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January 25, 2021
Abhimanyu Sharma
MacBook Pro 13-inch review (M2, 2022): Pro in name only
Say hello to Apple's most baffling laptop, the 13-inch MacBook Pro with an M2 chip. It was already a confusing computer when we reviewed the M1 model in 2020, which was out-shined by the fan-less MacBook Air. But now that there's a new MacBook Air with a bigger screen and a more modern design, the 13-inch Pro seems a bit like a relic from another era. It’s from a time when Apple had to build machines around Intel's hotter and less efficient chips, instead of taking full advantage of its own hardware.
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June 25, 2021
S. Dent
Samsung debuts its smallest 200-megapixel smartphone sensor yet
Samsung Electronics has unveiled its latest 200-megapixel camera sensor with some of the tiniest pixels yet, which it says will allow manufacturers to keep their premium smartphones slim. At the same time, the HP3 sensor packs technology like autofocus capability in every pixel, binning for better low light capability and multi-gain ISO for maximum dynamic range. The sensor is 1/1.4-inches in size, fairly large for a smartphone but extremely tiny for a 200-megapixel sensor. Samsung claims that it has the industry's smallest pixels at 0.56 microns, 20 percent smaller than the 0.64 micron pixels of the ISOCELL HP1 launched last year. However, that's not quite accurate, as Chinese manufacturer Omnivision unveiled a 200-megapixel sensor with the same 0.56 micron pixel size back in February.
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July 12, 2021
M. Moon
eBay purchases NFT art marketplace KnownOrigin
eBay truly has fully embraced non-fungible tokens: The e-commerce company has acquired KnownOrigin, an established marketplace for digital art NFTs. As CoinDesk notes, eBay hasn't disclosed how much it paid for the marketplace, but it said in its announced that the purchase is an "important step in [its] tech-led reimagination." KnownOrigin has been around since 2018 and gives artists a platform they can use to create and sell their art as NFTs in exchange for cryptocurrency payments. Based on information from DappRadar, which tracks data on decentralized apps, KnownOrigin has facilitated $7.8 million worth of NFT transactions since its inception.
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TikTok users now have another way to catch up on their For You page. The app is available on Vizio smart TVs starting today and you'll be able to watch TikTok TV content directly from the home screen. The app, which landed on smart TVs from the likes of Samsung and LG last November, reworks the TikTok experience for big-screen viewing. TikTok TV features popular videos from categories including gaming, comedy, food and animals. If you have a TikTok account, you can log in to view videos from your Following and For You feeds. The app has an autoplay feature as well, so you'll be able to watch an endless string of TikToks without interruption if you wish.
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Samsung debuts its smallest 200-megapixel smartphone sensor yet
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Amazon's new pitch: let Alexa speak as your relatives from beyond the grave
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Acast subscribers will soon get access to exclusive podcast groups on Facebook
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Researchers built a low-cost camera system that recreates sound from vibrations
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Polestar adds Apple CarPlay support to its EVs
June 22, 2022
J. Fingas
Polestar promised Apple CarPlay support for its EVs two years ago, and it's finally delivering. As The Verge explains, the car brand has released an over-the-air update for the Polestar 2 that makes CarPlay available on the Android Automotive-based sedan. If you'd rather use Apple Maps instead of Google Maps or prefer to talk to Siri in lieu of Google Assistant, you now have that choice as long as you connect your iPhone.
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NASA picks three companies to develop lunar nuclear power systems
July 25, 2022
K. Holt
NASA and the Department of Energy have awarded contracts to three companies that are designing concepts to bring nuclear power to the Moon. The agencies will award Lockheed Martin, Westinghouse and IX around $5 million each to fund the design of a fission surface power system, an idea that NASA has been working on for at least 14 years. The three companies are being tasked with developing a 40-kilowatt class fission power system that can run for at least 10 years on the lunar surface. NASA hopes to test the system on the Moon as soon as the end of this decade. If the demonstration proves successful, it could lead to nuclear energy powering long-term missions on the Moon and Mars as part of the Artemis program. "Developing these early designs will help us lay the groundwork for powering our long-term human presence on other worlds," Jim Reuter, associate administrator for NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate, said in a statement.
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South Korea launches a satellite with its first domestically-made rocket
June 21, 2022
J. Fingas
South Korea just took an important step toward becoming a spacefaring nation. The New York Times reports the country successfully launched a satellite payload into orbit using a domestically-made rocket for the first time. The Korea Aerospace Research Institute's 200-ton Nuri vehicle (aka Korea Space Launch Vehicle-II) ferried both a working satellite (for performance verification) and a dummy into orbit at an altitude of 435 miles.
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Nothing's transparent Phone 1 won't be coming to North America
June 22, 2022
S. Dent
Nothing's debut Phone 1 smartphone won't be coming to the US, the company confirmed to PCMag. "While we’d love to bring Phone 1 to the entire community around the world, we're focusing on home markets, including the UK and Europe," the company said in a statement. However, it added that "a limited number of our private community investors" could get one in the US through a closed beta program. Nothing showed off the device for the first time last week on Twitter following a tease by founder Carl Pei. The most noticeable feature is a transparent back, revealing a wireless charging coil and a mysterious pattern that lights up. The company has also promised "an open and diverse product ecosystem" and the pure Android Nothing OS.
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