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Mashable

Amazon quietly announces major expansion to neighborhood surveillance networks

Blink and you’ve missed it.  Amazon, the powerhouse behind the Ring security camera network, is coming for your community. On Monday, the surveillance juggernaut announced a major expansion to its smart neighborhood effort dubbed Sidewalk. Notably, Amazon failed to highlight one crucial detailed specified in the accompanying white paper: If you already own one of 20 existing Amazon products, you’ll automatically be participating unless you actively opt out. Launching later this year (if all goes according to plan), Sidewalk “[extends] the low-bandwidth working range of [Amazon] devices, and help[s] devices stay online and up-to-date even if they are outside the range of home Wi-Fi.” In other words, Amazon’s line of surveillance tech (think Ring Floodlight Cams and Ring Spotlight Cams) will help connect itself — well past the reaches of a typical home’s WiFi.  “Customers with a Sidewalk gateway are able to contribute a small portion of their internet bandwidth,” explains the Sidewalk privacy and security white paper, “which is pooled together to create a network that benefits all Sidewalk-enabled devices in a community.” Contained within the white paper is that important fact: Many existing Amazon devices will automatically provide bandwidth for Amazon’s private network unless owners actively prevent them from doing so.  “When customers first turn on a new Sidewalk gateway device, they will be asked whether they want to join the network,” explains the white paper. “For customers with existing devices that are Sidewalk capable, an over-the-air (OTA) update will connect them to the network—no action is needed.”…Continue readingAmazon quietly announces major expansion to neighborhood surveillance networks

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Mashable

Elon Musk announces first Tesla-made battery to get to $25,000 EV

Tesla’s Battery Day finally happened Tuesday, drive-in movie theater style, with attendees sitting in parked Tesla cars. They were in the Fremont car factory lot facing a stage to hear about the next advancement in battery technology powering Elon Musk’s electric vehicles.  Drive-through Battery Day. Image: Tesla / screengrab  After the company’s annual shareholder meeting wrapped up, Battery Day kicked off with CEO Elon Musk and Tesla senior vice president Drew Baglino announcing the first ever Tesla-made battery. The news indicates a true anticipated tipping point for EVs to go mainstream and cost as much as—or less than—a gas-powered car. Having its own battery is integral to Tesla’s plan to produce way more than the expected 500,000 Tesla vehicles this year. Musk said he wants to eventually make 20 million vehicles a year.  But the real tipping point will be once Musk realizes his dream for the company: a $25,000 EV with respectable battery range and performance abilities. (The cheapest Tesla is the Model 3 at just under $38,000.) He expects an EV that’s truly accessible to the masses to happen in the next three years.  But to get there, Musk emphasized improving battery capacity, cost, and production. To get technical, it’s crucial to get battery cell production under $100 per kilowatt hour (kWh). As The Hustle reports, if Tesla can hit that price point with its own batteries, it undercuts internal-combustion engine (or ICE) cars’ current price advantage. During Musk’s presentation he showed how the new battery design will…Continue readingElon Musk announces first Tesla-made battery to get to $25,000 EV

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The Verge

Sony announces the Xperia 5 II with 120Hz screen and actually useful game enhancements

Sony is continuing its refresh of its smartphone line to focus on photography and video with the new Xperia 5 II. It’s the smaller sibling of the very tall and weirdly expensive Xperia 1 II, and this newer phone betters it in several regards. It’s cheaper, for one thing, going on sale on September 29th for $949. The other major improvement is that Sony has put in a high-refresh-rate 120Hz panel. Oddly, though, Sony says it’s not shipping until December 4th and even more oddly, it will have 5G but won’t work with the 5G networks in the US — just like the Xperia 1 II. The basic idea of the Xperia 5 II is that it’s a phone with a tall 21:9 screen, but it’s relatively small at 6.1-inches. That sounds big, but since it’s so tall it works out to only about 2.68 inches wide. It’s a much more pocketable phone than the Xperia 1 II. It features fairly standard flagship specs for 2020: a Snapdragon 865 processor, 4,000 mAh battery, and the aforementioned 120Hz refresh rate display. Sony is also sticking with dual front-facing stereo speakers and a traditional headphone jack, both of which are formally classified as endangered species now. Unfortunately, there’s no wireless charging. As for cameras, the Xperia 5 II has the now-standard three-camera array on the back. Sony’s focus on photography means that it prefers to label them with their 35mm focal length equivalents: 16mm, 24mm, and 70mm. Sony is claiming to be…Continue readingSony announces the Xperia 5 II with 120Hz screen and actually useful game enhancements

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The Next Web

Facebook announces the Oculus Quest 2, starting at $299

Facebook announced at today’s Connect AR/VR event that it’s releasing a new VR headset: specifically, an updated version of its Oculus Quest headset called the Quest 2. The Oculus Quest 2 is, like its predecessor, a standalone headset that can be connected with a PC via the Oculus link cable. It’s smaller and lighter, with redesigned, more ergonomic controllers. The internals are also getting an upgrade with a Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2, 6GB of RAM, and 1832 x 1920 pixels per eye, and the headset will support a 90Hz refresh rate. It also has a host of accessories, including custom earbuds and a stronger headstrap that comes with a battery pack. It’ll cost $299, much less than the original Quest, though that’s only for the 64GB model. The 256GB model will set you back $399. Read: Apple pisses off devs by launching iOS 14 with just a day’s notice Facebook appears, with this new headset, to be throwing every single resource it possesses at the notion that VR is inaccessible and prohibitively expensive. The fact that this headset is $100 cheaper than the Quest 1 is definitely a plus. Since Facebook intends to retire the Rift S and the original Quest, it appears it’s going all-in with the Quest as a more accessible, useful VR platform. That said, it’s also fully integrating it into Facebook — remember Oculus and Facebook accounts are now one and the same. As for what you can play on it, Facebook revealed it’s bringing new games to the Quest…Continue readingFacebook announces the Oculus Quest 2, starting at $299

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VentureBeat

Ubisoft announces Splinter Cell and Assassin’s Creed for Oculus VR

Splinter Cell is coming back! Although it’s not in the way you probably expected. Elizabeth Loverso, the vice president of product development at Ubisoft’s Red Storm Entertainment, joined today’s Facebook Connect event to reveal that the publisher is bringing two major franchises to VR: Splinter Cell and Assassin’s Creed. They will be exclusive to Oculus platforms. For Splinter Cell, this will be a revival of the stealth-action series that many fans have clamored for … although probably not as they had hoped. The franchise hasn’t had a proper installment since 2013’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist. Of course, to play this new game, you’re going to need to own an Oculus VR device. Assassin’s Creed, meanwhile, is a healthy franchise that still receives regular installments. It’s next game, Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, debuts November 10. Details on both games are sparse at the moment. Red Storm is leading development on both games with support from other Ubisoft studios. Ubisoft is investing heavily into VR. Last week, it announced Far Cry VR: Dive Into Insanity, which is bringing one of its biggest franchises to the location-based virtual reality realm. Ubisoft’s earlier VR efforts include Eagle Flight and and Star Trek: Bridge Crew. Source linkContinue readingUbisoft announces Splinter Cell and Assassin’s Creed for Oculus VR

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The Verge

Sony announces $1,799 A7C compact full-frame mirrorless camera

Sony has announced the A7C, a new camera that is by far the smallest model yet in its Alpha range of full-frame mirrorless cameras. The A7C looks more like one of Sony’s APS-C models like the A6400 than an A7, adopting a more compact body with the electronic viewfinder on the top left corner of the camera’s back panel, rangefinder-style. The A7C measures 124.0mm x 71.1mm x 59.7mm and weighs 509g. It has a 24.2-megapixel full-frame sensor with in-body image stabilization and a standard ISO range of up to 51,200. It can shoot up to 10fps with autoexposure, and it’s capable of 4K/30fps or 1080p/120fps video, both at up to 100Mbps. The body has USB-C, Wi-Fi, and a vari-angle 3-inch 921,000-dot LCD. Sony has developed a new kit lens designed to pair with the A7C; when used together, the company describes the combination as “the world’s smallest and lightest full-frame camera system.” (Sigma might take issue with that wording.) It’s a 28-60mm f4-5.6 zoom that’s just 45mm long when retracted. The A7C is priced at $1,799 body-only, which is $200 less than 2018’s A7 III, the camera that it’s technically closest to. But the A7 III is a couple of years old now and widely available at discounted prices, and it might be a better option for anyone who prioritizes viewfinder size or general ergonomics. As far as the competition goes, the A7C is going up directly against Panasonic’s new $1,999 Lumix S5, another compact 24-megapixel full-frame camera. But there…Continue readingSony announces $1,799 A7C compact full-frame mirrorless camera

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TechCrunch

Human Capital announces the winners of its Delta fellowship program – TechCrunch

Today, in the first interview of Disrupt 2020, Human Capital’s Baris Akis and investor Michael Ovitz announced the winners of its Delta Fellowship program. Human Capital launched in 2016 with a mission to become a talent agency for engineers in the same way that CAA, founded by Michael Ovitz, was a talent agency for entertainers. Human Capital helps engineers find great positions at great companies, and fosters their careers well beyond that, including helping them switch jobs, ask for raises and promotions, and more. Human Capital also has an investment arm that seeds these same entrepreneurs with funding when they’re ready to start on their own project. The fellowship program is an extension of Human Capital’s commitment to people over metrics, explained Michael Ovitz, who invested in the company earlier this year. Sixteen fellows were selected from more than 1,300 applications across 20 countries and more than 200 universities. Interestingly, the Delta fellowship application process did not include a request for a business proposal, but rather evaluated the people themselves. “We’re here to partner with founders,” said Akis. “We get to know the people behind the ideas. We consider ideas in the context of the people driving them.” Delta Fellows include: ● Abu Qader, a Cornell junior who developed a low-cost mammography tumor detection platform after seeing the challenges of healthcare firsthand in Afghanistan as a teenager● Katie Mishra, a Stanford junior who published three books by the time she was 16 and started a nonprofit to teach middle schoolers…Continue readingHuman Capital announces the winners of its Delta fellowship program – TechCrunch

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The Verge

ZTE announces world’s first phone with an under-display selfie camera

After teasing for a while, ZTE has followed through on its promise to launch the world’s first commercial smartphone with a selfie camera embedded in the display. The Axon 20 5G turns out to be a fairly mid-range device, aside from its headline feature. ZTE says the under-display 32-megapixel camera has been made possible due to the use of “high transparency material that includes new organic and inorganic films” as well as optimized software algorithms to offset the impact on image quality. Of course, it’s hard to judge this without seeing the phone in person and testing the camera in practice. It’s also questionable how much value the feature offers over a hole-punch, a pop-up, or even a notch. But we’ll see. The phone is based around a Snapdragon 765G processor, which is likely what allows it to be just 7.98mm thick while including 5G connectivity and a 4,220mAh battery. The screen is a 6.92-inch OLED with an in-display fingerprint sensor. The rear camera array includes a 64-megapixel primary sensor and 8-megapixel ultrawide with 2-megapixel depth and macro sensors. There are options for 6 or 8GB of RAM and 128GB or 256GB of storage, and there’s a microSD card slot. The Axon 20 5G is available to order in China right now starting at 2,198 yuan (~$320). There’s no word yet on a possible release elsewhere. Source linkContinue readingZTE announces world’s first phone with an under-display selfie camera

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The Verge

Nvidia announces is new RTX 3080 GPU, priced at $699 and launching September 17th

Nvidia is unveiling its new GeForce RTX 3000 series graphics cards today. Nvidia has been teasing these new cards for weeks, and there have also been plenty of leaks before the RTX 3080 was made official today. Based on Nvidia’s new Ampere architecture, the RTX 3080 is designed to succeed the RTX 2080 and 2080 Ti cards with improved performance and ray-tracing support. Nvidia is promising big performance with the RTX 3080, up to two times that of the RTX 2080, and faster than even Nvidia’s RTX 2080 Ti card. The card will ship with 10GB of G6X memory, and will be priced at $699 when it ships on September 17th. At the heart of this new GPU is an updated thermal design. Nvidia has created a new pennant-shaped board for its RTX 3080, combined with a new cooling shroud. The new cooling solution is designed to improve airflow and overcome some of the constraints of the cooling solutions that exist on the RTX 2080 today. It includes a dual fan setup that is designed to improve airflow by more than 55 percent, with promises of much quieter and more efficient cooling. Nvidia is using a bracket exhausting front fan, with a flow through rear fan. Nvidia is using a new 12-pin connector on its RTX 3000 cards, which is smaller than using two traditional eight-pin connectors. The company will include an adapter that’s compatible with eight-pin cables with its Founders Edition cards. Nvidia has picked a 12-pin connector to…Continue readingNvidia announces is new RTX 3080 GPU, priced at $699 and launching September 17th

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The Verge

US announces $1 billion research push for AI and quantum computing

The US government is announcing $1 billion in new funding for multidisciplinary AI and quantum computing research hubs today, according to multiple reports. A total of 12 hubs will be funded, each embedded within different agencies of the federal government. Their work will span a diverse range of topics, from using machine learning for atmospheric and ocean science, to speeding up high-energy physics simulations with quantum systems. The investment is part of a slow push from the White House to fund emerging technologies. Many policy advisors have worried that America is falling behind in AI and quantum research compared to rivals like China, and warn that these technologies are instrumental not only for economic development but also national security. Comparing spending on AI and quantum research is difficult It’s extremely difficult to make a fair comparison of US and Chinese spend on technology like AI as funding and research in this area is diffuse. Although China announced ambitious plans to become the world leader in AI by 2030, America still outspends the country in military funding (which increasingly includes AI research), while US tech companies like Google and Microsoft remain world leaders in artificial intelligence. The Trump administration will likely present today’s news as a counterbalance to its dismal reputation for supporting scientific research. For four years in a row, government budgets have proposed broad cuts for federal research, including work in pressing subjects like climate change. Only the fields of artificial intelligence and quantum computing, with their overt links…Continue readingUS announces $1 billion research push for AI and quantum computing