GADGETS AND TECHNOLOGY NEWS

by Smartmon
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Drones feel a bit like old news already, don’t they? At least in the Valley, with its hyper-fragmented mayfly attention span. The military has used them for decades. DJI, the undisputed (consumer) polycopter industry leader, was founded in 2006. We tech journalists can’t stop talking about drones, but they’re still mostly playthings, curiosities. One might well ask: what became of all that hype?

It’s a fair question, given our raised expectations — drones replacing FedEx trucks, drones providing emergency relief, drones creepily face-scanning every protester at a demonstration — but I think it evinces an unrealistic expectation of consistent, linear change.

The world's biggest technology showcase CES (the Consumer Electronics Show) is held every year in Las Vegas over the last 50 years. New 2017 is not an exception – the event ran from January 5 to January 8. 

by Smartmon
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assistant, whose seemingly ubiquitous nature means a lot of these devices now have a voice. First comes conversation, then comes an emotional attachment. As the show progressed, the lines between a robot and smart device blurred, hinting at a big future for the prospects of robots in your home.

But what makes a robot? Does a voice assistant such as Amazon's Alexa, found in LG's Hub Robot, automatically count? Does it need human features? I talked to exhibitors at the show to get their take.

Huawei is supporting Google VR in its aim to expand its reach in the virtual and augmented reality markets by releasing a new Daydream-ready headset and a Tango-based smartphone.

Huawei’s new headset was recently announced in a Google blogpost which detailed upcoming Daydream-ready devices. 

As well as its headset, Huawei’s Mate 9 Pro and Porsche Design Mate 9 smartphones were also revealed to be joining the Daydream family. According to Google, Huawei’s headset has been “built to be easy to use” with “an adjustable focus so it can be used without eyeglasses.”

by Tom-Link
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Brothers Massoud and Mahmud Hassani grew up in Kabul, Afghanistan, knowing that one wrong step could end their lives. “When we walked to school, we had a special path to follow—otherwise we would end up in a minefield,” Massoud says. Mines are cheap to manufacture and deploy, but slow and expensive to remove. An estimated 110 million land mines litter the globe, killing 15,000 to 20,000 ­people a year. Living among them “becomes like a mental disorder,” Massoud says. “The fear is on your mind all the time.”

by JASELINEte
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For the past few years, Dell’s XPS 13 has widely been considered one of, if not the best Windows laptop for most people.

It looks good, its keyboard is comfortable, its battery life is superb, and, most notably, its bezels are super thin, which effectively lets it pack a 13-inch display into the body of an 11-inch machine.

We liked the most recent model enough to include it in our roundup of last year’s top laptops.

by Ahmed Dubai
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Military drones are cheap, but they could certainly stand to be a whole lot cheaper. At least, that’s the rationale behind an Air Force solicitation for a “Low Cost Attritable Strike UAS Demonstration,” posted online yesterday. To encourage the design of a cheap and deadly drone, the federal government is willing to reimburse up to $7,450,000 for developing the concept in 30 days.

As they fit into the existing military air fleet, drones like the Predator and Reaper are cheaper than, say, $100+ million F-35s, but that doesn’t mean they’re exactly ependable. Reapers cost about $13 million each. The moderately cheaper Gray Eagle, which is about a half-step between the original Predator and the Reaper, runs about $5 million per drone.

The Apple Watch doesn't work with Android phones -- but your Samsung watch might now work with Apple. Today, Samsung has released a pair of apps on Apple's iOS App Store which allow the Samsung Gear S2, Gear S3, and Gear Fit 2 wearables to pair and work with Apple's iPhones.

One of the longest running bugbears of PC gaming is screen tearing — ever so often you’ll notice that when in motion, visuals on screen appear torn or distorted, even with the best possible PC. Screen tearing happens when the PC’s graphics card pushes out frames either faster or slower than the monitor can refresh its image, resulting in visible jitter and split frames. While only seen for a fraction of a second, tearing is extremely jarring can ruin the experience of playing a game.

by Matar Khalifa
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It’s raining.’ ‘It’s cold.’ ‘The duvet is too heavy.’ ‘I’ve got to be at work early.’ ‘I must stay late at the office.’ ‘I’d rather have a drink…’ 

Any of these gym-avoiding excuses sound familiar? Well, thanks to a combination of smartphone convenience and the latest sports science, you can skip paying a fortune to workout somewhere and get the same results in your own home.

Research shows you can achieve more progress in a mere 15 minutes of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) - done three times a week – than hitting the treadmill for an hour.