audi sees that as a hub for various services beyond just storing the car: it’ll be able to find its own charger – either 150 kW fast-charging via cable, or using an Audi Wireless Charging pad to top up its 300+ mile range – but also get a car wash or complete other services. When required again, the car automatically drives itself back to pick up its owner, all controlled via an app. AdChoices广告 Over time, Audi says, the car will figure out what’s required of it proactively. Dubbed PIA, or Personal Intelligent Assistant, Audi’s artificial intelligence will use data from the car, the driver, traffic jam reports and predictions, and various other online sources. That’ll give it the smarts to set everything from climate control and music, through suggesting places to park and taking over highway driving. A cloud-based driver profile will support being remotely loaded into any Audi vehicle with PIA, so the car will automatically “know” its driver before they’re even behind the wheel. Down the line, however, Audi has even greater ambitions. The Audi Aicon is the automaker’s vision of a fully-autonomous, Level 5 luxury sedan, a four-door 2+2 focusing on how both exterior and interior designs will evolve when actual driving is less important. The cabin, therefore has no steering wheel or pedals, offering instead a “first-class airline” experience; at almost 18 feet long and almost 7 feet wide, it sacrifices none of the road presence of a traditional luxury car. That, Audi says, is key to Aicon’s raison d’être. Unlike an anonymous robot taxi, it wears its aspirations on its metaphorical sleeves. Wheel arch flares highlight the quattro all-wheel drive, wrapping around huge 26-inch wheels that are pushed to the corners to maximize interior space. Rather than regular lights, it uses fully-digital matrices of triangular pixel segments front and rear, which can be used to display animations and graphics to communicate the car’s intentions to other road-users. More information can be projected onto the ground around the car. Climb in through the wide-opening doors which lack a B-pillar, and there are two front seats that can slide and rotate, along with a two-seat bench in the rear. Audi says it was aiming for a lounge chair feeling, making the cabin feel less like that of a car and more akin to a salon. 23.3 cubic feet of trunk space is split between the front and rear of the Aicon.This isn’t the concept car for the keen driver. Instead of traditional controls there are touch surfaces to handle destination and cabin settings; PIA pulls individual preferences from the occupants’ accounts automatically. Eye-tracking identifies what a passenger wants to adjust, with touch or voice control taking care of the specifics. The lighting is all OLED, and you can even do away with the view from the windows altogether, replacing them with a digital overlay to show movies, work, or social media. Unlike the 2019 A8 or even the Elaine, the Aicon makes a few extra assumptions about what future roads will be like. Car-to-Car and Car-to-X communications will be a big part of that, with the streets filled with predominantly autonomous vehicles. Controlled by smart, always-aware AIs, such cars will be able to travel at sustained 80mph rates to minimize delays between cities. It’ll be so safe, indeed, that Audi predicts that seat belts simply won’t be required. Under the skin, there’ll be an electric motor for each wheel delivering 260 kW of power and over 405 lb-ft. of torque. Audi envisages range of around 500 miles on a charge, thanks to an 800 volt, solid body battery with capacity much in excess of today’s li-ion cells. It’ll charge either through wired or inductive means, including at the same AI Zones that Audi outlined for the Elaine. Practical? Today, certainly not; there are plenty of obstacles to overcome before something like the Aicon would be anywhere close to achievable. However, as an indication of where Audi sees its car design progressing it’s a good insight into the automaker’s future intentions. It also underscores one important element: self-driving cars may be tightly connected with electrification and shared usage, but Audi still sees individuality as being a huge aspect of the automotive experience. By integrating Audio’s new zFAS controller, the basis of the A8’s semi-autonomous system, the Elaine expands AI traffic jam pilot from the 37 mph top limit of the upcoming production car to up to 80.8 mph. That’ll allow for complete self-driving on the highway, including automatic lane-changing. However, where the A8 demands someone be behind the wheel, Audi has been thinking of ways to do away with the driver altogether when Elaine reaches its destination. Unlike the Audi AI traffic jam pilot that will be offered on that luxury sedan from 2018, Audi intends to – in certain conditions – allow for Elaine to drive itself with or without a driver behind the wheel. Physically based on the Audi e-tron Sportback design study that the automaker unveiled at the Shanghai Auto Show earlier this year, Elaine adds animated LED lighting on the exterior to communicate its autonomous activities to other road-users. Under the sheet metal, there’s a single electric motor on the front axle and two on the rear, for 320 kilowatts of full quattro all-wheel drive. Though they may have been revealed at the same time, Elaine and Aicon envisage very different timescales for when their technologies might be practical. The Audi Elaine, for instance, is an all-electric “SUV coupe” that the automaker sees as being possible “in a few short years.” It takes autonomous driving to a level above the 2019 Audi A8’s Level 3 automated driving.
“They will be aware of people and other vehicles operating in the vicinity, extend the operator’s ability to sense potential perils and opportunities, and provide real time mapping and traffic data that contributes to improving the design of transportation infrastructures in cities,” Vespa says of both Gita and, eventually, the upgraded Elettrica. They’ll also offer features like keyless access and V2V communications. It’s not all good news today, mind. Sales will kick off from the end of October, Vespa says, though only in Europe initially. The US and Asia will have to be patient: it’ll be early 2019 before the e-scooter goes international. Pricing, too, will be confirmed closer to release, though Vespa says to expect something that will be “in line with the high-end bracket of the Vespa range presently being marketed.” That could mean anything from $6k upwards. Vespa’s hotly-anticipated electric scooter, the Vespa Elettrica, will go into production in September, the Italian company has confirmed today. Revealed in late 2016, the Elettrica borrowed the retro styling of the classic Vespa scooters, but replaced the puttering gas engine with a thoroughly more modern version. Range, meanwhile, is said to be around 62 miles from the lithium-ion battery. A cable stored in the seat compartment is used to recharge that; on a 220V outlet, you’re looking at around four hours to fully charge the battery. A second, hybrid version – the Elettrica X – promises a gas/electric combination that could be used as a range extender when an outlet isn’t available, though Vespa isn’t giving more details on that yet. What we do know is that Vespa is counting on the Elettrica’s electric perkiness to woo scooter owners into giving EV drive a chance. Acceleration will be noticeably improved over gasoline models, the company has said. It’ll be quieter, too, and cleaner. Between the handlebars there’s a new Vespa Multimedia Platform, with a color display and smartphone connectivity. Down the line, though, the company has even more ambitious plans. The Elettrica will be the first of its scooters to be outfitted with technology previewed in Vespa Gita, the unusual autonomous luggage robot that is still apparently on track to enter production in early 2019. The specifications of that electric drivetrain were confirmed the following year, with Vespa promising better performance from a 50cc gasoline scooter. The power unit the company picked delivers a continuous 2 kW, with peaks of 4 kW for the bursts of speed needed to dash around busy urban environments.
Harley has been teasing an electric motorcycle for some years now, and for good reason. Whether it’s Millennials or just the fact that the market for high-ticket, big-engined bikes for long-distance cruising has shrunk, the market for the company’s current models has been struggling. Enter the Harley-Davidson LiveWire, then, and though purists may be horrified, there’s actually a lot to like. For a start, it’ll be fast. Very fast indeed. Just as electric cars typically wow with how they deliver an instant rush of torque, so the LiveWire’s power from its H-D Revelation electric powertrain will arrive at 100-percent as soon as you twist the throttle. The result is 0-60 mph in under 3.5 seconds, not to mention an easier drive experience too. Since there’s no gearbox or clutch, you just turn the throttle and go. Regenerative braking will top off the battery as you slow down. AdChoices广告That’s important, as electric motorcycles can’t carry as much power as their four-wheeled brethren. Harley-Davidson suggests riders will see an estimated 110 miles of “urban roads” on a full charge of the Panasonic battery pack. . The H-D Revelation drivetrain itself is low down in the chassis, for better handling and an easier motorcycle to balance when stopped. Anti-lock braking – enhanced for cornering – and traction control will be standard, as will H-D Connect. That allows the LiveWire to communicate, via an embedded 4G LTE connection, with a new app. In that app, there’ll be a display of charge status and an easy way to locate the nearest charger. There’ll also be tamper alerts and location tracking, in case someone tries to move the bike or unplug it, along with service reminders and other notifications. It’ll be supported in more than 50 countries.The two biggest questions, of course, are around sound and price. On the former, while it won’t have the traditional Harley-Davidson engine sound, it’ll deliver what the company describes as “a new signature Harley-Davidson sound as it accelerates and gains speed” which “represents the smooth, electric power of the LiveWire motorcycle.” An electric Harley-Davidson might sound like blasphemy, but the iconic motorcycle-maker is embracing the EV future with the new LiveWire. Now opening up for preorders as of CES 2019 today, the electric motorbike has finally had a price tag attached, though the size of it might make you wince. Story TimelineHarley-Davidson Project LiveWire electric motorcycle revealedHarley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle has no clutch and no Harley rumble It won’t be the last, either. Harley-Davidson says that the LiveWire will be the first of a new electric portfolio of motorcycles, each capitalizing on what makes EV bikes so persuasive. For now, preorders of the LiveWire have opened up at US Harley-Davidson dealerships. It’s priced from $29,799, and deliveries are expected to begin this fall.
For more news on high drug costs, check out our weekly feature, Prescription Drug Watch, which includes coverage and perspectives of the issue. New Hampshire Public Radio: Prescription Drug Costs Still Rising In New Hampshire More than a dozen Senate Democrats are urging President-elect Donald Trump to work with Congress and follow through on his campaign pledge to lower prescription drug prices. “The American public is fed up, with roughly 8-in-10 Americans reporting that drug prices are unreasonable, and that we must take action to lower costs,” the lawmakers wrote Trump on Tuesday in a letter that was spearheaded by Ohio’s Sherrod Brown and Al Franken of Minnesota. (Silverman, 12/20) Reuters: Democrats Seek Trump’s Cooperation On Drug Price Reform Stat: Senate Democrats Urge Trump To Work With Them On Drug Prices On the heels of headline-grabbing price spikes on prescription drugs, a bipartisan Senate report on Wednesday will call on Congress to take action to prevent huge, unjustified cost increases on decades-old prescription medicines that have no competition. The Senate Special Committee on Aging, reporting the results of a yearlong investigation, said that some drug companies behaved like hedge funds because of the influence of “activist investors.” These companies, the committee said, have developed a “business model that harms patients, taxpayers and the U.S. health care system.” (Pear, 12/21) Prescription drugs costs are climbing faster than most other categories of health spending in New Hampshire, according to a new report by the state insurance department. The report found pharmacies collected one in five dollars spent on healthcare in the state in 2015 – that’s up over prior years. (Rodolico, 12/20) The New York Times: Senate Aims To Stop Firms From ‘Buying Up Drugs And Jacking Up Prices’ A new “war on drugs” is necessary to combat West Virginia’s opioid crisis, Sen. Joe Manchin said Tuesday. The West Virginia Democrat’s phrasing was a throwback to a highly criticized Nixon-era program of the same name. “We need to declare a war on drugs,” Manchin said on CNN Tuesday when asked what President-elect Donald Trump should do about the opioid situation. (Hellmann, 12/20) A group of Democratic senators took their plans to tackle rising drug costs to President-elect Donald Trump on Tuesday, asking him to work with them and Republicans on the issue. In a letter dated Tuesday, the 19 senators named five areas for cooperation: allowing the Medicare program to negotiate prescription prices, increasing transparency, stopping abusive pricing, passing reform on incentives for innovation and supporting generic competition for branded drugs. (Humer, 12/20) Morning Consult: Democratic Senators Propose Ways Trump Could Lower Drug Costs Senate Dems Urge Trump To Work With Congress To Lower Drug Prices Sens. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Al Franken, D-Minn., along with 17 others Democrats and two independents, send Donald Trump a letter reminding him of his campaign promise to address spiking costs. The Hill: Dem Senator Calls For ‘War On Drugs’ Senate Democrats aren’t going to quietly let President-elect Donald Trump forget his campaign promises regarding drug prices. Led by Sens. Sherrod Brown (Ohio) and Al Franken (Minn.), 17 Democrats and two independents on Tuesday sent a letter to Trump outlining ways the two sides could collaborate to lower drug costs: allowing the secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate drug prices; increasing price transparency; stopping abusive pricing; incentivizing innovation; and ensuring competition. (McIntire, 12/20) This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
Democrats pounced on the report’s findings. “As bad as TrumpCare already was, the Manager’s Amendment is crueler to Medicaid recipients, while handing billions more to the richest Americans,” said Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi in a statement. “Apparently they still do not have the votes to pass the bill, and are working to make it even worse. The Speaker calls the bill ‘an act of mercy.’ TrumpCare is a moral monstrosity. It’s time to pull the plug.” (Mershon and Williams, 3/23) The Washington Post: CBO: Latest House GOP Health-Care Bill Would Mean As Many Uninsured By 2026 “Have you read the bill? Have you read the reconciliation bill? Have you read the manager’s amendment? Hell no, you haven’t!” That was then-House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) in 2010 in the heat of the debate over ObamaCare. Seven years later, Democrats could easily turn those words around on Republicans for the strategy they’re using to repeal and replace the same law Boehner railed against. House Republicans are moving forward with a vote Friday on their ObamaCare replacement bill even after making significant changes the night before, and without a Congressional Budget Office analysis of those changes. (Marcos and Sullivan, 3/23) According to the CBO’s projections, a set of amendments that House GOP leaders agreed to support Monday night would cut the federal deficit by $150 billion between 2017 and 2026. The original version of the American Health Care Act, as the bill is called, would have curbed the deficit by an estimated $337 billion in that period. The changes would have less impact on savings because they would make it easier for Americans to deduct the cost of medical care from their income taxes and would accelerate by a year the repeal of several taxes that help pay for the ACA, including taxes on insurers, hospitals, high-income adults and tanning beds. (Goldstein, 3/23) The Hill: CBO Releases New Score For ObamaCare Repeal Bill Modern Healthcare: New CBO Score Could Further Sink Revised Obamacare Repeal Bill CBO Score For Revised House Health Bill Still Finds Big Coverage Loss But The Costs Grow The changes made by Republicans leaders did not alter the original forecast of 24 million Americans losing their insurance. But the Congressional Budget Office said although the new plan would still reduce the deficit, it would cost $186 billion more over 10 years than the earlier legislation. GOP leaders had pledged that they would wait for the CBO’s new score before holding a floor vote on the legislation. That vote could happen as early as Friday. The CBO’s score, however, does not reflect last-minute changes that could be made to win over conservatives, including repeal of ObamaCare’s minimum coverage requirements. That change would be significant, but it is possible House Republicans could bring up the vote without that revised score. (Sullivan, 3/23) Roll Call: New CBO Estimate Does Little To Woo Critics The Washington Post: This Is The Problem With Delaying A Vote On Republicans’ Health-Care Bill Politico: CBO: Revisions To GOP Health Plan Add To Deficit Without Improving Coverage The New York Times: C.B.O. Update: Health Bill Amendments Will Cost More But Not Insure More The estimated cost of premiums would also be about the same. CBO has predicted that the average premium for an individual plan would jump between 15 and 20 percent over the next two years. By 2026, premiums would be 10 percent lower than they would have been under current law. (Ferris, 3/23) This CBO score is one of the reasons Republicans’ last-minute delay on a planned Thursday vote on the bill is so damaging for their already slim chances of getting something passed: It gives every side opposed to this bill — and there are many — more time to digest what they hate most about it. (Phillips, 3/23) A revised version of the Republican health care bill being considered by Congress would leave 24 million more Americans uninsured by 2026, like the original bill, but would reduce the deficit by half as much, according to a new report by the Congressional Budget Office. (Davis, Popovich and Patel, 3/23) The Hill: GOP Rushes To Vote Without Knowing Full Impact Of Healthcare Plan Federal Medicaid spending reductions would dip from $880 billion over 10 years in the original version of the proposed American Health Care Act to $839 billion. … The CBO did not score a provision that House Republicans reportedly want the Senate to insert in the bill to boost coverage among people aged 50 to 64. It would establish a “reserve fund” of about $90 billion for tax credits to help Americans in that age group, whom the CBO said would suffer big coverage losses under the AHCA because the new tax credits would not be nearly as generous as the ACA’s. (Meyer, 3/23) This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.