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Updated: 4 hours 44 min ago

One billion contactless TfL journeys will be made in London this year

Thu, 03/21/2019 - 07:21

London's travellers are set to make over a billion journeys on the TfL network using contactless payments this year, new data has revealed.

Figures from Paymentsense have estimated 2019 will be the first year to see contactless travel top the landmark figure in the capital as the popularity of such payments continues to rise among UK users.

Paymentsense estimates that this growth is only set to continue, with 1.5 billion contactless journeys set to be made within 2025.

Contactless TfL

The 2019 figure is up from 872 million in 2018, and comes alongside the decline in the use of Oyster cards as consumers look for a more seamless, one-card payment experience.

Contactless was first introduced to London's transport network in September 2014 and took less than four years to overtake oyster journeys, with June 2018 the first month this occurred.

“As a society, it’s clear that new payment methods will evolve as consumer demands shift towards improved security and ease of use when making a transaction," said Guy Moreve, Chief Marketing Officer at Paymentsense.

"The study highlights not only what advances Brits want to see in payment technology outside of transport, but how businesses will need to adapt to these changing consumer demands. Those who embrace contactless and new payment methods such as fingerprint scanning and voice ID will surely surpass future competition."

Categories: Tech News

Best headphones 2019: Your definitive guide to the latest and greatest audio

Thu, 03/21/2019 - 07:18

Best Headphones 2019: Welcome to TechRadar's comprehensive round-up of the best headphones in every style and at every price point in 2019.

It's hard to imagine a world without headphones - a world where music can only be enjoyed in concert halls or on speaker systems exclusively. Headphones have their limitations of course, but there's a reason they've survived as long as they have.

Yes, they've changed over the years - added fancy new features in the form of noise-cancellation of Hi-Res Audio playback over Bluetooth - but largely the pair of cans you bought 20 years ago could stand up to the ones made today. 

As long as you bought a quality pair, that is.

The reasoning behind buying one of the best headphones on the market today is to get the features of today, and a build quality that will last tomorrow. Sure, you could buy discount-bin headphones at the checkout line, but they're unlikely to make it through the year, let alone for the next decade or two. 

That said, it's our mission to hook you up with a pair of great-sounding headphones - the best headphones money can buy, even when you're on a budget. 

We've listened to hundreds of headphones over the years of every make, model and variety to create list-after-list of the best noise-cancelling headphones, the best wireless headphones, the best true wireless headphones, the best earbuds, etc...

We encourage you to take a look at all the headphone lists here on TechRadar - but, if you're in a hurry and just want to see the best headphones, period, this is the place for you. What you'll find below is our selection of the best headphones for each form-factor, and we've even picked out a less-costly option for each so that a lack of finances won't stop you from finding a pair of headphones you'll truly love.

Image credit: Burst / Pexels

Image credit: Sony

If there’s anything surprising about the new Sony WH-1000XM3 it’s that they’re so consistent with what Sony has released in the last two years in the form of the Sony WH-1000XM2 and Sony MDR-1000X. To wit, they’re a dominant noise-cancelling pair of headphones that can beat out anything Bose has with both arms behind its back. 

That’s because, while Bose has done a tremendous job working out its noise-cancellation algorithm over the years, Sony has spent that time perfecting audio playback while simultaneously creating an adaptability algorithm that doesn’t just create a single sterile sound barrier, but multiple kinds that can adapt to whatever situation you’re in. 

Beyond being exceptional at keeping external noises at bay, Sony's headphones are Hi-Res Audio-ready, sporting aptX, aptX HD and LDAC codecs, plus offer will offer Google Assistant support right on-board. If you need a headphone that can live up to any challenge and excel in any environment, these are them.

Read the full review: Sony WH-1000XM3

Image credit: TechRadar

After spending a few weeks with both the 1MORE Triple Driver in-ear headphones and the 1MORE Quad Driver in-ear headphones we were blown away at just how much value each one gave in their prospective price ranges. 

For $100 (£100, about AU$168), it’s hard to think of a better sounding and built headphone than the 1MORE Triple Driver. (That said, if you want just that little extra refinement and luxury materials, the 1MORE Quad Drivers are still a bargain at twice the price.) 

There’s very little we can fault the Triple Drivers for. Its rubber cable is annoying and its remote control feels cheap but these are just nitpicks. But, for its price, it’s impossible to do better than 1MORE's Triple Driver in-ear headphones. 

Read the full review: 1More Triple Driver In-Ear Headphone

Image credit: TechRadar

If you have a tendency to lose or break headphones but still value sound quality, it’s hard to think of a better value than the RHA S500u. These headphones have no business sounding so good for the price: Sound quality is balanced with a slight mid-bass bump. Bass is slightly emphasized but not egregiously and features good impact while maintaining good control. And highs, while sibilant at times, makes music sound more exciting.    

Read the full review: RHA S500u

Image credit: Grado

For your money, you can't do any better than Grado's SR60e. The third-generation of the Brooklyn, NY-based company's Prestige Series is its best and most refined yet. The SR60e in particular is a smart choice if you're looking for an entry-level set of headphones that sounds like it should cost you way more than it does. Its open-backed ear cup design makes them a more breathable experience than what most on-ear headphones can deliver. In a few words, it's our gold-standard when it comes to on-ears.

(Our review is for the SR60i, but the newer SR60e headphones are largely similar in design and performance.)

Read the full review: Grado SR60e

Image credit: Urbanears

While the original Plattan headphones were just fine for a pair of on-ear headphones, Urbanears wasn’t satisfied with being mediocre. The company took customer feedback to heart and addressed many complaints about comfort, sound quality and isolation. For the most part, Urbanears succeeded, making the Plattan II a worthy sequel to the company’s most popular headphone.  

In short, these are basic headphones without a ton of features. But, because they're feature-light, you get a good-sounding pair of wired headphones for significantly less than you would otherwise. 

Read the full review: Urbanears Plattan II

Image credit: Bowers & Wilkins

The Bowers & Wilkins P9 Signatures are simply some of the best-sounding headphones we’ve ever used. They have a tight, refined sound that offers an almost unmatched level of detail. 

That said, the fact remains that they’re a comparatively feature-light pair of cans. If you want to spend less then you can get a much more portable pair that’ll be better suited to the morning commute or a plane ride thanks to additional features like noise-cancellation and Bluetooth connectivity.

But, if you’re looking to invest in a seriously high-quality pair of headphones to listen to a high-quality music collection, then there are few that can match the P9s at this price point. 

Read the full review: B&W P9 Signature

Image credit: Audio-Technica

Audiophiles typically shun wireless headphones because of poor sound quality. However, Bluetooth audio has improved tremendously over the years. There are now plenty of wireless headphones that can please the music enthusiast, with Hi-Res Audio support being more and more prevalent.

That said, the Audio-Technica ATH-SR5BT feature some of the best wired and wireless sound quality for a headphone under $200 (£150). They play well with all music genres and offer a near-flat response curve. They're extremely comfortable for long listening sessions and are well built. Battery life is equally impressive with nearly 40 hours of playback from a charge. And while they lack some features of more expensive wireless headphones like active noise cancelling and multi-device pairing, these are tradeoffs worth making for phenomenal sound.

Read the full review: Audio-Technica ATH-SR5BT

Image credit: TechRadar

Despite being nearly identical to the already-excellent Bose QuietComfort 35 teh Bose QuietComfort 35 II is updated for 2018 with Google Assistant. This means you still get the class-leading noise cancellation Bose is known for, good sound quality and incredible comfort, plus a convenient assistant to answer any inquiries you might have while traveling.  

Taken as a whole, the Bose QC35 II NC is an excellent headphone for travelers and commuters. Bose has found a good balance of features that will satisfy most mainstream listeners. While we don't love them as much as the better-sounding Sony WH-1000XM3, they're still top of the class for noise cancellation.

Read the full review: Bose QuietComfort 35 II

Image credit: Beyerdynamic

The Beyerdynamic Amiron Wireless are the best-sounding wireless headphones you can buy, period. Sound is spacious, detailed, and makes you want to rediscover your music library. Their bulky design and average noise isolation make them terrible for travel but if you’re looking for the best sound from a wireless headphone, this is it.

Read the full review: Beyerdynamic Amiron Wireless

If you're a frequent traveler you're probably all too familiar with headphones that can't hold a charge and can't block out sound, let alone sound very good. Let us introduce you to the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2, one of the few headphones on the market that can do all of the above and cost less than half as much as one of the bigger names like Beats, Bose and Sony. 

They also include a neat little feature that allows them to automatically turn off when you're not wearing them, meaning you're able to easily maximise their battery life without much effort. 

If we had to boil it down to its core, the BackBeat Pro 2 offers an excellent travel headphone with incredible battery life, supreme comfort, the ability to pair two device as once and, most importantly, good sound quality for the cost.

Read the full review: Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2

Image credit: TechRadar

After spending several weeks with the RHA MA390 Wireless, we came away extremely impressed with the package RHA has come up with. The headphones are built extremely well, have a fun sound signature, and can take a beating. And all at an affordable price. 

It’s main rival, the OnePlus Bullets Wireless, are also excellent, however we give the nod to the RHA MA390 for its more dynamic sound and better build quality. 

Read the full review: RHA MA390 Wireless

Image credit: RHA

Although the TrueConnect is RHA's first true wireless headphone, the company showed they did their research and development by making it one of the best true wireless headphones on the market today. The combination of sound quality, battery life, and wireless reliability means these are a pair of headphones you can rely on everyday. 

The Jabra Elite 65t (our previous title holder) set the standard for what true wireless headphones should be and, regardless of what RHA has done here with the TrueConnect, they’re still great headphones ... it's just that we prefer reliability and balanced sound quality of the RHA TrueConnect.

All said, if you’re shopping for a pair of true wireless headphones, the $170 (£150, about AU$265) RHA TrueConnect should be at the very top of your list.  

Read the full review: RHA TrueConnect

Press on to page two to see how to pick out a good pair of headphones along more of our recommendations.

Check out our videos below for a roundup of the best headphones available.

There's usually more to a set of headphone than meets the eye. As such, we've provided a breakdown of what you can expect to find in each kind of headphone.

Not only will learning more about headphones help you make a more informed purchase, but you'll know when you're really getting your money's worth.

What headphones should you buy? Check out our video below for everything you need to know.

In-ear headphones

1More Triple Driver In-Ear Headphones
Image credit: 1More

This type of headphone, more commonly referred to as an earbud or earphone, is usually the cheapest and easiest way to pump audio into your ears. If you've purchased an MP3 player, or more recently, a smartphone, it's likely that a set was included with the purchase.

Earphones rest in or just outside the ear canal, creating a tight seal to keep air out and sound in. Compared to other types of headphones, these are the most discreet ones you'll find. Their small form-factor also makes them the king/queen of portability and the prime choice for athletes.

You're not likely to find strong performers at the low-end of the price spectrum. Their sound delivery is generally muddled, lacking bass and overcompensating for that with harsh mids and highs. That said, it won't cost you much money at all to find a value-packed option complete with inline controls and a microphone.

On-ear headphones

Grado's GW100 Wireless on-ear headphones
Image credit: TechRadar

While similar to over-ear headphones in appearance, they fit to your head a little differently. Instead of enveloping your ears with a soft cushion, on-ear headphones create a light, breathable seal around your ear. Thus, the noise isolation is much less effective than in-ear or over-ear options. This might be a dealbreaker for some, but there are big benefits to consider here.

On-ear headphones are usually more portable than their over-ear brethren, and as such they appeal to travellers and the fitness crowd. Taking a walk or a jog around town is also safer, as you can hear traffic go by and be aware of potential hazards.

Over-ear headphones

The Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro headphones
Image credit: Beyerdynamic

This ear-muff style of headphone generally provides greater richness and depth of sound, which allows listeners to pick apart the instruments and sounds much easier. Additionally, over-ear, or circum-aural headphones, go around the ear and offer a generous amount of padding.

The price range for a set of on-ear headphones begins around $100 and from there, the sky's the limit. For example, the Oppo PM-1, while excellent, are priced exorbitantly at $1,099. It's definitely not necessary to spend that much. That said, you tend to get what you pay for.

If your headphone budget is in the $2-300, you'll start getting into options that have excellent build quality, premium materials and amazing sound and features like ANC (active noise cancellation.)

Wireless headphones

The Apple AirPods
Image credit: Apple

This style of headphone doesn't limit you to a specific form factor like the others. In fact, you can find in-ear, on-ear and over-ear headphone styles sans wire.

Opting to go wireless will cost you a premium of anywhere between $50-100 over the price of wired cans. Going futuristic isn't cheap. One important thing to consider is that your music player must support the Bluetooth wireless protocol, as it's required to use this type of headphone.

Speaking of Bluetooth, it has become exponentially more reliable over time, but it's always susceptible to disturbances in the force. In short, any little thing, from the understandable (conflicting Wi-Fi signals, microwaves, cordless telephones), to the absurd (sticking a hand in the space between the device and the headphones) can sometimes interrupt a wireless listening experience.

Noise-cancelling headphones

Bose's QuietComfort 35 II headphones
Image credit: TechRadar

This category, like wireless headphones, isn't limited to a form factor. You can find this clever mix of technologies integrated into the ear pieces of in-ear and over-ear headphones alike.

Many companies falsely claim to offer true noise cancellation with just the padding included around the ear cups. Don't believe it. This is PNC (passive noise cancellation), and it doesn't amount to much. You can even replicate this effect by cupping your hands around your ears, so why shell out the big bucks for it?

On the other hand, ANC (active noise cancellation) is the real deal. This technique employs a set of external microphones, which detect the decibel level outside. Once it has an idea of the incoming noise level, the headphone speakers inside transmit a noise generated to dampen the racket. The end result is an effect that hushes the outside noise, allowing you to focus.

Categories: Tech News

The best wireless speaker 2019: find the best connected speakers for your home

Thu, 03/21/2019 - 07:15

Best Speakers Buying Guide: Welcome to TechRadar's round-up of the best wireless, connected speakers and speaker systems in 2019. 

Roll up, roll up. Whether you're looking for big, bold, floor-standing models that are capable of rattling the walls and waking the neighbors, or a portable speaker that you can pick up whenever and take wherever, you've come to the right place. 

Our round up covers all of the best speakers and all of the shapes and sizes you'd ever need - at least for the next few weeks until we update our list of favorites. 

Of course it's not just like you have big floor-standing systems and portable ones to choose from, between those two ends of the scale also lies wireless speakers, which are powerful chambers of sound that don't require a cable to setup. That means if you're not in the mood to string wires, this is the way to go.

Ideally, the speaker that you pick will have been made with a number of built-in amps and DACs and then custom-tuned to replicate music as close to the source as possible. 

On top of pristine audio playback, audiophiles (or wannabe audiophiles) should also be looking for speakers that pack in a whole host of features, such as smart assistant support, Spotify Connect and a built-in batter, all of which will help your speaker last you until the next big innovation in audio that we're hoping will come a few years down the road.

So here you have it, this is our list of the 10 best wireless speakers, ranked by their price-to-performance ratio.

Image credit: Sonos

If you're in the market for a cleanly designed, exceptional sounding connected speaker, you'll find none better than the Sonos One. Offering the best of both Sonos' multi-room speaker platform and Amazon's smart home prowess, the Sonos One is the pinnacle of connectivity. 

Want to hear your favorite song from Spotify? All you need to do is ask! Want every speaker in the upstairs to play the same song? Group them together via the Sonos app and you'll have a house party in minutes. 

While there are more powerful (and more expensive) speakers listed down below, for the vast majority of folks, the Sonos One is the best deal in 2018.

Read the full review: Sonos One

Image credit: Sonos

Sonos was one of the first companies to get into the connected speaker business, and as a result has one of the most seamlessly integrated speaker systems on the market. 

The Sonos Play:5 is the company's flagship, and has the 

Unlike solutions which rely on Bluetooth or Google Cast, Sonos' speakers are controlled directly from its own app, which has built in integration for a number of streaming services, including Spotify, Tidal, Apple Music, Deezer, TuneIn a whole range of smaller services.

Since this is a multi-room setup, you can also add additional speakers such as the Sonos Play:3 and Sonos Play:1 to built up a complete surround sound system, but if you want to keep it simple, then you should find the Play:5 to offer more than enough sound. 

Read the full review: Sonos Play:5

Image credit: TechRadar

The Pure Evoke C-F6 isn't a flashy speaker – its modest (but refined) looks let it slip unassumingly into any decor, although it doesn't boast the premium multi-room options of pricier competitors on this list.

But that's also not really the point of the Evoke C-F6 – it's positioning itself to be the one-room, one-shop stop for all your audio playback needs. There's a dazzling array of audio source options on offer here, with the biggest draws being Spotify Connect, DAB, Internet radio, Bluetooth and old faithful CD playback.

With a solid app letting you control the speaker from across a room, and the Evoke C-F6 offering a warm and natural soundstage from its stereo speakers, it'll take pride of place on whichever bedside table or living room shelf you decide to pop it on.

Read the full review: Pure Evoke C-F6

Image credit: TechRadar

It's a tough call between this speaker and the Mu-So Qb for the best looking music player on this list, but the Zeppelin is certainly the most striking.

But as with all these speakers, the proof is in the pudding, and the Zeppelin sounds absolutely stunning no matter what volume you play it at. Its bass is distortion free, and its mid-range is nice and punchy. 

It's also backed by a complete swath of connectivity options, so you'll have no problem getting your more obscure apps playing through the speaker. 

The only problem is its price: $699 (£499 / AU$999). But while the sticker price ensures that only serious audiophiles will give it some consideration, it's a lot less pricey than the Mu-So Qb, and you get a similar level of sound quality. 

Read the full review: Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Wireless


You might not have heard of it before, but Naim audio is a company that produces some of the most stylish connected speakers in the business, and we think the Mu-So Qb is the best they've put out yet. 

It comes will a full suite of connectivity options including aptX Bluetooth, Spotify Connect and AirPlay, which means all of your music should be supported at its maximum resolution, no matter what device you're using. 

But even if you don't have your phone in hand, the speaker is still controllable using its sleek touch-screen which allows you to access internet radio stations, for example. 

It's got a premium price, but if you pluck for the Qb then you won't be disappointed. 

Read the full review: Mu-So Qb

Image credit: Samsung

Not content with dominating the TV world, Samsung now seems to have its sights set on becoming the number one brand for home entertainment audio, too. All this effort has already delivered outstanding results in the shape of both the HW-K850 and, especially, HW-K950 Dolby Atmos soundbars, as well as a range of ground-breaking multi-room wireless speakers.

But, above everything stands the South Korean manufacturer's HW-MS650. No other one-body soundbar has combined so much raw power with so much clarity, scale and, especially, bass, or excelled so consistently with both films and music. It’s the sort of performance that only genuine audio innovation can deliver - and with that in mind, it’s well worth its $450/£599 price tag. 

Read the full review: Samsung HW-MS650 Soundbar

Image credit: Google

When it comes to stuffing a small apartment with Google Home devices, is too much of a good thing bad? As the Google Home Max proved to us, the answer is no. 

Although absolutely massive, the Home Max makes for a surprisingly versatile addition to a space of any size, thanks to its balanced, awesome sound delivery and Smart Sound function that helps it adjust to any environment you set it in. 

Google’s big speaker is more elegant than it has any right to be, what with clever touches like the moveable resting pad and orientation-friendly touch functions. It’s also appreciated that its looks stand out if you choose to notice it, but blend into the scene during everyday use. 

The only problem? It's just available in the US for now.

Read the full review: Google Home Max

Image credit: KEF

If you're looking for a pair of bookshelf speakers that handle wireless audio as well as having the traditional connections for your vinyl player, check out the KEF LS50 Wireless. While KEF's flagship speakers don't support every wireless standard on the market, they do support Tidal or Spotify, plus standard Bluetooth 4.0.   

In terms of sound quality,  they are staggeringly detailed and their stand-out sonic feature is their holographic imaging and instrumental layering: We could hear exactly where each instrument was coming from and each instrument sounded distinct and never blurry. Soundstage was expansive with good space to the side and above the listener. Resolution is excellent as the speaker can dig for the micro-details that get lost in lesser audio systems.  

If you're an audiophile who wants the convenience of wireless audio - whether that’s directly from internet streaming services like Tidal or Spotify or from a home server - the KEF LS50 Wireless should be at the top of your list. 

Read the full review: KEF LS50 Wireless

Image credit: TechRadar

Of its trio of new multi-room speakers, the Marshall Stanmore is the middle child. However, that doesn't mean it's the unloved sibling. 

While the larger Woburn is just a little too big for most rooms, and the smaller Acton has a number of connectivity issues, the Stanmore strikes a nice balance between the two with a sound that's big and punchy, without straying too far into 'overkill' territory (although mark our words, it will if you want it to). 

It features its own app for controlling it, but we were fans of how nicely it integrates with a host of other services including AirPlay, Google Cast and Spotify Connect, meaning you can stick to the apps you're familiar with while still controlling your new toy. 

But it's the on-board controls that impressed us the most. You're able to set presets from a number of different services, meaning you can happily switch between pre-defined Spotify playlists and internet radio stations with a twist of a vintage Marshall-styled brass knob. 

It's not got the most refined sound out of the speakers on this list, but the Marshall Stanmore is intelligently designed and simple to use. 

Read the full review: Marshall Stanmore

Image credit: TechRadar

If we only rated the Apple HomePod on the merits of sound performance, the HomePod would likely hold the top spot on this list. But, as a connected speaker, it has a long way to go.

Overall, it delivers rich, clear sound that will impress anyone who listens to it, and every facet of the way it’s designed and delivers audio has been well thought through. But there are still a few little bumps in there that remove some of the gloss – Siri not being able to search the web, a lack of Bluetooth streaming, or being able to control your Apple TV or iPhone directly from the speaker are omissions that many would like to have. 

Once it builds out these features, we'll definitely revisit it and possibly award it a higher spot on this list. Until then, however, it's a speaker that only serves a niche audience - and even then not very well.

Read the full review: Apple HomePod

Categories: Tech News

Samsung Galaxy S10 5G release date leaked, but it seems a little early

Thu, 03/21/2019 - 07:14

The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G is set to release at some point later in 2019, but according to a new leak it could be a lot closer than some might have expected.

According to Sam Mobile the handset will be released in the US on April 5, which is actually before the first consumer 5G networks will be launched in the country – Verizon is starting its 5G networks in Minneapolis and Chicago on April 11, so the Galaxy S10 5G would be 5G-less for nearly a week if the date was accurate. 

Since this date seems a little early, especially since 5G networks aren’t widely in place yet and it’ll be months before most cities have them, we’re not convinced of this date just yet - especially as Samsung hasn’t made a big marketing push for it yet.

We do know some information on the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G however – the handset will be exclusive to Verizon in the US, but other countries will see it sold from various retailers, such as O2 in the UK. 

While Verizon is launching their 5G network in select US cities from April 11, O2 will be launching its in Edinburgh, London, Belfast and Cardiff later in 2019, and will be bringing the Galaxy S10 5G out to be used on them.

The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G is, as the name would suggest, a 5G version of the Samsung Galaxy S10, but it has a bigger screen size than any other S10 phones including the Galaxy S10 Plus, a bigger battery, and has an extra 3D depth camera over its smaller siblings. It’ll also likely cost a lot more than the other Galaxy S10 phones, although because there aren’t any 5G phones out yet we don’t really know how much 5G compatibility will add to a phone’s price.

We spoke to Samsung to see if the release date was real, and we’re waiting to hear back from the brand shortly. For more information on the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G stay tuned to TechRadar, where we’ll let you know if Samsung confirms the phone’s release.

Check out today's bargains: Galaxy S10 deals (US) | Galaxy S10 deals (UK)

Categories: Tech News

Nvidia talks up Turing graphics cards as outselling Pascal by 45% in revenue

Thu, 03/21/2019 - 07:00

At Nvidia’s investor day, the company revealed fresh statistics which show that its new Turing graphics cards outsold the previous generation (Pascal) by a lofty 45% in terms of revenue on desktop PCs.

This is the case when comparing the first eight weeks of sales of the respective GPUs, according to the graphics card maker.

Now wait a minute, you might be thinking. Just after Turing launched, didn’t Nvidia come out and admit that sales of these GPUs were disappointing, just before it revealed a set of poor fiscal results?

Yes, it did, but there’s a bit more to the overall picture than that – let’s dig into this a little more deeply.

So, the numbers and graphs Nvidia just shared indicate (among other things) that in the first eight weeks of Pascal (10-series) versus Turing sales revenue, the latter did 45% better as mentioned, when it comes to $299+ GPUs. In that post-launch period for Turing, the RTX 2080 Ti, RTX 2080 and RTX 2070 were on sale (and not the RTX 2060, which didn’t follow until the start of 2019).

Now, back in January when Nvidia admitted that its gaming revenue was going to be sub-par for fiscal Q4, the firm said that “certain high-end GPUs” from the Turing range hadn’t sold as well as expected.

So given that, we can safely assume that the RTX 2080 Ti underperformed, and presumably also to some extent, the RTX 2080 – given that multiple ‘GPUs’ are mentioned, and it’s not unfair to call the RTX 2080 high-end considering that it weighs in at a retail price of $799 (£749, AU$1,199) for the Founders Edition (a hundred bucks less for other models). Which is more like what the average consumer will look to spend on an entire PC, not just a graphics card.

Yes, this is all theorizing, but it would seem to us that the new figures point to the RTX 2070 doing rather well, considering the previous comments about disappointment from the high-end Turing GPUs – and the fact that the RTX cards have apparently outsold Pascal by 45%.

Revenue not shipments

But before we get carried away with the concept of the RTX 2070 notching up some comparatively mammoth sales, we have to also bear in mind that Nvidia is highlighting a difference in revenue here – not the units sold.

And of course, Turing cards were pitched at a much higher price than Pascal efforts, with Nvidia’s Founders Edition RTX 2070 hitting an eye-watering $599 (£569, AU$899) compared to $399 (£379, AU$699) for the GTX 1070.

So the Turing GPU saw a roughly 50% price hike, and although you can get third-party cards for cheaper, of course, prices vary – but they will still probably be roughly in line with this.

The upshot is that we would expect around a 45% increase in revenue from Turing models compared to Pascal, if they sold around the same number of units. In short, there’s been no big jump in shipment numbers, just profits.

Which is still good news for Nvidia, and its investors, naturally enough. And that’s doubtless part of what this is: an effort to restore investor confidence given the recent gloomy earnings report which saw overall revenue drop to its lowest level in almost two years.

It’s also true that even if Turing has ‘only’ matched Pascal in terms of actual shipment numbers, as we are guessing here, that’s still a good performance given the asking prices of the new cards.

The company also revealed some other interesting statistics on its Turing GPUs, including the fact that 90% of folks who own Nvidia graphics cards have a model which is less powerful than the new GTX 1660 Ti.

50% of Nvidia owners are running a Pascal card, and only 2% have bought a Turing GPU, with the remaining 48% having an older model than Pascal. That would seemingly point to a slower start for Turing, though adoption takes time – especially at RTX prices, so again this is no real surprise.

What Nvidia wants it to point to, though, is the fact that there are a lot of folks out there who will be ready to upgrade to the more affordable non-ray tracing Turing models like the GTX 1660 Ti – and therefore that much bigger sales numbers are in the pipeline.

And it’s difficult to argue with that, and the value proposition of these Turing GTX cards, one of which we recently labelled as the best entry-level graphics card going.

You can seemingly brace yourself for further Nvidia domination, then, at least in the near-term, with AMD’s new Navi graphics cards not expected to emerge until later this year – and with recent figures from an analyst firm showing Team Green having notched up its GPU market share to 81.2%, from 74.3% the previous quarter.

Via Wccftech

Categories: Tech News

Three increases annual revenues ahead of 5G launch

Thu, 03/21/2019 - 06:54

Three has reported a one per cent rise in annual revenue for 2018 as the average monthly consumption per use rose by nearly a quarter to 8.3GB.

The operator now has 11.3 total active connections on its network – a figure which includes MVNOs like iD Mobile – and 10.26 million customers. Three increased the number of contract customers by one per cent to 7 million and 84 per cent of its subscribers use 4G.

CEO Dave Dyson said the past 12 months had been a “foundational year” ahead of its 5G launch in 2019 and has spent £2 billion building out its network. This has included investment in radio technology, as well as a backhaul agreement with SSE Enterprise Telecoms, and the launch of 21 data centres distributed across its network.

Three results

Three has 140MHz worth of usable 5G airwaves, acquired through the Ofcom spectrum auction and through the takeover of Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) broadband provider UK Broadband. This includes a 100MHz continuous block.

“2018 was the year when we set the foundations in place for us to jump up to the next level and become the UK’s best-loved brand by our people and customers, meeting all our customers’ connectivity needs,” he declared.

“Despite this investment in technology for the future potential of the business, we have improved our profitability and delivered a consistent financial performance through a rigorous approach to cost control.

“Overall, I am pleased with the progress that the business has made in 2018. Only made possible with the hard work and commitment of our staff and partners, and I thank them for their dedication and support.

"We are well set up for some transformational shifts in 2019 for our customers and our employees. It will be a year when our customers will start to see the real benefits of the next generation of 5G “mobile” technology, a technology that will not only replace 4G, but will also replace the need for wired broadband services.”

Three also reiterated plans to rebrand Relish as Three Broadband next month. Three has been vocal about its hopes for 5G-enabled FWA, believing the capacity afforded by 5G will allow it to deliver a wireless broadband service with quality comparable to that of a fixed network.

Categories: Tech News

Huawei P30 Pro price and release date leak, and official renders posted

Thu, 03/21/2019 - 06:37

We’re just days away from the March 26 announcement of the Huawei P30 and Huawei P30 Pro, but you probably won't be able to buy the phones on that day – the date for that might be April 5.

At least, that’s what Amazon Italy seems to think, as a listing for the Huawei P30 Pro seemingly briefly appeared on that site, with that date attached. We say 'seemingly' because the page was removed before we could see it first-hand, but HDBlog reports as much.

It’s likely that a retailer as big as Amazon would have an accurate on-sale date this close to launch, so April 5 may well be correct, but it’s worth noting that dates in other countries may differ, and so too might the date for the standard Huawei P30.

Regardless, the listing also supposedly included a price of €1,028.19 (around $1,170 / £890 / AU$1,640) for the 128GB model. That’s roughly in line with the only other price rumor we’ve heard so far.

Also included on the listing was a partial specs list, with a 4,200mAh battery, a Kirin 980 chipset and 8GB of RAM listed.

The quad-lens rear camera, meanwhile, is said to include 40MP, 20MP and 8MP lenses, with a depth-sensing 'time-of-flight' lens taking up the fourth slot, and support for 10x hybrid zoom. Finally, the front camera is supposedly 32MP, all of which largely squares with what we’ve heard before.

Official images

But this isn’t the only Huawei P30 Pro news today, as high-quality press renders (above) showing both it and the standard Huawei P30 have also emerged – and they were posted on Huawei’s official Belgian site, so these are the real deal.

They don’t really show anything new, as the phones have been extensively leaked already, but they do give us another look at them in a range of colors.

The pages they’re posted on don’t reveal much either (other than the fact that the standard P30 offers 5x hybrid zoom), but do confirm that at least in some regions you’ll be able to get a Sonos One speaker and a wireless charger thrown in if you pre-order.

Via Phandroid and @evleaks

Categories: Tech News

Windows 7 end is coming - and Microsoft wants to make it easier to upgrade

Thu, 03/21/2019 - 06:30

Microsoft has reassured Windows 7 users they still have time to migrate to Windows 10 before support for the former ends soon.

With the official Windows 7 End of Life set for January 14 2020, companies and consumers still running the aged software still have around ten months remaining to upgrade, and Microsoft is ready to assist the process any way it can.

A new Microsoft update released today will see Windows 7 users reminded of the 10-year-old software's impending end, and the need to upgrade to the latest version as soon as possible.

Quality

 Speaking to TechRadar Pro, Brad Anderson, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of enterprise experiences at Microsoft reassured Windows 7 users they still have plenty of time to upgrade. 

“The quality of what we're doing with Windows right now...is the highest quality we've seen in years,” he says.

Anderson notes that “well past” 50 percent of commercial users have already upgraded from Windows 7 to Windows 10, and the company’s own analytics show that a device is updated to the newest build every second.

“We’re seeing the highest level of compatibility from one version of Windows to another that we’ve ever had,” Anderson says, noting that there are currently more than 800 million active Windows 10 devices online today.

“We’ll certainly encourage them to upgrade, for a host of reasons,” Anderson says, naming superior stability and security as particularly potent benefits.

Microsoft is set to start nudging Windows 7 users to upgrade soon, with pop-up notifications informing the imminent end of life due to start soon.

But for those companies that need to remain on Windows 7 a little longer than next January (such as those needing to address certain compliance regulations), Microsoft will still provide support for up to three years - although you will need to pay.

At this point in time, support for Windows Enterprise users using Windows 7 for the first year after the End of Life date (January 2020 – January 2021), will cost $25 (around £20, AU$35) per device.

 This rises to $50 per device (around £40, AU$70) for year two (January 2021 – January 2022), and $100 (around £80, AU$140) for year three (January 2022 to January 2023). 

The company has also this week revealed Windows Virtual Desktop, which can provide another option, allowing organisations to run Windows 7 virtual apps and desktops for three years after the deadline without paying support.

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

But Microsoft is also looking to make the upgrade process quicker and easier for Windows 7 organisations through a variety of methods.

Realising that the biggest worry organisations have with upgrading is compatibility, the company has already launched the Desktop Aperture program, which looks to help solve possible compatibility issues with Windows 7 apps for Windows 10. 

Companies concerned they may have any problems can talk directly to Microsoft to solve issues - whether that’s with their app, or Windows itself.

Anderson notes the program is already resulting in a 99.9 percent compatibility rate for migrating apps, but realises that many firms may have issues in keeping up with the amount of Windows updates being released.

"Organisations do struggle to do two Windows releases a year, so we're working on things,” he says, “we would like to make upgrades smaller and easier to deploy faster.”

As a start, Desktop Aperture allows organisations to deploy “pilots” of new version of Microsoft platforms such as Windows or Office, allowing them to spot potential issues and making it easier to deploy the latest software.

Categories: Tech News

4 trends that are changing the data conversation

Thu, 03/21/2019 - 06:30

Businesses simply cannot operate effectively today without a healthy stream of data to inform real-time decision making. As its value increases, businesses have to navigate a complicated regulatory landscape, privacy concerns and new technologies which thrive on data. For almost every arm of the organization, data is priority number one.

Here are a few of the major data trends to keep an eye on this year:

1. Consumer privacy and GDPR enforcement begins in earnest

When GDPR took hold in May 2018, regulatory officials began realizing the inherent complexity facing organizations as they implemented tools and processes required to address compliance. This may partially explain why there has been only one major enforcement action applied to non-compliant businesses since coming into effect.

The International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), however, recently posited that this will become increasingly common, citing an investigation by the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). To understand the timeframe between when a violation occurred, when a complaint was issued and when a regulatory action was levied against the organization, the study looked at the 100 most-recent enforcement actions by the ICO in an attempt to determine when we can expect punitive actions by GDPR enforcement officials.

Their conclusion? Drawing an average between the minimum time from violation-to-penalty (six days,) and the maximum (1,064 days,) the IAPP determined a likely window for regulatory actions may be in the range of 338 days, or around February 22, 2019. It is likely, however, that due to the complexity and scale of preparing to meet GDPR requirements for many large enterprises, regional regulators will apply some degree of leniency until the second half of 2019.

Image Credit: Shutterstock

2. Consumer privacy for “offline” data becomes increasingly paramount (and difficult)

As the volume and variety of consumer data used by organizations continues to expand, many businesses are looking at new ways of bridging the online to offline gap that has persisted for years. Gaining the ability to understand customers’ behaviors as they move from digital to brick-and-mortar channels is fast becoming a bold new frontier for digital marketing strategists.

Take, for example, Google’s recent partnership with MasterCard. Google tracks the location of some of its users in real time, all the time. Because of this, MasterCard realized that it could feed aggregate, encrypted credit card transaction data into Google’s analytics engine, then match that data up with an e-mail database to match offline sales with individual’s profiles and ad click behaviors.

This raises a significant issue of privacy among consumer privacy advocates and governmental agencies looking to protect citizens from the prying eyes of hungry advertisers, as well as identity theft and fraud. New regulations following on the heels of GDPR, including the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), take a hard line on the rules around collecting and monetizing customer data, and promises heavy penalties for businesses not in compliance.

While the march toward always-on, real-time, personally contextual marketing will continue, we see organizations taking a second (or third and fourth) look at their privacy and security postures in order to avoid painful legal battles, punitive damages dished out by regulators, and tarnished brand reputation. This means businesses must first come to grips with all aspects of how they capture, store, manage and distribute consumers’ personal data. But, ultimately, it also demands building more customer-centric long-term strategies, based on trust, that always take consumers’ privacy and security into account.

3. The front and back offices will continue to converge

Over the last several years, organizations have invested heavily in centralizing their customer data across properties and front office systems in order to leverage the data for better serving customers and for privacy-related reasons.

Expect this to continue, as we see organizations expand their digital strategies to capture end-to-end customer related data. From the first customer interaction with the brand online or offline, through the interaction with the customer – be it a purchase of a product, service, or subscription – to customer support and service, and back to fulfillment, invoicing and so on.

For example, enabling a complete view of the customer – from purchase in an e-commerce system, to a nurture flow in a CRM application, to a contract in the legal office, to an invoice in the ERP system – helps streamline these commonly recurring transactional business processes. It also gives better insight to the sales team because it now has improved visibility to expiring contracts and can therefore plan its pipeline much more efficiently.

Image Credit: iStockPhoto

4. The role of artificial intelligence in defining the customer experience will skyrocket

Built on the foundation of data, artificial intelligence and machine learning have seen a meteoric rise as business performance differentiators. For example, marketers are leveraging these technologies to offer more relevant product recommendations and better identify the most effective channels to communicate with individual prospects and customers.

But this only scratches the surface. Organizations will tap these technologies to directly impact the customer experience in real time. Some avant-guard companies are already exploring such capabilities. Spotify already uses AI to generate custom playlists every week based on a listener’s past history and likes, and on what others with similar tastes have listened to and liked.

As companies achieve more of a 360-degree view of the customer and address their technology infrastructure to better integrate with advanced analytics on a large scale, AI-supported customer experiences will spread like wildfire. Everything from the web pages generated by a content management system to the timing of account registration offers will be supported by intelligent decision-making. In turn, more consumers will have trusted, responsive experiences with brands, which will strengthen loyalty and satisfaction.

The role of transparency

A common thread through the above trends, one that continues to shape the data conversation, is the importance of transparency. As awareness grows, brands and organizations have the responsibility to demonstrate in the clearest of terms how data is fueling value for customers and stakeholders alike setting the benchmark for 2019, and the years to come.

Ben Jackson, General Manager of SAP Customer Data Cloud

Categories: Tech News

Instagram testing new Checkout feature that lets you shop within the app

Thu, 03/21/2019 - 06:18

Instagram has announced that it's testing a new feature called Checkout, which will allow users to buy products from fashion, beauty and other brands within the photo-sharing app.

In a blog post, Instagram said the feature is currently “in closed beta for businesses, and available to people in the US“, but hasn't mentioned when Checkout will be rolled out to the rest of the world.

Judging from the businesses involved in the beta testing period, which include Zara, Adidas, Burberry, Balmain, H&M, Huda Beauty, Prada, and Kylie Cosmetics among others, Instagram is squarely targeting users with an interest in beauty and fashion. 

Insta-shopping

Instagram says that “when you tap to view a product from a brand’s shopping post, you’ll see a ’Checkout on Instagram’ button on the product page“.

You can then “tap [the button] to select from various options such as size or color, then you’ll proceed to payment without leaving Instagram“.

Of course, you'll need to give details like your name, email, billing information, and shipping address at this stage, but Instagram says you'll only need to do this the first time you check out. This is because Instagram will save your information for the next time you shop within the app. 

Instagram also says you'll receive notifications about shipment and delivery inside the app, which could be convenient if you typically spend more time checking Instagram than you do checking your emails for shipping confirmations when you shop online using more traditional means. 

It was thought that Instagram would be launching a standalone shopping app called IG Shopping, and it's unclear whether the new Checkout feature will negate any plans the Facebook-owned platform had to expand.

What is clear is that tech companies and social media platforms are increasingly investing in super-convenient shopping features, with Google recently testing ’shoppable ads’ within Google Images.

Categories: Tech News

The best compact cameras available in India

Thu, 03/21/2019 - 06:04

Compact cameras and the market they live in have changed a lot over the last few years. Smartphones have decimated the entry-level range of point-and-shoots and as a result, manufacturers have concentrated on putting in more advanced features into compact cameras to make them more attractive.

In addition to the move towards larger sensors to boost image quality that can rival DSLRs in some cases, some compact cameras sport lenses, long zoom ranges or wide maximum apertures. Wi-Fi connectivity is also now de rigueur on most compacts, so you can transfer shots quickly to a phone for sharing on Facebook etc.

Many photographers used to be very snooty when it came to compact digital cameras, but they now make a great alternative to a DSLR or mirrorless system cameras. And those who are new to photography and are thinking moving up from a smartphone have some pretty sophisticated choices at their disposal as well. 

There are small cameras that can slip into a pocket yet have huge zoom ranges, and large bridge cameras that look like DSLRs, but have a fixed lens and lots of automated easy-to-use options.

These cameras prove that you don't have to buy one that needs interchangeable lenses to get great shots.

If you need a bit more help figuring out what kind of camera you need, then read this article: What camera should I buy?

Or if you already know what kind of camera you want, then check out our more specific compact camera guides:

It may be one of the more expensive options here and it's not a compact for everyone, but if you're after a high-quality camera, you're not going to be disappointed with the X100F. Everything about it oozes class. 

Unlike a lot of compacts here, it has a fixed lens as opposed to zoom, but this 35mm equivalent f/2.0 lens is paired with a DSLR-sized 24.3MP APS-C sensor that delivers cracking results. There's also the tactile external controls and clever hybrid viewfinder - you have the option of electronic and optical views that make it a joy to shoot with. You'll need some photo knowledge to get the best from it, but  the X100F is an exquisite camera.

Read the full review: Fujifilm X100F

Panasonic invented the travel-zoom camera genre - compact cameras that you can fit in a pocket but that have long zoom lenses built-in. Despite strong competition, the ZS range (known as TZ outside the US) has continued to dominate sales. 

In a response to attract new buyers, Panasonic's response has been to keep the camera body about the same size as earlier TZ-series cameras but to squeeze a much larger 1-inch sensor into the Lumix ZS100 (TZ100 outside the US). This enables the pixels to be about 2.4x bigger than they are in models like the Lumix ZS50 / TZ70, helping the ZS100 produce much higher quality images. The zoom lens isn't quite so extensive, but you get an electronic viewfinder that makes it easier to compose images in bright sunny conditions. 

Panasonic's recently announced the Lumix ZS200 / TZ200, boosting the zoom range to 24-360mm - review coming very soon.  

Read our in-depth Panasonic Lumix ZS100 / TZ100 review

If you're looking for a powerful all-in-one bridge camera, then the RX10 IV from Sony is the best there is. You'll pay a premium for that performance, but when you look at what else is out there for the same price, the RX10 IV is virtually in a league of its own. 

Featuring a huge 24-600mm f/2.4-4 zoom lens, the RX10 IV builds on the RX10 III with an overhauled AF system that now does justice to the rest of the camera, while the 1-inch, 20.1MP sensor is capable of achieving excellent levels of detail. 

Handling is very polished, it feels like a DSLR in the hand and complemented by a large and bright electronic viewfinder. That's not forgetting the ability to capture video in 4K and shoot at up to 24fps. Impressive stuff.

Read our in-depth Sony Cyber-shot RX10 IV review

Panasonic's muscled its way into the growing premium 1-inch compact sector with the brilliant Lumix LX10 (known as the LX10 outside the US), and is the perfect balance of performance, features and price. 

First, the bad news - there's no built-in EVF and the smooth finish doesn't offer the best handgrip, but the 24-72mm lens is one of the fastest around with a maximum aperture of f/1.4. 

Add to that some polished handling with dual control rings and a touchscreen, snappy AF and 4K video capture, and you have one of the best compact cameras around. 

Read the full review: Panasonic Lumix LX10 / LX15

Sony's original RX100 was a landmark camera that fused a 1-inch sensor in a compact, metal body with the controls and image quality demanded by enthusiasts. The RX100 V goes a step further, though, with a 'stacked' sensor design for high-speed data capture. This means it can shoot 4K video, amazing 40x slow motion and still images at 24fps in continuous burst mode. That's not forgetting the neat little built-in electronic viewfinder that its rivals lack. It's a pricey option and does have its quirks, but if you're looking for a versatile, pocket-sized compact with a quality zoom lens, you won't be disappointed. 

Read our in-depth Sony Cyber-shot RX100 V review

While there's now a decent selection of premium 1.0-inch sensor compact cameras to choose from, the Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II sets itself apart thanks to its dinky proportions and streamlined controls. The highly pocketable dimensions do mean there are sacrifices to be made, with the PowerShot G9 X Mark II featuring a relatively short focal length zoom lens. 

However, if you're looking for a neat compact camera that can produce vastly superior images to your smartphone, and has decent connectivity options and simple-to-use controls - the PowerShot G9 X Mark II is an excellent choice.  

Read the full review: Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II

Sony's original RX100 was a landmark camera that fused a 1-inch sensor in a compact, metal body with the controls and image quality demanded by enthusiasts. The RX100 V goes a step further, though, with a 'stacked' sensor design for high-speed data capture. This means it can shoot 4K video, amazing 40x slow motion and still images at 24fps in continuous burst mode. That's not forgetting the neat little built-in electronic viewfinder that its rivals lack. 

It's a pricey option and does have its quirks, but if you're looking for a versatile, pocket-sized compact with a quality zoom lens, you won't be disappointed. 

Read the full review: Sony RX100 V

This trend towards bigger sensors shows up in the Panasonic Lumix FZ2000 (known as the FZ2500 in the US). Bridge cameras are very popular because they offer a colossal zoom range at a modest cost. To design a big zoom, though, the makers have to use a tiny sensor – and here Panasonic took the wise choice to sacrifice zoom range for better quality. The Panasonic FZ2000 uses a 1-inch sensor, and while the zoom tops out at 480mm equivalent, which is relatively short for a bridge camera, that's still plenty for all but the most extreme everyday use. 

We love the FZ2000 because it delivers both image quality and zoom range - if you're looking for something a bit cheaper, the older FZ1000 is still available.

Read the full review: Panasonic Lumix FZ2000 / FZ2500

If you're looking for a compact camera that can do a better job than your smartphone - the WX220 ticks a lot of boxes, especially when you consider the extra flexibility offered by the 10x optical zoom, running from 25-250mm. 

Images are bright and punchy, with decent detail – ideal for sharing online or printing at typical sizes, and it's nice to see Wi-Fi connectivity included as well. 

The 2.7-inch screen is a little on the small side, but that does help in keeping the dimensions of the camera to a pocket-friendly size. The WX220 may not have lots of bells and whistles, but what it does, it does well.

Read the full review: Sony WX220

The Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III can be termed as the compact sized DSLR camera. The reason behind this is the APS-C CMOS sensor which Canon has used inside a small body. The image sensor along with the DIGIC 7 processing unit delivers good quality of images. The camera also comes with Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth connectivity which allows faster transferring of files to other smart devices.

Read the full review: Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III

Categories: Tech News

DDoS attacks could cost the UK £1bn this year

Thu, 03/21/2019 - 06:04

British businesses are being hit with more cyberattacks than ever before, and suffered severe financial effects, new research has shown.

A report from NETSCOUT has estimated that DDoS attacks alone could be costing the UK economy more than £1 billion a year due to the damage being done.

The report estimated that the average cost for each UK business that had seen downtime due to DDoS exceeded £140,000.

Overall, 91 percent of the businesses surveyed by NETSCOUT said they had experienced network downtime as a direct result of a DDoS attack, leading to a major drop in productivity. The average annual downtime was measured at 67 minutes for the year, and the downtime costs were estimated at £2,140 per minute.

Around 86 percent of major UK enterprises questioned were attacked at least once in 2018 with the effects not just limited to being offline. 

Revenue loss was reported by over a third (36.2 percent) of respondents, alongside other factors such as increased operational expenses (38.6 percent), reputational impact (36.2 percent), higher insurance premiums (31.9 percent) and loss of customers (30.7 percent), highlighting the longer-term damage successful attacks can bring.

“The tools to initiate DDoS attacks are cheap, freely available and easily deployed - as a result, there are more than ten thousand DDoS attacks every day around the world," noted Darren Anstee, NETSCOUT CTO, Security.

"The size and complexity of attacks continue to grow and businesses must make sure their key resources are adequately protected – including in the cloud, SaaS etc."

Categories: Tech News

Dealing with digital disruption: how businesses can gain a competitive advantage

Thu, 03/21/2019 - 05:30

Considering the rapid developments of technologies like virtual reality, artificial intelligence and machine learning, it should come as no surprise that the term ‘digital disruption’ is everywhere. But rather than just a buzzword with no real meaning to it, this innovative revolution is very real and foreshadows an intense— but manageable — shift in business logic everywhere.

With change being the only certainty in today’s digital era, it is often difficult for businesses to find the time to identify new customer trends to incorporate into their changing businesses models. But by failing to do so, they risk losing their position in the market to more adaptable and advanced competitors.  

As a result, it’s crucial for leaders to recognise the key trends most likely to affect businesses in 2019, so they can get ahead of the game and work with the flow rather than against it. Not only does this prevent the wave of digital disruption from washing away success, but it can also lead to further growth and new, beneficial opportunities for the business.

Placing people at the heart of innovation 

As technology has accustomed people to instant answers and instant service, businesses will need to keep up with changing consumer demands to gain a competitive advantage.  

In fact, according to the Vodafone 2019 Global Trends Barometer, almost all businesses surveyed agreed that customer expectations are increasing (93%) and that their needs are changing rapidly (85%), with 76% stating that customers have become more powerful than ever.

To be successful it’s not enough to be innovative for the sake of being innovative. Businesses need to take a people-centric approach to get ahead of changing customer needs in a market that is being reshaped by technology, and do so at speed. In other words, businesses need to understand what digital transformation means for both their employees and their customers. Only then can they ensure they are keeping up with the new pace of change demanded by the market.  

Image Credit: Pexels

Commercial success is linked in to ethics and trust 

With competition so fierce, it can become difficult for customers to distinguish between different companies with similar offerings. As a result, transparency and ethical business practices are becoming an important feature to help customers make a choice. It’s no longer just about the product specifications, customers are increasingly making their purchasing decisions based on social and ethical factors. In fact, 93% of businesses maintain that they are expected to act ethically by customers, and 83% believe by doing so, they will ultimately generate more revenue.  

This demonstrates the correlation between profit and purpose. A better motivation for inspiring ethical behaviour is the benefits it provides, both for the brand and financially. Besides feeling good about doing the right thing, principled business conduct can also be profitable; which mean ethical behaviour really is just good business.

The balance between human and machines 

When people initially think of machines in the workplace, it’s often associated with the thought of robots taking over jobs. But the reality of this is more positive than what people might first think. As workplace automation becomes more advanced, it is having a real impact on the future of work. It’s allowing companies to simplify a variety of tasks and helping them save, and providing a better experience for employees and a better service to customers. In our survey, 85% of business leaders surveyed agreed that humans will be soon required to work alongside AI systems, and 60% think this will help generate more jobs in the future. 83% also agree that they think jobs will become more productive.

This is an uplifting perspective for businesses wanting to champion a positive mindset towards change. The workplace becoming more automated doesn't eliminate the need for humans — it moves them forward. But what this also means is that enterprises need to act now to educate the workforce so that AI can continue to represent an opportunity. Business leaders need to develop a new workforce strategy that puts the development and growth of employees at the centre and find roles for those displaced by automation. Because after all, machines were invented to make human work easier.

Image Credit: Shutterstock

Preparing for the digital future

Digital disruption is impacting every facet of the business world. However, as this research highlights, businesses still need to be aware of the challenges they face in order to strategically plan for the road ahead. Now is the time for leaders to prioritise how they adapt to these changes by transforming their business models and values.

But although we face challenge and change, there is also a huge opportunity for businesses to grow, develop and succeed. By developing a new approach which looks to improve customer relationships, develop business ethics and to bring in machines to improve productivity, it will yield rewards in terms of revenue and employee retention. The connected future for businesses is something to be very excited about.

Erik Brenneis, CEO of Vodafone Global Enterprise

Categories: Tech News

The best full-frame DSLRs available in India

Thu, 03/21/2019 - 04:49

There was a time when full-frame DLSRs were a luxury item limited to professional photographers. A shift occurred when economies of scale kicked in and the costs of production began to fall, bringing lower priced models in to the market. This paved the way for amateurs and enthusiasts to have the same access to high end hardware.

Full frame DSLRs are known for having larger pixels on the sensor, thus delivering better light gathering capabilities, which in turn means better image quality. This holds especially true at higher sensitivities. 

We should also mention full-frame mirrorless cameras. These aren't DSLRs strictly, but the Sony A7 series cameras like the brilliant Alpha A7R II and now the Leica SL are muscling in on the full-frame DSLR market, and are particularly interesting for those who also need to shoot video.

To find out more, read this: Mirrorless vs DSLR cameras: 10 key differences

Or to get an idea of what kind of DSLR you can get at different price points, try this: Best DSLR

In the meantime, here are the best full-frame DSLRs you can buy right now:

Nikon D850

The latest addition to this list is the newly launched Nikon D850 full-frame camera. 

The camera is aimed at photographers involved in nature, events, fashion and wedding photography and its wide ISO range of 64 to 25600 allows them to shoot continuously in different lighting conditions. 

Nikon’s EXPEED 5 image processor sits at the heart of the camera, which promises to offer uncompromised performance across still and video shooting.

It comes with 45.7 MP BSI CMOS sensor that promises to keep a balance of high-speed and impressive resolution when combined with up to 9-fps continuous shooting mode. 

The LiveView focusing speeds could be better and the SnapBridge connectivity is nothing to write home about, but this camera still manages to outshine the rest. 

Read the full review: Nikon D850

Canon EOS 6D Mark II

Canon recently added Canon EOS 6D Mark II to its full-frame DSLR lineup in India. The camera comes with 26.2MP full frame CMOS sensor which works well in low-light conditions. 

One thing that might disappoint some users is the absence of 4K capability. But, to cover this up, the camera has a 4K Time-Lapse function which fuses the images to create a 4K video.

The EOS 6D Mark II also features Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology which gives more precise focus tracking while using either ‘Live View’ or ‘Video’ mode.

Read the full review: Canon EOS 6D Mark II

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

Canon's EOS 5D series of cameras has a rich heritage – the original EOS 5D bought full-frame photography to the masses, while the Mark II unleashed Full HD video capture for the first time on a DSLR, starting a whole new genre of DSLR movie-making. 

That's not forgetting the Mark III, which perhaps, was not as groundbreaking as the two models before it, became a firm favourite among photographers. 

The 5D Mark IV pretty much tweaks and improves on everything the Mark III had to offer. This includes a brilliant new 30.4MP sensor that delivers pin-sharp results and an advanced 61-point AF system that's incredibly sophisticated. It even has pro-spec performance, 4K video and some very polished handling. 

Put this all together, along with a host of other features and it all combines to make the EOS 5D Mark IV one of the best DSLRs we've seen. 

Read the full review: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

Nikon D810

It might be getting a bit old now (it was launched back in the summer of 2014), but the Nikon D810 is still one of the best DSLRs around. Not to mention that it manages to give the EOS 5D Mark IV a good run for its money. 

Images from Nikon's 36.3 megapixel monster are bursting with detail, while its 1200-shot battery life puts the 50.6MP EOS 5DS in the shade. 

We're also fans of the D810's clarity micro-contrast adjustment with its video-friendly 'flat mode' for maximum dynamic range. The 51-point AF system copes well with tricky focusing situations, mainly because both the AF and metering systems are taken from the now ex-range-topping Nikon D4S

Excellent handling and relatively modest dimensions further ensure that the D810 doesn't disappoint. 

Read the full review: Nikon D810

Canon EOS 5DS

With 50.6 million effective pixels, the Canon EOS 5DS is by far the highest resolution full-frame DSLR on the market today. 

The same goes for the 5DS R, which is identical to the 5DS, but features an anti-aliasing cancellation filter over the sensor to help resolve a little more detail should you need it. 

Pixel-packed sensors can be compromised, but not here. Image quality is superb, as you'd expect, with fantastic detail, well controlled noise and good dynamic range. This makes it the ideal choice for the landscape or studio photographer. 

The EOS 5DS is now the benchmark for full-frame image quality, but it's not quite perfect. There's no Wi-Fi or 4K video recording, and huge image file sizes necessitate decent memory cards and a fast computer.

Read the full review: Canon EOS 5DS

Nikon D750

Can't quite stretch to one of our top options? Then the Nikon D750 should be at the top of your list. 

The D750 still packs a cracking 24.3MP sensor and is as weatherproof as the D810, yet it's roughly 25% cheaper. Compared to its baby brother, the D610, the D750 has a superior 51-point AF system, as well as more advanced metering and video capabilities.

That's not forgetting the wider sensitivity range, useful tilting screen and Wi-Fi connectivity. 

Its continuous shooting speed of 6.5fps isn't quite as fast as some may have hoped for, but on the whole the Nikon D750 is a well-rounded, well-priced choice for enthusiast photographers.

Read the full review: Nikon D750

Nikon D5

The D5 is Nikon's latest flagship DSLR, and it certainly doesn't disappoint. 20.8 megapixels might seem a bit stingy, but it means the D5 can shoot at 12fps continuous shooting, while the extended ISO range of ISO 3,280,000 has never been seen before in a camera. 

The autofocus system - with a coverage of 173 auto-focus (AF) points (99 of which are cross-type), the sophistication and speed of the AF is staggering. 

However, the ability to shoot 4K video is restricted to three minutes but putting that aside, the D5 is a phenomenal camera that's used by professionals the world over.

Read the full review: Nikon D5

Sony Alpha A7R III

Launched in November 2017, the Sony Alpha A7R III is an upgraded version of the A7R II which came in 2015. 

It comes with 42.2-megapixel BSI CMOS sensor and BIONZ X image processor which promises to increase the processing speed up to 1.8 times faster than its predecessor. 

In addition to this, the camera can shoot up to 10fps.  If Nikon thought it was going to have things all its own way with the D850, it should think again.  

For now, the Alpha A7R III is not only the most well-rounded mirrorless camera you can buy, but one of the best cameras out there.    

Read the full review: Sony Alpha A7R III

Categories: Tech News

The best gaming keyboards in India for March 2019

Thu, 03/21/2019 - 04:45

Choosing a great gaming keyboard can be a tough task especially when there's are so many options in the market. You see, a good dedicated gaming keyboard coupled with a powerful desktop setup can make or break your gameplay experience. There's a reason behind the existence of dedicated keyboards to assist players during games which is why investing in one can help you win you that match.  

Mechanical keyboards can drastically help you improvise in-game skills and even the reflexes. It's the kind of keyboard that gamers usually swear by as they are more durable than others. In addition, there are a couple of factors that need to be taken into account while zeroing in on the keyboard of your choice. One of them is the type of switches that the particular gaming keyboard uses. There are keyboards out there with linear switches which don't offer feedback when the keys are depressed and then there's the tactile switch which registers a keystroke by offering feedback when the key hits an actuation point. 

We have listed below some of the best gaming keyboards that are available in India so that you don't have to go through the whole ordeal of going through every keyboard.

One of the best mechanical keyboards by Razer, the Blackwidow Elite features an updated mechanical switch which adds more stability and safeguards the internals against lint and even usual spills of water. Buyers have the option to choose from three types of switches for the keyboard- Green, Orange and Yellow. The three of them have a specific design that makes them different in their functionality. The Green switch offers tactile and clicky feedback while the orange switch has tactile and silent feedback. The Blackwidow Elite is also available without any feedback on key-press through the yellow switch.

In addition, the Elite has a 3.5mm audio and a USB 2.0 passthrough which is a cherry on the cake. It has a dedicated dial which assists in media playback and is customizable. To top it all off, Razer Blackwidow Elite supports Hypershift, allowing users to assign a macro function to each key.

Following in the footsteps of Kingston’s first HyperX-branded gaming keyboard, namely the HyperX Alloy FPS, the HyperX Alloy Elite tweaks the company’s first winning keyboard to provide only a few subtle changes. You get media keys, a light bar and even a palm rest, all of which were previously absent. They’re also a series of delightful treats, making for a value proposition that shouldn’t be ignored.

Read the full review: HyperX Alloy Elite

Logitech has been seemingly going out of its way to make only the most high-end, cutting-edge peripherals without taking value into consideration. That’s all changed with the G413 Carbon, a mechanical keyboard that sacrifices RGB backlighting and customisable macro keys in favour of an affordable price tag. 

Its low-profile appearance may look simple in comparison to competing keyboards, but the Logitech G413 Carbon has a magnesium-alloy skeleton exposure. Though the Romer-G switches might be a turnoff for Cherry MX enthusiasts, they’re virtually silent, fairly responsive and rated for 70 million actuations.

Read the full review: Logitech G413 Carbon 

Hoping to find a gaming keyboard that matches the rest of your Chroma-lit accessories? Then this is the one you want. Not only does the BlackWidow Chroma V2 carry an equal balance of comfort and performance, but it went a few steps ahead in the process. 

Complemented by the fact that Razer has tacked on five macro keys that can be assigned to virtually any in-game action, the BlackWidow Chroma V2 supports 16.8 million colors worth of LED lighting as well.

Read the full review: Razer BlackWidow Chroma V2

We have seen plenty of wireless gaming mice over the last few years, but not many wireless gaming keyboards. Until now. The Corsair K63 Wireless keyboard takes what made the wired version of the K63 great and transfers it into the wireless version – without sacrificing much at all. 

Packing tight Cherry MX Red switches, full RGB lighting and convenient media controls, the K63 wireless shows us what wireless keyboards can be capable of in 2018.

Read the full review: Corsair K63 Wireless 

Like the Corsair K70 Rapidfire before it, the K95 RGB Platinum is a gaming-first mechanical keyboard with plenty of versatility to get the job done. The simple arrangement of a single row of six macro keys keeps this QWERTY keyboard neat and organised. The software may be sloppy, but if all you’re doing is assigning macros, you may not even need it. 

The Corsair K95 RGB Platinum has 8MB of memory dedicated for storing profiles. The keyboard is backlit and supports 16.8 million colours. Its military grade aluminium body makes it well suited for travel as well.

If you’re new to PC gaming, and you want a keyboard that’ll perform admirably without the high price tag that a lot of mechanical keyboards carry, the Razer Cynosa Chroma might be for you. It might not have the tactile clickiness of a higher-end board, but the hybrid mesh switches perform well enough, boasting a 1ms polling rate and 10-key rollover. That’s not to mention the sick RGB lighting.

Read the full review: Razer Cynosa Chroma 

The choice between mechanical and membrane keys has been a difficult one for some. But now Razer brings the two together with its 'Mecha-Membrane' Ornata keyboard. 

These new keyboards have shorter keys, the tactile feel of the green switches from the Blackwidow X Chroma, and an audible click. Just like its other products, the Ornata features a fully customisable, per-key backlight and it comes with a plush pleather wrist rest too.

Logitech has followed up its Orion Spark G910 mechanical keyboard with the G810, which arrives with a refreshingly grown-up feel. Sporting Logitech's own Romer G switches, which aren't quite as squishy as Cherry's various switches, the G810 possesses a snappier feel than other gaming keyboards whether typing or gaming. 

Featuring smart media keys that work equally well on both Windows and OS X, Logitech's latest keyboard is a solid all-round offering. If you're fed up of the weird markings, LCD screens and strange parts that come with competing "gamer-focused" keyboards, the G810 might be for you.

Many mechanical keyboards are gaudy and unwieldy, aimed at gamers on the, err, ostentatious side. That's not the case with the SteelSeries Apex M500. Like the Logitech G810, the Apex M500 eschews unnecessary bells and whistles in favor of clean design and bare essentials. While it's lacking media keys, macros and other such extras, it benefits from a compact design that wastes no space. Tailored towards e-Sports, its minimal leanings are refreshing and it looks great on a desk, accompanied by the right monitor and the right mouse, of course.

Categories: Tech News

Best MDM solutions in 2019

Thu, 03/21/2019 - 04:32

The use of mobile devices within a corporation has become an ordinary part of modern business, but having so many devices operating both within and outside the company offices can be a real headache to manage.

This is especially because of the security risk they pose, as one lost cell phone with access to the company records could have serious consequences. Additionally, cell phones, tablets, and laptops all need to undergo routine software upgrades to keep them secure.

The issue is made even more complicated with BYOD-Bring Your Own Device-policies, which allow employees to bring in and use their own personal mobile devices for work to help improve efficiency, while creating yet another potential security situation.

This is where MDM-mobile Device Management-comes in, which are usually single platforms where all mobile devices in use can be monitored and managed. This means having a dashboard where IT professionals can see which version of an operating system is being used and whether any upgrades are required for those devices.

Additionally, MDM services can ensure that any company data used on a mobile device, whether provided by the business or brought in by staff, can be fenced off to protect and secure the data.

And in the event that a mobile device is lost, MDM services can help locate the device-or, alternatively, if it cannot be recovered, ensure that any company data is erased and the device locked against further use.

Overall, the increasing use of mobile devices and cloud platforms can contribute significantly to business efficiency and profitability. However, without the correct MDM solution for your business, these benefits may be outweighed by the costs. All the more reason to ensure proper Mobile Device Management is in place, to protect your business, employees, and customers.

Image Credit: Jamf

Jamf Pro offers comprehensive management of Apple mobile devices in the enterprise, describing itself as the “The Swiss Army knife to handle your users’ needs.” 

System administrators can troubleshoot iOS devices, keep them up to date, manage their security, and ensure all users have the apps and services they need. All of these tasks can be automated, offering a welcome convenience factor for IT professionals at the helm.

Additionally, the user interface is clear and simple to use, so unless you’re a total beginner in the world of device management, it shouldn’t take too long to get used to operating the Jamf Pro platform.   

The software can be run via the cloud or as an on-premise service, and also works with asset management tools, network access controllers and other IT services thanks to built-in integrations. Should problems arise, a helpful customer service team is on hand via phone, email and live chat in business hours – with a Premium Support service also available for added technical and strategic expertise.   

Jamf pricing begins at $2 per device per month for the Now Standard plan, or $4 per device for the Now Plus Plan. In both instances, the first 3 Mac or iOS devices are free.  For the more inclusive Jamf Pro Plan pricing begins at $3.33 per month per iOS or tvOS device, or $7.17 for the top tier.

Image Credit: Okta

Okta gives IT managers the tools to manage all the web applications entering the work environment, with on-demand identity and access management operational in the cloud and behind the firewall.

Its MDM products are plentiful, including single sign-on for speedy application access, multi-factor authentication for added security, lifecycle management for controlling the movement of people in and out of the organization, and universal directory, allowing you to manage every user, app, device, and API in your organization from one place. 

Given the endless stream of applications and technologies entering the typical company network, potential suitors of Okta will be glad to hear it boasts integration for over 5,500 apps, including Office 365, G Suite, AWS, Slack, Salesforce, Zendesk and Splunk. Okta’s security analytics and automated provisioning tools offer peace of mind when it comes to managing employee devices.  

A $1,500 annual contract is the minimum requirement for Okta’s products, which are generally considered on the pricier side, though volume discounts are available for enterprise customers with over 5,000 users.   

Image Credit: Mobilock

There was much concern and consternation when Android devices first penetrated ‘the enterprise’, with many regarding the OS as somewhat insecure compared to business favorites BlackBerry and iPhone. But with device management solutions like Mobilock Pro now in the market, IT managers are increasingly relaxed about an Android presence in their organization. 

MobiLock Pro is a cloud-based platform enabling users to control all their company’s Android devices. At the heart of the management controls is the system’s ability to lock devices into kiosk mode, replacing the standard device home screen with a customizable display that limits which apps and websites can be accessed by users.   

Control is further enhanced by making certain OS functions inaccessible – preventing employees from adapting device settings or installing unapproved apps – while websites can be blocked and whitelisted.

Administrators can also push files to devices from their dashboard, remotely send alarms to make devices ring, send out one-way message broadcasts to any number of registered devices, and remotely wipe all images, videos, and audio files from device galleries. 

But it’s not all bad news for the device carrier, as they can create device profiles with customized branding and use the pre-selected list of apps and websites at their leisure.

Pricing for Mobilock Pro begins at $30 per device per year for up to 25 devices with the Starter Tier. Pricing is reduced per device for the Mobilock Pro and Business tiers: the Pro tier costs $24 per device per year for between 25 to 100 devices, and the Business tier is charged at $18 per device per year for over 100 devices. 

Image Credit: ManageEngine

ManageEngine Mobile Device Manager allows you to manage your organization’s mobile assets while maintaining strong security. It is available as both a cloud and on-premise service, and works across both Apple and Android devices. 

Mobile Device Manager boasts a wide array of features and tools: device enrolment provides platform-specific bulk enrolment options, and device management enables remote control of devices in real-time with the ability to set up profile policies depending on department or hierarchy.

The there's app management which can blacklist certain apps in the business side of a user’s device (which is kept separate to their personal profile), along with mobile security that safeguards assets and information through passcodes, geo-fencing and remote locking and wiping.

Remote troubleshooting allows you to remotely view and control devices in real-time, and mobile content management pushes documents and other resources to employee devices. Finally, audit tools can update admins on the device count in the network, see what apps are being used by whom, and spot if any go outside of the set boundaries. 

Pricing is free for the first 25 devices with both the Standard Edition and Professional Edition pricing tiers. After that, for the standard package, prices start from $10 per device per year-which is pretty good-with the professional tier charging just $18 per device per year.

Image Credit: Miradore

Aimed at small and mid-size businesses, healthcare companies and service providers, Miradore Online is a cloud-based MDM, looking after smartphones and tablets running Android, iOS and even Windows Phone.   

Among the control features are passcodes, device encryption and remote locking – plus the ability to wipe the device of all data should it be lost or stolen. Matters are better still for iOS devices in the network, as these can be put into Lost Mode, locking the phone or tablet and displaying a contact number for those who may find it.   

For bring your own device (BYOD) implementations, the nifty selective wipe feature enables the removal of all company-specific data from a device, while leaving personal data intact. 

Elsewhere in the platform, Miradore Online has tools to track the location of all devices (with information including longitude and latitude, zip code and street address), the ability to configure email, Wi-Fi, and VPN settings, plus restriction options can be set on data roaming, web content, and app availability.  

There's a free tier offering a free MDM solution for small businesses, with the Business tier with more features charged at $1 per device per month.

Other MDM solutions to consider

Another MDM service that covers iPhone, Android and Windows is SureMDM. Producer 42Gears describes the product as a simple and ‘lean’ solution for the enterprise, targeting SMBs and startups. Features include application deployment, security policies, location tracking, screen sharing and remote troubleshooting.

This is not to be confused with Simple MDM which specializes solely in the management of Apple devices. With Simple MDM, organizations are able to secure company assets and data on mobile devices by hiding apps, disabling functionality, implementing passcodes, blocking ‘dangerous’ iOS features, and more. 

Another notable market player is Hexnode MDM, which also covers iPhone, Android and Windows. Stay on top of devices in your network through individual and group management, a kiosk mode, app management, web filtering, tracking, geofencing and expense management, among other features.   

VMware AirWatch  running each of the three key mobile operating systems and does so with a raft of tools and features. Choose from three management suites (staggered in price) and keep devices up-to-date and secure via a well-designed, easy-to-use central dashboard.   

Cisco’s enterprise ubiquity stretches to mobile device management too, thanks to Cisco Meraki. The cloud-based platform provides centralized management, diagnostics, and monitoring for all the mobile devices managed by your organization, from iPads and Androids to Macs and PCs. 

Categories: Tech News

Intel reveals its graphics card with these first prototype renders

Wed, 03/20/2019 - 23:30

While Intel spent the majority of its stage time at GDC 2019 announcing new software and 9th Generation mobile processors, the company also gave us a small tease of what its graphics card could look like.

At the very start of its GDC 2019 keynote, Intel designer and artist Christiano Siquera shared the very first shroud design for an Intel Graphics Card. This design you see below was apparently published back in December 2018 and while it looks like any old, generic mini GPU, Team Blue has since moved onto a new design.

On the next slide above is Intel's new shroud design with an aesthetic very similar to the company’s recent Intel Optane SSDs. Between the flared, diagonal lines and the angular look, this graphics card basically looks like a shorter, bulkier version of the Intel Optane SSD 905P.

Intel’s first graphics card also seems destined to utilize a single fan, blower-style cooler based on these images. Unfortunately, there’s little else to speculate on aside from these observations.

As these are just renders and Siquera noted that he’s working on nine additional designs, so this likely won’t be the final form of Intel’s future graphics card.

Additional reporting and images by Nick Pino

Categories: Tech News

Intel's new graphics tuning software is ready for its eventual graphics cards

Wed, 03/20/2019 - 22:00

Intel didn’t announce any graphics cards at GDC 2019, but the company has announced yet another platform in preparation for them as well as its incoming family of 9th Generation mobile processors.

Meet the Intel Graphics Command Center (IGCC), Team Blue's equivalent of Nvidia’s GeForce Experience and AMD’s Radeon Software. Like other graphics software focused suites, Command Center’s features include automatic game detection and one-click game optimization. To help users understand how specific settings are affecting in-game graphics, the software will show before-and-after images.

Initially the Graphics Command Center will only support integrated Intel graphics inside the brand's processors – with the exception of Intel's new KF-series CPUs, of course – because it's the only type of graphics Intel currently offers. IGCC will also only support Intel processors that are at least 6th Generation Skylake or newer.

However, considering how few users play games with integrated graphics only, we suspect Intel is laying the ground work for future Intel Graphics Cards as well as the company's highly anticipated Gen11 graphics, which are said to give iGPUs a real shot in the arm.

The Intel Graphics Command Center is now available in an early access state to all users and you can download it here.

Image Credit: Intel

Intel 9th Generation CPUs go mobile

Intel also used some of its time on the GDC 2019 main stage to introduce new 9th Generation mobile processors for laptops – though without naming any specific chips.

Rather than debut some actual model names or specs, the Santa Clara-based corporation simply proclaimed that its 9th Gen Intel Core high performance mobile (H-Series) processors will power the ultimate laptops for gamers and creators. Additionally, Intel detailed 9th Generation mobile processors will add support Wi-Fi 6 AX200, Intel Optane memory and Thunderbolt 3 connectivity.

Aside from that, Intel hasn’t shared any in-depth details about its new 9th Generation mobile lineup, but we can at least infer that these CPUs will be built from yet another iteration of the company’s 14nm+ process as Coffee Lake Refresh and Basin Falls Refresh processors.

Earlier last month, Intel spilled the beans on its whole 9th Generation Mobile family of mobile processors and they are as follows.

Image Credit: TechRadar

Bear in mind that none of these models or their exact specifications have been announced officially yet, so treat this chart above as early conjecture for now. Intel has told us it plans on launch its new 9th Generation H-series CPUs in Q2 2019 (so sometime in April, May and June).

  • Get ready for next-generation VR as we go hands on the new Oculus Rift S
Categories: Tech News

Dyson's new V11 cordless vacuum sucks harder and lasts longer

Wed, 03/20/2019 - 20:51

Dyson launched the Cyclone V10 cordless vacuum in 2018 – it was so powerful that is convinced James Dyson to stop making corded ones. In 2019, though, the British company may just have outdone itself.

Only a year after launching the V10, Dyson has announced the release of the latest iteration of its cordless stick vacuum. The Dyson V11 looks pretty much like its predecessor, but ups the cleaning ante with a better battery and more suction power than the Cyclone V10.

The V11 clearly reveals Dyson’s capability to take innovation to new levels, leaving us to wonder what else the company could have up its proverbial sleeve.

Image credit: Dyson

Powerful smart cleaning

The innovation begins with the new High Torque cleaner head that has the ability to sense different surfaces. The cleaner head is able to detect brush bar resistance up to 360 times a second. This is then communicated to the motor and battery microprocessors, resulting in changing suction power as the vacuum glides between hard floors and carpets, thus removing the need to change cleaner heads for different floor types.

And while the motor is similar to that of the V10’s, the new V11 motor contains a triple diffuser to reduce sound and vibrations. It also spins at a whopping 125,000 revolutions per minute and ups suction power by 20% over the Cyclone V10.

Image credit: Dyson

Cleaning gets intelligent

Although the V11 shares a similar design to the V10, the addition of an LCD display on the top of the vacuum is a welcome addition. 

There are three battery modes to choose from – auto mode, boost mode and eco mode – and your chosen power mode will be displayed on the screen, along with performance information and remaining run time.

The display will also let you know when it’s time to change the filter and, if it’s not connected properly, will throw up a notification for that as well. If there’s an airway blockage somewhere, the screen will provide details on how to get rid of it by playing a demo of how to take the vacuum apart.

The filtration system comes with rubber seals to capture microscopic particles, while a wand clip allows you to store the accessories – like the crevice and combination tools – on the vacuum itself.

To top it all off, the bin is 40% larger than before.

Image credit: Dyson

Pricing and availability

Put all this together and you’ve got a vacuum cleaner that promises the best clean you can get for your home. That kind of clean, though, comes with a price.

The Dyson V11 is launching with a starting price of $1,099 in Australia. 

There are three versions to choose from, all of them shipping with the High Torque cleaner head, the combination and crevice tools, a mini soft dusting brush, mini motorised tool, a stubborn dust brush and the wand clip to hold them all together.

The models available in Australia are:

  • Dyson V11 Torque Drive (in Fuschia) comes with no additional accessories – $1,099
  • Dyson V11 Absolute includes the soft roller head for delicate hard floors – $1,199
  • Dyson V11 Absolute Pro comes with the soft roller head, an extension hose, a mattress tool and a flexible crevice tool – $1,249

The new vacuum cleaners are available for purchase from Dyson’s website from today.

Categories: Tech News

Facebook Messenger's new message threads keep it all together

Wed, 03/20/2019 - 20:21

For users of Facebook Messenger that aren’t quite quick enough to get a reply in before their conversation has moved on, the social media giant has finally answered your needs.

As first reported by VentureBeat, Facebook has begun rolling out a new feature to Messenger that allows users to respond to specific messages in a chat rather than to the last received message.

When long-pressing on any message in a group or solo conversation – whether it be a GIF, video, image or just text – the option to reply directly will appear next to the series of emoji reactions that have been available for some time.

Image credit: Facebook

Messenger has seen a string of updates recently, with the ability to unsend messages and a new dark mode rolling out in the last few months. 

Considering Facebook intends to integrate WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger by 2020, it’s likely that more pre-existing features from each platform will be shared to the others. 

Facebook hopes that having a more unified infrastructure for its messaging and social platforms will help keep its users’ data secure, such as would be allowed by Instagram and Messenger adopting the end-to-end encryption already in use by WhatsApp, for instance.

This push has been outlined by Mark Zuckerberg in an extensive post about Facebook’s change of focus from public posts to private messages – a response to the user data controversies the platform experienced in recent years.

Categories: Tech News

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