Remember when Microsoft revealed Kinect would quietly listen to everything you said, causing the internet to erupt into furious, anti-Orwellian storm? Now it’s Samsung’s turn.
The idea of our personal information being captured by any sort of technology should make anyone uncomfortable, but it’s that mention of a “third party” which is most disconcerting.
However, Samsung has tried to offer some reassurance. It told TechRadar it “does not retain voice data or sell it to third parties”.
“If a consumer consents and uses the voice recognition feature, voice data is provided to a third party during a requested voice command search. At that time, the voice data is sent to a server, which searches for the requested content then returns the desired content to the TV.”
It added: “Samsung takes consumer privacy very seriously. In all of our Smart TVs we employ industry-standard security safeguards and practices, including data encryption, to secure consumers’ personal information and prevent unauthorized collection or use.”
The company added that you’ll know if the voice recognition feature is active because a microphone icon will be present on the screen. Samsung also reminds us that the feature can be activated or deactivated by the user.
And of course, the TV owner can also disconnect the TV from the Wi-Fi network entirely, although that somewhat defeats the point of having a smart television.
That might help some people sleep more soundly at night, but as the Internet of Things starts to consume our daily lives, this certainly won’t be the last (or the worst) privacy scare.
The Department for Transport has announced that classic cars more than 40 years old will be exempt from MOT testing, with owners voluntarily electing for an MOT if they feel their car needs one.
Currently, only cars from before 1960 are exempt, which represents 197,000 cars on UK roads. The new rules will exempt a further 293,000 cars from MOTs.
The thinking behind the decision, according to the DfT, is that these cars are “usually maintained in good condition and used on few occasions”. The decision also eases concerns that garages may not be adequately testing cars over this age, as the modern MOT applies less to cars of this age.
The new date would also bring the age of cars exempt from MOTs in line with the exemption of road tax. The Government dismissed concerns that these cars pose a greater risk of failure than modern ones; cars registered in the interim period between the old exemption and the upcoming exemption have a substantially lower rate of failure than the national average.
“We consider the element of risk arising from taking vehicles over 40 years old out of the testing regime is small. The option for owners to submit their vehicles to a voluntary MOT test will remain and they will still, like all vehicle owners, need to ensure that they meet the legal requirement of keeping their vehicle in a roadworthy condition at all time.”
Of the 2217 respondents consulted for the proposal, more than half supported the suggested annual or biennial roadworthiness test for 40-year-old vehicles, checking the cars’ identity, brakes, steering, tyres and lights. The DfT has rejected this approach, saying: “Those owners who feel an annual check is needed will be able to submit their vehicles for a voluntary MOT.”
A stronger majority voted against exemption of vehicles aged 30 years or older from MOT tests; the DfT sided with the consultation on this proposal, citing accident data as well as the strong negative reaction from the public to this suggestion.
While the world is going gaga over the iPhone launch today, Samsung just launched the latest flagship Galaxy Note 8 in India. We have no idea if Samsung intentionally went with this date or not, but seems like that’s not a big deal for the company. The smartphone was launched on August 24 in selected markets and is seeing delightful response till now.
The Galaxy Note 8 is priced at Rs 67,990 in India, and will be going on sale from September 21 onwards. There’s no doubt that the smartphone is a great example of stunning design and powerful hardware, but it is yet to be seen if it really convinces Indian audiences to buy the phone at this price. The Galaxy Note 8 is one of a kind smartphone in it’s segment as there is no other phone right now that has pen support. The only competition it will face is the upcoming iPhone, and like always it would be interesting how Apple strategizes it’s entry in Indian market.
The Galaxy Note 8 comes with tons of productivity features and some additional pen function to put more sense into the hardware. It comes with several unique features that promises to literally boost user productivity. After last year’s Note 7 blast controversy, it was indeed a critical launch for Samsung in order to save it’s much loved Note line-up.
App pairing is one of the interesting new features that lets you utilise that huge 6.3-inch display to its fullest. App pairing allows you to pair two apps that can be launched together from the homescreen or in App Edge. This feature opens both the apps in split screen mode, allowing you to do two tasks faster than ever before.
With the Galaxy Note 8 and its new S-Pen, Samsung has introduced a feature called Live Messages. This is in effect a GIF maker – using the S-Pen, you can now draw a sketch and the Note 8 will create an animated GIF out of it. You can then send this new GIF to your friends or save it to your device.
Samsung has added new DeX abilities to better use Galaxy Note 8’s power. With DeX Labs, a majority of the apps can now be used in full-screen mode. Samsung has also modified the DeX user interface to have an overview of more apps and optimised video conferencing and email experience.
The Galaxy Note 8’s build and finish is quite similar to the Galaxy S8 but the design has seen an overhaul in terms of shape and form factor. It has the Gorilla Glass 5 on the back and also comes with IP68 waterproofing. It also retains the IRIS scanner and oddly placed fingerprint sensor on the back. Like the S8, it also has the 3D Touch enabled home button embedded inside the display. It has a hybrid dual SIM slot that means it can support microSD card up to 256GB.
In terms of specifications, the Galaxy Note 8 has a stunning looking 6.3-inch curved AMOLED full HD display with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection. While the US variant of the phone has the Snapdragon 835, the Indian variant of the phone will come with an octa-core Exynos 8895 and Mali-G71 MP20 GPU coupled with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage.
The Galaxy Note 8 features two 12-megapixel cameras on the back that both feature Optical Image Stabilisation. Samsung claims that this is the first time a dual camera setup has featured OIS on both the sensors. Additionally, the two sensors also feature Samsung’s Dual Pixel technology and Phase Detection Autofocus. On the front it has an 8-megapixel camera with f/1.7 aperture, 1/3.6″ sensor size and dual video call.
The Galaxy Note 8 also comes with a feature called Live Focus that lets you shoot portrait photos with a fancy bokeh effect. Samsung says that you can adjust the bokeh effect before and after you take the shot.
Connectivity options include, Wi-Fi 802.11, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, and USB 3.1, Type-C 1.0. It is powered by a 3300mAh battery, which is slightly smaller the the Galaxy S8 Plus.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 launch offers
Those who pre-book the device can avail one time screen replacement and get free wireless charger. As part of Samsung’s special launch offer, consumers using HDFC credit card for buying the Galaxy Note8 will get INR 4000 cashback.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 specifications
Display: 6.3-inch OLED Infinity Display with Corning Gorilla Glass 5
When Apple chief Tim Cook declared the iPhone X “the biggest leap forward since the first iPhone” at his latest launch extravaganza, you couldn’t help but wonder if he was referring to its features or its price.
With the top-end model costing £1,149, customers are paying a premium to swap their fingerprint sensor for a facial scanner and the ability to make an animated monkey or poo emoji copy their bemused looks.
In opting to refer to the model as “ten” rather than “x”, the firm has also thrown its naming convention into a bit of confusion – will there ever be an iPhone 9 – or indeed IX?
Of course, that’s a problem for another day. And the internet has had plenty else to chew over in the meantime…
The two biggest questions for me focus on the iPhone X’s most daring design change, ditching the home button. Will it actually make the phone more convenient to use? And will using your face to unlock the phone benefit you, or is it just a workaround?
The iPhone X may be the most powerful iPhone ever, but compared to almost any other Android flagships, it’s hard to pick out a category where it leads the pack – at least on paper when comparing raw specifications. But if Apple has shown one thing time and again with every iPhone generation, it’s that optimisation of hardware and software matter just as much – if not more.
Wall Street Journal
The iPhone X’s new design – a 5.8in, edge-to-edge display -has raised hopes that it can reverse Apple’s fortunes in China, where sales have fallen six straight quarters. Chinese consumers are more influenced by a phone’s appearance than consumers in other markets, and Apple had kept the same appearance for three years.
A $1,000 iPhone could add as much as 6% to Apple’s 2018 earnings per share… but that depends on the iPhone X being a hit, and there’s more competition from lower-cost Chinese competitors such as Huawei and Xiaomi, which timed the introduction of their new phones around Apple’s launch to attract customers who may be deterred by the iPhone X’s price.
Apple has crafted a stunning new flagship. In a time when existing iPhones were starting to look a little – dare I say – pedestrian in comparison to what Samsung, LG, and others were doing in hardware, the iPhone X has accelerated through and can spar with the best of them.
What did bother me a little more than expected were the bezels that run around the screen… Given that Apple’s competition has done an incredible job trimming the cruft from around their displays, I can’t help but feel that the iPhone X’s design doesn’t have the same kind of impact as, say, the Essential or Samsung’s recent Galaxys.
The very notion of using your face as the key to your digital secrets presents some fundamental problems… It’s very hard to hide your face from someone who wants to coerce you to unlock your phone, like a mugger, a customs agent, or a policeman who has just arrested you. In some cases, criminal suspects in the US can invoke the Fifth Amendment protections from self-incrimination to refuse to give up their phone’s passcode. That same protection doesn’t apply to your face.
All the focus today was on the innovations in the X.But it all made the new 8 look like a rather boring, “plain old” iPhone – and the price for that has just gone up $50 as well.
The X is the best iPhone, no questions, and it’s quickly jumped to the top of the best phones, period. Yeah, it’s going to cost you, but you already knew that.
Ahead of its September 29 launch, FIFA 18 has so far given us a “Ronaldo-fueled” reveal trailer and a star-studded teaser for The Journey’s second season (see above). Today, EA Sports’ annually updated footie sim drops a 12-team sporting demo two weeks ahead of kick off.
The developer hasn’t revealed exactly when the demo will arrive—”The launch of the FIFA 19 Demo varies depending on platform and location”, so reads this update post—however it is due at some point today. When it lands, it’ll come with 12 teams, four stadiums, and a preview of The Journey: Hunter Returns—the next installment Alex Hunter’s rags-to-mega riches story.
In Kick Off mode, players can take control of Manchester United, Manchester City, Real Madrid, Atlético Madrid, Juventus, Bayern Munich, LA Galaxy, Toronto FC, Boca Juniors, Guadalajara, Vissel Kobe, and Paris Saint-Germain. My team Celtic is playing PSG this evening, so it’d be great if you chose anyone but them for the sake of superstition. And anyway, despite the money involved in modern football, their £200 million signing of Neymar is taking the piss.
Anyway, back to the FIFA 18 demo: players can lead one of the above onto the hallowed turfs of Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabéu, Boca Juniors’ La Bombonera, LA Galaxy’s StubHub Center, and Al-Hilal Saudi’s King Fahd Stadium.
Third-person shooter and multiplayer loot ladder The Division will be free to play in its entirety this weekend. Running from September 14-17, the base game, including the campaign and Dark Zone, will open up to anyone curious enough to give Massive’s post-disaster romp in New York a late tour.
Access kicks off September 14th at 7 pm CEST and closes out September 17th at 10 pm CEST, but you’ll be able to pre-load in the Uplay client starting today at 6 pm CEST.
When it launched, there wasn’t much to sustain The Division after the campaign ran out, and the loot grind was a bit too time consuming. But with the 1.6 update, gear dropped more often and the endgame expanded in interesting ways, though the expansions weren’t much help.
I’d still recommend it if you want something to play with friends or a soothing game to zone out to. The campaign is standard cover shooting fare, but good fun with the right team, and the Dark Zone came make for some tense friend-or-foe multiplayer shootouts. And for the min-max’ers, working towards powerful builds with overpowered gear and ability synergies can be as satisfying as speccing a Diablo character. It’ll at least hold you over until Destiny 2 comes out.
“It has come to our attention that a gauntlet in Destiny 2 shares elements with a hate symbol,” developer Bungie tweeted earlier today. “It is not intentional. We are removing it.” And good on them, I say. There’s just one problem: Virtually nobody in the Destiny community had any idea what Bungie was talking about.
Once the notification went out, Reddit went to work and quickly sussed out that the Road Complex AA1 gauntlets are (probably) the offending kit. The problem would appear to lie with the back-to-back “K” lettering, separated by four horizontal lines, on the shoulder and upper arm, which—once someone points it out—bears an unmistakable similarity to the “Kekistan” flag, an idiotic “tribal marker of the alt-right,” as the Southern Poverty Law Center describes it.
Even though the gauntlets hadn’t been brought up as problematic by the Destiny community at large, the reality is that nipping this thing in the bud is absolutely the right move. Mainstream corporations can’t have artists slipping in imagery of their favorite political causes (remember the fate the Marvel artist who worked hidden political messages into X-Men Gold), and intentional or not, the symbol’s presence was bound to get picked up on sooner or later.
The artist who created the logo may have absolutely no idea what Kekistan is (and lucky them if so), but there are people who would inevitably hear a dog whistle being blown anyway. Better to shut it down before it gets that far.
We’ve emailed Bungie to confirm that these are in fact the gauntlets in question, and will update if and when we receive a reply. In the meantime, no, you still can’t play Destiny 2 on the PC, but you can read our handy rundown of everything you need to know about the game before you dive into it when it rolls around on October 24.
They told us it was coming and now it’s here. Porsche pulled the curtain back on the third-generation of its Porsche Cayenne SUV Tuesday and, yeah, it looks a whole lot like the current Cayenne. Look closer, however, and you’ll see that it’s all new, inside and out.
In Porsche-speak, “the new Cayenne retains a strong visual connection to its predecessors.” That means that it essentially looks the same as before, which is fine and to be expected from a brand with such a strong and deeply established design language. So, if you liked the look of the gen-two Cayenne, you’ll probably like this one.
Perhaps even more so. The new Cayenne retains the same wheelbase as the outgoing model, but manages to squeeze 15-percent more cargo capacity behind its rear seats without compromising the silhouette.
The new model also makes more extensive use of LEDs for illumination and its exterior design. Lighting is so important that Porsche will offer two tiers of upgrades over the standard headlamps: a Porsche Dynamic Light System (PLDS) or LED Matrix Beam headlights with PDLS.
Two new engines
It’s a Porsche, so performance should be important to the new Cayenne. Beneath its familiar hood, drivers will find one of two turbocharged V6 engines. The standard mill is a 3.0-liter, single-turbo V6 making 340 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. Cayenne S buyers step up to a 2.9-liters, twin-turbo V6 that bumps the output to 440 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque.
At its fastest with its optional Sport Chrono performance upgrade package, the Cayenne S will sprint from zero to 60 mph in just 4.6 seconds before crossing the quarter-mile mark in 13.2 ticks. Top speed is stated at 164 mph.
What won’t know until closer to launch is how fuel efficient these engines will be. We also don’t have a timeline for when the inevitable, but unannounced, E-Hybrid, Turbo and Turbo S E-Hybrid models may join the line-up. A similar timeline to the Panamera’s rollout makes sense, so I’m guessing we’ll hear more over the next year.
S or no S, Sport Chrono or not, a new eight-speed Tiptronic S automatic transmission is standard across the Cayenne line. It’s mated with the also standard Porsche Traction Management (PTM) all-wheel drive system with five traction mode settings including four for “mild off-road terrain.”
2019 Porsche Cayenne debuts with sharper looks, two new engines
With its staggered wheel sizes — where the rears are wider than the front — it’s clear, however, that the Cayenne is built primarily for on-road performance. To this end, the SUV shares a lot of the new handling and agility tricks with the recently debuted Panamera sport sedan, including active suspension damping, optional 3-chamber air suspension, active stabilizer bars and rear axle steering. That last bit can adjust the rear wheels’ angle of attack in concert or in contrast to the front wheels to boost stability at high speeds and maneuverability at low speeds, respectively.
The SUV also makes “intensive use of aluminum” to reduce weight when compared to the previous generation. Up to 143 pounds of weight, specifically, part of which comes from a new lithium-polymer starter battery that saves 22 pounds over the old power cell. Less weight usually means better handling, braking and acceleration, so we’re happy to hear this.
The standard brakes can still be upgraded to the exotic Porsche Carbon Ceramic Brakes, but the third-generation Cayenne will also be the first model to offer a new mid-tier Porsche Surface Coated Brakes upgrade option. The Surface Coated stoppers are cast-iron discs treated with a tungsten-carbide coating. Porsche claims this treatment increases friction (which makes the brakes work better) while also reducing wear and brake dust (which, presumably, makes them last longer and look better).
The “look better” bit is enhanced with white painted calipers — an aesthetic you can only really pull off if Porsche’s claim of reduced brake dust is a true one.
Beneath the skin, much of the new Cayenne’s underpinnings are shared with the new Panamera. So, it’s no surprise to see the SUV also shares its technology and software with the sedan.
In the dashboard is the newest version of the Porsche Communication Management infotainment. Here, it’s rocking a 12.3-inch full-HD touchscreen with a glossy black interface and software that can be customized, saving up to six individual profiles that affect the interface’s layout and organization, as well as cabin comfort, driving mode, driver aid tech and audio system preferences.
Below the main screen is the same bank of black glass-look capacitive buttons that control various vehicle systems.
The list of driver aid upgrades is impressive and thoroughly modern, including optional thermal night vision, lane change assist, lane keep assist, traffic sign recognition, InnoDrive adaptive cruise with traffic jam assist and much more.
A tech feature unique to the Cayenne is the new Off-road Precision App. Part of a Connect Plus system upgrade, this app allows off-road drive data and video to be saved and played back later to help the driver “improve her or his own skills.” Something tells me the average Cayenne driver is more concerned with Interstate and parking garage skills, but the app at least sounds interesting.
The 2019 Cayenne will launch with a base price of $65,700. Cayenne S models start at $82,900. Factor in an additional $1,050 destination charge before you get into what will certainly be a pricey plethora of available options and upgrades. You’ve got until mid-2018 to get your wallet ready.
My colleague, Patrick Moorhead, and I had the opportunity last week to participate in Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s (HPE) Global IoT Innovation Lab’s grand opening event in Houston. Following Houston, it will open two other labs in Geneva and Singapore. The HPE team is serious about deploying IoT solutions from the data center to the edge and it has done an impressive job of addressing many of the challenges and concerns many CIOs have when establishing their IoT strategies. HPE’s IoT rollout is focused on how organizations collect, coalesce and use data gathered from sensors and meters on industrial equipment. Many organizations are looking for IoT to improve equipment efficiency from HVAC, mechanical equipment, machinery, etc. Other areas include smart cities, medical devices, connected cars and many other industries.
Because of HPE’s diverse offerings, it is one of the only IoT vendors that can claim an end-to-end solution. Traditionally, HPE has built much of its success on its partners and its IoT strategy is no different. From my perspective, HPE demonstrated substantial industry leadership in the following three areas:
Inherently, IoT creates its own attack vector. Distributed and stranded end points create an attractive target for bad actors. HPE leverages a stable of partners to bring security and privacy solutions to their IoT platform, but the backbone of their IoT security platform is Aruba’s ClearPass. It provides, among other things, Medium Access Control (MAC)- level authentication, Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) fingerprinting, real time logging and endpoint behavior analysis to identify anomalies that indicate breaches or malicious activity. ClearPass also provides security policy controls to control how endpoints operate and communicate. From an IoT security perspective, ClearPass is the equivalent of the “kitchen sink” approach. It is a comprehensive solution that addresses most security concerns today’s CIOs have when implementing their IoT strategy. In many cases, though, it may be overkill for smaller organizations and companies dipping their toes into IoT. As always, it depends on the application.
Analytics in the cloud and at the edge
IoT endpoints are creating a significant amount of organic data outside the cloud and within the data center. As IoT networks become decentralized, these edge devices need to process more data and make decisions based on collected information. By moving autonomy to the edge in terms of security, analytics, and protocol translation, companies can enable their endpoint devices to make many decisions without the human factor.
HPE is investing wisely in machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI). To be successful with AI, you must train the algorithms to learn. AI learning is difficult to do in a distributed environment. Currently, HPE trains its AI data centrally within the confines of a data center. As the industry evolves, HPE will need to train new algorithms using aggregated AI data within a federated learning approach. A federated approach to AI learning makes the decision process more secure. Through successive iteration and learning at the edge, it will make endpoint devices more energy efficient – with lower latency – and deliver an overall secure and smarter device for processing information. HPE knows this and I am confident it will deliver.
One of the most impressive components of HPE’s IoT lab is the convergence between IT/OT systems. OT solutions are associated with Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA), Distributed Control Systems (DCS) and Industrial Control Systems (ICS).
Moreover, OT solutions from companies such as the ABB Group, Emerson Electric Co Automation Solutions, Honeywell International, National Instruments Corp. and Schneider Electric SE do not normally play well with others and use closed, proprietary protocols rather than open standards. This, in turn, normally creates both a quagmire of amalgamated protocols at the endpoint and a nightmare of policies from a standardized security perspective.
HPE is pushing the merger between IT and OT systems, thereby driving the software-defined narrative forward. Software-defined infrastructure disaggregates the operating system from the hardware. Companies can now replace closed Real Time Operating Systems (RTOS) with open-source solutions from the likes of Red Hat Software, SuSe, and CentOS and integrate third-party applications to drive functionality and new capabilities. This reduces the friction between the Operating System and Operational Technologies, allowing third-party service providers to deploy revenue-generating solutions to the edge.
Internet connected sensors, wireless sensors, actuator networks (WSANs) and meters are becoming mainstays for factories and energy management systems. Automation communications and controls have become integral components for industrial environments as well. At the edge, IT/OT convergence allows enhanced data analysis, monitoring, security and control of information collected from endpoints. This enables more control and monetization of information. However, it also presents new risk portfolios and scenarios for both sides. Specifically, how service providers ensure how all of their endpoint devices on the network are approved, authenticated, and allowed to communicate with other endpoints or the centralized network. Secondly, they must ensure the encryption of transmissions or communications to ensure privacy and security from the endpoint to the data center or distributed asset. Finally, the ability to be upgraded remotely is a must.