NVIDIA Launches GeForce GTX 16 Series Turing Gaming Laptop GPUs

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MojoKid writes: NVIDIA has launched a new family of more budget friendly Turing graphics chips for gaming laptops, called the GeForce GTX 1650, GeForce GTX 1660, and GeForce GTX 1660 Ti. The new GPUs will power roughly 80 different OEM mainstream gaming notebook designs, starting in the $799 price range. Compared to a 4-year-old gaming laptop with a GeForce GTX 960M, NVIDIA says that a modern counterpart equipped with a GeForce GTX 1660 Ti can deliver 4x the performance in today’s battle royale-style games like Apex Legends, Fortnite, and PUBG. As for the GeForce GTX 1650, NVIDIA is promising a 2.5x performance advantage compared to the GTX 950M and a 1.7x advantage compared to the previous generation GTX 1050. Gamers should expect consistent 60 fps performance in the above-mentioned gaming titles at 1080p, though the company didn’t specifically mention GTX 1660 vs 1060 performance comparisons. According to NVIDIA, every major OEM will be releasing GeForce GTX 16 Series laptops, including well-known brands like ASUS, Dell/Alienware, Acer, Hewlett-Packard, and Lenovo (among others).

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Linus Torvalds on Social Media: ‘It’s a Disease. It Seems To Encourage Bad Behavior.’

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From a wide-ranging interview of Linus Torvalds with Linux Journal on the magazine’s 25th anniversary: Linux Journal: If you had to fix one thing about the networked world, what would it be? Linus: Nothing technical. But, I absolutely detest modern “social media” — Twitter, Facebook, Instagram. It’s a disease. It seems to encourage bad behavior. I think part of it is something that email shares too, and that I’ve said before: “On the internet, nobody can hear you being subtle”. When you’re not talking to somebody face to face, and you miss all the normal social cues, it’s easy to miss humor and sarcasm, but it’s also very easy to overlook the reaction of the recipient, so you get things like flame wars, etc., that might not happen as easily with face-to-face interaction. But email still works. You still have to put in the effort to write it, and there’s generally some actual content (technical or otherwise). The whole “liking” and “sharing” model is just garbage. There is no effort and no quality control. In fact, it’s all geared to the reverse of quality control, with lowest common denominator targets, and click-bait, and things designed to generate an emotional response, often one of moral outrage.

Add in anonymity, and it’s just disgusting. When you don’t even put your real name on your garbage (or the garbage you share or like), it really doesn’t help. I’m actually one of those people who thinks that anonymity is overrated. Some people confuse privacy and anonymity and think they go hand in hand, and that protecting privacy means that you need to protect anonymity. I think that’s wrong. Anonymity is important if you’re a whistle-blower, but if you cannot prove your identity, your crazy rant on some social-media platform shouldn’t be visible, and you shouldn’t be able to share it or like it. Linux Journal: Is there any advice you’d like to give to young programmers/computer science students? Linus: I’m actually the worst person to ask. I knew I was interested in math and computers since an early age, and I was largely self-taught until university. And everything I did was fairly self-driven. So I don’t understand the problems people face when they say “what should I do?” It’s not where I came from at all.

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iPad Mini Teardown Reveals a Frankenstein of Components From Different iPads

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The updated fifth-generation iPad mini has been torn apart by iFixit, revealing an “amalgamation of components and designs from other iPads — the internals of a previous iPad mini, the camera system of an iPad Pro, and the exterior design of an iPad Air,” reports Ars Technica. From the report: iFixit has published its teardown of the new, fifth-generation iPad mini — the first update to Apple’s smaller-sized tablet since 2015. The iFixit team — which sells gear for repairing and servicing gadgets and uses these teardown series to promote said gearâ”noted that the iPad mini looks on the outside like a smaller version of the new iPad Air. But on the inside, it’s an updated iPad mini 4, the team wrote.

On opening the tablet up, iFixit discovered a 19.32Wh battery — the same capacity as the previous-generation iPad mini. But there are some notable changes. The front-facing camera module has been updated to a 7-megapixel Æ’/2.2, like the 10.5-inch iPad Pro. That’s a marked improvement over the iPad mini 4. There’s also Apple’s A12 Bionic system-on-a-chip (the same found in the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR) with 3GB of LPDDR4X DRAM. The updated microphone array has been moved near the selfie cam, and new ambient light sensors support the True Tone feature, which adjusts the white balance of the display based on ambient light conditions for user comfort. The repair site gave the 2019 iPad mini a score of two out of 10 for repairability. “The only positive cited was that a single Phillips screwdriver can deal with all the screws in the device,” Ars reports. “However, replacing the battery is ‘unnecessarily difficult,’ there’s adhesive everywhere, and removing the home button (no small feat) is required in order to replace the screen.”

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New Huawei Phone Has a 5x Optical Zoom, Thanks To a Periscope Lens

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An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Huawei officially announced the Huawei P30 Pro smartphone today. While it has a new Huawei-made SoC, an in-screen optical fingerprint reader, and lots of other high-end features, the highlight is definitely the camera’s optical zoom, which is up to a whopping 5x. Not digital zoom. Real, optical zoom. Space, of course, is at a premium in smartphones. Imagine a smartphone sitting face down, and you would have to fit a vertical stack of the display, the CMOS sensor, and the lens all in about an 8mm height. There is just not a lot of room. But what if we didn’t have to stack all the components vertically? The trick to Huawei’s 5x optical zoom is that it uses a periscope design.

From the outside, it looks like a normal camera setup, albeit with a funky square camera opening. Internally, though, the components make a 90-degree right turn after the lens cover, and the zoom lens components and CMOS sensor are arranged horizontally. Now instead of having to cram a bunch of lenses and the CMOS chip into 8mm of vertical phone space, we have acres of horizontal phone space to play with. We’ve seen prototypes of periscope cameras from Oppo, but as far as commercial devices go, the Huawei P30 Pro is the first. While the optical zoom is the big new camera feature, there are four total cameras on the back of the P30 Pro. A 40MP main camera, a 20MP wide angle, the 8MP 5X telephoto, and a Time of Flight depth-sensing camera. The main 40MP camera uses a 1/1.7 inch-type sensor that, when measured diagonally, would make it 32 percent larger than the 1/2.55 inch-type sensors in the Galaxy S10 or iPhone XS. The P30 Pro also has a new “RYYB” pixel layout, which swaps out the two green pixels in most CMOS “RGGB” sensors for yellow pixels. “Huawei claims it can capture 40 percent more light, as the yellow filter captures green and red light,” Ars Technica reports. “Of course, this will make the color wonky, but Huawei claims it can correct for that in software.”

Other specifications include a Kirin 980 octa-core processor with 6GB or 8GB RAM, up to 512GB storage, IP68 water and dust resistance, NFC, wireless charging, 40W wired charging, and a 4,200mAh battery. It starts at a price of $1,125.

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NVIDIA’s Latest AI Software Turns Rough Doodles Into Realistic Landscapes

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An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: AI is going to be huge for artists, and the latest demonstration comes from Nvidia, which has built prototype software that turns doodles into realistic landscapes. Using a type of AI model known as a generative adversarial network (GAN), the software gives users what Nvidia is calling a “smart paint brush.” This means someone can make a very basic outline of a scene (drawing, say, a tree on a hill) before filling in their rough sketch with natural textures like grass, clouds, forests, or rocks. The results are not quite photorealistic, but they’re impressive all the same. The software generates AI landscapes instantly, and it’s surprisingly intuitive. For example, when a user draws a tree and then a pool of water underneath it, the model adds the tree’s reflection to the pool. Nvidia didn’t say if it has any plans to turn the software into an actual product, but it suggests that tools like this could help “everyone from architects and urban planners to landscape designers and game developers” in the future. The company has published a video showing off the imagery it handles particularly well.

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Microsoft Now Lets You Stream PC Games To an Xbox One and Use a Controller

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Microsoft is now letting Xbox One owners stream their PC games to the console and use a controller to play them. From a report: A newly updated app, Wireless Display app, from Microsoft enables the support so you can play Steam games or other titles directly on an Xbox One. You can use a regular Xbox controller to control the remote PC, enabling game play or even the ability to use an Xbox for presentations. Microsoft’s Wireless Display app uses Miracast to create a connection between a PC and the Xbox One, and you can cast to the Xbox using the winkey + P combination. There are different latency modes for gaming and watching videos from a remote PC, and the app is ideal if you want to project a stream or video onto the Xbox. You won’t be able to stream protected content like Netflix, though.

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Prioritizing the MacBook Hierarchy of Needs

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Jason Snell, writing for Six Colors: This week on the Accidental Tech Podcast (ATP), John Siracusa floated the concept of a MacBook Hierarchy of Needs, a priority list of features for the next time Apple redesigns the MacBook line, as is rumored to happen later this year. It’s a fun thought experiment, because it requires you to rank your wish list of laptop features. That’s important, because if I’ve learned anything in this wacky world of ours, it’s that you can never get everything you ask for, so you’ve got to prioritize.

The ATP hosts all made a “good keyboard” their top priority, an idea that would’ve been surprising a few years ago but now is almost a given. Yes, of course, Apple laptops need to be fast and reliable and have great displays and good battery life, but the past few years’ worth of MacBooks have made a lot of people realize the truth: a bad/unreliable laptop keyboard isn’t something you can really work around if you’re a laptop user. This is why a lot of nice-to-have-features, like SD card slots, have to fall way down the hierarchy of needs. Any feature that can be rectified with an add-on adapter falls immediately to the bottom of the list. You’re stuck with a laptop keyboard forever, and if you’re committed to the Mac and every single Mac laptop that’s sold uses the exact same keyboard, there’s nowhere to run.

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PS4’s Remote Play Update Lets You Stream To iOS Devices

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Version 6.50 of the PlayStation 4’s firmware now allows you to remotely play your PS4 games from an iPhone or iPad. “To access it, you’ll need to download the Remote Play app for your iOS device, and then pair it with your console,” reports The Verge. “Compatible games can then be played over Wi-Fi using the on-screen buttons.” From the report: Announced back in 2013, Remote Play originally let you stream games from a PS4 console to the handheld PlayStation Vita, but later in 2016, Sony released Remote Play apps for both Windows and Mac. Although Sony has yet to announce a broader Android version of the service, the existence of an Android version of the app that’s exclusive to Sony Xperia phones suggests there aren’t any technical barriers. Bringing the functionality to iOS is a huge expansion for Remote Play, although it’s a shame that you’re not officially able to pair a DualShock 4 controller with the app via Bluetooth for a more authentic experience (although some users have reported being able to get the controller working via a sneaky workaround). If you’re prepared to use a non-Sony controller, then you’ll be happy to know that MacStories is reporting that other MFi gamepads (such as the SteelSeries Nimbus) work just fine with the iOS app. Other limitations with the functionality are that you’ll need an iPhone 7 or 6th-generation iPad or later to use it, and it’s also only available over Wi-Fi. You can’t use Remote Play from another location over a mobile network. PS4 version 6.50 also adds the ability for you to remap the X and O buttons on the controller.

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LG Announces G8 ThinQ Smartphone That Uses ‘Advanced Palm Vein Authentication’ Tech To Unlock

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LG’s flagship G8 smartphone has been officially launched today, bringing many expected features that were teased over the past few months and several not-so-expected features. One such unusual feature in the G8 is its palm vein recognition, dubbed Hand ID, which LG claims is the first to offer this capability. TechCrunch reports: From the company’s press materials, “LG’s Hand ID identifies owners by recognizing the shape, thickness and other individual characteristics of the veins in the palms of their hands.” It turns out, like faces and fingerprints, everyone’s got a unique set of hand veins, so once registered, you can just however your hot blue blood tubes over the handset to quickly unlock in a few seconds. The Z camera also does depth-sensing face unlock that’s a lot harder to spoof than the kind found on other Android handsets. LG’s also put the tech to use for a set of Air Motion gestures, which allow for hands-free interaction with various apps like the camera (selfies) and music (volume control). Other features of the G8 include a 6.1-inch QHD+ “Crystal Sound OLED” display that uses the screen as an audio amplifier. There’s a Snapdragon 855 processor with 6GB of RAM and 128GB internal storage, three cameras on the rear including a 16-megapixel Super Wide (F1.9), 12-megapixel Standard (F1.5), and 12-megapixel Telephoto (F2.4), a 3,500mAh battery that charges via USB-C, a headphone jack, and 32-bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC.

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Microsoft Announces HoloLens 2 Mixed Reality Headset For $3,500

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Artem S. Tashkinov writes: Hailed as a third wave of computing, Microsoft has made the HoloLens 2 mixed-reality headset available for preorder for a staggering $3,500 and it’s expected to be shipped later this year. It will be sold only to enterprise customers. Compared to the first generation HoloLens, the second version is better in almost every important way: it’s more comfortable to wear, it offers a much wider field of view, it contains powerful recognition software that can detect real world physical objects and allow you to seamlessly interact with them using hand and finger gestures. It features new components like the Azure Kinect sensor, SnapDragon 850 SoC, eye-tracking sensors, an entirely different display system with 2K resolution for each eye, a couple of speakers, and an 8-megapixel front-facing camera for video conferencing. It’s also capable of full 6 degrees of tracking, and it also uses USB-C to charge.

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Linus Torvalds on Why ARM Won’t Win the Server Space

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Linus Torvalds: I can pretty much guarantee that as long as everybody does cross-development, the platform won’t be all that stable. Or successful. Some people think that “the cloud” means that the instruction set doesn’t matter. Develop at home, deploy in the cloud. That’s bullshit. If you develop on x86, then you’re going to want to deploy on x86, because you’ll be able to run what you test “at home” (and by “at home” I don’t mean literally in your home, but in your work environment). Which means that you’ll happily pay a bit more for x86 cloud hosting, simply because it matches what you can test on your own local setup, and the errors you get will translate better. This is true even if what you mostly do is something ostensibly cross-platform like just run perl scripts or whatever. Simply because you’ll want to have as similar an environment as possible.

Which in turn means that cloud providers will end up making more money from their x86 side, which means that they’ll prioritize it, and any ARM offerings will be secondary and probably relegated to the mindless dregs (maybe front-end, maybe just static html, that kind of stuff). Guys, do you really not understand why x86 took over the server market? It wasn’t just all price. It was literally this “develop at home” issue. Thousands of small companies ended up having random small internal workloads where it was easy to just get a random whitebox PC and run some silly small thing on it yourself. Then as the workload expanded, it became a “real server”. And then once that thing expanded, suddenly it made a whole lot of sense to let somebody else manage the hardware and hosting, and the cloud took over. Do you really not understand? This isn’t rocket science. This isn’t some made up story. This is literally what happened, and what killed all the RISC vendors, and made x86 be the undisputed king of the hill of servers, to the point where everybody else is just a rounding error. Something that sounded entirely fictional a couple of decades ago. Without a development platform, ARM in the server space is never going to make it. Trying to sell a 64-bit “hyperscaling” model is idiotic, when you don’t have customers and you don’t have workloads because you never sold the small cheap box that got the whole market started in the first place.

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Lessons From Six Software Rewrite Stories

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A new take on the age-old question: Should you rewrite your application from scratch, or is that “the single worst strategic mistake that any software company can make”? Turns out there are more than two options for dealing with a mature codebase. Herb Caudill: Almost two decades ago, Joel Spolsky excoriated Netscape for rewriting their codebase in his landmark essay Things You Should Never Do . He concluded that a functioning application should never, ever be rewritten from the ground up. His argument turned on two points: The crufty-looking parts of the application’s codebase often embed hard-earned knowledge about corner cases and weird bugs. A rewrite is a lengthy undertaking that keeps you from improving on your existing product, during which time the competition is gaining on you.

For many, Joel’s conclusion became an article of faith; I know it had a big effect on my thinking at the time. In the following years, I read a few contrarian takes arguing that, under certain circumstances, it made a lot of sense to rewrite from scratch. For example:
Sometimes the legacy codebase really is messed up beyond repair, such that even simple changes require a cascade of changes to other parts of the code. The original technology choices might be preventing you from making necessary improvements. Or, the original technology might be obsolete, making it hard (or expensive) to recruit quality developers.

The correct answer, of course, is that it depends a lot on the circumstances. Yes, sometimes it makes more sense to gradually refactor your legacy code. And yes, sometimes it makes sense to throw it all out and start over. But those aren’t the only choices. Let’s take a quick look at six stories, and see what lessons we can draw.

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Queensland, Australia Drivers Set To Get Emoji Number Plates

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The unusual move is set to be rolled out by Personalised Plates Queensland (PPQ) from next month, allowing drivers to adorn their number plates with a touch of emotion. From a report: Royal Automobile Club of Queensland (RACQ) spokeswoman Rebecca Michael said it was no different from allowing drivers to express themselves with other available themes like their favorite footy team. “For quite some time we’ve seen that you can support your favourite team or your favourite town with a symbol on your number plate,” Dr Michael told 7News Brisbane.

“And using an emoji is no different.” But before your mind goes straight to the gutter, no, you won’t be able to completely replace the letters and numbers on your number plate with an eggplant or smiling poo emoji. The smartphone symbols won’t be included in rego numbers and are simply decorative.

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Samsung Announces Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10 Plus, and Galaxy S10E Smartphones

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On the sidelines of the Galaxy Fold announcement, Samsung today also unveiled the Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10 Plus, and Galaxy S10E — the latest iteration of its flagship Android offering. The Samsung Galaxy S10 sports a 6.1-inch Dynamic AMOLED display with Quad HD+ resolution in a 19:9 aspect ratio, whereas the Galaxy S10 Plus has a 6.4-inch display. Both the handsets are powered by Qualcomm’s latest and greatest Snapdragon 855, coupled with 8GB or 12GB of RAM, and 128GB to 512GB (1TB on S10 Plus), expandable via microSD of storage. On the photography front, both the handsets have a wide angle 12-megapixel (77-degree), telephoto 12-megapixel (45-degree), and ultra wide 16-megapixel (123-degree) on the back; and 10 megapixels, 8-megapixel RGB depth camera (S10 Plus) upfront. The Galaxy S10 has 3,400mAh battery, whereas the Plus sibling houses a 4,100mAh battery. Both the handsets run Android 9 Pie with Samsung One UI, and support Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5, LTE Cat.20, wireless charging. They both have USB-C ports, and a headphone jack.

Samsung Galaxy S10E is a lower-cost, smaller variant of the other two phones. It has a 5.8-inch “Dynamic AMOLED” display, Full HD+ resolution in a 19:9 aspect ratio. You can read more about it here. All three phones will be available for preorder starting tomorrow, February 21, and they will start shipping on March 8th. In addition to all four major US carriers, the S10 family will also be available unlocked from Samsung and other retailers, starting at $899.99 for the S10 and $999.99 for the S10 Plus. The S10E starts at $750.

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‘Samsung’s One UI Is the Best Software It’s Ever Put On a Smartphone’

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In preparation for the Galaxy S10 launch event tomorrow, The Verge’s Dieter Bohn writes about the new “One UI” software that will run on these new phones. After testing the software on a Galaxy S9 for the past week, Bohn says he really likes it, adding that it’s better in some ways than the software found on Google’s Pixel 3. “If it weren’t for the fact that I don’t yet trust Samsung to deliver major software updates quickly, I would be shouting about One UI from the rooftops,” writes Bohn. “As it is, I just want to point out that it’s time for us to stop instinctively turning our noses up at Samsung’s version of Android.” From the report: I can’t go quite so far as to say that everything has changed forever when it comes to Samsung’s customizations. There are still multiple versions of some apps because both Google and Samsung insist on having their software present. Samsung phones also have a reputation for getting a little laggy (the technical term is cruft) over time, and I don’t know yet whether One UI and Android 9 will suffer the same fate. But I do know that one week in, this OS actually feels intentional and designed instead of just having a bunch of features tacked on. Historically, we’ve thought of all those customizations as unnecessary add-ons. But that’s not quite right anymore — customizing AOSP is necessary these days. Instead, we should judge a Samsung phone on its own merits as a phone, not as stuff bolted on to some idealized “pure” version of the phone that can’t really exist anymore.

One UI consists of four key parts. One is the basic update to Android 9 Pie, which means you’ll get a ton of small features for free. Second, there is a generalized update to the look and feel — everything is just a little cleaner and more tasteful than before. Samsung has realized that neon is only cool in small doses. Third, because this is Samsung, there are just a million features hidden in every corner of the OS. Some of them — like a dark mode — are genuinely useful. Others will remind people of the bad old days of TouchWiz. But overall Samsung is doing a better job of surfacing them progressively as you use the phone, instead of asking you to wade though arcane and opaquely named settings screens in the first 15 minutes of using the phone. The last big feature to talk about in One UI is the first one most people will notice: big, giant header text inside apps. When you open up an app like Messages or Settings you’ll see the name of the app in a field of white (or black, in dark mode) that takes up the entire top half of the screen. When you scroll, though, the giant header shrinks down and you have a full screen of content. The last big feature to talk about in One UI is the first one most people will notice: big, giant header text inside apps. When you open up an app like Messages or Settings you’ll see the name of the app in a field of white (or black, in dark mode) that takes up the entire top half of the screen. When you scroll, though, the giant header shrinks down and you have a full screen of content.

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Android Q May Change the Back Button To a Gesture

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Android’s back button might be going away entirely, replaced with a quick swipe to the left from the home button. From a report: XDA Developers has been digging into a leaked, early set of code from the next version of Android, codenamed Q, and the latest discovery from those forays is this potential demise of the back button, as well as a quicker app-changing animation when you swipe to the right. The way that gestures and buttons work in Android 9 Pie (the current iteration, at least if you’re lucky enough to own a phone that runs it) is a little bit split. Google’s Pixel has just a home “pill” and then a back button appears only when it’s needed.

Here’s a quick video XDA made showing the gesture system Google is experimenting with in Android Q. It is, as anybody could have predicted, a little messy. For something as core to a phone as “going home” or “going back,” the fact that different phones have different methods could be a problem.

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Samsung’s New Galaxy Tab S5e Is Its Lightest and Thinnest Tablet Ever

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Samsung has unveiled the Galaxy Tab S5e, its lightest and thinnest tablet ever made. “At $399, it’s not only far more affordable than the flagship $649 Samsung Galaxy Tab S4, it’s arguably surpassed it in some ways,” reports The Verge. From the report: For starters, the Tab S5e has the thinnest and lightest metal unibody of any Galaxy Tab, measuring 5.5mm thin and weighing just 400 grams — even compared to the 11-inch iPad Pro at 5.9mm thick and 468 grams, the Tab S5e is both lighter and thinner. The company also claims they’ve maximized space with the Tab S5e’s massive 81.8 percent screen-to-body ratio, which on paper, is an improvement over the Tab S4’s lower 79 percent ratio. It’s also right on the heels of the 11-inch iPad Pro’s ~82.9 percent screen-to-body ratio.

And unlike Samsung’s previous attempt to make its 10.5-inch tablet more affordable, this slate doesn’t skimp on the screen and not nearly as much on the processor. Samsung’s Tab S5e is a 10.5-inch Super AMOLED device with a 16:10 aspect ratio and 2560 x 1600 resolution, while its octa-core Snapdragon 670 processor should provide solid mid-range performance. Samsung’s also promising up to 14.5 hours of battery life. The Tab S5e is also the first tablet from the Korean tech giant to ship with Pie, the latest version of Android, along with the new Bixby 2.0 virtual assistant and information tool. Samsung is also carrying features like Dex, a desktop-style Android environment, over from other Galaxy devices, like the Note 9 and Tab S4. It allows users to interact with their device using the screen, a mouse, keyboard, or all three. Other features include AKG-tuned, quad surround sound speakers, 64GB of internal storage (microSD expandable to 512GB), with 4GB RAM (upgradable to 6GB RAM/128GB storage), and 13-megapixel back and 8-megapixel front-facing cameras. Cellular models will follow the Wi-Fi versions later this year.

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The LG G8 Has a Vibrating OLED Screen For a Speaker

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LG’s next upcoming flagship smartphone is the LG G8, which is expected to debut at Mobile World Congress at the end of the month. While much of the phone is similar to last year’s model, LG yesterday announced some news on the phone’s audio capabilities. “The phone uses the same ‘Crystal Sound OLED’ branding that LG has used on some of its TVs before; this means that the entire display will vibrate to work as a speaker, which was previously rumored,” reports The Verge. “The news also confirms that the G8 will be the first flagship G-series phone not to use an LCD.” From the report: The G8 still has a bottom-facing speaker for louder use cases like speakerphone calls, and LG says this can be paired with the top part of the screen for 2-channel stereo sound. Elsewhere, the signature quad DAC from LG’s recent flagship phones returns — which means there’ll be a headphone jack — as does the “Boombox Speaker” functionality that produces surprisingly bassy sound when the phone is placed on a table. LG has already confirmed that the G8 will have a front-facing 3D camera with a time-of-flight sensor, while rumors suggest there could be an optional second screen accessory.

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The Moto G7 Lineup Offers Bigger Screens and Smaller Bezels On a Budget

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Motorola is releasing three versions of the Moto G7 this year: the G7, the G7 Power, and the G7 Play (a fourth, more powerful G7 Plus model will also be released internationally). These new devices offer slimmer bezels, bigger displays, and larger batteries than their predecessors. The Verge reports: [T]he $299 G7 (not to be confused with LG’s G7 ThinQ) is the top-of-the-line model, with a 6.2-inch Gorilla Glass display that features a 2270 x 1080 resolution and a more subtle teardrop notch. The G7 also has more RAM (4GB), and more internal storage (64GB) than its siblings, along with a dual-camera setup on the back that offers a 12-megapixel main lens along with a 5-megapixel depth sensor for a better portrait mode experience (the other G7 phones will have a software-based portrait mode instead). The G7 also supports Motorola’s 15W TurboPower charging spec, which promises nine hours of battery life from a 15-minute charge.

The next phone in the lineup, the $249 G7 Power, may not offer the same level of premium upgrades as the G7, but it does offer an intriguing feature that its pricier counterpart doesn’t: a massive 5,000mAh battery that Motorola promises should last for up to three days, besting the 3,000mAh battery in the G7 by a considerable amount (it also supports Motorola’s TurboPower charging). The G7 Power also features a 6.2-inch display, but at a lower 1520 x 720 resolution and with a larger notch, and only a single 12-megapixel camera on the back. It also drops down to 3GB of RAM and a base storage of 32GB, and is a bit bulkier than the main G7 — but if sheer battery life is your goal, it seems like the G7 Power will be tough to beat. Lastly, there’s the $199 G7 Play, the smallest and cheapest model in the 2019 Moto G lineup. There are more cuts here: a smaller 5.7-inch 1512 x 720 display with an even larger notch than the G7 Power, a cheaper plastic case, and just 2GB of RAM. All three devices will feature Qualcomm’s mid-tier Snapdragon 632 processor, Android 9.0 Pie, 8-megapixel front-facing cameras, charge via USB-C, and offer rear-mounted fingerprint sensors. Lastly, the 3.5mm headphone jack is still included on all three models. Motorola is promising a release date sometime in the spring for both the U.S. and Canada.

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AMD Radeon VII Graphics Card Launched, Benchmarks Versus NVIDIA GeForce RTX

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MojoKid writes: AMD officially launched its new Radeon VII flagship graphics card today, based on the company’s 7nm second-generation Vega architecture. In addition to core GPU optimizations, Radeon VII provides 2X the graphics memory at 16GB and 2.1X the memory bandwidth at a full 1TB/s, compared to AMD’s previous generation Radeon RX Vega 64. The move to 7nm allowed AMD to shrink the Vega 20 GPU die down to 331 square millimeters. This shrink and the subsequent silicon die area saving is what allowed them to add an additional two stacks of HBM2 memory and increase the high-bandwidth cache (frame buffer) capacity to 16GB. The GPU on board the Radeon VII has 60CUs and a total of 3,840 active stream processors with a board power TDP of 300 Watts. As you might expect, it’s a beast in the benchmarks that’s able to pull ahead of NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 2080 in spots but ultimately lands somewhere in between the performance of an RTX 2070 and 2080 overall. AMD Radeon VII cards will be available in a matter of days at an MSRP of $699 with custom boards from third-party partners showing up shortly as well.

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