As crowds fill the stands in AT&T Park this year, they'll be focused on the usual ballpark festivities: eating hot dogs, drinking beer and, of course, watching the San Francisco Giants play baseball. But if they were to venture onto the park's club level and look upward, they'd notice something odd hanging from the deck: around 140 Panasonic GH5 cameras pointed at the field. The purpose of these cameras? To capture seamless slow-motion video from multiple angles in near real time.
The company behind the tech is Korean outfit 4DReplay Sports, which has been around for a few years in Asian sports circles, especially the Korean Baseball League. 4DReplay has also dabbled in concert videos, action movies, event photo booths and documentaries. It's been trying to expand to international markets like the US, and even set up shop in Silicon Valley about a year ago to court US sports teams.
The first US team to step up to the plate was the San Francisco Giants. After a trial run last year in a game against the Kansas City Royals, the Giants' interest was piqued. "Everyone loved it, even the broadcasters," said the Giants' CIO Bill Schlough. "We thought, hey, we might have something here." So this year, the Giants invited 4DReplay to set up shop permanently, making AT&T Park the first sports venue in the US to do so.
360-degree replay is not...
You won't have to wonder much about what Mark Zuckerberg will say when he meets with the European Parliament later on May 22nd. Business Insider has obtained the Facebook chief's introductory speech, and contrition is clearly the order of the day. Zuckerberg is expect to apologize for his company not taking a "broad enough view of our responsibilities," including the need to curb fake news, fight election interference by countries like Russia and, of course, prevent developers from abusing data. He's also expected to reiterate the changes Facebook is making to mend its ways, such as "doubling" the number of safety and security staffers.
The exec will simultaneously paint Facebook as a "force for good" in Europe, pointing to the use of Safety Check in the wake of terrorist attacks as well as presences in multiple European countries. There will by over 10,000 people employed in Europe by the end of 2018, according to Zuckerberg's speech, a significant jump from 7,000 right now.
The statements aren't exactly coming out of the blue. They echo some of what Zuckerberg said to Congress in April, and they're part of a long-running apology tour emphasizing Facebook's awareness of its mistakes in the past few years. Still, they suggest the tone you can expect at the EU meeting: Zuckerberg is at once set to acknowledge that change is necessary while doing what he can to gain trust and head off...
Me, I love beating the un-living daylights out of zombies. Whether it's the ecchi cartoonishness of Lollipop Chainsaw, the clever weapons crafting of Dead Rising, or the heart-pounding intensity of Left 4 Dead, if it's an unholy abomination risen from the grave to feast on the flesh of the living, I'm more than happy to de-brain it for you. So yeah, I've been more than a little excited to get my hands on Days Gone, the post-apocalyptic open-world zombie survival game from developer Bend Studios since it first debuted at E3 in 2016. That is, until I actually got my hands on it.
This game is Far Cry but with zombies. It's the same mission-driven narrative that studios have been leveraging since the release of Vice City and, quite honestly, I'm getting rather over it.
You play as Deacon St. John, a biker living in the American Northwest with a name that the Sons of Anarchy writers would have rejected for being too on the nose. As the survivor of a pandemic that has transformed a large portion of the US population into undead killing machines, St. John must undertake a number of Sisyphean tasks to not only survive but also slowly unravel the mysteries of the outbreak. You know, just like Horizon Zero Dawn.
Also similar to HZD is the game's scrap collection mechanic wherein you collect detritus from the environment, using it to repair or upgrade your weapons and motorcycle....
Despite the looming arrival of its next-gen graphics cards, NVIDIA quietly unveiled a new budget model, the GeForce GTX 1050 3GB. It's positioned between the regular 2GB GTX 1050 and the 4GB 1050 Ti, with a faster base clock but lower memory bandwidth of 84 GB/second compared to 112 GB/s for the other two models. The 3GB of memory makes it suitable for modern games, but less desirable for crypto-mining, which (in the case of Ethereum) requires graphics cards with 3GB of VRAM at a minimum.
It has 768 CUDA cores like the Ti card, and NVIDIA said that all told, the GTX 1050 3GB should run games about 10 percent faster than the regular 1050 2GB model. The company also told PC World that it will "occupy similar price bands with the existing lineup." Right now, MSRP for the GTX 1050 is $109 and $139 for the GTX Ti, so you'd think it would cost around $125.
Thanks to crypto-mining, street prices are a different story, however. The lower-end GTX 1050 currently goes for $140 on the street, and the GTX 1050 Ti runs a whopping $200-plus -- $60 over retail. Hopefully, then, the GTX 1050 3GB's price won't be as inflated as the Ti model. The cards will be offered by NVIDIA partners including EVGA, ASUS and Zoltac, and should hit stores in early June.
Via: PC World
Last year the US imposed a trade ban on American companies supplying equipment to Chinese telecoms giant ZTE Corp. Now, it appears the two countries are trying to work things out. According to sources briefed on the confidential negotiations, there has been a "handshake deal" between US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He which will lift the ban that effectively crippled ZTE's operations.
The ban was imposed after ZTE was found to be illegally shipping US goods to Iran and North Korea. The US hit the company with a $1.9 billion fine, and originally agreed to suspend the ban for a three-year probation period. However, after the company was then caught lying about the way it punished those involved in the scandal, the ban was revived.
But in a surprising reversal on the decision, President Trump tweeted earlier this month that he and Chinese President Xi Jinping were "working together" to get ZTE back in business. Trump claims the ban cost too many Chinese jobs, but sources familiar with the current talks say the issue has become a bargaining chip for the US, with a deal likely to include China removing tariffs on US agricultural products and making a commitment to purchase more American farm goods.
USA and China -- the world's two largest economies -- were on the cusp of a full-blown trade war last week, although it appears tensions have now simmered down. White House advisors have confirmed...
Back in 2014, XPRIZE announced a new "Global Learning" category that challenged teams to develop open source education software kids in developing countries can use to teach themselves reading, writing and math. The organization launched field tests of the five finalists' creations late last year, and now it's expanding the reach and scale of those pilot tests with help from new partners Queen Rania Foundation, Teach the World Foundation, Imagine Worldwide and Global Alliance for Humanitarian Innovation.
At this point in time, XPRIZE is only running field tests of the finalists' education software in 150 villages in eastern Tanzania. This partnership called the "Impact Coalition" will give it a way to reach kids in other countries like Jordan and Pakistan, including those living in remote areas and refugee camps. The Global Learning XPRIZE has a $15 million prize purse courtesy of SpaceX/Tesla/Boring Company chief Elon Musk. It already awarded the five finalists with $1 million each and will award "the team whose solution enables
the greatest proficiency gains in reading, writing and arithmetic" with $10 million in April 2019.
Here are the test pilots the Impact Coalition team will conduct:
- Queen Rania Foundation - The goal of this pilot is to explore potential use cases of mobile learning to support basic literacy and numeracy in Jordanian and Syrian Refugee contexts. The Queen Rania Foundation will investigate areas where education technology can have the most impact on children's lives, whether in school, at home or at learning...
Although HTC's U12 Plus will be officially unveiled tomorrow, the company has accidentally jumped the gun by revealing a bunch of expected features on one of its own websites. On a Chinese test domain visible to the public -- which has since been killed -- WinFuture.de writer Roland Quandt noticed previously rumored specs detailing the the U12 Plus' processor, display, RAM size and some undisclosed extras.
The images suggest the U12 Plus will sport a notchless design, similar to the Galaxy S9's infinity display. If you were expecting an OLED display, think again -- HTC has opted for a 6-inch QHD+ Super LCD6 screen. The handset is powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845, 6GB of RAM and there's 128GB of internal storage. However, a microSD card slot will let you top up your storage to a comfortable 2TB.
On the battery front, HTC rises to the challenge with a 3,500mAh option. That's an improvement on the iPhone X and the Galaxy S9, but isn't enough to topple the Galaxy S9+. With an IP68-rating for both water and dust resistance, the U12 Plus can be dunked in depths of around 1.5 meters.
Flagship specs normally mean a flagship price (OnePlus 6 excluded) -- the HTC U12 Plus will set you back 5,888 yuan, which is roughly $924.
RED is partnering with a company called Lucid on an 8K, 3D prosumer camera that will work with its incoming Hydrogen One smartphone, Lucid announced. The device -- shown above in prototype form at RED's Hydrogen One party -- has two synced 4K cameras that capture and convert video and images to 8K 4V (.h4v) files. Those can then be displayed in 3D on the Hydrogen One's "holographic" display, and later uploaded to YouTube, Facebook and RED's own content hub.
The new camera will use RED's hardware and camera design chops, and carry the same look as other RED models, Lucid notes. At the same time it will pack Lucid's real-time 3D Fusion tech to stitch the images together into files compatible with the Hydrogen One. The smartphone can be dropped into the new camera to act as a display for it, letting users "view the content immediately in 3D/4V without headsets," said Lucid CEO Han Jin.
Not a ton is known yet about RED's Hydrogen One smartphone (shown above), other than that it will produce a 3D effect without the need for glasses. When you rotate the display, people, buildings, trees and other objects will appear to project from the screen.
We also know that it packs a 5.7-inch, QHD screen, Snapdragon 835 chip, 4,500 mAh battery, USB Type-C port and headphone jack. The industrial design is unique, to say the least, and...
Hey, good morning!
Wake up! The Expanse might live again. Razer reinvents its Blade gaming laptops to battle a new generation of slim, powerful games machines. And if you don't like bleeding-edge gaming, we also reviewed a new game for the decades-old Atari Lynx. Something for everyone?
Sources talking to Deadline, Variety and The Hollywood Reporter have all claimed that Amazon is in discussions to resurrect The Expanse for a fourth season after it was canceled by Syfy.
Like Little Big Planet before it, the premise behind Dreams has long confused and infuriated me. Why on Earth would you pay good money for a game in which you work to create smaller games? But after puttering around in what is essentially a console-based development platform during a demo in Santa Monica last week, Andrew Tarantola realized that this game isn't built for gamers -- it's built for artists.
With Dreams, you get an unprecedented level of control over the content you can draw on in creations, or dreams. Literally every aspect of the in-game experience is editable -- the color of the sky, the land's distance from the sun, the background music, sound effects, all the way down to the frame-by-frame animation of the...
Two Senators from opposing parties have put aside their differences to demand an investigation into the stolen identities that led to millions of fake net neutrality comments on the FCC's website. In a letter addressed to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) said they were "among those whose identities were misused to express viewpoints [they] do not hold" on the FCC's net neutrality proposals. They're now asking the commission to identify the entity behind the fake comments, as well as to adopt safeguards to prevent the same incident from happening in the future.
To start with, they want the FCC disclose the total number of fake (mostly anti) net neutrality comments to the public. They want to know how the FCC is working with the DOJ to uncover the identities of those who submitted them, and if the commission is working with state attorneys to determine if laws were broken when the identities used were stolen. The commission already worked with the New York Attorney General's Office when it investigated the incident, but Eric T. Schneiderman once called it out for ignoring his team's requests for records nine times. After months of pursuing the case, Schneiderman and his team finally got access to documents that allowed them to come to the conclusion that the perpetrators stole as many as 2 million American identities.
The senators also want to know if the FCC can determine how many of comments...
Sony's turnaround was started by its former chief, Kaz Hirai, who insisted that the business kill off weaker businesses to focus on its strengths. His replacement, Kenichiro Yoshida, has unveiled his own, three-year plan to help continue the work that his predecessor began.
The biggest is likely to be the $9 billion investment in image sensors, an area where Sony is arguably king of the hill. Its hardware is used in pretty much every smartphone worth talking about, and since many now use dual cameras, Sony's profitability has increased.
The other is that Sony will spend $2.3 billion buying the largest chunk of EMI Music Publishing that it didn't already own. Once the sale is complete, the Japanese giant will own 90 percent of the publisher, not to mention that it already has its own music publishing arm.
But wait, there's more, since Sony is also hoping to get people to spend more time with their PlayStations by getting more folks onto PlayStation Plus. In addition, it'll invest more of its cash into building first-party games and "add-on content," which we're taking to mean more DLC.
As for its long-suffering movie studio, Yoshida has said that it will double-down on good-quality screenplays that exploit existing IPs. So expect plenty more side-sequels, remakes, reboots and the such like Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, which made nearly a billion dollars at the box office.
Part of that plan also saw Sony invest in the company that owns...
Twitter users on Android might be a little less frustrated that they can't see every emoji if they can't (or won't) upgrade to Android Oreo. That's because Twitter has dropped Android's native emoji and is using its own, open-source Twemoji to display the colorful icons in its app, Emojipedia reports.
The switch does a few things off the bat -- it unifies how emoji look for many Twitter users on Android whether you use the app, Twitter's website or TweetDeck. It also helps more people see every single emoji on Twitter on more Android devices despite their firmware version.
Only six percent of Android users have installed Oreo, the latest edition of the OS, while over a third are working with a version from 2014 or before. Many phones are unable to upgrade to Oreo, and some owners simply don't bother updating the OS on their devices. Since older versions of Android can't display some newer emoji (or phone manufacturers take forever to release updates), many users see crossed-out black boxes in their places.
To roll out Twemoji on Android, Twitter used EmojiCompat, Android's compatibility library that has a feature which absolves developers of the need to use Google's own emoji. More than half of those using Twitter's app on Android 4.4 or newer should now see all emoji, with support for more users on the way this week. If ever there were a time for a chef's kiss emoji, this is it.
Razer's latest stab at an external GPU case, the $299 Core X, is its most interesting one yet. Like the company's earlier models, it's a way for you to bring the power of a desktop video card to ultraportable laptops. It just does so for much less than the $499 Core v2. And, strangely, it's a better choice for many gamers, since it accepts large 3-slot video cards. The Core v2 only had room for 2.2-slot GPUs. Additionally, the Core X has a beefier 650-watt power supply instead of a slim 500-watt PSU, which gives it room for growth as video cards ans laptops get more energy hungry.
So what do you lose? Well, the Core X isn't as pretty as the Core v2, and it's significantly larger. It also lacks the USB and Ethernet connections, as well Razer's Chroma RGB lighting. Those aren't huge downsides though, given just how much cheaper and capable the Core X is.
Just like the last models, this external GPU case connects to any PC with a Thunderbolt 3 port, providing data and power over a single cable. One new addition: The Core X (and the V2) now support Macs running recent AMD GPUs. In general, you'll be able to plug in NVIDIA and AMD video cards from 2014 and beyond into the Core X.
While it's nice to see Razer offering a lower-cost eGPU, it's still significantly more expensive than Alienware's $180 Graphics Amplifier....
The Razer Blade is back, and it has pretty much all of the features you'd expect from a gaming notebook in 2018. Notably, the company has refined the laptop's design significantly. Gone are the bulky bezels around the last Blade's 14-inch screen. Now there's a 15.6-inch display with incredibly thin borders. With that, the new Razer Blade is ready to face off with the plethora of lighting gaming laptops this year, like the Gigabyte Aero 15X and MSI's GS65 Stealth Thin.
As you'd expect, Razer stuffed in a six-core 8th generation Core i7-8750H CPU, and your choice of NVIDIA GTX 1060 or 1070 Max-Q GPUs. That 15.6-inch screen is available with either a 1080p 60Hz or 144Hz panel, or a 4K multi-touch offering. For the first time, Razer is also color calibrating its displays as they leave the factory. Given the larger screen, the new Blade is also a bit heavier than before, weighing in at 4.56 pounds for the 1080p version and 4.73 pounds for the 4K.
Razer developed a new vapor chamber cooler design to help manage heat across the CPU and GPU, as well as some other hardware that's prone to warming up. It also features low-noise fans with dual exhausts. If they work as advertised, they'd give the Blade a leg up over MSI's otherwise excellent Stealth Thin, which suffered from loud fans.
Hasbro isn't wasting much time bringing its board games to Oculus Rooms. As promised, you can now play Boggle in Facebook's social VR space, letting you play the classic word-finding game with up to four pals using Oculus Go or Gear VR headsets. It's far from a technical showcase for VR (surprise: it plays exactly like Boggle), but it's also hard to complain too loudly. This could be alluring if you want to host a virtual board game night that's as much about catching up with friends as it is playing.
Whatever you think of Boggle, it's important to remember that this is just a taster -- deeper games like Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit are still coming in "the future." This is part of a larger strategy that will turn Oculus Rooms into more of a true hangout instead of a narrowly focused VR experiment.
Tonight Politico reports that the President is using mobile devices in ways that could increase his risk of being hacked. According to "senior administration officials" Donald Trump relies on at least two iPhones -- one to make phone calls and one for Twitter.
However, unlike the iPhone eventually issued to President Obama -- that couldn't call anyone, install apps, take pictures or play music -- Trump's phone for calling includes a camera and microphone (the GPS is disabled). Those items mean if it were compromised someone could monitor the president's movements or activities. The story also cited an unnamed West Wing official who said the phones "are seamlessly swapped out on a regular basis through routine support operations. Because of the security controls of the Twitter phone and the Twitter account, it does not necessitate regular change-out."
Aides reportedly want him to swap out the device used for Twitter on a monthly basis, but so far Trump has resisted that advice calling it "too inconvenient." The possibility of compromise isn't just theoretical either -- chief of staff John Kelly reportedly used a phone for months that had been compromised by some outside source.
As it stands, the President is able to override advice from aides, but it would be good to know that the next tweet declaring an investigation -- or whatever covfefe is -- came from a legitimate uncompromised...
Was your heart aflutter when you heard that Sony was releasing a smaller version of its Digital Paper E Ink tablet? If you live in the US, you can satisfy your heart's desire... well, almost. Sony has started pre-orders for the 10.3-inch model (the DPT-CP1) through retailers for $600. That's far from a trivial purchase, but the $200 price advantage over the 13.3-inch variant might be just enough to sway you if you don't need the size of the larger model. You're still getting a long-lasting, lightweight tool for annotating documents and filling out your calendar, just in a notebook size that stands a better chance of fitting in your bag.
The company hasn't committed to an official release date, although Amazon lists the CP1 as arriving on June 21st (we'd take that with a grain of salt until Sony says otherwise).
As it is, both Digital Paper variants will receive some welcome upgrades on May 30th. There's a new mobile app for Android and iOS to help shuttle documents to the device. You'll get screen capture and video output modes for sharing your work with a larger crowd, support for smart forms (including interactive PDFs), a page jump feature, view panning, automatic page rotation and a thumbnail viewing mode to survey files at a glance. If you want to use Sony's slate as a part of your professional workflow, it should be a little easier going forward.
It's been about a year since Comcast started revamping its Xfinity home internet services under the xFi brand. As part of the changes the company has been making, it started testing a simple way to build an in-home mesh network. After partnering with Plume, Xfinity started offering "xFi Pods" -- little nodes that plug into a power outlet that extend your WiFi network -- in three test markets. As of today, though, they're available nationwide to all Xfinity customers at the price of $120 for three pods or $200 for six.
To use the new Pods, you'll need to be running one of the newer Xfinity home "Gateway" routers, something that Comcast says the majority of its customers (15 million of the total 26 million internet subscribers) have in their homes. Assuming that's the case, setup should be a breeze: Plug the pods in where you need better coverage, open the xFi WiFi app on your iPhone or Android device and then follow the on-screen directions.
Comcast's Eric Schaefer (Senior VP of Broadband, Automation and Communications) said that his company bought the rights to Plume's WiFi management systems to integrate into Xfinity's WiFi products, but the Pods themselves look essentially identical to what Plume sells. They're small hexagons that plug into an outlet and include an ethernet port if you want to run a wired setup. Overall, the whole setup sounds near-identical to what Plume has sold for...
This week the NBA and NHL playoffs get ready to jump to their final rounds, but the big release is an old one: The Matrix in 4K on Ultra HD Blu-ray and streaming. Netflix drops in WHCD comedian Michelle Wolf with a new weekly show Sunday morning, after releasing a new Tig Notaro special. For gamers, on PS4 we have two notable additions, as the free H1Z1 beta gives it a console battle royale exclusive to match Xbox One's PUBG, and David Cage's Detroit: Become Human arrives. Look after the break to check out each day's highlights, including trailers and let us know what you think (or what we missed).
Blu-ray & Games & Streaming
Just because Syfy dropped The Expanse doesn't mean the cult sci-fi hit has met its end. Sources talking to Deadline, Variety and Hollywood Reporter have all claimed that Amazon is in discussions to resurrect The Expanse for a fourth season. Neither Amazon nor show producer Alcon are commenting on the rumor, but Deadline heard there's "interest" in the move. The tricky part would be negotiating a deal -- it's more complex than you might think.
Amazon has the on-demand streaming rights to The Expanse in North America. However, its arch-nemesis Netflix offers the show beyond North America and New Zealand. It would either have to find a way to take greater control of distribution, limit new seasons to just a few countries or accept that it would support a competitor.
It's not shocking that negotiations might take place when Alcon was shopping the show around to other networks -- broadcasters are eager to pick up others' programming these days. Amazon is potentially a good fit, though, and not just because Expanse fans have been campaigning for a deal. The internet behemoth has been pushing for blockbuster shows, and a well-received sci-fi series might just do the job. Moreover, genre shows like this tend to thrive more on streaming than on live broadcasts (Syfy's arrangement revolved heavily around live audiences). If Amazon picks up The Expanse, the series might have a considerably better home...