Year: 2019

Xiaomi Mi 9 Transparent edition will have a special 7P f/1.47 camera

You’ll probably be hard pressed to remember, but before Samsung’s onslaught of announcements today, Xiaomi also unveiled the Mi 9. This phone also has a transparent special edition, that for now will only be available in China.

We already knew it would boast 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, as well as a back design that shows some components under the glass – although these aren’t the real ones, mind you, that would have required an internal redesign. The look is inspired by Alita Battle Angel, apparently, but there’s another difference between this version and a vanilla Mi 9.

According to this slide shown at the presentation, the Mi 9 Transparent edition (which may be called Mi 9 Explorer) will have a special camera with f/1.47 aperture and a 7P lens. It’s unclear which of the three rear shooters this will be, but we’re assuming (and hoping) that it’s the main one – with 48 MP resolution and the Sony IMX586 sensor.

This means the Mi 9 Transparent edition will let in much more light than the vanilla version, and more than any of its competitors at the moment – if only by a hair. Still, expect to see even better night-time photography coming out of this Mi 9 variant.

It will be priced at CNY 3,999, which right now equates to about $595 or €524. Hopefully the company will decide to sell it outside of its home market as well.

Via (in German)

Mark Zuckerberg just accidentally undercut the rationale for Facebook Portal

Remember when Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently announced that his new annual personal challenge for 2019 would include participating in a series of discussions about the impact of technology on society? The first such discussion has been held, with Zuckerberg choosing to sit down with Harvard Law professor Jonathan Zittrain to talk about all manner of privacy and tech issues.

At one point, Zuckerberg started making the case that he didn’t think society would ever get to the point where people feel comfortable having a camera in every living room. At which point — yes, you guessed it. Zittrain pointed out that Facebook is selling a hardware product that is literally that very thing.

To back up, Zuckerberg was in the middle of a larger point about making end-to-end encryption a more widespread component of Facebook’s myriad services. “I basically think that if you want to talk in metaphors,” Zuckerberg explained, “messaging is like people’s living room, and we definitely don’t want a society where there’s a camera in everyone’s living room.”

At which point Zittrain replied that, well, that’s exactly what Facebook is trying to do with Portal — sell a product that is a camera in its users’ living rooms (or wherever else they put it).

Zuckerberg laughed and quickly pivoted. “That is I guess… yeah. Although that would be encrypted.”

You may have started to see TV commercials for Portal, Facebook’s video chat device it released late last year and for which the social networking giant actually worked with Hollywood filmmakers to cook up one of its signature elements. Thanks to a “smart camera” system, the device always keeps the person who’s talking in-frame, smoothly and automatically tracking them even when the person moves around.

Zuck’s Portal comment, of course, was an inadvertent slip-up and only one part of what arguably was a substantive exchange. In a post on his personal Facebook page that shared video of this discussion, Zuckerberg said the two men talked about everything from encryption to fighting misinformation, as well as business models, privacy innovation and future areas for research.

The discussion went on for almost two hours and didn’t even cover everything they hoped to. You can watch the full exchange below:

This $200,000 All-Electric Boat Lets You ‘Fly’ on Water

The SeaBubbles Bubble Taxi is equipped with hydrofoils that allow a top speed of 17 mph as it cruises along about 16 inches above the water. (Photo Credit: SeaBubbles)

Forget the super yacht, the newest way to travel on water is by electric, “flying” boat.

French startup SeaBubbles‘ futuristic car-shaped boat, the Bubble Taxi, which was presented at the Miami Boat Show this weekend, is equipped with hydrofoils that allow a top speed of 17 mph as it cruises along about 16 inches above the water.

The innovative foils also help the boat consume less energy by allowing it to travel on rougher waters with reduced drag, and provides the passenger a smoother, more comfortable ride, TechCrunch reported.

And there are more high-tech features. The five-seat Bubble Taxi concept also features sensors for measuring the water conditions, which makes automatic adjustments to the boat’s flaps, by way of software, so all the captain has to do is steer.

Photo Credit: SeaBubbles

The prototype offers 1.5 hours of autonomy and a five-hour battery recharge, but the finished version will offer 2.5 hours of autonomy and a far more reasonable 35-minute recharging session.

The suggested retail price on the Bubble Taxi is $200,000, according to TechCrunch. The price could look more attractive due to fuel and maintenance savings.

Photo Credit: SeaBubbles

SeaBubbles is already planning to start building boats for customers in Russia and Netherlands, and hopes to start production for the Paris market by next summer.

The company also reportedly just completed its first sales in the United States, with an unknown buyer purchasing 10 of the futuristic hydrofoils.

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Sam’s Club has a great Galaxy S10 deal that may be too good to pass up

It’s finally that day of the year, the day that many Samsung fans have been waiting for. Samsung has just concluded its Unpacked media event, which was packed with all sorts of announcements, from a surprisingly detailed Galaxy Fold presentation to the introduction of the 4G and 5G versions of the Galaxy S10 series, as well as new wearables. But the Galaxy S10 is the highlight of the day, and the only product that can really move the needle when it comes to Samsung’s bottom line this year. And now, Samsung is ready to kick off pre-orders, ahead of the March 8th launch.

As you probably know by now, Samsung will give you $550 in credit towards a new Galaxy S10 as long as you trade-in your existing device, and Galaxy Buds will be included with each S10 and S10+ preorder. But Sam’s Club might have an even better deal, especially if you don’t want to (or can’t) trade-in an old phone.

Prices start at $749.99 for the 6GB/128GB Galaxy S10e version, $899.99 for the 8GB/128GB Galaxy S10 and $999.99 for the 8GB/128GB Galaxy S10+ — versions with extra storage will cost you even more.

Sam’s Club, meanwhile, is ready to throw in savings of up to $329.99 to club members who preorder one of the three Galaxy S10 phones. The savings aren’t instant, however, as they include a Sam’s Club gift card of up to $200, as well as free Galaxy Buds wireless earphones (valued at $129.99), which need to be redeemed from Samsung.

For the Galaxy S10e — Samsung’s cheapest new phone — you get a $100 gift card, and that’s it. If you buy one of the premium Galaxy S10 handsets, then you’re eligible for the $200 gift card and the free Galaxy Buds.

However, as with previous Sam’s Club deals, you’ll have to ink an installment deal with AT&T, Sprint, or Verizon, or sign up for a US Cellular two-year agreement. Preorders will begin at SamsClub.com at 12:01 a.m. ET on Thursday, and continue through Sunday, March 3rd, so you’ve got some time to decide.

Image Source: Samsung

Lobster bellies make for great armor, according to MIT

Lobsters dominate the menu at seafood restaurants but they also happen to be true wonders of the ocean. They’re covered with rugged armor, which is standard for many crustaceans, but a new research effort by scientists at MIT took a look at one of the less flashy parts of the lobster: the belly.

In a new paper published in Acta Materialia, researchers reveal that the soft underbelly of the American lobster is so great at protecting the creature’s insides from the jagged ocean floor that a similar material could be useful for humans as full-body protection.

The underside of the lobster’s tail is equipped with a membrane of incredible strength. Unlike the more rigid panels that cover the top side of the creature, the coating on its belly is very flexible. The team even compares it to industrial rubber in terms of its strength. Such materials are typical used in things like car tires and garden hoses, MIT says.

“Most modern body armors sacrifice limb protection to gain mobility, simply because none of the existing armor materials are flexible enough and they all inhibit movement of the arms and legs,” the researchers write. “Herein, we focus on the mechanics and mesoscopic structure of American lobsters’ soft membrane and explore how such a natural flexible armor is designed to integrate flexibility and toughness.”

Lobsters have seemingly perfected this membrane over tens of millions of years, allowing the creatures to use their tails to make quick escapes while still protecting its vital organs from rocks and sharp edges that it might drag along when walking along the sea floor.

“We think this work could motivate flexible armor design,” MIT’s Ming Guo said in a statement. “If you could make armor out of these types of materials, you could freely move your joints, and it would make you feel more comfortable.”

Image Source: Richard Gardner/Shutterstock

Huawei P30 Lite's design leaks through case renders, triple rear camera confirmed

Huawei has been doing the Lite thing for a while now, and it won’t stop with the P30 family, to be officially announced at an event in Paris on March 26. The P30 Lite has been leaked in all its glory today, courtesy of case maker Spigen, which has uploaded images of the phone inside its upcoming range of cases that are specially designed for it.


Huawei P30 Lite case renders

As you can see, even the lowest-end member of the P30 family will sport three rear cameras. The fingerprint sensor is on the back to cut costs (the P30 and P30 Pro should go with under-display units), while on the front the screen has a tiny water drop notch and small bezels all-round.


More Huawei P30 Lite case renders

Here’s a shot of the backs of all three P30 devices side by side, just to know what you should expect, design-wise. The P30 Pro fits four cameras on its rear, while the P30 settles for three like the Lite model – although we’re willing to bet the snappers themselves will be different.

The P30 Lite seems to retain a 3.5mm headphone jack, placed at the bottom near the USB-C port. It’s expected to be powered by a mid-range chipset, probably the Kirin 710 which is also seen inside the Honor 8X.

Source | Via

Google built a microphone into its Nest security system – and forgot to tell anyone

Here’s one way to let users know that the gadget you sold them includes a microphone that you forgot to tell them about: You can announce an over-the-air software update that enables the microphone in the device to support a digital assistant triggered by voice commands. Presto. You didn’t know you bought something with a mike inside, and now you do.

In today’s installment of tech giants behaving badly, Google has found itself in hot water over news that its Nest Secure home security system has included a microphone this whole time which, it turns out, the company never disclosed was there. Nest Secure got an update earlier this month that essentially turned it into another Google Assistant device, which means — whoops, we forgot to tell you that, yeah, that means there’s a microphone inside.

We included a microphone in the Nest Guard with features such as the Google Assistant in mind.
It has not been used up to this point, and you can enable or disable it at any time using the Nest app.

— Nest (@nest) February 4, 2019

Google shared a mea culpa with Business Insider about this, telling the publication that “The on-device microphone was never intended to be a secret and should have been listed in the tech specs. That was an error on our part.” The company went on to explain that “the microphone has never been on and is only activated when users specifically enable the option.”

Does that make you feel better? Who are we kidding, of course it doesn’t. This oversight will no doubt continue to feed fears among ordinary consumers that there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to the consumer electronics we’re surrounded by on the daily. The same way there’s an assumption that pretty much everything we do online is tracked, watched and analyzed.

Nest’s $500 home security system is only a year old, but there’s still something icky about people realizing they’ve inadvertently had a microphone in their home for a year or more that they didn’t know was there.

The Nest Secure system includes a collection of sensors, as well as a hub and a keypad for a security code. At least the product page now makes it clear there’s a microphone included as part of this system, though, as well as “built-in Google Assistant.”

Image Source: Valeriya Zankovych

Motorola Moto G7, G7 Plus, G7 Power and G7 Play Review

Motorola is not a name you associate with the very best phones out there, but in the last few years, it has been the name behind some of the most successful and loved affordable phones on the market: the Moto G series.

Now, in 2019, the Moto G series return with the brand new Moto G7 family of phones. Here are all four of these new siblings: the entry-level, dirt-cheap Moto G7 Play; the slightly more expensive and battery-centric Moto G7 Power; then comes the main star of the show, the G7, which has the best price-to-performance ratio of the bunch; and finally, the G7 Plus, a phone that goes a step further than the G7, but unfortunately is the only one that will not be sold in the United States.

What is special about each one of them and how do they differ? Let’s take a deeper look, but first, here is a short summary for those who are too lazy to read our full review (but you really should):

TL;DR:

The Moto G7 series of phones is comprised of four different models:

Moto G7 Play: $200, entry-level G7 with basic specs
Moto G7 Power: $250, with a focus on a massive, 5,000mAh battery
Moto G7: $300, best price-to-performance ratio in the series, sharper screen, fast charging, elegant design and teardrop notch
Moto G7 Plus: $300+, slightly faster than the G7, better camera, super fast charging, but not sold in the US
Compared to last year’s Moto G6, the phones in the new series all bring improvements in design with thinner bezels.They also come with faster processors on the inside and with better cameras. The Moto G7 Play, in a nutshell, is a basic model with too many compromises, and most people would be better off skipping it. The Moto G7 Power has a 3-day battery life and is the phone with the best battery life we have EVER tested, but it’s a bit bulky in order to accommodate that massive, 5,000mAh battery. The Moto G7 hits the best balance between price, comfort and performance, while the G7 Plus ups the ante with a better camera and faster chip, but limited availability (it will not be sold in the US).
Some particular details are common for all four of these phones: they all come equipped with the latest Android 9 Pie on board with the clean Moto skin, all of them will support microSD cards for expandable storage, they have a USB-C port for charging and all of them have the good old headphone jack on board.

Compared to more expensive phones like the $550 OnePlus 6T, the Motorolas feel like a significant compromise with screen quality, as well as with camera and processing performance. Among their price peers, though, they remain a reliable, safe choice and will likely remain our recommended affordable phone choice for 2019.

Okay, it’s time to dive deeper now and let’s kick things off with a quick specs comparison that shows the main differences between the four Moto G7

This gorgeous Moon shot took 50,000 individual photos to create

We’ve seen some pretty stunning images of the Moon over the years thanks to high-powered imaging tools from NASA and other space agencies, but you don’t need a massive observatory just to create a gorgeous picture of Earth’s closest neighbor. Photographer Andrew McCarthy produced the incredible Moon image you see above (and here, in full resolution) using a Sony camera and a standalone ZWO astronomy camera that you can buy yourself for under $300.

The catch? Well, the image isn’t a single photo but the result of some 50,000 individual photos snapped, studied, and then stitched together. That’s a lot of work for a single image, but the result suggests it was more than worth it.

There’s a ton of detail in the final 81-megapixel image, and you could stare at it for a while and still notice new features that jump out at you from the Moon’s surface. It’s a gorgeous image, and it took plenty of work to make it happen.

“The lit side of the moon was processed using 25 ’tiles’ that were stitched together in Photoshop,” McCarthy told PetaPixel. “Each ’tile’ was a stack of the best 50% of 2000 images captured with the ZWO. The dark side is around 13 tiles, each with the best of around 50 images. The stars were captured with a stack of 50 shots with the Sony.”

The resulting image was then tweaked for contrast until McCarthy was happy with its look. The image is sharp enough to see lots of tiny features on the Moon’s surface while balancing both the lit and shadowy sides so we can see as much as possible.

Man Delivering Amazon Package Steals Puppy, Gets Caught By App

A U.K. delivery driver is in hot water: After lying to officials about a missing pet, an app caught him dropping off an Amazon parcel and stealing a puppy from a customer’s property.

On Tuesday, Levi Pislea, a 22-year-old man who was employed by an independent delivery service, was convicted of stealing, Wilma, a tiny schnauzer, when he delivered an Amazon package to someone’s home last year, CNN reported. Pislea, who made a court appearance today, was found guilty of fabricating the truth and failing to return the dog to its owner.

Former ‘Amazon delivery driver’ found guilty of stealing customer’s dog – CPS Thames & Chiltern
Levi Pislea given 12 month community order and ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid work, plus £705 costs following trial at High Wycombe Magistrates’ Court
MORE: https://t.co/iV28BDcOSr

— CPS (@cpsuk) February 20, 2019

On April 27, Richard Guttfield, Wilma’s owner, discovered that his fur baby was missing from his home in Marsworth, England, according to Court News UK. Once he figured out that Wilma disappeared when his Amazon package arrived, he immediately contacted Amazon about the incident.

When Pislea was questioned by his manager about the missing puppy, he denied seeing Wilma on his delivery route. However, an app unveiled that he was not telling the truth: It tracked his steps on April 27, and showed that he went around Guttfield’s home and into the garden area.

Pislea’s manager then went to Pislea’s home, where he found the dog and reported Pislea to the police. Four days after the incident, Wilma was finally reunited with Guttfield.

Pislea though, didn’t walk out of his trial without charges: The High Wycombe Magistrates Court sentenced him to a 12-month community order, 150 hours of unpaid work, and he has to pay $914 in damages.

“Pislea lied when he said he hadn’t been near the garden where the dog was — a lie that was proven by the tracker data of his steps,” Andrew Morgan, district crown prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), said in a CPS press release. “He denied any knowledge of the dog when he was directly asked about it, and made no effort to reunite it with its owner over the four days that it was in his possession, all of which indicated his intention to keep it.”

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Save $16 on a micro screwdriver set with 24 steel bits and a nifty aluminum ejector case

Looking for a high-quality screwdriver set that can accommodate all of your smartphones, tablets, computers, and anything else in and around your home that’s held together by tiny screws? It doesn’t get any better than the Nanch 24 in 1 Micro Screwdriver Kit Set. This compact kit features a fantastic design and build quality you have to see to believe. It comes with 24 steel bits that are all magnetized so you don’t lose those tiny screws, and it’s on sale at a $16 discount today on Amazon.

Here are some key details from the product page:

Ergonomic Design Precision Driver: New design aluminum alloy handle keep the screwdriver no shake when working; S2 Steel Driver Bit: Alloy steel bits ,hard heated treatment finished to reach hardness HRC 60±2 for durable use; Universal Repair Kit:24 magnetic bits ideal for repairing smartphones,iPhone,eyeglasses,macbook air pro and other small tablets; Portable and Handy Pocket Screwdriver Set:Compact case in perfect size for portable,easy to push and open,anodize oxidation treatment in the surface of the case for anti-sweat and anti-corrosion. Meet Needs of Professionals:Completely re-engineered to ensure you own a precise pro tech tool kit.

Follow @BGRDeals on Twitter to keep up with the latest and greatest deals we find around the web.

BGR Deals content is independent of Editorial and Advertising, and BGR may receive a commission on purchases made through our posts.

Everything leaving Netflix in March 2019

Slowly but surely, the trickle of Disney content leaving Netflix continues as we move ever closer to the release date of the House of Mouse’s own Disney+ streaming service. Next month, both Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End and Beauty and the Beast are departing Netflix, while the two remaining Marvel shows (Jessica Jones and The Punisher) have both officially been canceled. How much Disney content will be left by the end of 2019?

Thankfully, there aren’t too many disappointing departures in March, all things considered. Both Ghostbusters movies will be taken off, as will the truly funny Role Models, but Netflix has really cut down on tough losses in recent months. Sure, it’d be nice to keep The Breakfast Club, but we’re also getting rid of Pearl Harbor.

You can see the full list of Netflix streaming departures for the month of March below:

Leaving March 1st Bruce Almighty Fair Game – Director’s Cut Ghostbusters Ghostbusters 2 Hostage Pearl Harbor The Breakfast Club The Cider House Rules The Gift The Little Rascals United 93 Leaving March 2nd Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: The Eighteenth Year Leaving March 3rd Drop Dead Diva: Seasons 1-6 Leaving March 4th Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End Leaving March 5th Newsies: The Broadway Musical Leaving March 8th Leaving March 16th Baby Mama Charlie St. Cloud Role Models Leaving March 18th Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Leaving March 31st Party of Five: Seasons 1-6 The Real Ghostbusters: Seasons 1-5

Now that you’ve seen everything that will be removed from the service over the next month, be sure to check out all of the new movies and TV shows being added to Netflix in March as well.

Image Source: New Regency Pictures/Kobal/Shutterstock

Unpacked 2019: Every Galaxy Phone and Device Samsung Showed

It’s the 10-year anniversary of Samsung’s Galaxy phone, a line of devices that made phablets cool, survived baptism by fire, and turned Samsung into a leader in the mobile phone market. Today, at an event in San Francisco, the company showed how it plans to push its smartphones into the next decade—and into another dimension. The vision includes 5G, folding displays, and a brand new line of Galaxy phones filled with flashy features.

For Samsung, this isn’t just another product showcase. It’s the company’s pitch for “the next era of mobile innovation,” as D. J. Koh, CEO of Samsung’s mobile division, put it onstage today. Samsung wants you to buy its latest hardware, but it also needs you to buy into its vision for the future, so you’ll keep returning to the ecosystem of Galaxy products for years to come.

If you missed the event, you can watch the entire thing here—or read on for the TL;DR of everything Samsung announced today.

Next-Generation Galaxy Phones Samsung

It wouldn’t be a Galaxy birthday party without showing off a few new flagship phones. The brand-new Galaxy S10 pushes the line forward with an ultrasonic fingerprint sensor, a trio of rear cameras, and an “Infinity O” display, which replaces the wide cutout at the top of the phone with an elegant hole-punch display. It has its own neural processing unit, smarter Wi-Fi capabilities, and—weirdly—can even act like a wireless charging pad for your other devices. If you buy into Samsung’s pitch, this is the phone you’ll use to capture professional-grade photography, record TV-worthy video, and power your most complex AI tasks.

Of course, you’ll pay for the privilege. The new lineup includes the Galaxy S10, the larger Galaxy S10 Plus, and the Galaxy S10e, a slightly more affordable version that knocks off a few of the premium features. There’s also an S10 model that will ship later this year and will work on next-generation 5G wireless networks. (More on that later.) The “cheap” S10e starts at $750, while the S10 costs $900 and the larger S10 Plus starts at $1,000. Each of the new phones will be available to preorder starting today.

Does That Phone Fold Up? Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

If the Galaxy S10 line feel a little too rank-and-file, you’re in luck. Samsung also introduced the Galaxy Fold, the manifestation of the folding-phone dream it’s held onto for years. When closed, the Fold looks like your standard handset with a 4.6-inch screen. Open it up and it turns into a tablet-size device with a 7.3-inch display. Samsung imagines you’ll use this to watch YouTube videos on your commute into work, or multitask with several apps at once, then fold it up to text your friends and slip it comfortably into your pocket.

Samsung’s demo focused on the added functionality you get from an extra screen. Three-app multitasking lets you juggle a few different apps at once, and “app continuity” lets you switch between screens

Mysterious Glowing ‘Dragon’ Aurora Spotted Over Iceland

The giant dragon in the sky developed over Iceland earlier this month, according to NASA. (Photo Credit: Jingyi Zhang and Wang Zheng)

A bright green dragon emerging from a spectacular Aurora Borealis (or Northern Lights) display was captured in a photograph taken in Iceland. NASA shared the image as their Astronomy Picture of the Day on Monday.

The intensely glowing green light resembles the entire body of a dragon, which appears to be dramatically expanding its wings to fill the night sky. Purple hues appear to crown the dragon’s head and form a tongue snaking out of its mouth.

The giant dragon in the sky developed over Iceland earlier this month, according to NASA.

The glowing dragon in the sky developed over Iceland earlier this month. (Photo Credit: Jingyi Zhang & Wang Zheng)

“The aurora was caused by a hole in the Sun’s corona that expelled charged particles into a solar wind that followed a changing interplanetary magnetic field to Earth’s magnetosphere,” NASA said in the post. “As some of those particles then struck Earth’s atmosphere, they excited atoms which subsequently emitted light: aurora.”

This stunning display was so enthralling that the photographer’s mother actually ran out to see it — she was captured in the foreground of the photograph.

According to NASA, no sunspots have appeared on the Sun so far in February, making the multiple days of picturesque auroral activity this month somewhat surprising.

Want to spot the spectacular northern lights from the comfort of your own warm couch? You can check out live sky cams from Finland or the Canadian Space Agency’s live aurora cam from Yellowknife in the Canadian Yukon.

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