Bloglikes - Geek en-US Tue, 20 Apr 2021 20:44:05 +0000 Sat, 06 Apr 2013 00:00:00 +0000 FeedWriter Apple brings Touch ID to the Magic Keyboard Apple has unveiled a new, colorful iMac today with an Apple-designed M1 chip. But that was just part of the story as the company used that opportunity to release new Mac accessories. In addition to a Magic Trackpad and a Magic Mouse with multiple color options, Apple is bringing Touch ID to desktop Macs with a new Magic Keyboard.

Touch ID on desktop works as expected. There’s a fingerprint sensor located at the top right of the keyboard. It replaces the ‘Eject’ key that you can find on existing Apple keyboards. It lets you unlock your computer, pay with Apple Pay, unlock a password manager and more.

Interestingly, Touch ID works wirelessly, which means that you don’t have to connect your keyboard to your Mac with a Lightning cable. There’s a dedicated security component built in the keyboard. It communicates directly with the Secure Enclave in the M1, which means that it only works with modern Mac computers with an M1 chip. It’s going to be interesting to see the security implementation of this new take on Touch ID.

Customers can choose between three keyboard models when they buy a new iMac. Some iMac models probably don’t come with Touch ID by default. You may be able to buy the keyboard separately, but we’ll have to wait for the event to end to find out how much the new keyboard costs.

Image Credits: Apple

Tue, 20 Apr 2021 13:47:30 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Gadgets Apple Apple Spring Hardware Event 2021 Magic Keyboard Touch ID
Deep Science: Introspective, detail-oriented and disaster-chasing AIs Research papers come out far too frequently for anyone to read them all. That’s especially true in the field of machine learning, which now affects (and produces papers in) practically every industry and company. This column aims to collect some of the most relevant recent discoveries and papers — particularly in, but not limited to, artificial intelligence — and explain why they matter.

It takes an emotionally mature AI to admit its own mistakes, and that’s exactly what this project from the Technical University of Munich aims to create. Maybe not the emotion, exactly, but recognizing and learning from mistakes, specifically in self-driving cars. The researchers propose a system in which the car would look at all the times in the past when it has had to relinquish control to a human driver and thereby learn its own limitations — what they call “introspective failure prediction.”

For instance, if there are a lot of cars ahead, the autonomous vehicle’s brain could use its sensors and logic to make a decision de novo about whether an approach would work or whether none will. But the TUM team says that by simply comparing new situations to old ones, it can reach a decision much faster on whether it will need to disengage. Saving six or seven seconds here could make all the difference for a safe handover.

It’s important for robots and autonomous vehicles of all types to be able to make decisions without phoning home, especially in combat, where decisive and concise movements are necessary. The Army Research Lab is looking into ways in which ground and air vehicles can interact autonomously, allowing, for instance, a mobile landing pad that drones can land on without needing to coordinate, ask permission or rely on precise GPS signals.

Their solution, at least for the purposes of testing, is actually rather low tech. The ground vehicle has a landing area on top painted with an enormous QR code, which the drone can see from a fairly long way off. The drone can track the exact location of the pad totally independently. In the future, the QR code could be done away with and the drone could identify the shape of the vehicle instead, presumably using some best-guess logic to determine whether it’s the one it wants.

Image Credits: Nagoya City University

In the medical world, AI is being put to work not on tasks that are not much difficult but are rather tedious for people to do. A good example of this is tracking the activity of individual cells in microscopy images. It’s not a superhuman task to look at a few hundred frames spanning several depths of a petri dish and track the movements of cells, but that doesn’t mean grad students like doing it.

This software from researchers at Nagoya City University in Japan does it automatically using image analysis and the capability (much improved in recent years) of understanding objects over a period of time rather than just in individual frames. Read the paper here, and check out the extremely cute illustration showing off the tech at right … more research organizations should hire professional artists.

This process is similar to that of tracking moles and other skin features on people at risk for melanoma. While they might see a dermatologist every year or so to find out whether a given spot seems sketchy, the rest of the time they must track their own moles and freckles in other ways. That’s hard when they’re in places like one’s back.

]]> Tue, 20 Apr 2021 13:33:09 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Artificial Intelligence Gadgets Robotics Science TC Deep Science EC Column EC Enterprise Applications EC Robotics Colorful M1 iMacs and M1 iPad Pro announced

Apple today announced a redesigned range of inch-thick iMacs based upon its own M1 processors, offered in a range of bright colors (with matching TouchID keyboards, mice and trackpads) and sporting a 24", 4.5K retina display. Execs promised an 85% improvement on the last Intel-based iMacs' CPU performance, 2x faster graphics—games and video editing figured strongly in the presentation—and 3x machine learning performance. — Read the rest

Tue, 20 Apr 2021 13:32:11 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Post Apple Gadgets Imacs
Yes, bring back netbooks

The netbook reminiscing of late had me checking out what's offered in the world of small but typeable laptops, and I'm sad to say that there's not a lot to pick from. Most of the easily available options are either too large (like the 11" Asus L210 or various 11.6" chromebooks available on Amazon), too small (like the 7" GPD Pocket), too expensive (like the otherwise bill-fitting 10" One Mix 4 or 9" GPD Max), or blatant parts-bucket junk like the Goldengulf 10" Android Laptop. — Read the rest

Tue, 20 Apr 2021 11:15:59 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Post Computers Gadgets Netbooks
Watch Apple’s Spring Loaded event light right here Today, Apple is holding a (virtual) keynote at 10 AM PT (1 PM in New York, 6 PM in London, 7 PM in Paris). And you’ll be able to watch the event right here as the company is streaming it live.

Rumor has it that Apple plans to unveil a brand new iPad Pro. In particular, Apple’s tablet could get a big display update as the company could switch to mini-LED displays. You can expect some better specifications as well.

But that’s not all, we expect to see a refreshed iPad mini. Apple could also be ready to release AirTags after many months of rumors and leaks. As always, the only way to find out is by watching the event.

You can watch the live stream directly on this page, as Apple is streaming its conference on YouTube.

If you have an Apple TV, you don’t need to download a new app. You can open the Apple TV app and find the Apple Events section. It lets you stream today’s event and rewatch old ones.

And if you don’t have an Apple TV and don’t want to use YouTube, the company also lets you live stream the event from the Apple Events section on its website. This video feed now works in all major browsers — Safari, Firefox, Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome.

Tue, 20 Apr 2021 09:29:56 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Apps Gadgets Mobile Apple Apple Event Apple Keynote Apple Spring Hardware Event Apple Spring Hardware Event 2021
Old Thinkpad upgraded with Pixel Qi display for typing in the sun

Lenovo's Thinkpad X230 came out in 2012, putting it just a few months shy of vintage in the fast-moving world of tech, where any random guy's definition of vintage can prevail for the course of a single posting. Here's an X230 upgraded with a transflective Pixel Qi display, completely legible in full sunlight. — Read the rest

Mon, 19 Apr 2021 12:40:13 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Gadgets Video News Hacks Lenovo Laptops Pixel Qi
A tiny spy-gadget audio recorder that isn't junk

It's nice to see Sony still making weirdly specific high-end gadgets such as the TX800 [; Amazon has it in white], even if $240 is a lot of sticker shock for a voice recorder. It's tiny, about 4cm-square, and comes with a corresponding remote control. — Read the rest

Mon, 19 Apr 2021 10:44:53 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Amazon Gadgets Post News Sony Spy Gadgets Field Recorders
Popl tops $2.7M in sales for its technology that replaces business cards If you’re spent any time on TikTok lately, then you’ve probably seen a number of Popl’s ads. The startup has been successfully leveraging social media to get its modern-day business card alternative in front a wider audience. Packaged as either a phone sticker, keychain or wristband, Popl uses NFC technology to make sharing contact information as easy as using Apple Pay. To date, Popl has sold somewhere over 700,000 units and has generated $2.7 million in sales for its digital business card technology.

Popl co-founder and CEO Jason Alvarez-Cohen, a UCLA grad with a background in computer science, first realized the potential for NFC business cards through a different use case — a device he encountered in someone’s home while attending a party. But it sparked the idea to use NFC technology for sharing information person-to-person, which would be faster than alternatives, like AirDrop or manual entry. And so, Popl was born.

Image Credits: Popl

Though startup history is littered with would-be “business card killers” that eventually died, what makes Popl different from early contenders is that it combines both an app with a physical product — the Popl accessory. This accessory can be purchased in a variety of form factors, including the popular Popl phone sticker that you can apply right to the back of your phone case (or even the top of your Popsocket), and customized with a photo of your choosing.

“I knew that, in the past, people would tap phones and share information like that. But I learned quickly that you can’t do this just phone-to-phone with pure software,” says Alvarez-Cohen. “So I was like, what’s the closest way we can get the phone tapping? And that’s how I came up with this back-of-the-phone product.”

Each Popl accessory is actually an NFC tag which enables the handoff of the user’s contact information. When the phones are close, the recipient will get a notification that alerts them to your shared Popl data.

There are, of course, other ways to quickly exchange contact information. You can easily enter in someone’s digits into your phone’s contacts app directly, for example, which may work better for more casual encounters — like meeting someone at a bar. But Popl lets you share a full business cards’ worth of contact data with just a tap, which makes it better for professional encounters, or any other time you want to share more than just your phone number.

While the Popl tags make for a nice gimmick, the Popl mobile app is what makes the overall service useful. And to be clear, the app is only necessary for the Popl’s owner — the recipient doesn’t need the app installed for Popl to work. They will, however, need to have a phone that can read NFC tags, which can leave out some older devices. Or, as a backup, they’ll need ability to scan the QR code the app provides as a workaround.

Image Credits: Popl

In the Popl app, you can customize which data you want to share with others — including your contact info, social profiles, website links, etc. — all via an easy-to-use interface. Like some business card apps in the past, you can flip in between a personal profile and a business profile in Popl in order to share the appropriate information when out networking. To actually make the exchange of contact information with another person, you simply hold up your phone to theirs and they’ll get a notification directing them to your Popl profile webpage. (The phones don’t have to physically touch or bump together, however. It’s more like Apple Pay, where they have to be near each other.)

From the Popl website that’s shared via the notification that pops up, the recipient can tap on the various options to connect with the sender — for example, adding them on a social network like LinkedIn or Instagram, grabbing their phone number to send a quick text, or even downloading a full contact card to their phone’s address book, among other things.

Image Credits: Popl

The app’s more clever feature, however, is something Popl calls “Direct.”

This patented feature won’t send over the Popl website where the recipient then has to choose how they want to connect. Instead, it opens up the destination app directly. For example, if you have LinkedIn Direct on, the recipient will be taken directly to your profile on LinkedIn when they tap the notification. Or if you put your Contact Card on Direct, it will just pop your address book entry onto the screen so the user can choose to save it to their phone.

For paid users, the app also lets you track your history of Popl connections on a map, so you can recall who you met, where and when, along with other analytics.

Image Credits: Popl

Work on Popl, which is co-founded by Alvarez-Cohen’s UCLA roommate, Nick Eischens, now Popl COO, began in late 2019. The startup then launched in February 2020 — just before the coronavirus lockdowns in the U.S. That could have been a disastrous time for a business designed to help people exchange information during in-person meetings when the world was now shifting to Zoom and remote work. But Alvarez-Cohen says they marketed Popl as a “contactless solution.”

“If I have this, and I have to meet someone for my business, I don’t even have to tap it —  you can just hover, and it will still send that information,” Alvarez-Cohen says. “So I’m able to share my business card with you without handing you a business card, which is kind of safe.”

But what really helped to sell Popl were its video demos. One TikTok ad, which I’m sure you’ve seen if you use TikTok at all, features the co-founders’ friend Arev sharing her TikTok profile with a new friend just as she’s leaving the gym.

In the video, the recipient — clearly dumbfounded by the technology after she taps his phone — responds “what? what? Whoa! What? How’d you do that?!”

It’s now been viewed over 80 million times.


HOW DID SHE DO THAT!! @endiccii with her new Popl. #poplchallengue #newtech #technology #foryou #fyp #instant

♬ original sound – popl

Today, Popl’s TikTok videos get high tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, and sometimes still millions of views per video. The company also has an active presence on other social media. For instance, Popl posts regularly to Instagram where it has over 100K followers. Today, the startup’s growth now is about 60% driven by Facebook and Instagram marketing and 40% organic, Alvarez-Cohen says.

Now, the company is preparing new products for the post-pandemic era when in-person events return. Though it had before sold Popl’s in bulk for this purpose, it’s now readying an “event bracelet” that just slips on your wrist (and is reusable). The bracelet could be used at any big event — like music festivals or business conferences, where you’re meeting a lot of new people. And because Popl uses NFC, phones have to be close to make the contact info exchange — it won’t just randomly share your info with everyone you pass by them.

Popl is also fleshing out the business networking side of its app with integrations for Salesforce, Oracle and Hubspot, and CSV export, that come with its Popl Pro subscription ($4.99 per month). The in-app subscription is already at $320,000 in annual recurring revenue and growing 10% every week, as of early April.

A Y Combinator Winter 2021 participant, Popl is backed by Twitch co-founder Justin Kan (via Goat Capital), YC, Urban Innovation Fund, Cathexis Ventures, and others angels including CEO Peter Szulczewski and Plangrid co-founder Ralph Gootee.

The app is available on iOS and Android, and the Popl accessories are sold on its website and on

Mon, 19 Apr 2021 10:29:52 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Startups TC Gadgets Facebook Apps Y Combinator Instagram Social Media Linkedin Tech Software Nfc Salesforce Social Network HubSpot Ucla Plangrid Justin Kan Business Card CSV Mobile Applications Peter Szulczewski POPL Recent Funding Tiktok Ralph Gootee Jason Alvarez Cohen Alvarez Cohen Nick Eischens Arev
Galaxy S21+ review: the big-screen Samsung phone for slightly less Top chips, good camera and four-year support make for a lot of phone if bought at a discount

The Galaxy S21+ is Samsung’s cheaper flagship handset that tries to be a more mainstream big-screen option than its more expensive stablemate, the S21 Ultra.

The new Android phone has an RRP of £949 – making it £200 cheaper than the top-of-the-line S21 Ultra – but shop around and you’ll find it for less than £750, which makes it much more palatable.

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Mon, 19 Apr 2021 02:00:26 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Android Gadgets Technology Samsung Smartphones Mobile Phones
Retrospective of netbooks, the tiny low-end laptops that lit up the late 2000s

Nilay Patel remembers the netbook, the small (9-11") power-sipping (Intel Atom) and cheap (sub-$500) devices that suddenly exploded in the late 2000s, only to vanish into the fog of tablets, ultrabooks and chromebooks. Within a few years, he figures, there were some 40 models of the popular but decidedly low-end Asus EeePC. — Read the rest

Sat, 17 Apr 2021 10:32:23 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Gadgets Post News History Intel Atom Nilay Patel Netbooks
Collection of Macintosh death chimes

Stephen Hackett collects and presents the Chimes of Death, the intriguing melodies that used to herald the doom of a Mac.

My favorite is the Macintosh LC's unsettling chiptune dance over the sharps. By the mid 1990s, it was all silly and infuriating car crash noises and such. — Read the rest

Fri, 16 Apr 2021 10:06:17 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Gadgets Post News History Computers Macs Stephen Hackett
Alice in Wonderland keycaps

UnAlice is a set of DSA, dye-sublimated keycaps inspired by Alice in Wonderland. The spindly Victorian type is complemented nicely by illustrated function and meta keys featuring the White Rabbit, the Hookah-Smoking Caterpillar, and other usual suspects.

Unlock the door into the fantastical world of talking rabbits, mad hatters, and smiling cats.

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Fri, 16 Apr 2021 09:38:35 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Gadgets Post News Alice Caterpillar DSA Mechanical Keyboards Keycaps
Amazon Echo Dot (4th gen) review: Alexa’s new small budget ball Smart speaker ditches puck shape but keeps solid sound and function with or without LED clock display

Amazon’s fourth-generation Echo Dot has evolved from its predecessors’ puck-like appearance into a small ball, shaking up the idea of what a small smart speaker can look like.

The new Echo Dot is priced the same as the last one, costing from £50, although it will be frequently available at a discount at various retailers, and looks like the full-sized £80 Echo hit with a shrink ray.

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Wed, 14 Apr 2021 02:00:33 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Amazon Gadgets Technology Alexa Amazon Alexa Smart Speakers
Willo launches its tooth-brushing robot for kids Are you 100% sure that your children are brushing their teeth properly? A New York-based startup called Willo has been working for several years on a device that should transform the tooth-brushing experience for children.

Willo isn’t a new toothbrush — electric or not. It’s an oral care device that doesn’t look like a toothbrush at all. The startup has worked with dental professionals to start from scratch with oral care in mind.

The device can be quite intimidating when you don’t see it in action as it takes quite a bit of shelf space and you don’t know what you’re supposed to do. But when you see it in action, it looks easier than expected. Willo specifically targets children because they tend to struggle to reach every tooth and brush properly.

Kids are supposed to grab the handle and put the mouthpiece in their mouth. They can start brushing by pressing the button and that’s it. They don’t have to do anything else. The silicone-based mouthpiece also features soft bristles. It starts vibrating in your kid’s mouth when they press the button.

The handle is connected to a bigger home station that contains a water tank with a special rinse liquid. Kids don’t have to use toothpaste and don’t have to rinse their mouth. Everything is handled by the device.

Finally, Willo is a connected device, which means that parents can track oral care in a mobile app. You can also set up multiple users — your kids will have to swap the mouthpiece before using the device.

Image Credits: Willo

If you’re thinking about buying a device for your children, Willo costs $199. You then have to pay $13 per month to receive rinse pods as well as new mouthpieces that always fit.

While the product is going live today, the startup has already tested it with real families. These children rated the device 4.73/5 and parents gave an NPS of 70+. They’ve all kept using Willo after the testing phase.

Behind this product, there’s a team of 33 people in France and the U.S. They have filed over 50 patents over the past 7 years — 30 of them have been granted so far. The company has raised $17 million in total funding from Kleiner Perkins, Bpifrance and Matt Rogers’ fund Incite.

It’s true that the concept of a toothbrush hasn’t changed at all. Making a device that changes the way you brush your teeth is an ambitious bet. But it’s clear that the startup has made a lot of efforts to tackle this challenge. Now let’s see if they manage to convince parents.

Image Credits: Willo

Tue, 13 Apr 2021 09:00:50 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Startups TC Gadgets New York France Tech Healthcare France Newsletter Connected Home Nps Matt Rogers Connected Device Willo Kleiner Perkins Bpifrance
Grover raises $71M to grow its consumer electronics subscription business A startup tapping into the concept of the circular economy, where people don’t buy items outright but pay an incremental amount to use them temporarily, has raised some funding to scale its business in Europe and beyond. Grover, a Berlin-based startup that runs a subscription model where people can rent out consumer electronics like computers, smart phones, games consoles and scooters for set fees, has picked up €60 million ($71 million).

The funding is coming in the form of €45 million in equity and €15 million in venture debt.

The company, which as of September last year had 100,000 subscriptions and now has around 150,000, said it aims to triple its active users by the end of this year to 450,000 by the end of 2021. It will be using the funds both to expand to more markets: both to grow its business in Germany, Austria and the Netherlands (where it’s already operating) and to launch in Spain and the US, and to add in more product categories into the mix, including  health and fitness devices, consumer robots and smart appliances.

And, it plans to invest in more innovation around its rental services. These have seen a new wave of interest in particular in the past year of pandemic life, which has put a strain on many people’s finances; definitely made it harder to plan for anything, including what gadgets you might need one week or the next; and turned the focus for many people on consuming less, and getting more mileage out of what they and others already have.

“Now more than ever, consumers value convenience, flexibility and sustainability when they shop for and use products. This is especially true when it comes to technology and all of the possibilities that it has to offer — whether that’s productivity, fun, or staying in touch with our loved ones,” said Michael Cassau, CEO and founder of Grover, in a statement. “The fresh funding allows us to bring these possibilities to even more people across the world. It enables us to double down on creating an unparalleled customer experience for our subscribers, and to push the boundaries of the most innovative ways for people and businesses to access and enjoy technology. The strong support from our investors confirms not only the important value our service brings to people, but also Grover’s vast growth potential. We’re still just scratching the surface of a €1 trillion global market.”

JMS Capital-Everglen led the Series B equity round, with participation also from Viola Fintech, Assurant Growth, existing investors coparion, Augmentum Fintech, Circularity Capital, Seedcamp and Samsung Next, and unnamed founders and angel investors from Europe and North America, among others. Kreos Capital issued the debt.

Samsung is a strategic investor: together with Grover it launched a subscription service in December that currently covers select models from its S21 series. “Samsung powered by Grover,” as it’s called, has started out out in Germany, so one plan may be to use some of this investment to roll that out to other markets.

The funding is coming on the heels of a year when Berlin-based Grover said its business grew 2.5x (that is, 150%). Its most recent annual report noted that it had 100,000 active users as of September of last year, renting out 18,000 smartphones, 6,000 pairs of AirPods and over 1,300 electric scooters in that period. It also said that in the most recent fiscal year, it posted net revenues of about $43 million, with $71 million in annual recurring revenue, and tipping into profitability on an Ebitda basis.

It raised €250 million ($297 million) in debt just before the start of the pandemic, and previously to that also raised a Series A of $44 million in 2018, and $48 million in 2019 in a combination of equity and debt in a pre-Series B. It’s not disclosing its valuation.

The company’s service falls into a wider category of startups building services around the subscription economy model, which has touched asset-intensive categories like cars, but also much lighter, internet-only consumables like music and video streaming.

Indeed, Grover has been regularly referred to as the “Netflix for gadgets,” in part a reference to the latter company’s history starting out by sending out physical DVDs to people’s homes (which they returned when finished to get other films under a subscription model).

Similar to cars and films, there is definitely an argument to be made for owning gadgets on a subscription. The pricier that items become — and the more of them that there are battling for a share of consumer’s wallets against many of the other things that they can spend money to own or use — the less likely it is that people will be completely happy to fork out money or build in financing to own them, not least because the value of a gadget typically depreciates the minute a consumer does make the purchase.

At the same time, more consumers are subscribing, and often paying electronically, to services that they use regularly: whether it’s a Prime subscription, or Spotify, the idea with Grover — and others that are building subscriptions around physical assets — is to adopt the friction-light model of subscribing to a service, and apply it to physical goods.

And for retailers, it’s another alternative to offer customers — alongside buying outright, using credit, or offering by-now-pay-later or other kinds of financing, in order to close a deal. Shopping cart abandonment, and competition for shoppers online, are very real prospects, so anything to catch incremental wins, is a win. And if they are working in a premium (cost-per-month of use, say) to give customers possession of the gadget in question, if they manage to secure enough business this way, it actually might prove to be even more lucrative than outright sales, especially if the maintenance of those goods is offloaded to a third party like Grover.

Although some people have regularly been wary of the idea of used consumer electronics, or other used goods, that has been shifting. There have been a number of companies seeing strong growth in the last year on the back of helping consumers resell their own items. This has been helped in part by buyers being more focused on spending less (and sellers maybe earning back some money in the process), but also being keen to reduce their own footprints in the world by using items that are already out in circulation. In Europe alone, last week, Brighton-based MPB raised nearly $70 million for its used-camera equipment marketplace. Other recent deals have included used-goods marketplace Wallapop in Spain raising $191 million and clothing-focused Vestiaire Collective raising $216 million.

What is interesting here is — whether it’s a sign of the times, or because Grover might have cracked the subscription model for gadgets — the company seems to be progressing in an area that has definitely seen some fits and bumps over the years.

Lumoid out of the U.S. also focused on renting out tech gear but despite finding some traction and inking a deal with big box retailer Best Buy, it failed to raise the funding it needed to run its service and eventually shut down.  It’s also not alone in trying to tackle the market. Others in the same space include Tryatec and Wonder, which seems to be focused more on trying out technology from startups.

The big question indeed is not just whether Grover will find more of a market for its rental/subscription model, but also whether it has cracked those economics around all of the supply chain management, shipping and receiving goods, reconditioning or repairing when needed, and simply keeping strong customer service throughout all of that. As we’ve seen many times, a good idea on one level can prove extremely challenging to execute on another.

Tue, 13 Apr 2021 02:32:04 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Gadgets Ecommerce Europe Germany Berlin Funding US Samsung Tech Spain Netflix Netherlands Brighton North America Lumoid Kreos Capital Mpb Germany Austria Grover Wallapop Michael Cassau JMS Capital Everglen Viola Fintech Assurant Tryatec
Sonos Roam review: the portable speaker you’ll want to use at home too Cheaper wifi speaker has Bluetooth plus Google or Alexa for great indoor and outdoor music

Sonos’s new smaller and cheaper Roam portable speaker is one that won’t end up relegated to a drawer collecting dust as it sounds great at home too.

The £159 Roam joins the much bigger and heavier £399 Move as the second of firm’s battery-powered models and proves itself as one of the best options in a saturated market.

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Tue, 13 Apr 2021 02:00:26 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Google Gadgets Technology Bluetooth Wifi Alexa Amazon Alexa Google Assistant Smart Speakers
Zooming into the moon with the "world's sharpest" tele lens

Enjoy Markus Stark's zoomy video of the moon, shot with a Leica 400mm F2.8 lens (about $10k, used) attached to a Panasonic GH4 with 1.4x, 2x, and 2x Leica APO focus module extenders. [via Leica Rumors]

The video clips were filmed in August 2015 at only 290m above sea level (camping side in Germany). Some

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Mon, 12 Apr 2021 13:40:11 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Gadgets Video Space News Germany Cameras Lenses Leica Leica Rumors Markus Stark
MacOs, Windows and Linux running simultaneously on an old PC

Luke Metoki virtualized MacOS and Windows simultaneously on an 2000s-era PC, with Arch Linux as the host organism. The mad science worked, but Windows was "very sluggish" if not given the lion's share of RAM.

If you want me to write more about this, contact me.

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Mon, 12 Apr 2021 07:36:17 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Gadgets Post News Tech Computers Arch Linux Dogs and cats living together Luke Metoki
Google denies Pixel 5a 5G cancelation, confirming it’s coming this year Sometimes you’ve just got to confirm an unannounced product to put the rumors to bed, I guess. That was Google’s strategy this afternoon, following earlier rumors from Android Central that a chip shortage had put the kibosh on the mid-budget phone.

In a comment to TechCrunch, a Google spokesperson noted, “Pixel 5a 5G is not cancelled. It will be available later this year in the U.S. and Japan and announced in line with when last year’s a-series phone was introduced.”

That time frame would put the device’s arrival around late-summer, meaning it won’t arrive in time for Google I/O in May, as some speculated. Interestingly, the company appears to be limiting the device’s availability to two countries — at least at launch. That could, perhaps, be due to earlier-reported component shortages.

Google’s budget Pixel 4a addresses its premium predecessor’s biggest problem

As The Verge notes, the company hasn’t been particularly precious when it comes to product announcements. The company took a similar approach ahead of the release of the Pixel. Either way, this isn’t exactly the standard big company approach to rumor denial, which is to either not answer or otherwise deflect.

Google may well be on edge about its Pixel line these days. The phone line hasn’t exactly taken the mobile world be storm, resulting in longstanding rumors that the company is looking to shake things up. That, in part, has seemingly been confirmed by some fairly high-profile exits.

Still, even while there have been issues on the premium side, the company’s budget “a” line has helped buoy its overall numbers. No word yet on specific specs, but the handset is not expected to be a radical departure from its predecessor.

Google I/O will return as a virtual event May 18-20

LG’s exit from the smartphone market comes as no surprise


Fri, 09 Apr 2021 18:52:58 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Google Gadgets Mobile Japan Hardware Tech Lg 5g Pixel 5a
Eyecam is a blinking, flitting webcam that looks back at you

This webcam, housed in an animatronic sculpture of a grossly disembodied human eye, was created by Marc Teyssier, Marion Koelle, Paul Strohmeier, Bruno Fruchard and Jürgen Steimle. [Human Computer Interaction Lab via The Verge] They call it the Eyecam and I lovehate it. — Read the rest

Fri, 09 Apr 2021 10:06:57 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Art Gadgets Video News Webcams Surveillance Jürgen Steimle
The best dumbphone gets Signal messaging

The Punkt MP02 (previously) is one of two or three premium-yet-minimalist phone handsets that actually work on post-2G cellular networks. And now it has Signal built-in, providing end-to-end voice encryption, free-Internet based calls and texts, group messages and voice dictation. — Read the rest

Thu, 08 Apr 2021 09:05:36 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Gadgets Post News Signal Dumbphones
Google Nest Hub (2nd gen) review: wearable-free sleep tracking smart display Radar-based gesture and sleep tracking turns top smart assistant into a great alarm clock too

Google’s second-generation Nest Hub smart display now comes with radar-based sleep tracking as it attempts to keep Amazon’s Alexa at bay.

The new Nest Hub costs £89.99 on launch, which makes it cheaper than its predecessor and slightly undercuts competitors of a similar size.

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Thu, 08 Apr 2021 02:00:07 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Google Amazon Gadgets Technology Alexa Alphabet Google Assistant Smart Speakers Google Nest Hub
Sonos delivers a near-perfect portable speaker with the new Sonos Roam Sonos has a new speaker that starts shipping later this month, and it’s a significant departure from the company’s usual offerings in a number of ways. The all-new Sonos Roam is a compact, portable speaker with a built-in battery and Bluetooth connectivity — but still very much a Sonos system team player, with wifi streaming, multi-room feature, voice assistant support and surprisingly great sound quality.

The basics

Priced at $179, the Sonos Roam is truly diminutive, at just over 6 inches, by roughly 2.5 inches for both height and depth. It weighs under a pound, and is available in either a matte white or black finish, which is par for the course for Sonos in terms of colorways. Roam is also IP67-rated, meaning it’s effectively waterproof, with a resistance rating of up to 30 minutes at depths of up to 1 meter (3.3 feet).

Sonos has placed the speaker’s control surface at one end of the device, including a microphone button, volume controls and a play/pause button. These are actual, tactile buttons, rather than touch-sensitive surfaces like you’d find on other Sonos speakers, which makes sense for a speaker designed to be used on the go, and in conditions where touch controls might get flummoxed by things like rain and water.

The Roam also has a power button on the back, next to a USB-C port for charging. It also offers wireless charging, via a receiver found in the base of the speaker, which can be used with Sonos’ own forthcoming magnetic charging adapter (sold separately), or with any standard Qi-powered wireless charger you want.

In addition to wifi streaming, Sonos Roam can also connect to any device via Bluetooth 5.0. It also features AirPlay 2 for connecting to Apple devices when on wifi, and it works out of the box with Spotify Connect. The built-in battery is rated for up to 10 hours of playback on a full charge, according to Sonos, and can also provide up to 10 days of its sleep-like standby mode.

Design and performance

This is the smallest speaker yet released by Sonos, and that’s definitely a big plus when it comes to this category of device. The dimensions make it feel like a slightly taller can of Red Bull, which should give you some sense of just how portable it is. Unlike Sonos’ first portable speaker with a built-in battery, the Sonos Move, the Roam truly feels like something designed to be thrown in a bag and brought with you wherever you happen to need it.

Despite its small size, the Sonos Roam offers impressive sound — likely the best I’ve yet encountered for a portable speaker in this size class. Inside, it manages to pack in dual amplifiers, one tweeter and a separate custom racetrack mid-woofer, which Sonos developed to help deliver both lows and mids with a faithfulness that normally escapes smaller speakers. The Roam also gets a lot louder than you’d probably expect it could, while keeping audio quality clear and free of distortion at the same time.

One of the keys to the Roam’s great sound quality is Sonos’ Automatic Trueplay tech, which tunes the audio to best suit its surroundings actively and continually. This feature requires that the mic be enabled to work, but it’s well worth having on in most settings, and makes a big difference while streaming in both Bluetooth and wifi modes. This also helps the speaker adjust when it’s switched from horizontal to vertical orientation, and it’s one of the main reasons that the Roam punches above its weight relative to other speakers in this size and price category.

The Roam would be a winner based on audio quality alone for the price, but the extra Sonos system-specific features it boasts really elevate it to a true category leader. These include a standby mode that preserves battery while keeping the Roam available to your system for wifi streaming via the Sonos app (handy, and also optional since you can hold the power button down for five seconds to truly power off and preserve your charge for even longer, which is great for travel).

One of Roam’s truly amazing abilities is a hand-off feature that passes playback of whatever you’re using it to listen to on to the nearest Sonos speaker in your system when you long press the play/pause button. This works almost like magic, and is a great speaker superpower for if you’re wandering around the house and the yard doing chores with the Roam in your pocket.

Bottom line

Sonos waited a long time to release their first travel-friendly portable speaker, but they obviously used that time wisely. The Sonos Roam is the most thoughtfully-designed, feature-rich and best-sounding portable speaker you can get for under $200 (and better than many more expensive options, at that). Even if you don’t already have a Sonos system to use it with, it’s an easy choice if you’re in the market for a portable, rugged Bluetooth speaker — and if you’re already a Sonos convert, the decision gets that much easier.

Tue, 06 Apr 2021 09:00:47 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Reviews Apple TC Gadgets Spotify Technology Hardware Bluetooth Tech Computing Speaker Sonos Qi Airplay Assistant Wireless Speaker Wireless Charger Smart Speakers Play:3
Newspaper made from 32″ e-Ink display

Greg Raiz crafted an e-ink newspaper, though it might be more appropriate to describe it as an e-ink display cunningly disguised as a page of a newspaper framed and hung on a wall. Brilliant work!

I took a 32″ eInk display and turned it into a digital newspaper that updates every day.

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Fri, 02 Apr 2021 10:11:23 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Gadgets Video News E-ink Greg Raiz
How to test your webcam to make sure it's working properly before a video call You'll want to test your computer's webcam before any meeting that requires your presence on camera.

RUNSTUDIO/Getty Images

  • You can test your webcam online or using programs that come with Windows 10 or your Mac.
  • You don't have to wait for a video call to find out there's a problem with your webcam - test it ahead of time.
  • Most web conference apps like Skype and Zoom let you see video from your webcam in Settings.
  • Visit Insider's Tech Reference library for more stories.

Starting a video call or web conference can be surprisingly stressful. Will your webcam work the way it's supposed to? Is it compatible with your web conferencing software and is everything set up properly?

Related Article Module: A brief guide to webcams, and a comparison between standalone and built-in devices

If your webcam isn't working right when the meeting starts, it's already too late. That's why it's a good idea to test your webcam ahead of the scheduled call - it can save you some potential embarrassment if the video is misconfigured or not working at all.

How to test your webcam online

Is your webcam working properly? You should probably test it using the web conferencing software you plan to use, but if you want to quickly ensure the camera itself is working and is connected properly, test it in a web browser.

There are a handful of websites you can try; a reliable one is Webcam Test. Visit the page and click "Test my cam." You might need to give your browser permission to access the camera, but after a moment you should see your video on the page along with detailed information about your webcam on the left.

How to test your webcam 1 You can test your webcam using a website like Webcam Test.

Dave Johnson/Insider

How to test your webcam on Skype

To make sure your webcam is working properly in Skype, start the desktop app and click the three-dot menu on the left side of the window. Click "Settings" and then, on the Settings page, click "Audio & Video."

Related Article Module: How to test your Skype video quality and adjust your video or audio settings

You should see your video. If you don't, the wrong camera might be selected - try the drop-down menu above the video window.

How to test your webcam 2 You can see your webcam video in Skype's Settings.

Dave Johnson/Insider

How to test your webcam on Zoom

Like Skype, Zoom makes it easy to test your video from the app's Settings screen. Start Zoom and then click your account avatar in the top right corner of the window. In the dropdown menu, choose "Settings." In the Settings window, click "Video" and you should see a live view of your camera feed at the top of the page.

How to test your webcam 3 The Zoom Settings will display your webcam's video before the meeting begins.

Dave Johnson/Insider

How to test your webcam on Windows 10

You might not be aware of this, but Windows includes a Camera program that automatically displays the feed from your webcam. You can use the app to take still images and record video. To test your webcam with this utility, click the Start button and type "Camera." When you see the Camera app appear in search results, click it. The app will appear, automatically displaying video from your webcam.

How to test your webcam 4 Windows 10 has a Camera app that lets you record still and video from your webcam.

Dave Johnson/Insider

How to test your webcam on a Mac

Just like Windows, your Mac has a camera app built-in. Find Photobooth in your dock or by searching for it in Finder. When it starts, you should automatically see your webcam feed.

How to test your webcam 5 Use your Mac's Photobooth app to test your webcam.

Dave Johnson/Insider

Troubleshooting your webcam

As a general rule, your webcam should be a plug-and-play device that works effortlessly and is largely trouble-free. If you do encounter trouble getting it to work, here are the most common issues:

  • This might seem obvious, but if you have a standalone webcam, make sure it's properly plugged into the USB port of your computer.
  • Most webcams don't require you to install any software drivers, but if you have a new camera that doesn't seem to work, check the user guide it came with (or the manufacturer's website) to see if it requires you to install drivers or additional software.
  • If you don't see any video when you test the webcam, make sure your webcam is selected. In most video and web conferencing software, you should find a webcam selection dropdown menu. Be sure the current webcam is selected - sometimes a webcam you no longer have connected is still selected.

    How to test your webcam 6 If you have a problem with your video, make sure the correct webcam is selected.

    Dave Johnson/Insider

  • Make sure the webcam isn't in use by another program. For example, if you have Skype running in the background, that program might have a "lock" on the webcam, so Zoom will only show a black screen in the video window.
  • If all else fails, restart your computer. Sometimes there could be an issue with the USB port or corrupted software in memory that a reboot will resolve.
How to turn on the camera on your Windows 10 computer, or troubleshoot if it won't turn onHow to use Zoom on your computer or mobile device - a quick guide for video meeting basicsYou can Skype with up to 50 people at once - here's how it worksHow to make a Skype call on your computer or mobile device, or start a group call Read the original article on Business Insider

[Author: (Dave Johnson)]

Thu, 01 Apr 2021 12:50:55 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Gadgets Webcams Trends Webcam Skype Dave Johnson Tech Insider Skype Zoom Edit Series Tech Reference Tech How To Gadgets (Reference Sp-microsoft-tech-reference
Pro¹ X, a linux phone with a slide-out keyboard

Your new cyberdeck has arrived, madam. The Pro¹ X is a handsome smartphone that runs a variety of free operating systems and has a slide-out keyboard, perfect for SSHing in, NMAPping corpo headquarters, or raiding ATMs in the early 1990s. — Read the rest

Thu, 01 Apr 2021 11:39:42 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Gadgets Post News Keyboards Phones
UK rollout for sweat-testing ankle bands to enforce alcohol bans

Big Brother is licking you. Sweat monitors (aka scram cams) are ankle bands that monitor the wearer's sweat for alcohol, to enforce court-ordered abstinence. They're rolling them out nationwide in the UK in a bid to tackle booze-related crime. — Read the rest

Wed, 31 Mar 2021 08:11:47 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Gadgets Post UK Crime News Privacy Law Tech
Cryptocurrency wallet and blockchain tech startup imToken raises $30 million Series B imToken, the blockchain tech startup and crypto wallet developer, announced today it has raised $30 million in Series B funding led by Qiming Venture Partners. Participants included returning investor IDG Capital, and new backers Breyer Capital, HashKey, Signum Capital, Longling Capital, SNZ and Liang Xinjun, the co-founder of Fosun International.

Founded in 2016, the startup’s last funding announcement was for its $10 million Series A, led by IDG, in May 2018. imToken says its wallet for Ethereum, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies now has 12 million users and over $50 billion in assets are currently stored on its platform, with total transaction value exceeding $500 billion.

Ethereum wallet imToken raises $10M Series A from IDG to expand in the US, Asia and Africa

The company was launched in Hangzhou, China, before moving to it current headquarters to Singapore, and about 70% of its users are in mainland China, followed by markets including South Korea, the United States and Southeast Asia.

imToken will use its latest funding to build features for “imToken 3.0.” This will include keyless accounts, account recovery and and a suite of decentralized finance services. It also plans to expand its research arm for blockchain technology, called imToken Labs and open offices in more countries. It currently has a team of 78 people, based in mainland China, the United States and Singapore, and expects to increase its headcount to 100 this year.

In a press statement, Qiming Venture Partners founding managing partner Duane Kuang said, “In the next ten to twenty years, blockchain will revolutionize the financial industry on a global scale. We believe that imToken is riding this trend, and has strongly positioned itself in the market.”

Crypto boom continues as Chainalysis raises $100M, doubles valuation to over $2B

]]> Wed, 31 Mar 2021 04:01:12 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Fundings & Exits TC Gadgets Asia South Korea China Southeast Asia Singapore Africa Tech United States Digital Wallet Cryptocurrency Blockchain HANGZHOU China IDG Qiming Venture Partners US Asia IDG Capital Ethereum Bitcoin Duane Kuang imToken Fosun International Founded Qiming Venture Partners Participants Liang Xinjun Australian lidar maker Baraja collects $31M B round to illuminate the future of autonomy Lidar companies across the planet are going SPAC, but Baraja isn’t in a hurry to go public. The Australian lidar maker has raised a $31M B round to continue the deployment and development of its “unique and ingenious” imaging system, with participation beyond the usual VC suspects.

Baraja’s lidar uses what the company calls SpectrumScan, letting physics do the hard work of directing the light. By passing its laser through a prism, different wavelengths of light go in different directions — and when it comes back, it takes the same path. Actually it’s a bit more complicated than that, but if you’re curious check out my article from CES last year, which lays it out in more detail.

The company hasn’t been lying still since then, even though the most obvious application of lidar — autonomous vehicles — hasn’t exactly taken off in the meantime. As co-founder and CEO Federico Collarte told me back in 2020 of the lidar industry, “if you don’t differentiate, you die.” And Baraja has done so not just with its tech but its approach to the market.

Lidar, it turns out, is actually useful in a lot of industries, but most lidar units contain highly complex mechanical elements that can be affected by heat, cold, and other environmental factors. Not so much Baraja, which has only one moving part (and that very slowly and steadily, somewhere in the optics) and can withstand intense conditions for a long time.

Collarte explained that one of their big customers over the last two years has been the mining industry, and you can imagine why. Creating accurate 3D images of mines is a task that’s incredibly difficult for humans or ordinary cameras, but practically purpose-built for lidar. That is, if the lidar can withstand the heat, cold, and forces found in mining operations.

Image Credits: Baraja

“In mining, the key is reliability and ruggedization,” Collarte said. “We’ve had units in mines in the Australian desert for two years. We had one back for RMA — you saw that our units are painted kind of an electric blue — the paint was totally eroded. It was bare metal, but the thing was still working.”

Because the more sensitive bits, the laser and receiver, can be hidden deep in the body of the machine and connected via fiber optic to the “dumb” lens and prism elements of the head, the device was able to survive years of scorching sands. Not a claim many lidar makers can make!

The partnership with Hitachi Construction Machinery was successful enough that the company decided to invest.

This strategic investment is part of Collarte’s plan to diversify its financial backing. “We’re trying to bring in the type of investors who have a very long timeline — institutional investors,” he said.

Though venture capital is still part of it, he pointed to new investor HESTA, something like a pension fund, as an example of the kind of backer he was looking for in addition to VCs. That said, previous investors Blackbird Ventures (which led) and Main Sequence Ventures returned for this round as well as some new VCs. The $40M Australian amounts to $31M U.S. — slightly less than its $32M U.S. round A in 2018, but it doesn’t feel like a down round.

AEye becomes latest lidar company to go public via SPAC

Collarte emphasized the importance of operating as a business and not just as an extended R&D process.

“If you’re working just on technology, that’s fine, but you won’t have sales and customers today,” he said. “We have revenue and real world applications — we’re exercising those muscles. We’re getting good at customer support, installation, warranty, failure modes — it’s a whole area of the company that needs to be exercised over and above pure R&D.”

In addition to mining, shipping is another area where lidar can be exposed to punishing conditions, he noted, saying that a major Australian port was using Baraja units as part of its push towards autonomy.

But R&D is still a huge part of the company’s plans for the funding. The biggest changes are, in the short term, offering an integrated “one-box” system that some vehicle makers and suppliers may find simpler to work with. And in the long term the fundamental architecture of the system will evolve as well.

“We come from a background in telecom, and they’ve moved from bulk optics [meaning lenses, prisms, and fiber optic bundles] into photonics and integrated circuits. So we’ve always had that in mind,” said CTO and co-founder Cibby Pulikkaseril. “My roadmap is to get these onto chips so that it doesn’t look any different from any other chips in the vehicle.”

Collarte pointed out that while miniaturization is difficult for everyone, it’s especially hard for the scanning mechanism in lidar, which often must be of a certain size and cover a certain arc in order to direct the laser properly. He proudly said they are already well on their way to a solution that is unique to their SpectrumScan method.

The next year, they asserted, will be a major one for Tier 1 suppliers and others racing to level 4 autonomy. Perhaps that’s why so many lidar companies opted to go public via SPAC in the last one. But that’s not the plan for Baraja, at least for now.

“It’s something we’re keeping an eye on,” said Collarte. “But we’re not in a rush.”

In addition to the VCs mentioned above and Hitachi Construction Machinery, the following investors joined the round: Regal Funds Management, Perennial Value Management, and InterValley Ventures.

The Station: The lidar SPAC craze and 10 investors give their mobility predictions

]]> Wed, 24 Mar 2021 09:01:12 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Fundings & Exits Startups Gadgets Hardware Funding Tech Automotive Cto SPAC RMA Blackbird Ventures Recent Funding Baraja Federico Collarte Collarte Cibby Pulikkaseril Main Sequence Ventures Hitachi Construction Machinery SPAC Collarte InterValley Ventures OnePlus 9 Pro review: super slick, rapid charging Android phone Latest top-spec handset has Hasselblad-branded camera, great screen and long battery life

OnePlus’s latest 9 Pro Android phone takes the firm’s winning formula of slick speed and adds knowhow from the Swedish renowned camera manufacturer Hasselblad to try to improve things in the photography department.

The £829 phone tops the Chinese brand’s line for 2021 and joins its stablemate Oppo in its pursuit of top dog Samsung.

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Wed, 24 Mar 2021 03:00:33 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Android Gadgets Technology Smartphones Mobile Phones Hasselblad Samsung Continue