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07-08-2020 Politics
Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro gets coronavirus after months of downplaying the pandemic

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has tested positive for the coronavirus, after months of downplaying it as nothing more than a “little flu.” Bolsonaro confirmed his diagnosis Tuesday to reporters, saying he felt “fine.” The president reportedly got tested Monday after exhibiting symptoms, including a fever and tiredness. He told supporters Monday that he went to the hospital, and that his lungs were “clean.” Bolsonaro’s announcement comes as Brazil is struggling to contain the pandemic. The country has confirmed more than 1.6 million cases of coronavirus and recorded over 65,000 deaths. It is second only to the United States in both number of confirmed cases and fatalities, though those figures are also likely an undercount. Bolsonaro’s critics say his cavalier attitude toward the pandemic has undercut attempts to control the virus and stymied any chance at a coordinated federal response, worsening the crisis in Brazil. From the start, Bolsonaro has dismissed the illness as a “measly cold” and scoffed at social distancing measures intended to slow its spread, proclaiming in late March that “we’ll all die one day.” He’s opposed state governors’ decisions to impose lockdown measures, attended anti-lockdown protests, met with supporters without wearing a mask, and pushed for businesses to reopen despite the growing outbreak. He’s endorsed the use of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, the controversial antimalarial drugs, though there’s little good evidence they are effective in treating Covid-19. (Bolsonaro has also said he’s taking hydroxychloroquine now.) Bolsonaro joins a handful of world leaders who’ve come down with the coronavirus, including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández. The Brazilian president, who is 65, has undergone at least four tests for the coronavirus, including in March after members of his inner circle tested positive following a visit with US President Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago. Whether this confirmed positive result changes how Bolsonaro approaches the pandemic, and the unfolding catastrophe in Brazil, is the “$1 million question,” Valentina Sader, assistant director at the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center, told me. “The political outcome of this depends on how well he’s going to be with this disease,” Sader said. “So it’s 100 percent related to that.” ...

Read Original Article     ON:   Vox

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07-08-2020 Science&Technology
iOS 14 might let you scan QR codes to use Apple Pay

Apple’s upcoming iOS 14 update might let you pay for items by scanning QR codes that activate Apple Pay, giving you another way to use the company’s digital payment platform. 9to5Mac found references to the as-yet unannounced feature in the newest iOS 14 developer beta released earlier today. 9to5Mac said it wasn’t able to get the feature to work, though, but it did find an image that appears to be instructing the user about how to use the new feature. And 9to5Mac says it found the code for the feature in a public system API, which may indicate third-party apps could also let you scan QR codes to make purchases using Apple Pay. iOS 14 is still only available as a developer beta, and Apple regularly tweaks and changes features in its upcoming software right up until it’s released to the public. That means this feature, which hasn’t been announced and which we currently only know about because 9to5Mac went digging through iOS 14 code, may not actually see the light of day with the final release later this year. If you want to learn more about what’s officially planned for iOS 14, check out my colleague Dieter Bohn’s impressions of the first beta version of the new update.

Read Original Article     ON:   The Verge

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07-08-2020 Science&Technology
Samsung will unveil Note 20, Galaxy Z Fold 2 on Aug. 5 in virtual Unpacked

It's official. Samsung will unveil its newest mobile devices -- likely the Note 20, Galaxy Z Fold 2 and a 5G version of the Galaxy Z Flip -- during a virtual Unpacked event on Aug. 5. The company on Tuesday said it will host a live, digital event at 10 a.m. ET/7 a.m. PT at www.samsung.com. The plan follows similar moves by companies like Apple, which have shifted their events online during the novel coronavirus pandemic. Samsung is expected to show off its second-generation Galaxy Fold, which expands from a phone into a tablet. The company delayed the launch of its first fold, which started at $1,980, by five months from April 2019 to September of that year after some reporters found screen defects in their review units. This year, it's expected to launch round two with what what could be called the Galaxy Fold 2 or Galaxy Z Fold 2. The new device would build on what Samsung learned from last year's disaster and February's Galaxy Z Flip, which is more like a clamshell smartphone that fold into a compact package. Notable updates to the Fold could include a glass display instead of plastic and a bigger internal screen. Some rumors even suggest it will come with an S Pen stylus, and others say Samsung will introduce a cheaper Fold E or Fold Lite alongside the pricier Fold 2. And Samsung may even introduce a 5G version of its Z Flip foldable. The first version, which hit the market in mid-February, only ran on 4G networks. Along with the new foldables, Samsung on Aug. 5 is expected to unveil its next Galaxy Note, likely called the Note 20. Instead of two models, like last year's Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10 Plus, Samsung could introduce three Note models this year, possibly named the Note 20, Note 20 Plus and Note 20 Ultra. The latter device could have two curved screens, whisper-thin bezels to free up maximum screen space and a slightly thinner body overall compared with the Galaxy Note 10 Plus. All models are likely to come with 5G connectivity. It's a tough time for companies to introduce phones. 2020 was supposed to be a strong year for the phone industry, as innovations like 5G and foldable screens got people shopping again. Instead, financial struggles and worries about COVID-19 will limit the number of devices companies can make and how many phones people will actually buy. Even once the worst of the pandemic is behind the US and other markets, the global economy will likely continue to struggle. ...

Read Original Article     ON:   Cnet

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07-08-2020 Science&Technology
Activists vow to widen Facebook ad boycott after Zuckerberg meeting

An ad boycott against Facebook is threatening to get wider after a meeting over hate speech between Mark Zuckerberg and civil-rights groups fizzled. The social network’s 36-year-old chief executive, along with his top lieutenant Sheryl Sandberg, met on Zoom Tuesday with the organizers of the monthlong boycott — which has attracted more than 400 advertisers including Starbucks, Coca-Cola and Microsoft — with hopes of showing them that Facebook was taking measures to clamp down on hate speech and misinformation. But by the end of the meeting, organizers — which include the Anti-Defamation League, the National Association for the Advancement for Colored People and Color of Change — were signaling plans to turn up the heat. “Instead of committing to a timeline to root out hate and disinformation on Facebook, the company’s leaders delivered the same old talking points to try to placate us without meeting our demands,” Free Press CEO Jessica J. Gonzalez said in a statement. Gonzalez — who said Zuckerberg hemmed and hawed over demands for a top executive with a civil-rights background and regular independent audits — added that the organizations “will continue to expand the boycott until Facebook takes our demands seriously,” saying that Zuckerberg and Sandberg “have much work to do to make Facebook a better place for everyone.” In a statement to The Post, a Facebook spokesperson called the meeting “an opportunity for us to hear from the campaign organizers and reaffirm our commitment to combating hate on our platform.” “They want Facebook to be free of hate speech and so do we,” the spokesperson said. “We know we will be judged by our actions not by our words and are grateful to these groups and many others for their continued engagement.” Earlier Tuesday, Sandberg had published a statement pledging that Facebook is going to implement unspecified recommendations from its recently-completed two-year civil rights audit, but insisted that the changes had nothing to do with the recent boycotts. Sandberg wrote that the changes are coming “not for financial reasons or advertiser pressure, but because it is the right thing to do.” Facebook finished the day up slightly, at $240.86.

Read Original Article     ON:   New York Post

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07-08-2020 Science&Technology
NASA and Boeing aim to redo Starliner spacecraft test later this year after investigating failures

NASA and Boeing are hoping to re-fly a key test of the company’s Starliner spacecraft later this year. A NASA investigation that concluded Tuesday found 80 recommended changes for Boeing to make to its spacecraft, after the aerospace company’s December spaceflight test failed due to multiple anomalies. “Today we’re turning the page from the investigation phase from [the flight test] into hardware development,” NASA Commercial Crew program manger Steve Stich told reporters. NASA and Boeing are targeting later this year to re-fly a key test of the company’s Starliner spacecraft, although the U.S. space agency emphasized on Tuesday that a launch date has not yet been chosen. A NASA investigation found 80 recommended changes for Boeing to make to its spacecraft, after the aerospace company’s December spaceflight test failed due to multiple anomalies. Starliner was supposed launch to the International Space Station, deliver cargo and return safely — in a key final test before flying people. But Starliner did not dock with the ISS after its autonomous flight-control system misfired shortly after the launch, putting Starliner in the wrong orbit. The spacecraft returned after about two days in orbit, safely landing as planned in the New Mexico desert. While Boeing was able to conduct tests of many parts of Starliner during the shortened flight, NASA declared the flight test a “close call,” saying that the spacecraft could have been lost twice during the mission. While NASA’s investigation into the failed flight test was unfinished at the time, Boeing in April said that it will re-do the uncrewed flight test. The company had previously set aside $410 million in case re-flying the test was required. NASA previously said that the investigation had found 61 “corrective actions” for Starliner. That number increased to 80 recommended corrections at the conclusion of NASA’s review on Tuesday. “Today we’re turning the page from the investigation phase from [the flight test] into hardware development” for the next flight, NASA Commercial Crew program manager Steve Stich told reporters. Boeing has been developing Starliner under NASA’s Commercial Crew program, with billions in funding going to Boeing and SpaceX to each develop spacecraft to replace the Space Shuttle program. Under Commercial Crew, NASA awarded SpaceX about $3.1 billion and Boeing about $4.8 billion over the past decade. SpaceX developed its Crew Dragon capsule, which launched astronauts for the first time in May, while Boeing developed its Starliner capsule. ...

Read Original Article     ON:   CNBC

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07-08-2020 Science&Technology
Apple’s Surprising MacBook Air Decision

With Apple paying a bit more attention to MacOS now that the transition to ARM is under way, details on the new Mac hardware are coming out, and there are some interesting moves coming up in the next year. Extensive details on the updated hardware plans come from J Glenn Kunzler at SonnyDickson.com, and focus on the benefits of ARM: “It’s like this: even at this early stage, Apple already knows with certainty that their existing A12Z chip (or a lightly tweaked modification thereof) works brilliantly as a Mac Mini. The first benchmarks we know of on their Developer Transition Kit already shows impressive performance, even running under Rosetta rather than natively on the machine.” July 7 update: The move to ARM architecture for Mac is not going to be without problems. Apple has extensive work with integrated graphics cards on the iPhone and iPad, the move to ARM means that compatibility to external peripherals (such as external GPUs) could easily be lost. Ewdison Then highlights the complication at Slash Gear: "Switching to its own ARM-based graphics microarchitecture means switching away from AMD’s, NVIDIA’s, and Intel’s and the compatibility with peripherals that those have brought. In particular, the external GPUs or eGPUs that MacBooks finally started supporting recently may instantly become obsolete for the next generation of Apple computers.” Just as important as the hardware that Apple launches in the initial wave of ARM machines will be the hardware that isn’t launched. It’s not something that will be immediately needed by the mid-range Mac laptops (such as those in the portfolio’s MacBook Air space), but watch for the gaps and the missing elements. Those will be the pain points Apple will need to address during the two-year transition. One expected change at front of house is the MacBook Air. Apple’s once revolutionary laptop is going to end with Intel. Apple’s move away from Intel is driven by many small advantages, not least the tighter integration between software and hardware. ARM has previously been seen as a lacking the grunt of Intel. With the Windows 10 on ARM powered Surface Pro X from Microsoft, it’s clear that a pivot point has been reached, and ARM architecture can match the x86 platform favored by Intel. And the initial benchmarking of Apple’s ARM-powered Mac Mini development kit show it beating the aforementioned Surface Pro X, and offering similar performance to low- and mid-ranged Intel hardware. Which brings the MacBook Air into sharp focus on the chopping block. ...

Read Original Article     ON:   Forbes

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07-08-2020 Science&Technology
SPACEX FALCON 9: STUNNING IMAGES GIVE RAZOR-SHARP VIEW OF DRONESHIP LANDING

The Falcon 9, the rocket that's reliably served SpaceX missions for the past decade, has been photographed landing in impressive quality. SpaceX launched the B1060 booster on its first mission on June 30 at 4:10 p.m. Eastern time, taking off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Staton in Florida. On board was a third-generation Global Positioning System satellite, as part of the United States Space Force's planned upgrades to the constellation used by everything from jet planes to smartphones. Little wonder why CEO Elon Musk marked the launch by posting on Twitter that "your GPS just got slightly better." Following the launch, the booster successfully landed on the droneship Just Read the Instructions. Three new images of the landing, shared via SpaceX's Twitter account Monday, give fans an impressively clear view of the booster coming in to land. Around five minutes after the company shared the images, fans on the SpaceX dedicated subreddit started a discussion around the new photos. One of the most notable developments with these images is the clear view of the octograbber at the base of the booster. This robot, SpaceXFleet explains, is remotely sent out after a landing and uses its four arms to attach to the underside of the booster. The octograbber helps secure the booster as the ship makes its way back to land. It's an issue that has hit the company before. Following the first Falcon Heavy commercial mission in April 2019, SpaceX lost the central booster for the triple-core vehicle into the Atlantic Ocean. SpaceX didn't use the octograbber for that mission because the booster used a different mechanical interface to the Falcon 9. It was an expensive lesson in why the pictured robot is so critical to missions. These booster landings are borderline commonplace now, but they hold the key to reducing the cost of space travel and funding more ambitious missions like a manned mission to Mars. The booster is estimated to comprise around $46.5 million of the total $62 million price tag associated with a Falcon 9 mission. ...

Read Original Article     ON:   Inverse

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07-08-2020 Politics
Americans trust governors more than Trump on coronavirus, new poll finds

WASHINGTON — Americans have significantly more confidence in their governors than in President Donald Trump when it comes to handling the coronavirus, according to new data from an NBC News/SurveyMonkey Weekly Tracking Poll. Forty-three percent of respondents approve of Trump's handling of the pandemic, while 55 percent disapprove. That's compared to 60 percent of Americans who say they approve of how their governors are handling the response and just 37 percent who said they disapprove. And 7 out of 10 Americans say they trust their governors over the president to decide when to reopen businesses in their area. Just 25 percent say they trust Trump over their governors. Even among Republicans, just over half — 53 percent — say they trust the president's judgment on reopening over that of their governors. On reopening, Americans trust governors over Trump by a wide margin Just 25 percent trust Trump over their state’s governor to make decisions about when businesses should reopen. The data come from the first installment of a weekly online tracking poll on social and economic issues that will be released over the coming months. More than 2.9 million cases of COVID-19 and more than 131,000 deaths in the U.S. have been attributed to the virus, according to NBC News' analysis. As case counts and deaths have continued rising since the spring, the president has downplayed the surge, blaming it on increased testing. While the president has been slow to publicly support mask-wearing and other social distancing techniques, his hope that the virus will "disappear" isn't in line with Americans' fears of a second wave. Seventy-nine percent of Americans said they were either "very" or "somewhat" worried about a second wave — 62 percent of Republicans reported being worried, and an overwhelming 83 percent of Democrats said the same. However, the president's overall job rating has remained consistent throughout the pandemic. Trump's overall job approval stands at 43 percent, in line with various polls taken since March. As states have begun to reopen businesses in recent months — moves that have been frustrated by the rising case counts — Trump has sought to promote the country's reopening and frame a return to normal as an economic imperative. Sixty-three percent of Americans said they feared that businesses were opening "too quickly," while just a third said businesses were reopening "too slowly." But the split nearly flips when the question is asked of Republicans. Just 37 percent of Republicans believed businesses were opening too quickly, while 61 percent said reopenings were too slow. ...

Read Original Article     ON:   NBC News

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02-06-2020 Science&Technology
How Hoop hit #2 with its Tinder for Snapchat

Snapchat’s developer platform is blowing up as a gateway to teen social app users. Hoop is the latest Snap Kit blockbuster, rocketing to No. 2 on the overall App Store charts this month with its Tinder -esque swiping interface for discovering people and asking to message with them over Snapchat. Within a week of going viral, unfunded French startup Dazz saw Hoop score 2.5 million downloads. The fact that such a dumbfoundingly simple and already ubiquitous style of app was able to climb the charts so fast demonstrates the potential of Snap Kit to drive user lock-in for Snapchat. Because the developer platform lets other apps piggyback on its login system and Bitmoji avatars, it creates new reasons for users to set up a Snapchat account and keep using it. It’s the same strategy that made Facebook an entrenched part of the internet, but this time it’s for a younger crowd. In the first-ever interview about Hoop, Dazz’s 26-year-old co-founders Lucas Gervais and Alexi Pourret reveal that the idea came from watching user patterns in their previous experiment on the Snap Kit platform. They built an app called Dazz in 2018 that let users create polls and get anonymous answers from friends, but they noticed their 250,000 users “always ended up adding each other on Snap. So we decided to create Hoop, the app to make new Snap friends,” Gervais tells me. Gervais and Pourret have been friends since age two, growing up in small town in France. They met their two developers in high school, and are now marketing students at university. With Hoop, they say the goal was to “meet everyone’s needs, from connecting people from different cultures to helping lonely people to feel better to simply growing your Snapchat community.” ...

Read Original Article     ON:   Tech Crunch

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02-06-2020 Science&Technology
Nvidia GeForce Now Finally on Beta; What Makes it Stand Out Over Stadia?

Nvidia's big game-streaming competitor to Google Stadia and Microsoft Project xCloud, GeForce Now, is officially out of beta today and is available for users in Europe and North America. GeForce Now lets you play PC video games, with minimum fuss, on any PC, MacOS, or Android device. Want to play Overwatch to your Samsung cellphone or Red Dead Redemption 2 for your MacBook Air? The idea is, you log in and go. GeForce Now vs. Competitors: What's the Difference? Some people ask this question: What makes GeForce Now stand out from its other game-streaming competitors? GeForce Now is a service that connects into your existing game stores accounts such as Blizzard, Epic, GoG, and Steam. So, if the service ever dies, you'll still have your games kept-though you could lose saves in case you don't have cloud saves enabled for every respective carrier. This updated service now feels more stable compared to Stadia and Project xCloud, which both have a fewer game selection and require specific controllers. Nvidia's GeForce Now has a significantly more massive games library than Google's Stadia. Microsoft's Project xCloud game streaming app could also make the same claim. ALSO READ: All Xbox Games Will Be Playable On xCloud Streaming Service - Yes, All Generations Of Xbox Brief History of Ndivia's GeForce Now However, GeForce Now has been "a little inconsistent." A similar provider called GeForce Now allowed you to play a selection of video games offered by using Nvidia or streamed without delay out of your PC. The service was launched as Nvidia Grid lower back in 2013. The game-streaming application turned into rebranded GeForce Now in 2015, and the beta became available on Nvidia's Android set-top box, the Nvidia Shield. A new provider was released into beta in 2017 with an identical name. The users could play any game they have in other PC gaming stores instead of playing a small selection of games offered by Nvidia. GeForce Now Allows Cross-Playing with PC, Mac, Chromebooks, Android Smartphones, Nvidia shield. The GeForce Now has progressed over the years as the current version no longer has connectivity issues. You could smoothly play with your games through GeForce Now by log in to your account. You will be able to play games on a wide variety of devices - including mobile devices, the Nvidia Shield media streaming device for TVs, Macs, and PCs. However, Nvidia has not mentioned whether GeForce Now will work with Apple iPhones. GeForce Now gamers, unlike other game streaming applications, are not limited to other players who are also playing games on GeForce Now. For example, the users could be playing a game on GeForce Now while playing against someone running a game locally on their PC. ...

Read Original Article     ON:   Tech Times

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02-06-2020 Cars
Tesla CEO Elon Musk teases possible new Texas gigafactory

Tesla has been on a tear lately, and it looks like CEO Elon Musk is trying to think of new ways to spend some money. Tonight he dropped a hint that, in addition to current gigafactory projects in China and Germany, Tesla is considering one in Texas. Tesla’s Shanghai gigafactory is already up and running with a current capacity of 150,000 vehicles per year. Tesla plans to expand it more this year, including adding local Model Y production for the China market. And the purchase contract has been signed on Tesla’s gigafactory in Germany, with construction beginning on access roads, despite some local protests. Tesla has also announced plans to open design centers in both Germany and China. Tesla’s current design center is in Hawthorne, California. Finally, Tesla has another factory in Buffalo, New York. This factory is mainly focused on “Tesla Energy” products, and was part of Tesla’s SolarCity merger. The original gigafactory got that name to denote its massive size. “Giga” is the metric prefix for “billion,” and it seemed that Tesla wanted to signify that their battery factory would reach the capacity to produce a billion cells. Tesla’s first gigafactory in Nevada is one of the largest buildings in the world by floor area and footprint. The gigafactory name took off, and now Tesla is just calling everything a gigafactory, whether it be for batteries or otherwise. For a while Tesla named all these factories sequentially — gigafactory 1, 2, 3, 4. But that started to get confusing as Tesla added more factories, so Tesla is now using the naming convention “Giga (area).” So these have been renamed Giga Nevada, Giga New York, Giga Shanghai, and Giga Berlin. Now those four might get another addition in Giga Texas. Tesla CEO Elon Musk put up a poll today, asking simply, “Giga Texas?” As of press time, people seem pretty excited about the idea: Texas has been in Musk’s thoughts recently. On Monday, he announced an AI hackathon amid a recruiting effort for Tesla’s autopilot team, stating that Tesla is also looking for “world-class” chip designers to join Tesla’s team in Palo Alto, California, or Austin. The Texas capital has become quite a tech hub recently, attracting a lot of young tech talent who are looking for somewhere to get away from Silicon Valley’s insanely high cost of living. While Musk didn’t specify where Giga Texas would be, we could imagine that somewhere near Austin would work well, to take advantage of the growing tech industry there. Musk also did not specify what products would be made in Texas (beyond the note about chip designers), so we’ll have to wait for more news on that. That said, Texas also currently bans Tesla from selling their cars in the state, and even recently tried to stop the company from even servicing cars in-state. That effort thankfully failed, but Texas has not yet rolled out the welcome mat for Tesla. We’ll see if that changes with this talk of a possible factory.

Read Original Article     ON:   Electrek

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02-06-2020 Science&Technology
WATCH | This is How 99 Phones Could Change Traffic Flow in Google Maps

Google Maps has modified how people navigate the world. However, Google's influence is merely going beyond just locating and navigating. A whole flood of latest businesses, experiences, and ideas have grown up around the ability to zoom and pan around only a virtual version of a map. However, with incredible power comes great responsibility. One "hack" showed how clear it turned into play Google's system and altered the flow. Although a few would possibly argue that Waze, which is also owned by way of Google now, does a higher job at navigating roads and displaying traffic information, Google Maps has, over time, incorporating a number of those into its very own app. The innovation enables human beings to catch up without having to switch between apps for specific information. German used 99 mobile phones to hack Google Maps Simon Weckert currently took gain of the opportunity with a "hack" - as he calls it - for Google Maps. To accomplish this, he loaded 99 smartphones right into a wagon and turned all of them onto Maps navigation. As he walks down an avenue, Google acknowledges the high awareness of "users" and the slow-moving "site visitors" and marks that street as having bad site visitors. Somewhat hilariously, this would virtually cause other drivers in the place using Maps to be rerouted to avoid the "visitors" resulting from this otherwise innocent prank. Weckert even took the collection of smartphones proper outside of Google's Berlin places of work to create the virtual visitors' jam.

Read Original Article     ON:   Tech Times

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01-01-2020 Science&Technology
Hands-On With Salt's Apple TV Remote Replacement

The Apple TV 4K is a fantastic little set-top box that has an easy-to-use interface, an App Store, and options to watch all kinds of content, but there's one major flaw with the device - the Siri Remote. Apple unveiled its ¿Siri¿ (or ¿Apple TV¿) Remote with touch surface in 2015 alongside the fourth-generation ¿Apple TV¿, and it's never been a particularly popular accessory. With that in mind, Swiss company Salt created an alternative ¿Apple TV¿ Remote, which we managed to get our hands on. Salt is a Swiss telecommunications company that offers the ¿Apple TV¿ 4K in a broadband TV bundle for its customers. There's no way to order this remote in the United States or countries other than Switzerland - it's designed only for Salt customers. According to Salt, the Salt Remote was designed in close collaboration with Apple after the Salt TV customer base complained about the poor usability of the default remote that comes with the ¿Apple TV¿. Available for just under 20 Swiss francs, the Salt Remote looks more like a traditional remote than Apple's version, and it's made from a simple black plastic with buttons for controlling multiple functions. It is designed to connect to the ¿Apple TV¿ out of the box and requires no pairing to set up. It's both wider and longer than the ¿Siri¿ Remote, so it's harder to lose, which is probably a good thing for most people given how easy it is to misplace the ¿Siri¿ Remote. ...

Read Original Article     ON:   Mac Rumors

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01-01-2020 Games
Pokémon GO Buddy Adventure: How to Increase Buddy Levels and Unlock Other Perks

In a December blog post, Niantic introduced an all-new feature on their hit AR video game: the Pokémon GO Buddy Adventure. Set to roll out worldwide in 2020, the Buddy Adventure feature lets Trainers explore the Pokémon GO universe side by side with their Buddy Pokémon like never before. "Since launching Pokémon GO, this might be the most collaborative feature we have had with The Pokémon Company," said Ryuta Hiroi, Niantic's lead product manager on the project. "Even with your phone in your pocket, you'll feel like your buddy is right beside you!" Lena Verstappen, their tech artist on the project, shared that they created each Pokémon in a "deeply respectful way." "It's almost as if each Pokémon were a family member!" she said. "How they eat, how they walk, and even where the Best Buddy Ribbon should be placed on each Pokémon's body-all of this and more was taken into account when crafting an as-immersive-as-possible experience." Buddy Adventure in a Nutshell In a press release published by the Pokémon GO Team, Buddy Adventure is an elevated bonding experience where Trainers and their chosen buddies can explore the world and grow side by side as they journey in a richer Pokémon world. Watch the promo video below: The Buddy Levels Here are the Buddy Levels you can unlock: Good Buddy: On this level, you'll see your buddy on the map following right behind you. Great Buddy: On this level, you'll be able to tap your buddy for help, like bringing your items in Pokémon encounters. Ultra Buddy: On this level, your buddy can point you to interesting places nearby and bring you Souvenirs. Best Buddy: On this level, you and your buddy will have a Best Buddy Ribbon. Your Best Buddy can get a CP boost in combat as long as they're assigned as your Buddy Pokémon. How to Increase Buddy Levels For starters, Trainers have to feed their buddies Berries to increase their Buddy Level to Good Buddy. You can increase your Buddy Level by doing the following: Playing With Your Buddy Pokémon Feeding Your Buddy Pokémon Treats Battling and Exploring With Your Buddy Pokémon How to Unlock Other Buddy Adventure Perks Your buddy has various moods. When you reach the highest mood (excited), you as a Trainer can unlock the following Perks: Cut the Distance It Takes for Your Buddy to Find Candy Double the Number of Hearts Earned per Action Earn Bonus Hearts Buddy Adventure Playing Tips Feed Your Buddy - To feed and interact with your buddy, click the Play button on the new buddy profile page. Play With Your Buddy - Apart from feeding them, you can also play with your buddies. Turn on your AR+ feature to see what your buddy does when you interact with it. Each Pokémon has its own quirks and ways to express itself, so watch closely to get acquainted with their expressions and movements. ...

Read Original Article     ON:   Tech Times

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12-16-2019 Cars
Watch Ford F-250 Diesel 4x4 In Tug Of War Battle Against Tesla Model X

Can the diesel Ford-250 Super Duty out tug the Model X? While we wait for the official rematch between the Ford F-150 and Tesla Cybertruck, this tug of war challenge shows the Model X against Ford's F-250 four-wheel-drive diesel truck. The switch to a 250 instead of a 150 comes after news of the Cybertuck being classified as medium-duty surfaced. When Tesla debuted its Cybertruck, it released a video showing it beating a Ford F-150 in a tug-of-war contest. The challenge was not without controversy though and Tesla CEO Elon Musk agreed to repeat the test at a later time. Ford even chimed in and then the automaker backed down from the challenge. The official rematch has not taken place yet and perhaps it won't, but there's been no shortage of attempted retakes at pitting a Tesla against a Ford truck in some form or another. The video (skip forward to 3:30 for the tug of war action to begin) clearly shows us that this is indeed a four-wheel-drive Ford F-250 diesel truck. Perhaps even more importantly, the truck is put into 4-wheel-drive low, which provides it with the best chance of beating the Model X. Two tug-of-war challenges are shown in the video and each one has a different result. In the first tug off, the Model X, with its instant torque, wins the matchup. To make the second attempt a bit more fair (or unfair, as some will say), the diesel truck is revved up while holding the brake down. This puts the truck in its powerband. At go, the brakes are released and the F-250 easily takes the win. One win for the Tesla and one for the Ford. After watching the video it seems safe to conclude that the Cybertruck would likely beat the F-250 due to the fact that it should weigh considerably more than the Model X. At least that's how we see it, but let us know your thoughts in comments.

Read Original Article     ON:   Inside Evs

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12-14-2019 Games
Microsoft’s next Xbox is Xbox Series X, coming holiday 2020

Microsoft’s next-generation Xbox is officially called Xbox Series X. Microsoft revealed the name and console design on stage at the Game Awards today. The console itself looks far more like a PC than we’ve seen from previous Xbox consoles, and Microsoft’s trailer provides a brief glimpse at the new design. The console itself is designed to be used in both vertical and horizontal orientations, and Microsoft’s Xbox chief, Phil Spencer, promises that it will “deliver four times the processing power of Xbox One X in the most quiet and efficient way.” Microsoft used the Xbox Series X to showcase Hellbade 2, a new game from Ninja Theory that is being developed for its next Xbox console. While Microsoft has revealed the design here, the company isn’t revealing exact specs beyond what has been discussed previously. The Xbox Series X will include a custom-designed CPU based on AMD’s Zen 2 and Radeon RDNA architecture. Microsoft is also using an SSD on Xbox Series X, which promises to boost load times. Xbox Series X will also support 8K gaming, frame rates of up to 120 fps in games, ray tracing, and variable refresh rate support. Microsoft also revealed a new Xbox Wireless Controller today. “Its size and shape have been refined to accommodate an even wider range of people, and it also features a new Share button to make capturing screenshots and game clips simple,” explains Spencer. This updated controller will work with existing Xbox One consoles and Windows 10 PCs, and will ship with every Xbox Series X.

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