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Mashable

‘Bake Off’ brought us the biggest laugh of 2020 and we really, really needed that

It was Freddie Mercury’s fondant icing chin that sent me over the edge.  That and David Bowie’s cake bust, which looked more like a cross between Andrew Lloyd Webber and Ronald McDonald. The first episode of the 11th series of the Great British Bake Off, which aired on Tuesday, sent me into a spiral of uncontrollable laughter, the likes of which I haven’t experienced since before the pandemic.  So, what was so funny, you might well be wondering? Well, where do I begin?  Let’s start with the technical challenge, when the contestants were asked to make pineapple upside-down cakes. Disaster struck when the challenge was over and the bakers began placing their finished cakes on the judging table. Sura was gesticulating wildly in a bid to waft away a fly when Dave was about to set down his bakes. Next thing you know, most of Dave’s pineapple cakes had been swiped off the plate, plopping to the ground and landing cream-side down. Brings a new meaning to upside-down cakes, really.  I think I speak for the entire nation when I say, I screamed a mixture of “nooooooooo!” followed by nervous, incredulous shrieks of laughter. To add insult to Dave’s upside-down cake injury, Sura only went and bloody came first in the technical challenge — leaving him in 9th place. I’d be fuming.  A Bake Off disaster of this kind, whereby one contestant royally fluffs up another’s bake accidentally, hasn’t been seen since Iain’s Baked Alaska meltdown in Season 1. Back…Continue reading‘Bake Off’ brought us the biggest laugh of 2020 and we really, really needed that

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The Verge

Tesla Battery Day: biggest announcements

At Tesla’s Battery Day event, CEO Elon Musk made some big announcements: the company’s moves toward eliminating cobalt in its batteries, a new Plaid powertrain for the Model S that could get to speeds of 200 mph, and a new cathode plant to streamline its battery production. And, with the new battery technology, Musk has said Tesla will make a $25,000 car. The socially-distanced outdoor event had Musk and other presenters addressing Tesla shareholders in parked cars, who honked their horns to indicate their approval of the speakers’ remarks— almost like a drive-in movie/shareholders meeting. Here are the main takeaways from Tesla’s 2020 battery day: Tesla plans to manufacture its own “tabless” batteries, which will improve its vehicles’ range and power. The new batteries will be produced in-house, which Musk says will reduce costs and bring the sale price of Tesla electric cars closer to gasoline-powered cars. It’s expected to lower Tesla’s cost per kilowatt hour, a key metric used to measure electric vehicles’ battery packs. The tabless cells (Tesla is removing the tab that connects the cell and what it’s powering), which Tesla is calling the 4860 cells, will make its batteries six times more powerful and increase range by 16 percent. Tesla currently sources its batteries from Panasonic, and is likely to keep doing so for some time, but moving battery production in house has been on Musk’s to-do list for some time; in 2018 a shortage of those cells added to production delays. Musk has said the…Continue readingTesla Battery Day: biggest announcements

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Tech Radar

These ‘smart’ home devices could be the biggest security threat to your entire company

So-called ‘smart’ devices could be posing a major security risk to not just your home network, but to that of your business too, experts have warned. The huge rise in Internet of Things (IoT) devices in recent years has greatly widened the threat attack landscape for criminals to target, with devices from smart fridges, thermostats and even toys being released to the public with insufficient security protection. Now these devices are appearing more frequently in homes and offices around the world, they are beginning to pose serious questions concerning potential security access to corporate networks. IoT threat A report by Palo Alto Networks surveying business leaders around the world found a rise in the number of IoT devices connecting to business networks over the last year, including connected trash cans, light bulbs and hand sanitizer stations. Overall, nearly half (41%) of those polled said they need to make a lot of improvements to the way they approach IoT security, and 17% said that a complete overhaul is needed. Nearly 1 in 4 of those surveyed at larger organizations reported that they have not segmented IoT devices onto separate networks, and only one in five (21%) claimed to follow best practices of using microsegmentation to contain IoT devices in their own tightly controlled security zones. (Image credit: Pixabay) Palo Alto says that its research shows there’s a need to do more in order to close the gap in IoT security strategy, with billions of IoT devices expected to be activated in…Continue readingThese ‘smart’ home devices could be the biggest security threat to your entire company

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The Verge

Confirmed: The PS5 is the biggest game console in modern history

When internet detectives revealed the PlayStation 5 was going to be huge, we were extremely amused — but even their fancy Photoshops couldn’t completely prepare us for how enormous the PS5 truly is. Roughly half an hour after Sony finally revealed the next-gen console’s price and release date ($399 or $499, November 12th) the company released a full spec sheet that includes the console’s dimensions. And it’s a monster. Quick, what’s the biggest console ever made? Did you say the original 2001 Xbox, or the VCR-sized original Xbox One? Perhaps the 60GB PS3, affectionately dubbed the “Phat”? Wrong. The PS5 is bigger than all of them. According to Sony, the PS5 is approximately 390mm (15.4 inches) tall, 260mm (10.24 inches) deep and 104mm (4.09 inches) wide, making it the single biggest game console you’ve probably ever heard of. The model without the disc drive? Same story, just 12 millimeters slimmer. I plugged the numbers into CompareSizes.com to see how it stacks up to consoles that we’ve previously ridiculed for being absolute chonks: From left to right: PS3 60GB, Xbox, Xbox One, PS5 Digital Edition, PS5Visualization: CompareSizes There’s barely a comparison. The PS5 is so much bigger, you can’t even argue the 3D perspective throws off its actual size. I’m pretty sure you’d need to go back to the days of game machines with built-in CRT televisions, or computers like the Commodore 64, to get much bigger. And boy oh boy is this box bigger than the new Xbox Series X…Continue readingConfirmed: The PS5 is the biggest game console in modern history

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Tech Radar

MIUI 12 update: the best features and biggest changes

Xiaomi’s MIUI is one of the most popular Android skins out there in the market. In India itself, Xiaomi boasts of over 80 million MIUI users and around the globe, the number is close to 500 million. Even before it’s smartphones became household recommendations, for geeks like us, it served as ROM that could be flashed on to our smartphones. MIUI is one of the most popular and feature-packed skins for Android. A few months back, the company announced MIUI 12 globally. Recently, it started rolling out to a bunch of Xiaomi phones in India, including Redmi phones and Poco devices. After testing it for a few weeks, here’s our review of the latest version of MIUI 12 on the Mi 10. MIUI 12 brings several changes to the system which includes a host of new features, a visual overhaul, battery improvements, optimizations, and much more. Here are the top features that you need to know about.  User interface and animations Let’s start with the most obvious one: the user interface. Firstly, there is an app drawer. This means you don’t need to swipe endlessly on the home screen to access the app you need. You can just swipe up from the home screen, which will bring you all the installed apps at one go. Xiaomi has smartly added categories in the app drawer too.  Once you swipe up you get nine categories on top – All apps, Communication, Entertainment, Photography, Tools, News & Reading, Shopping, Finance & Business, and…Continue readingMIUI 12 update: the best features and biggest changes

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Tech Radar

Tour de France 2020: How NTT is helping solve the biggest challenges ever

The sporting world has been decimated by the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, with events across nearly all sports postponed, delayed or cancelled outright.  Professional cycling, which typically dominates the European summer calendar, was particularly hit hard, with the three grand tours of France, Italy and Spain all postponed from their midsummer heyday as a solution was found. With the 107th Tour de France finally underway, race organisers Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) faced a challenge unlike no other, as the hundreds of thousands of fans that line the route each year are a huge part of the event itself. With many obeying orders to stay away, the challenge now became how to keep the race as accessible and interactive as possible. Race Center 2.0 NTT Data has enjoyed a fruitful relationship as the official Tour de France technology partner with the ASO – as well as being the sponsor of one of the sport’s most successful pro cycling teams. The bulk of NTT’s work can be found on the ASO’s official Race Center website, which the company says has been completely redeveloped this year. The hub provides live updates and coverage on each stage of the Tour de France, giving fans a variety of tools concerning the unfolding day’s events. The company describes this as a virtual “global stadium” that will let fans all around the world get more in-depth information on their favourite riders, as well as exciting features such as stage win predictions and even a “Tour de France…Continue readingTour de France 2020: How NTT is helping solve the biggest challenges ever

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VentureBeat

Niko Partners: 75% of China’s 720 million gamers live outside the biggest cities

Seventy-five percent of China’s 720 million gamers live outside the biggest cities, according to a new study by market researcher Niko Partners. Niko found that the 720 million figure is roughly 51.3% of China’s total population, a new milestone that shows how quickly China’s game audience has grown. That is up from 48.9% in 2019, 40.5% in 2016, and 29.7% in 2014. By comparison, 65% of the U.S. population plays games. The rapid industrialization and modernization of China has happened more obviously in the big cities, but the smaller cities are big by Western standards and they’re a huge source of gamers these days. Another interesting fact is 48% of gamers in China are female, Niko said. And of people ages 18 to 35 years old, more than 90% are gamers. These stats suggest that China has changed so rapidly that it won’t be long before it catches up with the demographics of gamers in the U.S. Niko forecasts that China will rise to 772 million gamers in 2024 — or more than twice the U.S. population. The report aims to shine a light on gamers throughout China, not just the major cities and is Niko’s first report with a detailed analysis of gamer behavior and spending by geography, gender, and platform. Cities in China are separated into five tiers. Game companies should acquire users in smaller cities because 70% of game revenue comes from tier three to tier five cities. Gamers in China spend more time playing games than…Continue readingNiko Partners: 75% of China’s 720 million gamers live outside the biggest cities

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Tech Radar

Dune trailer offers a first look at 2020’s biggest movie – and sandworms

After teasing a full Dune trailer in front of Tenet last month, your first proper look at Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of Frank Herbert’s classic sci-fi novels is here. The director’s previous work includes Blade Runner 2049, Arrival and Sicario – and this looks like it might be his largest-scale project yet. Dune is scheduled to release in theaters around the world on December 18. It certainly features Villeneuve’s most star-studded cast yet. Timothée Chalamet stars as Paul Atreides in the film, along with Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Jason Momoa, Rebecca Ferguson, Zendaya and Javier Bardem, among others. Check out the Dune trailer below: This is the official synopsis for Dune, from distributor Warner Bros: “A mythic and emotionally charged hero’s journey, “Dune” tells the story of Paul Atreides, a brilliant and gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding, who must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people.  “As malevolent forces explode into conflict over the planet’s exclusive supply of the most precious resource in existence—a commodity capable of unlocking humanity’s greatest potential—only those who can conquer their fear will survive.” Even in a packed year for cinema, this would be a contender for best film of the year. We can’t wait to see it.  Dune could be the start of a universe A sequel movie is reportedly planned for Dune already, in addition to a TV series on HBO Max called Dune: The Sisterhood,…Continue readingDune trailer offers a first look at 2020’s biggest movie – and sandworms

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Tech Radar

How to watch Mulan: stream the biggest live-action movie of 2020 online today

Mulan is out now and available exclusively to Disney Plus subscribers, making for another reason to consider signing up for the streaming service. Disney Plus customers will find they’re able to purchase the eagerly anticipated Mulan live-action remake today under the platform’s all-new Premier Access banner – read on as we explain how to watch Mulan online and stream the movie with Disney Plus today. How to watch Mulan online Disney Plus is the exclusive home of Mulan and you’ll need a subscription to get started. Fortunately, Disney Plus plans cost just $6.99/£5.99 a month – after which you’ll be able to buy Mulan today, courtesy of its new Premier Access service. The 2020 Mulan live-action movie is a remake of the popular 1998 cartoon and has a Disney Plus release date of Friday, September 4 in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, much of the EU, and a number of other global markets. The new version version stars Liu Yifei as Mulan, Donnie Yen as Commander Tung, and Jet Li as the Emperor of China.  You’ll need to be a Disney Plus subscriber to watch Mulan as soon as it comes out, with the movie falling under the service’s new Premier Access banner – best thought of as a PPV-style offering that gives you early access to new Disney releases, of which Mulan is the first. It means that while Disney Plus is super-affordable at just $6.99/£5.99/AU$8.99 a month, Mulan will cost extra on top of that – $29.99/£19.99/AU$34.99 to…Continue readingHow to watch Mulan: stream the biggest live-action movie of 2020 online today

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TechCrunch

The week’s biggest IPO news had nothing to do with Monday’s S-1 deluge – TechCrunch

Welcome back to The TechCrunch Exchange, a weekly startups-and-markets newsletter. It’s broadly based on the daily column that appears on Extra Crunch, but free, and made for your weekend reading. (You can sign up for the newsletter here!) Ready? Let’s talk money, startups and spicy IPO rumors. The week’s biggest IPO news had nothing to do with Monday’s S-1 deluge During Monday’s IPO wave I was surprised to see Asana join the mix.  After news had broken in June that the company had raised hundreds of millions in convertible debt, I hadn’t guessed that the productivity unicorn wouldn’t give us an S-1 in the very next quarter. I was contentedly wrong. But the reason why Asana’s IPO is notable isn’t really much to do with the company itself, though do take the time to dig into its results and history.  What matters about Asana’s debut is that it appears set to test out a model that, until very recently, could have become the new, preferred way of going public amongst tech companies.  Here’s what I mean: Instead of filing to go public, and raising money in a traditional IPO, or simply listing directly, Asana executed two, large, convertible debt offerings pre-debut, thus allowing it to direct list with lots of cash without having raised endless equity capital while private. The method looked like a super-cool way to get around the IPO pricing issue that we’ve seen, and also provide a ramp to direct listing for companies that didn’t get showered…Continue readingThe week’s biggest IPO news had nothing to do with Monday’s S-1 deluge – TechCrunch