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February 24, 2019
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Hardware

Oppo announces 5G and 10x lossless zoom handsets

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Saturday afternoon is a rough time for a press conference — particularly with the official kickoff of Mobile World Congress still a few days away. That said, there are certain advantages to being an early bird. Chief among them is the ability to claim firsts — namely having the first 5G handset of the show.

That might not mean a lot in the grand scheme of things, but in a week that’s expected to be dominated by 5G announcements, it’s a way to stand out from the crowd. Of course, like the rest of the promised 5G handsets we’ve heard about so far — with the noble exception of Samsung’s — details are still pretty scarce

What we do know is that the handset — along with so many others set to be announced this week — will be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855. Fitting, given that we can almost certainly expect some 5G news out of the chipmaker this week. Oppo also says the device will be on display on the show floor this week — actually firing it up and experiencing those next generation speeds in person, however, is a different thing entirely.

Another bit of news out of the event is the promise of 10x lossless zoom (16mm-160mm) for the company’s next flagship. If its works as advertised that’s a nice little distinguisher from the competition — though 10x zoom likely isn’t a day to day feature for most smartphone users. That device is due out at some point in Q2. 

News Source = techcrunch.com

Daily Crunch: Samsung unveils Galaxy S10 lineup

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The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here.

1. Here’s everything announced at Samsung’s Galaxy S10/Galaxy Fold event

Samsung announced five new phones, some new earbuds, a virtual assistant and a watch.

And one of those phones is foldable. Folded, the handset sports a 4.6-inch display that only takes up about three-fourths of the front. Unfolded, it turns into a 7.3-inch tablet. Pricing starts at $1,980.

2. Lyft reportedly plans to debut on Nasdaq next month

Two reports, one from Reuters, the other from WSJ, indicate Lyft plans to list its shares on Nasdaq next month. The WSJ, citing unnamed sources, reported Lyft may make the filing public as early as next week.

3. Clutter confirms SoftBank-led $200M investment for its on-demand storage service

There’s plenty of speculation right now around apparently disgruntled investors in SoftBank’s Vision Fund, but the drum continues to beat and the checks continue to be written.

4. Highlights & transcript from Zuckerberg’s 20K-word ethics talk

Zuckerberg said it would feel wrong to charge users for extra privacy controls.

5. Companies including Nestlé, Epic and reportedly Disney suspend YouTube ads over child exploitation concerns

Days after a YouTube creator accused the platform of enabling a “soft-core pedophilia ring,” several companies have suspended advertising on the platform. Other advertisers, including Peloton and Grammarly, said they are calling on YouTube to resolve the issue.

6. Trump calls for 6G cellular technology, because why the heck not?

6G isn’t a thing. But … maybe it could be?

7. Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about Patreon

TechCrunch’s media consultant Eric Peckham spent dozens of hours interviewing Patreon’s management team and investors, as well as poring over data, in order to write this deep analysis of the company and the lessons learned. (Extra Crunch subscription required.)

News Source = techcrunch.com

This robotics museum in Korea will construct itself (in theory)

in architecture/Artificial Intelligence/Delhi/design/Gadgets/Hardware/India/korea/Politics/robotics/robots by

The planned Robot Science Museum in Seoul will have a humdinger of a first exhibition: its own robotic construction. It’s very much a publicity stunt, though a fun one — but who knows? Perhaps robots putting buildings together won’t be so uncommon in the next few years, in which case Korea will just be an early adopter.

The idea for robotic construction comes from Melike Altinisik Architects, the Turkish firm that won a competition to design the museum. Their proposal took the form of an egg-like shape covered in panels that can be lifted into place by robotic arms.

“From design, manufacturing to construction and services robots will be in charge,” wrote the firm in the announcement that they had won the competition. Now, let’s be honest: this is obviously an exaggeration. The building has clearly been designed by the talented humans at MAA, albeit with a great deal of help from computers. But it has been designed with robots in mind, and they will be integral to its creation.The parts will all be designed digitally, and robots will “mold, assemble, weld and polish” the plates for the outside, according to World Architecture, after which of course they will also be put in place by robots. The base and surrounds will be produced by an immense 3D printer laying down concrete.

So while much of the project will unfortunately have to be done by people, it will certainly serve as a demonstration of those processes that can be accomplished by robots and computers.

Construction is set to begin in 2020, with the building opening its (likely human-installed) doors in 2022 as a branch of the Seoul Metropolitan Museum. Though my instincts tell me that this kind of unprecedented combination of processes is more likely than not to produce significant delays. Here’s hoping the robots cooperate.

News Source = techcrunch.com

This custom ‘hyperfisheye’ lens can see behind itself

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If you’re doing ordinary photography and videography, there’s rarely any need to go beyond extreme wide-angle lenses — but why be ordinary? This absurd custom fisheye lens has a 270-degree field of view, meaning it can see behind the camera it’s mounted on — or rather the camera mounted on it.

It’s certainly a bit of fun from Lens Rentals, the outfit that put it together, but it’s definitely real and might even be useful. Their detailed documentation of how they put it together piece by piece is fascinating (at least I found it so) and gives an idea of how complex lens assemblies can be. Of course, this one’s not exactly standard, but still.

The C-4 Optics 4.9mm f/3.5 Hyperfisheye Prototype, as they call it (hereafter “the lens”) first appeared as what seemed at the time to be an April Fools’ joke, at best half-serious. “The Flying Saucer,” as they called it, AKA the Light Bender, AKA the Mother of all Fisheye Lenses, included a vaguely plausible optical diagram showing the path of light traveling from the far edge of its view, from about 45 degrees rearward of the camera.

Sure, why not? Because it’s ridiculous, that’s why not!

But the beautiful bastards did it anyway, and the results are as ridiculous as you’d imagine. There are lenses out there that produce past-180-degree images, but 270 is really quite beyond them. Here’s what the output looks like, raw on top and corrected below:

Naturally you wouldn’t want this for snapshots. It would be for very specific shots in high resolution that you would massage to get back to something resembling an ordinary field of view, or somehow incorporate into a VR or AR experience.

The camera has to mount in between the legs that support the lens, which is probably a rather fiddly process to undertake. The enormous lens cap, or “lens helmet,” doubles as an upside-down stand to ease the task.

It’s a fun project and adds one more weird thing (two, technically, since they built a second) to the world, so I support it wholeheartedly. Unfortunately because it’s a “passion project” it won’t be available for rent, so you’ll be stuck with something like the Nikon 6mm f/2.8, with its paltry 220-degree field of view. What’s even the point?

News Source = techcrunch.com

The Samsung Galaxy S10 can wirelessly charge other phones

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Hole punches aside, Wireless Powershare is the S10 line’s marquee feature. Samsung’s new flagship isn’t the first handset with the feature — the Huawei Mate 20 Pro beat it to it by a few months — but it’s a cool new addition, none the less.

And perhaps more importantly, Samsung’s beat Apple to the punch here. From the looks of it, Cupertino has been having all manner of difficulty bringing wireless tech to market — just look at the MIA AirPower charger.

The feature relies on the S10’s large battery to charge of other device. So, say, when you’re out on the town and a friend is teetering on the brink of phone death, you just swipe down into the settings, enable Wireless Power Share, and you can save the day by placing the handsets back to back.

The new feature should be compatible with all phones that charge via the Qi standard. They also work with Samsung’s new Galaxy Buds, which beat the AirPods to the punch with a wireless charging case.

Of course, one of the phone needs to be face down for this to work, and wireless charging is slower than plugged in, but a cool feature nonetheless. It’s one one that should come in handy for frequent travels. That’s one fewer device you have to plug in to charge overnight.

News Source = techcrunch.com

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