BlackBerry now on smart cars

Were you a big fan of Blackberry? Well, you're in luck.

The smartphone pioneer is shifting its attention to smart cars and their QNX technology. They recently partnered with Amazon to create a new cloud-based platform called BlackBerry Ivy. The BB Ivy collects real-time data and makes recommendations about available parking spaces, road conditions, and where the nearest gas or electric gas station is.

The purpose of BlackBerry IVY is to help automakers and automotive suppliers create personalized driver and passenger experiences and improve the operations of cloud-connected vehicles. BlackBerry IVY will support the more rapid development of new customer experiences and unlock new revenue streams and business models. It accomplishes this while reducing costs by moving processing to the edge and reducing raw data transmission. It also improves overall operations with enhanced data visibility and access.

BlackBerry's QNX software is already installed in 195 million cars.


Apple's MagSafe Battery review

In this review of the MagSafe Charger, you can read whether this magnetic charger is for you. How handy is it and is the MagSafe charger worth the money? We discuss the pros and cons with our experiences with the MagSafe charger.

I'm sure I speak for all Apple fans when I say I was looking forward to the AirPower, Apple's first wireless charger. The AirPower wasn't just a typical wireless charger with an Apple logo, as Apple frequently does. It has to accomplish something remarkable, such as charge your iPhone and other devices without issue and with accurate placement. However, the proposal proved to be a little too forward, and the AirPower never materialized. That is not to say that Apple has been idle, as we now have a new wireless charger from the company. The MagSafe Charger is especially for the iPhone 12series and has the main twist the magnetic attachment. Is the MagSafe Charger a must-have? Or is it better to ignore the new charger? In this review of the MagSafe Charger, we provide the answer.

MagSafe Charger review: in short

These are the main features of the Mag Safe Charger

  1. Easy to attach to the back
  2. The magnetic wireless charger is available for iPhone 12 models and higher.
  3. Can Charge with up to 15 w
  4. Available from 45 euros
  5. Round disc with aluminum housing.

For this MagSafe Charger review, we tested the regular charger. Apple also comes with the MagSafe Duo Charger, a combination between the MagSafe charger and an Apple Watch dock. This model is expected to be available later this year for an unknown price.


On June 24 Microsoft will reveal "what's next for windows"

Spotlight: Microsoft has sent invites to an event on June 24th, at 11:00 am ET, asking users to join them "to see what's next for Windows." The event will be hosted by Microsoft's CEO Satya Nadella and Chief Product Officer Panos Panay.

During the Build conference a week ago, Microsoft teased the "next generation of Windows." What will change with the next major Windows release is unknown until something official is announced; however, if the Sun Valley enhancements make it to this release, it could mean a significant UI overhaul is on the way, including the redesign of old icons and the addition of a floating start menu. The update could also include a huge makeover of the Microsoft Store, which has been widely publicized.

Both users and developers would undoubtedly enjoy the rumored aesthetic upgrade, simpler program management, and support for unpackaged Win32 apps.

Microsoft has indicated that, despite the cancellation of Windows 10X, it intends to include some of its features into Windows 10. While we wait, you can update your PC with the Windows 10 May Update, which includes much quality of life improvements. This update will not revitalize your system, but the accompanying improvements will be greatly appreciated.

If you're interested in watching the reveal of the "next-generation of Windows," set a reminder and tune in on June 24th at 11:00am ET.

 


Apple set to debut a foldable iPhone in 2023

For Apple, the question isn't "if" they'll create a foldable, but "when." We've been hearing talk about it since at least 2017, but nothing has come to fruition yet. And, in fact, it's usually best to stand back and let others go first, so they can see what works and what doesn't in the real world.

According to a respected industrial analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple is expected to launch a folding iPhone with 8-inch QHD+ flexible OLED display in 2023.

Kuo told investors that he reached that conclusion based on his new industry survey in a recent note from MacRumors. SDC will function as the sole display provider "and the sole DDI fundry provider is Samsung Foundry," added Kuo.

The analyst anticipates that Apple will embrace the silver nanowire contact solution for TPK due to its advantages over Y-Octa technology for SDC.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OesVttlQVF8&t=91s

Kuo believes that the company aims in 2023 to ship between 15 and 20 million foldable iPhones based on Apple's requested capacity. He predicts more folding components are going to be a must and help build the next major upgrade super cycle.

The new crop of folding smartphones doesn't trick to blur the distinctions between smartphone and tablet, as Kuo correctly points out. They are also a little tough around the edges because manufacturers still deal with design and durability problems. However, Kuo finally sees flippables as devices that combine the mobile, tablet and laptop components into a single computer more seamlessly.

 

 


Google is boosting AR performance on Android phones with their dual cameras

Google is upgrading its augmented reality SDK so that dual-camera phones can capture more in-depth details. As reported by Android Police, the most recent Google Play Services update for the AR app, which is how Google distributes ARCore features, now states "Dual camera stereo depth on compatible devices" in its changelog.

For now, it appears that the support will be limited to Google's own Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL, both launched in 2019. The list of compatible ARCore devices on Google's developer site says that support for dual cameras will roll out in the coming weeks.

Notably, this means that the Pixel 5 and 4a 5G, both of which are 2020 Pixel phones with dual cameras, will not see the benefits for now. This could be because their secondary cameras are ultra-wide rather than Pixel 4 and 4 XL telephotos, which would have consequences for how they could create more accurate depth maps.

In any case, this is another effect of Google's indecision on Pixel camera lenses. The company has long maintained that it only required a single camera because of computational features like Super Res Zoom on Pixel 3, but confusedly added a telephoto lens on Pixel 4 instead, then backtracked and substituted it for an ultra-wide Pixel 5.


A BUILT-IN SCREEN RECORDER IS NOW ADDED TO CHROME OS

Google has announced that a built-in screen recorder is coming to Chrome OS in March. Google hopes the tool will make it easier for students and teachers to record virtual lessons. “Teachers have long recorded lessons to help students do homework and study for tests, but in the past year it’s become downright critical for virtual learning,” reads Google’s blog post.

Well, it looks pretty easy. If you click the appropriate button on your Chromebook, you'll see a timer in the middle of your device. When your Chromebook is recording, a red circle appears on the right side of the shelf.

There are also a few other tools for Chromebook learners in the works, and some have already arrived. Chrome OS's screen reader, ChromeVox, has several new features: voice changes now depending on the text language it reads, and you can now scan its menus.

Additionally, parents can now use Family Link (Google’s parental-control app) to manage their children’s school accounts in addition to their personal accounts. This means screen-time limits, bedtimes, and other restrictions parents place on their children’s personal accounts can apply to their school accounts as well.

On the hardware side, Google has announced that it is releasing more than 40 new Chromebooks this year. It claims that every model is "equipped to deliver exceptional Google Meet and Zoom experiences."

To help schools navigate the new releases, the company has put out a list of available Chromebooks, which includes configurations from Samsung, Lenovo, HP, Dell, Asus, and Acer, and tips for selecting the right one. The company recommends a number of basic models, such as Acer’s Chromebook Spin 511 and Lenovo’s 300e, as well as fancier devices like the Chromebook Spin 713 (The Verge’s top Chromebook pick) and Samsung’s $1,000 Galaxy Chromebook.

Chromebooks are big sellers in the education market, due in part to their affordability and districts’ widespread use of Google Classroom, Google’s online education portal. 2020 was the Chromebook’s best year ever, due largely to increased demand from schools providing at-home instruction for the first time. Google has been building out its services for remote school and meetings since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the early months of remote schooling, Google made Meet meetings with up to 100 participants available to anyone with a Google account. It’s added a number of features to Meet as well, in an effort to keep up with large competitors Zoom and Microsoft Teams. The company has rolled out custom backgroundsblur effects, real-time captioning, low-light mode, and hand-raising in recent months.

 


The Police, and Fire Departments has partnered up with Amazon's Ring

The Financial Times estimates that more than double the 703 new additions from a year earlier was added to the Ring's Neighbors Portal service in 2020 by the number of local police and fire departments. A mere 40 signed up in 2018. There are currently only two states where there are no agencies involved: Wyoming and Montana.

Amazon Ring: Phantom smart doorbell chimes alarm owners - BBC News

Images of more than 22,235 incidents last year were requested by the police and fire services involved in the initiative. Amazon states that clients can opt-out of accepting police requests, but it is also possible to use subpoenas, search warrants, and court orders to access videos of customers who want to reject requests. The police made 1,900 demands for information that customers had refused them, and 57 percent of those agreed with Amazon, which has the final say over whether to hand over something. Although that is lower than the 67% it complied with during 2019, in 2020 the number of such requests increased by 150%.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) cautioned that while certain owners may be all right to share their video, it is likely that neighbors and passers-by might be captured on tape, creating a "massive and unchallenged" surveillance network in essence.

Many unconcerned about the privacy implications of the software may feel better knowing that police have another tool in their arsenal, but a February 2019 NBC News study found it was not helpful when investigating serious crimes-most of the arrests used for low-level, non-violent property crimes were Ring video.


Wearable Hardware: This wristband lets friends, family, and even bosses monitor your mood

Called the Moodbeam, the device features just two buttons-one for recording whenever you feel happy (yellow) and the other for sad moments (blue). It's the work of a UK based firm, also called Moodbeam.

Moodbeam Helps You Understand Your Mood | Wearable Technologies

By logging the different times of day when users feel sudden changes in their emotional state, the wristband and accompanying app can show patterns and trends, allowing wearers to identify situations that cause negative feelings.

The wearable is also positioned as a way for companies to (optionally) monitor the wellbeing of staff working from home who may be experiencing isolation and loneliness. "Businesses are trying to get on top of staying connected with staff working from home. Here they can ask 500 members: 'You ok?' without picking up the phone," Moodbeam co-founder Christina Colmer McHugh told the BBC.

Launched back in 2016, Colmer came up with Moodbeam after discovering her daughter was struggling at school and wanted a way for her child to let her know how she was feeling. The device was thrust under the spotlight recently as the pandemic brought more mental health concerns.

While the £50 ($67) Moodbeam's primary function could be replicated using an app or smartwatch, its simplicity will likely appeal to older society members and busy workers.

For those who work remotely and love the outdoors, Nissan's concept vehicle could offer the best of both worlds.


Sony unveils Airpeak drone

There are a few crucial details still under wraps for Sony's upcoming drone, such as its price and specs. However, it does appear to be a high-end, expensive piece of kit considering that Sony has designed the drone around its Alpha series of mirrorless cameras.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_XWbHuwsfw&feature=emb_title

Drone enthusiasts might find the Airpeak too pricy, but for professionals such as videographers, filmmakers, and photographers that are already invested in Sony's ecosystem. The company says it's the smallest drone capable of carrying an Alpha camera in its payload and should enable high-quality, full-frame aerial footage thanks to the Airpeak's flight-stabilizing and image-steadying tech.

A behind-the-scenes video was also shared of the drone chasing its Vision-S EV prototype during a test drive in Austria where a few noticeable features in the Airpeak can be seen, such as the quadcopter design, an array of onboard cameras and sensors, and the motorized landing gear extensions. Sony although is debuting in the drone industry with a high-end model catering to moviemakers and professional content creators, it could expand into consumer-grade hardware.

 


The Dutch coronavirus app goes nationwide

The Dutch Coronavirus tracing app was introduced across the country on the 10th of October 2020 following the last senate vote of using the alert-based system.

The CoronaMelder app which was first introduced in early April will warn users if they have spent 15 minutes or more in close contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus in so far as the user gives permission for the information to be used.

It is not yet compulsory to use the app, which works by exchanging random codes with other phones via Bluetooth technology. The app has been available for download since mid-August and was already operational in five of the 25 regional health districts.

The app is available in English as well as Dutch and there is information about how it works in a number of other languages online, including German, Polish and Turkish.