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08-08-2020 Science&Technology
Apple confirms cloud gaming services like xCloud and Stadia violate App Store guidelines

Cloud gaming is shaping up to have a big moment on mobile starting next month with the launch of Microsoft’s xCloud service, but iOS users are getting left out. And now we know exactly why: Apple won’t allow those products, because of strict App Store guidelines that make cloud services like xCloud and its competitor, Google Stadia, effectively impossible to operate on the iPhone. We already knew that there was some issue, likely App Store-related, as to why Stadia wasn’t available for Apple devices and why Microsoft’s service would likely face a similar fate. It seemed even more likely that xCloud’s fate on iOS was sealed yesterday when Microsoft cut off iOS testing for its xCloud app well ahead of its September 15th launch date on Android. Nvidia’s GeForce Now service is also similarly Android-only when it comes to phones, even though that platform technically lets you access titles you already own. But Apple has finally come out and said, in a statement to Business Insider, that these kinds of cloud services are in violation of App Store guidelines and cannot, in their current forms, ever exist on iOS. The primary reason: they offer access to apps Apple can’t individually review. Here’s the official Apple statement: The App Store was created to be a safe and trusted place for customers to discover and download apps, and a great business opportunity for all developers. Before they go on our store, all apps are reviewed against the same set of guidelines that are intended to protect customers and provide a fair and level playing field to developers. Our customers enjoy great apps and games from millions of developers, and gaming services can absolutely launch on the App Store as long as they follow the same set of guidelines applicable to all developers, including submitting games individually for review, and appearing in charts and search. In addition to the App Store, developers can choose to reach all iPhone and iPad users over the web through Safari and other browsers on the App Store. Back in March, Bloomberg reported Apple offering a very similar justification when questioned about potential antitrust issues related to Apple’s Arcade game subscription service, which the company operates despite the headaches its competitors have doing the same. Microsoft, in a new statement given to The Verge on Thursday, says it could not find a solution to bringing xCloud to iOS via the App Store, and it now pins the blame solely on Apple, which it says “stands alone” in denying consumers the benefits of cloud gaming by “consistently treats gaming apps differently” and “applying more lenient rules to non-gaming apps.” The company adds it plans to continue looking for a way to bring cloud gaming and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to iOS devices. ...

Read Original Article     ON:   The Verge

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08-08-2020 Science&Technology
Android security update tracker, August 2020: Rankings for popular smartphones

Major updates of Android don't matter as much as they used to. Many components of the operating system are updated through the Play Store, so even if you're on Android 8 or 9, you can still access most of the same apps and features as someone on the latest release of Android 10. However, the security updates that Google releases on a monthly basis are still critical to keeping your phone or tablet safe. Dozens of security flaws are discovered in components of Android each month, which is why Google releases monthly security patches. However, unlike app and API updates, the security patches can't be delivered directly to devices — phone manufacturers have to integrate the changes into their own flavors of Android, and release them as system updates. It's common knowledge that some companies are better than others when it comes to patching their phones, but making direct comparisons is somewhat difficult. It's hard to track down information about when exactly updates are released, so news coverage often relies on device owners seeing the update themselves. Carriers and slow rollouts only make matters more complicated. The good news is that we've done all the hard work for you. This is our ultimate security update tracker, where we're giving each recent flagship phone a simple score from 1-10, based on how long it takes for security updates to get from Google to device owners. How we score devices If you're interested how we gather this data and assess it, we explain our methodology more on the second page. Here's the short version: We compiled a list of dates for security patches for each major 2019 Android flagship, starting from January 2019 or when the phone was released in the United States (whichever was earliest). The date for each security update is the first evidence we could find of a public rollout, either from an official announcement from the device maker, news coverage of the update, or confirmed reports from social media (whichever was earliest). Each device's score is calculated using a weighted average of the number of days between a security update's availability and the device's OTA being released, the resulting "score" being normalized into a number out of 10, and then a standard penalty being assessed for any given monthly update that is missed subtracting from that score. ...

Read Original Article     ON:   Android Police

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08-08-2020 Science&Technology
Weather satellite and robotic telescope spot Perseverance rover en route to Mars

When NASA's powerful Perseverance rover lifted off into space on July 30, a satellite and a robotic telescope caught unique views of the mission on its way to Mars. Weather satellite GOES-16, which usually monitors terrestrial and space weather from geosynchronous orbit, spotted the smoke plume of the launch from Cape Canaveral, Fla. Video from the event indicated the plume showed up easily in visible wavelengths, despite clouds around the site, and the launch appeared as a red streak on the satellite's "water vapor" channel. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which operates the mission along with NASA, shared both sets of footage on different Twitter channels, with separate tweets for the visible wavelength plume and water vapor streak. GOES-16 is sometimes referred to by its geostationary position above the United States, at 75.2 degrees west, as GOES East. The United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket that launched Perseverance used two main rocket stages and four strap-on boosters, a particularly powerful format of the vehicle. The extra boost was necessary to lift the car-sized rover, which clocks in at 2,314 lbs. (1,050 kilograms). After the first stage of the Atlas V spent all of its fuel, it separated from the second stage and began tumbling as it fell back to Earth; the stage burned up during re-entry, as planned. That stage put on a show of its own. The Virtual Telescope Project, which is managed by Gianluca Masi in Ceccano, Italy, an hour southeast of Rome spotted the booster with its 17-inch PlaneWave robotic telescope. The instrument captured a three-minute exposure of the spent booster spinning through space and also grabbed footage of the protective shell that will carry Perseverance to Mars for the next seven months. "The telescope tracked the fast apparent motion of the [spacecraft]; this is why stars show as trails, while the spacecraft looks like a bright and sharp dot of light in the center of the image," Masi said in a statement on the project's website. Perseverance is scheduled to land in Mars' Jezero Crater on Feb. 18, 2021. One of the rover's major goals is to cache potential samples showing signs of ancient life on Mars. If all goes to plan, these samples will be brought to Earth by a future mission for more scientific scrutiny. Although Perseverance went into "safe mode" soon after launch because the rover got colder than expected, the mission quickly recovered with no issue.

Read Original Article     ON:   Space

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08-07-2020 Cars
Dirty Tesla: After Just 36,000 Miles, This Model 3 Accumulated 30 Pounds Of Dirt

Got dirt? This Tesla had a lot in its rear bumper. After 36,000 miles of driving, this Tesla Model 3 has accumulated some 30 pounds of dirt in its rear bumper. Time to get rid of the waste and extra weight. Have dirt, will travel. Will travel for gravel. Or something like that. All cars accumulate some dirt underneath over time, but the Model 3 seems to be the heavy-hauler when it comes to carrying big lots of dirt in its undercarriage. There have been a few reported cases of the Tesla Model 3 accumulating quite a load of dirt in its undercarriage, but this one is quite extreme. The majority of dirt is captured and held in by the rear bumper cover of the Model 3 and over time, this accumulation can add up. This Tesla Model 3 owner, while conducting an examination of his car at 36,000 miles, found a not-so-pleasant surprise. There was over 30 pounds of dirt within the undersides of his Tesla. That's about half a bag's worth of topsoil, which means it's not some insignificant amount of dirt. This range-reducing (mostly a joke) dirt had likely accumulated over time, but regardless the car was carrying the weight of two bowling balls in dirt in its undercarriage. It's not unusual to find dirt in the various plastic panels underneath a car. However, 30 pounds is excessive. Our advice would be to periodically remove those panels on your Tesla to let the filth out. Not only will this reduce the weight of your car, but also that dirt can trap moisture, which can lead to rust issue underneath the vehicle, so take a look next time you have a chance and see if your model 3 is carrying a heavy load of dirt too.

Read Original Article     ON:   Inside Evs

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08-07-2020 Science&Technology
Prehistoric 'Hell Ant' Stuck in Amber Has Been Mauling Its Prey For 99 Million Years

A long-extinct lineage of insect, known fondly as the 'hell ant', has been discovered frozen in 99-million-year-old amber, with its scythe-like jaw still pinning its prey. According to scientists, this fierce predator is a newly identified species of prehistoric ant, known as Ceratomyrmex ellenbergeri, and it's the first time we've ever seen a hell ant actively feeding. Its meal is an extinct relative of the cockroach. "Fossilised behaviour is exceedingly rare, predation especially so," says Phillip Barden, who studies social insect evolution at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). "As palaeontologists, we speculate about the function of ancient adaptations using available evidence, but to see an extinct predator caught in the act of capturing its prey is invaluable." Ants are some of the most diverse creatures on planet Earth. To date, scientists have identified over 12,500 different species and they think there are probably another 10,000 or so out there, just waiting to be discovered underfoot. That's quite the selection. And yet of all the ants marching today, none of them look anything like what scientists have found in amber deposits from Myanmar, Canada and France. In fact, Barden says the mouthparts of these haidomyrmecine hell ants are unlike that of nearly all insects alive today. This newly-identified hell ant used its lower mandible to move upwards and pin its prey to the horn-like paddle above. Other hell ants discovered in the past also have this horn, and while scientists thought it might be a sort of clamp, this 99-million-year-old fossil is the first real evidence that can back that up. Contrary to these ancient bugs, modern ants and almost all other living hexapods have mandibles that only move on a horizontal axis. "Since the first hell ant was unearthed about a hundred years ago, it's been a mystery as to why these extinct animals are so distinct from the ants we have today," Barden says. "This fossil reveals the mechanism behind what we might call an 'evolutionary experiment,' and although we see numerous such experiments in the fossil record, we often don't have a clear picture of the evolutionary pathway that led to them." Above: The hell ant Ceratomyrmex ellenbergeri grasping a nymph of Caputoraptor elegans (Alienoptera) preserved in amber dated to roughly 99 million years. Hell ants actually precede the most common ancestor of all living ants, and even then, they were incredibly diverse. Other species trapped in amber have been found equipped with spiky mouthparts, most probably used to drink their victims' blood. Modern ants, on the other hand, look remarkably different. They have mouths facing forward, which keeps their heads relatively parallel to the ground, although they can look up and around. Hell ants couldn't move their heads nearly as well, and they likely captured prey with their mouths facing downwards. ...

Read Original Article     ON:   Science Alert

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08-07-2020 Science&Technology
Massive 20GB Intel IP Data Breach Floods the Internet, Mentions Backdoors (Intel Responds)

Till Kottmann, a Swiss IT consultant, posted on Twitter a link to a file sharing service today that contains what an anonymous source claims is a portion of Intel's crown jewels: A 20GB folder of confidential Intel intellectual property. The leaker dubbed the release the "Intel exconfidential Lake Platform Release ;)." "We are investigating this situation. The information appears to come from the Intel Resource and Design Center, which hosts information for use by our customers, partners and other external parties who have registered for access. We believe an individual with access downloaded and shared this data." Intel's Resource and Design Center is a website dedicated to providing the company's partners with NDA documentation for product integration purposes. Reports are also cropping up that some of the files are marked with NDA license agreements to "Centerm Information Co. Ltd., a Chinese company established and existing under the laws of the People's Republic of China," meaning this company could have been also hacked. The folder appears to have been originally posted by an anonymous source that claims more is coming soon, and while we don't know the exact specifics of the folder's contents, we have verified that it does exist. In fact, the title of many of the documents do correlate to the list of purported information posted by the leaker: Intel ME Bringup guides + (flash) tooling + samples for various platforms Kabylake (Purley Platform) BIOS Reference Code and Sample Code + Initialization code (some of it as exported git repos with full history) Intel CEFDK (Consumer Electronics Firmware Development Kit (Bootloader stuff)) SOURCES Silicon / FSP source code packages for various platforms Various Intel Development and Debugging Tools Simics Simulation for Rocket Lake S and potentially other platforms Various roadmaps and other documents Binaries for Camera drivers Intel made for SpaceX Schematics, Docs, Tools + Firmware for the unreleased Tiger Lake platform (very horrible) Kabylake FDK training videos Intel Trace Hub + decoder files for various Intel ME versions Elkhart Lake Silicon Reference and Platform Sample Code Some Verilog stuff for various Xeon Platforms, unsure what it is exactly. Debug BIOS/TXE builds for various Platforms Bootguard SDK (encrypted zip) Intel Snowridge / Snowfish Process Simulator ADK Various schematics Intel Marketing Material Templates (InDesign) Lots of other things Kottman, who has been behind other data dumps of proprietary information in the past, claims the hacker "breached" Intel, which the company denies. Kottman also said the files were obtained earlier this year, adding "most of the things here have NOT been published ANYWHERE before and are classified as confidential, under NDA or Intel Restricted Secret." The source says more files will be shared soon, and "the future parts of this leak will have even juicier and more classified stuff." ...

Read Original Article     ON:   Tom´s Hardware

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08-07-2020 Science&Technology
Google has already discontinued the Pixel 4 and 4 XL

Google has discontinued the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL, its flagship phones that were released in October of last year. Both devices are out of stock in Google’s store in the US, though some variants are still available in other regions for the time being. “Google Store has sold through its inventory and completed sales of Pixel 4 [and] 4 XL,” a Google spokesperson confirms to The Verge. “For people who are still interested in buying Pixel 4 [and] 4 XL, the product is available from some partners while supplies last. Just like all Pixel devices, Pixel 4 will continue to get software and security updates for at least three years from when the device first became available on the Google Store in the US.” It’s unusual for Google to discontinue a Pixel phone so quickly. The Pixels 2 and 3 were on sale for around 18 months each, with Google stopping sales roughly six months after the introduction of their successors. The move means Google technically no longer has a flagship phone for sale. That is a technicality, though — Google introduced the new Pixel 4A earlier this week for an August 20th release, and also confirmed that the Pixel 5 and a 5G-equipped 4A would be coming later this fall. And while the 4A is a budget device, between its better battery life, less bezel-y design, and equally good main camera you might actually prefer it to the regular Pixel 4. That’s the conclusion Dieter came to in our review, saying “the Pixel 4A makes a much stronger case for itself than other Pixel phones.”

Read Original Article     ON:   The Verge

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08-07-2020 Politics
Trump issues orders banning TikTok and WeChat from operating in 45 days if they are not sold by Chin

(CNN)President Donald Trump on Thursday issued an executive order that would ban the social media app TikTok and WeChat from operating in the US in 45 days if they are not sold by their Chinese-owned parent companies.. The orders, which use similar language, do not state that a certain amount of money from the sale needs to be sent to the US Treasury Department, which the President has been insisting on for several days. The order regarding TikTok prohibits after 45 days "any transaction by any person, or with respect to any property, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, with ByteDance Ltd.," the Chinese company that owns the social media platform. The move turns up the pressure on negotiations over the popular video app's future through a potential sale. The dramatic back and forth began when Trump said Friday night that he would ban TikTok from operating in the United States using emergency economic powers or an executive order. Microsoft said Sunday that it was pushing forward with talks to acquire the app following a conversation between CEO Satya Nadella and the President. On Monday, Trump set September 15 as the deadline for TikTok to find a US buyer. Failing to do so, he said, would lead him to shut down the app in the country. In an unusual declaration, Trump also said any deal would have to include a "substantial amount of money" coming to the US Treasury. Thursday's order alleges that TikTok "automatically captures vast swaths of information from its users," such as location data and browsing and search histories, which "threatens to allow the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans' personal and proprietary information -- potentially allowing China to track the locations of Federal employees and contractors, build dossiers of personal information for blackmail, and conduct corporate espionage." ...

Read Original Article     ON:   CNN

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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. ...

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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.

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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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