Category Archives: Technology

AMD Denies Report That It Improperly Shared Sensitive Processor Tech With China

AMD Denies Report That It Improperly Shared Sensitive Processor Tech With China

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) denied on Friday the accuracy of a Wall Street Journal report that alleged its joint venture with Chinese companies gave the latter country access to advanced processor technology that could have military applications, saying that…

This year’s Computex was a wild ride with dueling chip releases, new laptops and 467 startups

This year’s Computex was a wild ride with dueling chip releases, new laptops and 467 startups

After a relatively quiet show last year, Computex picked up the pace this year, with dueling chip launches by rivals AMD and Intel and a slew of laptop releases from Asus, Qualcomm, Nvidia, Lenovo and other companies. Founded in 1981, the trade show, which to…

AMD blows minds with a 16-core 7nm gaming CPU that works like any other Ryzen

AMD blows minds with a 16-core 7nm gaming CPU that works like any other Ryzen

AMD is about to release a wave of 3rd gen Ryzen desktop CPUs that — on paper — sound like they might trounce Intel. At AMD’s Next Horizon Gaming Event, AMD just announced the 16-core, 32-thread Ryzen 9 3950X processor, and detailed the rest of the Ryzen 3000…

Is the CRAZY Flip Camera Fragile? – Zenfone 6 Durability Test!

The Zenfone 6 has one of the craziest motorized cameras that ive ever seen! Instead of the Zenfone 6 having a pop up camera, it FLIPS up from the back side of the phone and turns itself into a front facing camera. Brilliant. The Asus Zenfone 6 is definitely a fantastic engineering marvel. BUT is it durable? Can that flippy camera stand up to some abuse? what happens if you drop the zenfone 6 when the motorized camera is in the flipped up position? We’ll find the answers to all these questions and more with a durability test of the Zenfone 6.

Current Amazon Pricing for the Zenfone 6: https://amzn.to/2IVliLC

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JerryRigEverything assumes no liability for property damage or injury incurred as a result of any of the information contained in this video. JerryRigEverything recommends safe practices when working with power tools, automotive lifts, lifting tools, jack stands, electrical equipment, blunt instruments, chemicals, lubricants, expensive electronics, or any other tools or equipment seen or implied in this video. Due to factors beyond the control of JerryRigEverything, no information contained in this video shall create any express or implied warranty or guarantee of any particular result. Any injury, damage or loss that may result from improper use of these tools, equipment, or the information contained in this video is the sole responsibility of the user and not JerryRigEverything. Only attempt your own repairs if you can accept personal responsibility for the results, whether they are good or bad.

All the videos from Apples big media event

Video served as both form and function today at Apple’s media event, and the company wasn’t stingy with classic Apple event videos. Ranging from previews of new services like Apple Arcade to a look at the artists creating content for Apple TV +, the videos should give folks who missed the live stream a quick look at what’s next out of Apple services.

As with most events, today’s kicked off with a teaser video:

The first product Apple announced was Apple News+, which offers access to more than 300 magazines and newspapers for $9.99/month. Of note, Apple News+ is the only product Apple announced today that’s also available today.

The second new product out of Apple is Apple Card. Apple Card is essentially an electronic credit card that works anywhere that Apple Pay is accepted. The Apple Card app lets you see your transaction history, pay your card and earn 2 percent cash back daily on your purchases, all within the Wallet app.

And yes, it comes with a physical card, which is made of titanium, laser-etched with your name, and has no number. The Apple Card should make credit card fraud more difficult.

Apple then announced a new gaming subscription service called Apple Arcade.

The service won’t launch until this fall, but will include more than 100 premium games at launch from partners including Disney, Konami and Lego. Importantly, this is a cross-platform product, meaning games are playable on iOS, MacOS and tvOS, giving Apple the chance to leverage iOS to get gaming on the Mac.

This one came with two videos, but no price.

And finally, Apple announced Apple TV+, a forthcoming subscription service that would give users access to Apple’s new library of original content. This includes a new show from Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carell about a morning news show and an anthology series from Kumail Nanjiana that tells the true story of everyday immigrants, among many others.

And one more thing… Oprah has signed on to do two new shows with Apple TV+.

Apple TV+ doesn’t come out until the fall and there’s still no word on pricing.

Update: Apple just published the Apple TV+ preview (which is the best video from the event, imho).

Lidar startup Ouster raises $60 million in production run-up

Ouster has raised $60 million as the San Francisco-based lidar startup opens a new facility that will have the capacity to assemble and ship several thousand sensors a month by the end of 2019.

The new factory, which will have a grand opening ceremony March 28, currently produces hundreds of sensors per month. Ouster says at full capacity, the factory will produce $25 million to $50 million in inventory per month.

Lidar measures distance using laser light to generate highly accurate 3D maps of the world around the car. It’s considered by most in the self-driving car industry a key piece of technology required to safely deploy robotaxis and other autonomous vehicles (although not everyone agrees). However, the sensors are also useful in other industries — and this is where Ouster’s business model is targeted.

Ouster has cast a wider net for customers than some of its rivals. Unlike others vying solely for automotive customers working on the development of autonomous vehicles, Ouster is selling sensors to other industries. Ouster is selling its light detection and ranging radar sensors to robotics, drones, mapping, defense, building security, mining and agriculture companies.

The strategy has appeared to pay off. Ouster says it has 400 customers from 15 industries.

The $60 million in additional funding follows a Series A raise of $27 million announced back in 2017 as Ouster came out of stealth mode. In the years since, the company led by Angus Pacala has grown to more than 100 employees and announced four lidar sensors, with resolutions from 16 to 128 channels, and two product lines, the OS-1 and OS-2. The startup expects to nearly double its headcount in the coming year to support further product line development.

The $60 million in equity and debt funding includes investments from Runway Growth Capital and Silicon Valley Bank, as well as additional funding from Series A participants Cox Enterprises, Constellation Tech Ventures, Fontinalis Partners, Carthona and others.

Ouster said the additional investment has helped to develop Ouster’s product lines, including the launch of the OS-1 128 lidar sensor, and fund the expansion of its production facilities.

The company also announced the appointment of Susan Heystee, senior VP for OEM business at Verizon Connect, to its board of directors.

Waymo, the self-driving car company under Google’s Alphabet, could be a new competitor to the company. Waymo announced this month it will start selling its custom lidar sensors to companies outside of self-driving cars. Waymo will initially target robotics, security and agricultural technology. The sales will help the company scale its autonomous technology faster, making each sensor more affordable through economies of scale, Simon Verghese, head of Waymo’s lidar team, wrote in a Medium post at the time.

Social investment platform eToro acquires smart contract startup Firmo

Social investing and trading platform eToro announced that it has acquired Danish smart contract infrastructure provider Firmo for an undisclosed purchase price.

Firmo’s platform enables exchanges to execute smart financial contracts across various assets, including crypto derivatives, and across all major blockchains. Firmo founder and CEO Dr. Omri Ross described the company’s mission as “…enabl[ing] our users to trade any asset globally with instant settlement by tokenizing assets and executing all essential trade processes on the blockchain.” Firmo’s only disclosed investment, according to data from Pitchbook, came in the form of a modest pre-seed round from the Copenhagen Fintech Lab accelerator.

Firmo’s mission aligns well with that of eToro — which is equal parts trading platform, social network and educational resource for beginner investors — with the company having long communicated hopes of making the capital markets more open, transparent and accessible to all users and across all assets. By gobbling up Firmo, eToro will be able to accelerate its development of offerings for tokenized assets.

The acquisition represents the latest step in eToro’s broader growth plan, which has ramped up as of late. Earlier in March, the company launched a crypto-only version of its platform in the US, as well as a multi-signature digital wallet where users can store, send and receive cryptocurrencies.

The Firmo deal and eToro’s other expansion activities fit squarely into the company’s belief in the tokenization of assets and the immense, sector-defining opportunity that it creates. Etoro believes that asset tokenization and the movement of financial services onto the blockchain are all but inevitable and the company has employed the long-tailed strategy of investing heavily in related blockchain and crypto technologies despite the ongoing crypto winter.

“Blockchain and the tokenization of assets will play a major role in the future of finance,” said eToro co-founder and CEO Yoni Assia. “We believe that in time all investible assets will be tokenized and that we will see the greatest transfer of wealth ever onto the blockchain.” Assia expressed a similar sentiment in a recent conversation with TechCrunch, stating “We think [the tokenization of assets] is a bigger opportunity than the internet…”

After the acquisition, Firmo will operate as an internal R&D arm within eToro focused on developing blockchain-oriented trade execution and the infrastructure behind the digital representation of tokenized assets.

“The Firmo team has done ground-breaking work in developing practical applications for blockchain technology which will facilitate friction-less global trading,” said Assia.

“The adoption of smart contracts on the blockchain increases trust and transparency in financial services. We are incredibly proud and excited that [Firmo] will be joining the eToro family. We believe that together we have a very bright future and look forward to pursuing our shared goal to become the first truly global service provider allowing people to trade, invest and save.”

Apple unveils its streaming service, AppleTV+

To close out today’s press event focused on Apple’s services business, the company has officially announced its streaming initiative, Apple TV+.

CEO Tim Cook said this will be an ad-free subscription, with everything available for online and offline viewing, in more than 100 countries. It’s coming this fall, but Apple hasn’t shared any pricing info.

“We feel we can contribute something important to our culture and society through great storytelling,” Cook said.

The company already had a long list of titles in development, which will hopefully put all your “Carpool Karaoke” jokes to rest. They include an “Amazing Stories” reboot executive produced by Steven Spielberg, an adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s classic “Foundation” books and “The Morning Show,” a drama set in the morning TV industry starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon.

Details about the shows have been coming out for more than a year, so the main question was: How would consumers get access to all of this content? And how much would they have to pay for it, if anything?

Reports last fall suggested that Apple might actually give these shows away for free to anyone with an iOS or tvOS device, so the original content would essentially function as an incentive to buy Apple hardware and as a funnel to other services.

And indeed, Apple announced that there’s a new Apple TV app coming in May, as well as Apple TV Channels, which will allow you to subscribe to other streamers like HBO, Showtime, Starz and CBS All Access. IIt turns out TV+ will be a part of the TV app, but you’ll have to pay extra — even if Apple isn’t saying how much yet.

To highlight the caliber of filmmakers involved in this initiative, Apple showed off a promotional video featuring interviews with Steven Spielberg, J.J. Abrams, Octavia Spencer, Ron Howard, M. Night Shyamalan, Sofia Coppola, Damian Chazelle, Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon — who are, of course, all making shows for Apple TV+.

Spielberg then took the stage to talk about his childhood love of the Amazing Stories magazine, which he subsequently turned into an ’80s TV series.

“Thanks to the visionary and inventive folks at Apple, my Amblin team and I are going to be resurrecting this 93-year-old brand and offering to multi-generational audiences a whole new batch of Amazing Stories,” he said.

Spielberg was followed by a veritable parade of celebrities touting their various shows: Aniston, Witherspoon and Steve Carrell, who are all starring in “The Morning Show; then Jason Momoa and Alfre Woodward, who talked about their science fiction series “See”; then Kumail Nanjiani, who said his anthology series “Little America” will consist of “human stories that feature immigrants”l; then Big Bird (yes, that Big Bird) announcing coding-themed shows that Sesame Workshop is making for Apple and then J.J. Abrams and Sara Bareilles — Bareilles performed the theme to their show “Little Voice.”

To close it all out? Oprah Winfrey.

Apples new Sesame Street-themed TV show will teach kids coding basics

The original “Sesame Street” TV show taught preschoolers basics like numbers and letters, but Apple’s new Sesame Street-themed show will instead focus on teaching kids coding basics. Introduced on stage today at Apple’s press event by none other than Big Bird himself, the Sesame Workshop-produced show is one of the new arrivals to Apple TV+, the company’s just-announced streaming TV service and Netflix rival.

The new kids show will focus on coding, because “coding fosters collaboration, critical thinking skills, and is an essential language that every child can learn,” Apple announced today by way of a muppet called Cody, who has learned to speak in PR soundbites.

“By teaching preschoolers about coding, we’re giving them the opportunity to change the world!” the muppet exclaimed.

The show will also have “cool music” and “funky dance moves,” Cody added.

Apple, of course, directly benefits by helping inspire the next generation of coders, as its ecosystem of apps – and the billions of dollars they generate – are built by millions of third-party developers. For Apple to retain a dominant position in the app industry, it needs to continue to build out its pipeline of new coders.

To date, the company has been pushing its coding language, Swift, by hosting educational sessions at Apple Stores, funding school programs and nonprofit initiatives, offering course materials to teachers, and through its own learn-to-code app, Swift Playgrounds. But this new kids TV show is designed to spark interest in programming at an even earlier age.

“You’re helping kids grow up to be smarter, stronger, and kinder,” said Big Bird to Cody, touting the series on stage at the press event.

Because Apple didn’t show a trailer for the series, it’s unclear how the coding tutorials will be presented to viewers. But at a high level, it will use the big ideas behind coding to solve problems.

Apple’s deal with Sesame Workshop had been announced in June 2018, and was said to include both live action and animated TV. But none of the actual shows were announced until today. The deal, it’s worth noting, does not include “Sesame Street” itself, as HBO made a five-year deal with Sesame Workshop for that title back in 2015.