Archive for the ‘Tech’ Category

Now Dell has a mixed reality headset, and the XPS 13 has 8th-gen Intel CPUs

August 28th, 2017

Enlarge (credit: Valentina Palladino)

Dell has a wide array of products under its name and brands, including Alienware, but the company has never had its own mixed reality headset until now. Dell announced the Dell Visor ahead of this year’s IFA conference, along with a number of updates to its XPS and Inspiron systems. Most notably, all of Dell’s updated laptops and convertibles will have 8th-generation Intel processors, making them some of the first devices to launch with the new CPUs later this year.

Dell jumps into mixed reality

Dell has made a number of VR-ready desktops and laptops, but now it has its own VR headset to go along with them. The company’s first mixed reality headset looks most like HP’s or Acer’s headset, with an oval-shaped ring that fits around your head with an attached, goggle-like viewfinder. The head-wrapping ring adjusts easily using a thumbwheel that expands and contracts the sides, similar to adjusting the length of a pair of over-ear headphones. With the ring opened just wide enough for your head, you can tilt the viewfinder up to put the device on, then snap it down into place when you’re ready to enter a mixed reality experience.

Overall, the Visor feels less cumbersome on your face than an Oculus Rift. With no external sensors needed, it’s also easier to set up than an HTC Vive. Users will still need to draw a five-by-seven-foot boundary for their mixed reality situations to live in, but that’s done by simply hovering the headset over your boundary lines. The Visor connects to a compatible PC through a single USB Type-C connector, and you only have to manage that one cord, so it creates less of a mess around your PC. Similarly to HP’s and Acer’s headsets, it has 1440×1440 panels for each eye.

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Posted in ar, dell, dell visor, Gaming & Culture, inspiron 5000, inspiron 7000, mixed reality headset, Tech, VR, xps-13 | Comments (0)

A 4K Apple TV set-top box may come out this fall

August 24th, 2017

(credit: Andrew Cunningham)

Apple is reportedly debuting much more than new iPhones later this year. According to a Bloomberg report, the company will reveal an updated 4K TV box alongside the new iPhones at its rumored September event. The new Apple TV will stream 4K content and highlight “live television,” including news and sports.

The ability to stream 4K content would be the biggest update that the Apple TV has seen in a while, at least in terms of hardware. Back in 2015, the Apple TV was updated with a new remote control, app store, and Siri support. The report claims the new device will have a faster processor capable of streaming 4K and HDR content. But as with any 4K set-top box, users will have to connect it to a display that’s also capable of playing 4K content to reap any benefits.

To accompany the new set-top box, Apple is also reportedly testing out a new version of the TV app. This was introduced last year as an app that aggregates streaming video content from various sources, making it easier for users to watch all their favorite content in one place.

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Posted in 4K, Apple TV, original video content, Tech | Comments (0)

Confederate sub’s weapon killed its own crew, researchers find

August 24th, 2017

The Confederate submarine CSS H. L. Hunley bears the distinction of being the first submarine to ever sink an enemy ship. But the Hunley, a work of state-of-the-art engineering for its time, never returned from that mission on February 17, 1864. Instead, after exploding a “torpedo” below the waterline of the Union sloop-of-war USS Housatonic in Charleston Harbor, the sub was lost at sea. 

Just how the sub was lost had been a mystery for over a century. The Hunley would not be found again until it was discovered on the floor of Charleston Bay in 1995. The sub was recovered five years later—largely intact, with the remains of its crew all at their stations. Based on the findings of Clemson University archaeologists who examined and restored the sub, it did not appear any attempt was made by the crew to escape.

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Posted in civil war, CSS Hunley, science, Submarines, Tech | Comments (0)

Report: Google’s flagship smartphones launch October 5

August 24th, 2017

Android Police

VentureBeat’s Evan Blass says he knows the date for the launch of Google’s next smartphone, the Pixel 2: October 5th. The ever-reliable leaker also says the device will come with a new SoC from Qualcomm, a “Snapdragon 836.”

The report lines up well with how Google did things last year. The Google Hardware division held an event around the same time—October 4th—where it unveiled the Google Home, Google Wi-Fi, Daydream VR, a 4k Chromecast, and the Google Pixel phones. This year, in addition to the phones, Android Police claims Google will also launch a new Chromebook and a smaller version of the Google Home. It would not surprise me to hear about a few other devices as well.

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Report: Google’s flagship smartphones launch October 5

August 24th, 2017

Android Police

VentureBeat’s Evan Blass says he knows the date for the launch of Google’s next smartphone, the Pixel 2: October 5th. The ever-reliable leaker also says the device will come with a new SoC from Qualcomm, a “Snapdragon 836.”

The report lines up well with how Google did things last year. The Google Hardware division held an event around the same time—October 4th—where it unveiled the Google Home, Google Wi-Fi, Daydream VR, a 4k Chromecast, and the Google Pixel phones. This year, in addition to the phones, Android Police claims Google will also launch a new Chromebook and a smaller version of the Google Home. It would not surprise me to hear about a few other devices as well.

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Hands-on with the Galaxy Note8: Haven’t we seen this before?

August 23rd, 2017

“Didn’t this device launch earlier this year?”

That’s the overwhelming feeling I got after a test drive with the Galaxy Note8. Samsung’s earlier flagship for 2017, the Galaxy S8—specifically the Galaxy S8+—is so close to the Note8 I’m not sure why anyone would wait the five months of lag time between the two devices.

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Samsung makes the Galaxy Note8 Official

August 23rd, 2017

Enlarge

NEW YORK CITY—We’re live from New York, where Samsung has taken the wraps off its new flagship device, the Galaxy Note8.

Samsung changed everything about the Galaxy S line earlier this year, and those changes are all making the jump to the bigger Note model. You get an extra-tall display with on-screen navigation buttons and slim bezels. The fingerprint reader has been moved to the back, next to the camera components. There’s also an iris scanner, a dedicated hardware button for Samsung’s “Bixby” voice assistant, and compatibility with Samsung’s “Dex” desktop dock.

So what is actually different from the Galaxy S8, which launched almost five months ago? Well, first, it’s slightly bigger. While the Galaxy S8+ topped out at 6.2-inches, the Note 8 bumps up to 6.3-inches. On the back there’s Samsung’s first dual-camera design, pairing a wide-angle camera with a telephoto one. Both have optical image stabilization. The Note8 has a more squared-off design, which leaves a bit more room internally for storage of the Note line’s trademark S-Pen stylus, itself another addition over the S8.

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Liveblog: The Galaxy Note 8 launches

August 22nd, 2017

Enlarge / The Note 8 invitation.

It’s about time for Samsung to take the wraps off its latest flagship, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8. On Wednesday, August 23 at 11am ET (8am PT) , the company will hold a massive event in New York City to show off its latest flagship.

We know pretty much all the basics about the Galaxy Note 8. Samsung gave the Galaxy S8 a big redesign with slimmer bezels, on-screen navigation buttons, and a rear fingerprint reader, and we’re expecting that to carry over to the Galaxy Note 8. The main differences will be a slightly bigger screen, the usual addition of an S-Pen, and Samsung’s first dual-camera setup with a 3x optical zoom.

SoCs haven’t changed much since the release of the Galaxy S8, so we’re expecting the Note 8 (in the US, at least) to also pack a Snapdragon 835 SoC. The Note 8 should get a boost to 6GB of RAM, though. With the release of the Note 8, Samsung can also finally put the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco behind it.

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Danish submarine mystery takes gruesome, bizzare turns

August 22nd, 2017

Enlarge / The UV3 Nautilus in early sea trials in 2008. (credit: Frumperino)

On Monday, a Copenhagen Police spokesperson released new information regarding the investigation into the disappearance of Kim Wall, a Swedish journalist who had been last seen aboard the UC3 Nautilus—the crowd-funded, amateur-built diesel-electric submarine designed and piloted by Peter Madsen. Madsen now confirms that Wall died aboard the submarine, and that he dumped her body overboard. But he claimed to police and prosecutors that her death was accidental.

Details of the investigation had been sealed (protected under the “closed doors” provisions of Danish law), as the criminal investigation is still underway. But after a request from both prosecutors and Madsen’s defense attorney, the court allowed the police department to release the following statement:

The defendant has explained to the police and the Court, that there was an accident on board which caused Kim Wall’s death and that he consequently buried her at sea at a non-defined location in the Bay of Køge. Copenhagen Police may additionally disclose that the preliminary charge of manslaughter is upheld. As the investigation of the case is still covered by “closed doors,” no further information can be given.

Madsen continues to be held on charges of involuntary manslaughter, as the investigation continues.

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Posted in crowd funding, Gaming & Culture, submarine, Tech, uc3 nautilus | Comments (0)

HP stuffed the best gaming desktop perks into the 10-pound Omen X laptop

August 22nd, 2017

Enlarge (credit: HP)

HP gave its Omen gaming line a big boost before this year’s E3 with the launch of new gaming PCs, peripherals, a GPU accelerator, and a VR backpack. While the company wants to provide devices for all kinds of gamers, its newest launch targets enthusiasts who don’t want to compromise power when choosing a portable device. The new Omen X laptop is a behemoth gaming notebook, measuring 16.73 x 12.88 x 1.43 inches and weighing 10.69 pounds. All that space is for good reason: the Omen X trades svelte for substance as it features a bunch of perks typically only seen in stationary gaming PCs.

One of the biggest things HP emphasized about the Omen X laptop is its overclocking abilities. The Omen X laptop can be configured how you’d like and you can choose to get it with Intel’s 7th gen Core i7-7820HK CPU, which is factory unlocked for overclocking. Gaming enthusiasts (and general PC enthusiast as well) are more likely to experiment with overclocking their devices to get the most performance out of the CPU as possible. However, that would normally be taxing on the entire system and the processor in particular since it produces extra heat.

As such, HP designed the internals of the Omen X laptop differently from those in its previous Omen laptops to better handle the heat produced by overclocking. HP also claims the design reduces thermal throttling that can limit the overclocking affects. The company removed the optical drive and included higher-performance fans that allow for more airflow through the machine than in the existing Omen laptops. With the help of an integrated vapor chamber and bottom vent holes, the internals better move heat away from the important stuff (CPU, GPU) and expel air through the back and sides of the laptop (which also keeps the heat away from you, the user).

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Posted in Gaming & Culture, Gaming Laptop, HP, omen x, omen x laptop, overclocking, Tech | Comments (0)