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iPhone 8, Nintendo Switch ... there are lots of reasons to be excited 2017 promises to be a massive year in tech. From seismic console releases to 10-year anniversaries of iconic products to the fate of certain categories finally being decided, the New Year holds a ton of promise, excitement and nerves, depending on where you stand. Here’s a look at 10 things in tech to look forward to in 2017, in no particular order. Plus, we want to hear from you! Drop us a line in the comments section about what you’re most excited to see in the coming year.

1. iPhone 8

Though its name is still up for debate - will it be the iPhone 7S or iPhone 8? - whatever Apple announces come September, it promises to be big. This is the 10th anniversary of the iPhone after all, and to let the opportunity to do something special slip by would be a shame. Apple, always one for spectacle, probably won’t disappoint. All signs point to overhauls of the iPhone’s design, specs and features, including a curved AMOLED display, no home buttons or bezels, a sloped glass back, possible AR powers and wireless charging. That’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to rumored changes for the iPhone in its double-digit year, and we can’t wait to see what Apple has in store.

2. Nintendo Switch

A poll of the TechRadar offices for this list turned up the Nintendo Switch again and again as one of the things - if not the thing - we’re most looking forward to in 2017. The Switch marks Nintendo’s first console since the Wii U and its first handheld since the New Nintendo 3DS. Confused? You see, that’s what makes the Switch possibly one of the most revolutionary consoles ever: it’s a hybrid gaming machine that lets you literally switch (hehe) from playing it as a traditional console in your living room to a handheld you take on the go. Though leaked specs point to the Switch losing a considerable amount of power in handheld mode, this is still a revolution for Nintendo and could rocket it back to the top of the gaming world, especially if its price comes in at the $249 (£200/around AU$330) mark we expect it to. The best news about the Nintendo Switch? We don’t have to wait long to get our mitts on it - the Switch is due out in March.

3. Surface Pro 5

Riding a wave of solid releases and Apple miscues, we’re turning to Microsoft to deliver even more with the fifth edition of the Surface Pro tablet. We’re not asking much from the Surface Pro 5 - just better battery life, a bigger and crisper screen (4K, anyone?) and USB-C. In other words, Microsoft can stand to improve its slate in the New Year, and we’re looking forward to seeing whether it can do just that. Not only would this mean a better product for customers to buy, it would also put even more pressure on Apple and other tablet and laptop makers to step up their game. Just like the iPhone 8, Surface Pro is hitting a milestone this year, and Microsoft could leave an indelible impression on 2017 by making one hell of a good slate. Look for the Surface Pro 5 in the spring.

4. Samsung’s bounce back and the Galaxy S8

Look, this was a bad year for Samsung. Despite the stellar Galaxy S7 and even better Galaxy S7 Edge, Samsung’s 2016 was marred by the debacle of the Galaxy Note 7. To borrow a quote from American banking history, Samsung is still too big to fail, but the twice-recalled Note 7 is a huge stain on its reputation, and one it will need to recover from in 2017. The good news is that the page could start to turn with the Galaxy S8. Expected to be unveiled at February’s MWC, both versions of the S8 may feature a curved display, while the larger one could finally push the boundaries to 4K. The phone’s design might only hold refinements - there’s not much to improve on from the S7 - but other areas of advancement include the camera and processing power. And a “beast mode” trademark points to Samsung taking its mobiles up a notch in 2017, though hopefully safely. That’s not to say anything of the Galaxy Note 8, which if released Samsung will undoubtedly look to redeem itself even further with, nor Gear VR. Samsung already revealed it as big plans on the virtual and augmented reality fronts, and may even have a demo of the AR tech it’s working on ready for MWC. Now that sounds promising.

5. New, less expensive VR headsets

If 2016 was the year virtual reality (VR) came into its own, then 2017 will be the year prices come down. Leading the charge are a new set of Windows 10 VR headsets from the likes of Acer, Asus, Dell, HP and Lenovo due out next year. These “mixed reality head-mounted displays” will start at $299 (about £245, AU$295), significantly cheaper than the $600 (£499, AU$859) - $799 (£689, €899) range of the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. Though not as powerful as their higher-end counterparts, this new wave of headsets won’t require as powerful a PC, lowering the bar to entry even further. And with the aforementioned Samsung Gear VR ($99/about £80 or AU$130) and Google Daydream View ($79/£69/about AU$104) already driving the price of mobile VR down, this could be the year solid yet less expensive headsets become accessible to everyone.

6. Better, richer, more varied VR content

Makers of VR headsets are well aware that, right now, their machines are viewed as expensive gaming devices. Yes, the games are good and getting better, but the next big thing in VR centers around other kinds of content. We’re talking movies, TV shows, graphic novels, comics, sports and more. A wide-range of compelling experiences stands to come to the fore in 2017 as more publishers, developers, film makers, journalists and content creators get their hands on VR and discover new ways of telling stories. This revolution is already under way - Qualcomm and Power Rangers are showing off a VR experience tied to the spring film at CES 2017, and the NBA now offers a live weekly game presented in VR via its League Pass service. In 2017, better, richer, and more varied VR content is bound to take off. Let’s just say, we’ve got our headsets at the ready.

7. The fate of wearables

2017 is going to be a turning point for wearables. Coming off a difficult 2016, where sales plummeted, top hardware makers shied away from releasing new devices and Pebble products went the way of the dodo, it’s easy to take a bleak view of the sector. However, there is hope. As our Cameron Faulkner put forth, now is the time for wearable manufacturers “to cut the excess, and focus in on delivering more polished, accurate and ambitious products to market.” There’s still plenty of untapped potential in the space, and if wearable warriors can strike the balance between fashion and functionality while offering consumers devices they can’t live without, this could be the year that redefines smartwatches and fitness trackers for good. Android Wear 2.0 is leading the way in early 2017 (with the help of two flagship smartwatches confirmed by Google), and we're excited to see if wearables can land on their feet. Er, wrists.

8. The continued surge of smarthome products

This was the year some of the biggest names in tech made plays for our homes. Google Home and Amazon Echo smart speakers exploded onto the scene, but if you think that’s the plateau for smart home innovation, think again. Microsoft has already said it plans to bring its virtual assistant Cortana to Internet-of-Things connected devices in the New Year, including fridges, other kitchen appliances and thermostats. If it has a screen, chances are Cortana will find its way to it. And word is Apple is planning a smart speaker, too. This wouldn't surprise us in the least given the tech giant's penchant for waiting out the first wave of new product categories, then releasing a version of its own. The rumored Apple speaker is said to have emotion-sensing powers, which is equal parts creepy and cool. If Apple is looking to make a bang at the iPhone's 10th birthday party, a super-smart home speaker could help the cause. Admittedly, none of these innovations will be as cool as Mark Zuckerberg’s Morgan Freeman-voiced home AI, but then again, what could be?

9. Microsoft Project Scorpio

Microsoft released an excellent console this year in the Xbox One S, but Project Scorpio stands to surpass it during next year's holidays, and then some. Project Scorpio - probably not the name it will release under - may redefine what consoles are capable of, and it's already got us licking our chops. That's thanks to promised gaming at native resolutions of up to 4K, HDR support and high-end VR capabilities. Sweetening the sounds of Scorpio even more is its possible price. Xbox head Phil Spencer said Microsoft wants to keep the ultra-powerful machine at a console price point and not take it to the level of PCs. That's good news for gamers. We'll have to wait until later in the year for Project Scorpio, but we suggest circling 'late 2017' in your calendars now.

10. Lots more augmented reality

One of the biggest stories of 2016 was the insane popularity of Pokémon Go, a mobile game that used augmented reality (AR) to bring the pocket monsters to life in the real world. Heading into 2017. don't expect AR to fade quietly into the sunset, even if Go's novelty has worn off. After seeing the success of Pokémon Go, look for more game and app makers to tap into AR to deliver another layer of immersion to their creations. And with the game making the leap to Apple Watch, wearables are the next home for mixed reality experiences. AR is also settling right in with other gadgets as well. The incredibly fun Lenovo Phab 2 Pro, the first phone equipped with Google's Tango AR tech, was released this year. More Tango handsets, including smaller devices, are due out in 2017. Microsoft has in many ways led the AR charge, namely with its HoloLens viewer and Windows Holographic OS, which the company opened up to all manufacturers this year. We should hear plenty more on Microsoft's AR vision, including a potentially lower price for HoloLens, during Build 2017 in May. Finally, with Tim Cook indicating Apple's interests lie in augmented over virtual reality and a mystery product due from Magic Leap at some point, AR looks poised to ride the wave of its 2016 success well into the New Year and beyond.

Author: Michelle Fitzsimmons
Source: http://www.techradar.com/news/tech-in-2017-10-big-things-to-look-forward-to-in-the-new-year

Categorized in Internet Technology

VIRTUAL and augmented reality headsets will soon be as thin as your everyday spectacles.

And when that day comes, Microsoft is primed to end that loathsome human trait — forgetfulness.

Several years ago it patented the marvellous tech for “object tracking” in which virtual reality-style glasses can record and analyse their environment.

The tech firm seems certain of a dystopian future where we all wear headsets day-to-day, as the software works by keeping track of all the objects in the wearer’s surroundings.

These newfangled glasses — which may be later generations of the Hololens — could soon be saving time spent blindly searching for our keys, debit cards or phones.

Lost your wallet? Ask Microsoft’s voice assistant Cortana.

Not sure if there’s milk in the fridge? Ask Cortana to bring up the recording from the last time you opened it.

The tech company wrote in its patent application: “For example, searching for misplaced car keys, wallets, mobile devices, and the like may cause people to lose productive time.

Your glasses will be able to find all the items you need.

“Likewise, forgetting that the milk carton in the home refrigerator is almost empty may lead to an extra trip to the store that could have been avoided had the shopper remembered the state of the milk carton.

“In some instances, such objects may be moved, emptied, etc. by a person other than the owner, thereby complicating the task of tracking.”

It revealed plans for a mobile device like a “see-through display worn by a user” with image sensors that observe the environment.

This opens a whole host of privacy concerns, but could prove to be a very useful tool.

Microsoft will store video recordings of your home and will use an alert system triggered by a request or alarm you set.

It could be used by more than one person — so if you share a household with someone they will also be made aware that you are shopping or search their video recording to see where a missing item could be.

Microsoft added: “In this manner, a user may be able to discover a most recent location of lost keys, may be provided with a reminder to buy more milk while browsing the dairy section at a grocery store, and/or may track and recall other object state information in any suitable manner.”

Author: Margi Murphy
Source: http://www.news.com.au/technology/gadgets/wearables/microsoft-invents-hololens-glasses-that-can-find-missing-items-and-remind-you-to-buy-milk-when-the-fridge-is-empty/news-story/822316019b7394fe12665bb1439f3fc1

Categorized in Internet Technology

Amazon (AMZN) has been awarded a patent for a giant flying warehouse that acts as a launchpad for drones to deliver items within minutes.

The U.S. e-commerce giant described plans for an "airborne fulfillment center" (AFC) such as an airship or blimp that would float at an altitude of around 45,000. The airship will be stocked with lots of products.

When a customer places an order, a drone or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) will fly down and deliver the package. Amazon insists that this would require little power because the drone would be gliding down rather than having to take off and land.

"When the UAV departs the AFC, it may descend from the high altitude of the AFC using little or no power other than to guide the UAV towards its delivery destination and/or to stabilize the UAV as it descends," the patent filing explains.

Amazon's filing reveals several uses for the warehouse blimp. One example is at a football match where customers may want certain items such as food or merchandise. Ahead of the game, the AFC could stock up on items and deploy these during the game with drones when they are ordered. The airship could also be used as a giant advertising board, allowing customers to order the items on display. All of these can be ordered "within minutes".

The drones would be able to communicate with each other via a mesh network to give information such as weather and route. UAVs could also recharge on the airship.

Amazon's filing explains that the blimp would remain in the air and be refueled and replenished using a shuttle. This could be a smaller aircraft capable of docking onto the AFC and unloading products as well as fuel.

If this plan saw the light of day, Amazon would likely need regulatory approval from aviation authorities which could be complex.

The patent filing was awarded in April this year but only circulated this week. It's not the first patent that Amazon has been awarded regarding drone deliver. In July, a patent showed how Amazon was thinking about tall buildings and structures such as lampposts or churches as docking stations for drones to recharge. Another patent described how drones would "talk" to each other to plan routes and communicate.

Amazon successfully trialed its first delivery by drone in the U.K. earlier this month and is pushing ahead with plans to make this widely available. The U.S. firm files and is awarded many patents but it does not necessarily mean the ideas will become reality.

Author: Arjun Kharpal
Source: https://www.yahoo.com/news/m/fbc8db06-eaed-3392-8fcf-9435a9e12d49/amazon-wins-patent-for-a.html

Categorized in Internet Technology

Given the failures of professional pollsters to predict anything of late, I am loath to be your crystal ball for the year’s upcoming tech developments. Those who imagined a revolution last year fuelled by the Apple Watch, heralding the death of the Swiss watch industry, have been proven mightily wrong.

Instead, it’s the little victories that fascinate, and in many ways, have greater relevance. Just as the Apple Watch has not killed off health monitors from Fitbit or Garmin, the new high-definition TV formats won’t necessarily drive those blissfully content with “normal” high-def LCD screens or Blu-ray players to upgrade. Sources in the trade suggest that “4K UHD” (for “Ultra High Definition”) and HDR (or “High Dynamic Range”) are desperate moves by manufacturers to counter the 3D fiasco, as even higher-resolution hardware is being developed for launch a few years hence.

A saturation point is being reached. Fewer people are prepared to swallow the depreciation that accompanies being “early adopters.” Equally, many buyers are overwhelmed by features they neither need nor want – yet they no longer fear being treated like Luddites who are simply afraid or ignorant of technology. Gone are the days when one was mortified by the superior tech knowledge of the average seven-year-old, despite recent TV ad campaigns to the contrary. Simply put, enough is enough.

Smart phones are the exception. A couple of years ago, for example, we reported on the Punkt.Phone, which removed all but the basics for those who only wanted mobile phones for voice and text. I have no idea what the take-up has been, but there is no discernible trend away from do-it-all models, and nothing has slowed down the hyperactivity in the world of smartphones – not even exploding batteries.

Phone junkies are lining up for Google’s first effort, the Pixel, which could be a game-changer. Samsung and Apple clearly have their work cut out for them, the latter having antagonised some customers by ditching the standard headphone socket. The latest craze is improving in-phone cameras, with specialist camera makers collaborating and co-branding with phone manufacturers.

No less than Leica and Kodak, two of the most important names in the history of photography, have appended their logos to new smartphones. Kodak’s Ektra – reviving a name from the past – even looks like an old-fashioned rangefinder when nestling in its case. It offers DSLR functionality, has a 21 megapixel main camera, a front-facing 13 megapixel camera, 4K video capture and a host of features you expect of a camera but not a phone. 

 

Porsche Design Huawei Mate 9 Phone

Porsche Design Huawei Mate 9 Phone

 

Leica has teamed up with no less than Porsche Design to create the a limited-edition, all-black version of the Huawei Mate 9, a price tag of £1,200, available exclusively from Harrods. This beauty – which I’ll cover in depth next month after using it “for real” – features a Leica Summarit lens, 20 megapixel monochrome (did you hear that, retro-snappers?) and a 12 megapixel RGB Dual Camera. Both this and the Kodak boast all of the latest phone specs, the former with dual SIM capacity for example, so you aren’t trading off smartphone performance for imaging. 

Porsche Design Huawei Mate 9 PhonePorsche Design Huawei Mate 9 Phone

That said, the standalone camera is not dead yet. Aside from selfies, smartphones still do not handle as well as made-for-the-purpose cameras, whether SLRs, compacts or rangefinders, and accessing the various functions is still fiddly compared to the physical buttons or knobs on a “proper” camera. The truism remains that the most important element is still the photographer: David Bailey with an iPhone is still going to massacre some nebbish with a Nikon.

Following the success of Olympus’ Pen F and the lust created by Hasselblad’s X1D, next year will see a host of new, sophisticated models to keep serious photographers from abandoning cameras for phones. Most new cameras already feature wireless connection to computers, tablets or phones, for easy transfer of images, GPS to add metadata, high-def video and other niceties. Amusingly, the hottest new cameras, especially the Pen-F and the latest Fujis, boast 1950s rangefinder styling.

Headphones continue their inexorable rise at the expense of loudspeakers – clearly this is analogous to what smartphones are doing to cameras. In sacrificing quality in both instances, we are losing performance for convenience, but the high-end is fighting back.

2017, in part because of iPhone 7, will see an increase in the number of Bluetooth models at all price points and quality levels. For those (like me) who prefer a physical cable, existing models with detachable cables can be converted for the iPhone 7 (which comes with an adaptor, by the way) with new cables terminated in a Lightning plug. 

 

MoFi One-Step LPs

MoFi One-Step LPs

 

Far be it for me to suggest that there is global backlash against the tech onslaught in general, but the vinyl LP has had another bumper year, and, surprisingly, it has done so at the expense of downloads. An indication of its return to greatness is not the plethora of cheapo plastic record players, but one significant event: super-hip manufacturer Shinola, which revitalised watchmaking in the USA, has launched a serious turntable made in conjunction with high-end brand, VPI. 

 

Shinola turntable

Shinola turntable

 

Called the Runwell, and costing US $2500, it is easy to use, beautifully-made and utterly gorgeous. As with many LP buyers don’t play them but display them as objets d’art, the Runwell could easily find an audience buying it for its looks alone. That would be a waste, however, because we all know that vinyl sounds best. So my predictions for next year? Back to the future.And on that note, have a suitably luxurious New Year.

Author: Ken Kessler
Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/luxury/technology/technology-2017-gadgetry-goes-old-school

Categorized in Internet Technology

Much like The Force, technology surrounds us, penetrates us and binds together our galaxy, which is why it’s so hard to identify which technologies might have the most significant impact in the coming year. 

What we can count on in 2017 is that a myriad of innovations will arrive. Some will alter our lives with the tectonic force of an earthquake. Other will sneak in quietly and change things in gentle, almost unnoticeable ways. My goal here is to focus on the technologies that will undergo the most significant change and have the biggest impact on our lives.

Virtual reality 

The VR movie experience. Imagine going to a movie where the screen is right up against your face and looks bigger than any screen you;ve ever seen before.

The VR movie experience. Imagine going to a movie where the screen is right up against your face and looks bigger than any screen you;ve ever seen before.

IMAGE: SIPA USA VIA AP

As I predicted a year ago, virtual reality saw significant growth, improvement and visibility in 2016. It did not, however, transform society. VR will remain among the most important developing technologies in the coming year, but 2017 will mark the beginning of its transition from a curiosity into a tangible tool for enhancing otherwise mundane activities.

Expect, for example, fewer hardware introductions, but more integration with existing platforms. 2017 will be the year people get social in VR. Facebook made some big promises and offered some eye-popping demonstrations in 2016 during its annual F8 developers conference (VR selfie sticks, anyone?). If you (and your Facebook friends) own even the most basic VR hardware, Facebook should have a big upgrade for you in the new year.

Also, keep your eyes open for an explosion of consumer content (more games, full-length movies, TV shows and concerts) and, better yet, VR art.

Augmented reality

Augmented reality could be the more accessible and successful "reality" option in 2017, especially since it doesn't completely shut you off from the outside world.

Augmented reality could be the more accessible and successful "reality" option in 2017, especially since it doesn't completely shut you off from the outside world.

IMAGE: KIN CHEUNG/AP

While VR spreads its wings, augmented reality will be 2017’s true star. Microsoft’s mixed reality platform Windows Holographic, which recently had a big hardware infusion, will mean new mixed reality experiences for Windows users. This should also be the year Apple finally dips its toe into AR (nope, not VR). 

Augmented reality will win over VR next year because it will arrive through mobile devices and without the need for additional hardware. Initial experiences through existing mobile handsets will help drive those purchases of new AR headsets, with, especially as consumer and businesses look for a slightly more immersive and hands-free version of augmented reality.

In case you’re wondering what you’ll do with AR, it will continue to enhance games, toys (the Star Wars toy line has done great things with AR this year), work and retail. This may even be the year we see a shipping version of Magic Leap, assuming it wasn’t all just a big load of hype.

Screen technology 

Samsung is ramping up on OLED screen production, An OLED smartphone may be in your future.

Samsung is ramping up on OLED screen production, An OLED smartphone may be in your future.

IMAGE: JAAP ARRIENS/NURPHOTO/SIPA USA

In 2017, you might be enjoying a lot of that AR and VR on a new 4K smartphone screen. As the trajectory of HDTV technology flatlined over the last few years (no one really cares about curved screens or 3D, and “bigger” does not count as innovation), display manufactures have turned their attention to transforming the screens that are with us almost 24/7.

OLED screens should help 2017’s smartphones get thinner and more battery-efficient than ever. UHD screens arrived on smartphones back in 2015 (thanks, Sony! sort of), but haven’t expanded much beyond that. That will change in 2017. The big question is, can we even tell the difference between full HD (1080p) and UHD on a screen that small?

Why will it matter in 2017? See the first tech I mentioned. Consumers will be sliding more of their smartphones into VR headsets next year. When the screen is that close and magnified, the higher the resolution, the better. 

There’s also been a lot of talk about folding screens. We know a rollable display is possible, but don’t expect any kind of flexible smartphone display in 2017 until manufacturers like LG, Samsung, and Apple can figure out how to make designs practical for consumers. Thinner will win over flexible for the foreseeable future.

Artificial intelligence 

Today's AI can write notes and play a pretty mean game of Go. Who knows what 2017's will be able to do.

Today's AI can write notes and play a pretty mean game of Go. Who knows what 2017's will be able to do.

IMAGE: THE YOMIURI SHIMBUN /AP

Few technologies have been as interesting to watch as Artificial Intelligence. 2016 was the year that regular people got familiar with machine .earning and consumers had multiple digital voice assistants to choose from. 

There will be more AI hardware competition in 2017. Microsoft will probably introduce a Cortana device and maybe (just maybe) Apple will find a new kitchen-friendly hardware home for Siri. 

AI, though, will also be the most-under-the-hood technology with the biggest impact on virtually everything we do. Increasingly, you will find it powering software and services of all kinds.

And AI will just keep getting smarter.

Human augmentation technologies 

The ExoAtlet exoskeleton is just one example of the kind of human-capability-enhancing technology we can expect in 2017.

The ExoAtlet exoskeleton is just one example of the kind of human-capability-enhancing technology we can expect in 2017.

IMAGE: KIPENIYA AGENCY OF STRATEGIC INITIATIVES, MOSCOW. MAKSIM BLINOV/SPUTNIK/AP

Every year I say a little prayer: let this be the year that I finally get my C-3PO and every year, I’m disappointed. There are humanoid and animal robots in our world, including PepperAsimoBoston Robotics' menagerie, but none of them are heading into our homes anytime soon. 

2017, though, might be the breakout year for human-enhancement robotics — exoskeletons and some of the most cutting-edge prosthesis we’ve ever seen. The exoskeletons will focus on helping people walk again, stand for long periods of time and lift heavy loads. Iron Man, here we come.

Batteries 

2016 proved that if you're not very very careful in how you manufacture batteries and the technology surrounding them, things can go very very wrong. In 2017, there’ll be renewed focus on increasing the safety and longevity of lithium-ion technology. We may even see a trial run of lithium metal battery technology.
 
Security, Privacy and Biometrics
 
Dyn faced multiple DDoS attacks that caused much of the internet to come to a halt on Oct. 21.

Dyn faced multiple DDoS attacks that caused much of the internet to come to a halt on Oct. 21.

IMAGE: DOMINIC LIPINSKI/PA WIRE

It’s been another 12 months of bad news on the data breach front. Humans (and businesses) simply can’t be trusted to protect their own privacy with uncrackable security and decent passwords

For years, fingerprint technology was reserved for business-class systems. Fingerprint readers on our smartphones have been a first step in broad consumerization of biometric security. The introduction of facial recognition on computers (Windows Hello) and Touch ID on MacBook Pros is a sign that the password is loosening its death grip on our personal privacy.

2017 may be biometric security’s breakout year. We’ll uses our fingers, faces, eyes, heartbeats and even activity patterns to unlock technology and protect our finances and privacy. By 2018, anyone who doesn’t use a body part to unlock technology will be viewed as a reckless oddball.

Encryption will continue its spread throughout mobile and communication technology, even as the incoming administration pressures companies to break into devices as law enforcement’s request. Will there be a very public battle about backdoor technologies in 2017? Probably.

Next-gen transportation

Google's Waymo driverless car will be part of a wave of new autonomous vehicles.

Google's Waymo driverless car will be part of a wave of new autonomous vehicles.

IMAGE: ERIC RISBERG/AP

Self-driving cars are increasingly becoming a feature of everyday life. In 2017, we’ll see more autonomous people-mover style solutions (think minivans and buses) and a cascade of deregulation across the country. By the end of the year, most states will be autonomous-vehicle-friendly.

2017 may also be the year we finally see Elon Musk’s near-supersonic travel dream become real or at least tested in the real world when Hyperloop One runs its first, full test of the tube-based transportation system (assuming the company doesn’t implode before then).

Data and facts 

All eyes remain on Facebook in the wake of a new threat to punish fake news by Germany

All eyes remain on Facebook in the wake of a new threat to punish fake news by Germany

IMAGE: YUI MOK/PA WIRE

The currency of technology is data and its collection and application will be no less important in the coming year. With so many questions about fake news and facts, data may be the key to identifying the truth in a field of uncertainty. Expect some smart companies with interesting ideas about how to use the mountains of data, programming and machine learning to finally separate fact from fiction is a clinical and incontrovertible way.

Personal streaming 

The hottest wearable in town comes out of one of these vending machines.

The hottest wearable in town comes out of one of these vending machines.

IMAGE: MARK LENNIHAN/AP

With so many personal broadcast options out there 2017 will see an explosion of personal broadcast hardware. Think Snapchat Spectacles are cool (yes, we know they don't exactly stream content)? Expect other social media and consumer electronics companies to start delivering wearable broadcast products that elevate the wearable fashion game while minimizing the “Are you recording me?!” creep factor.

Smart clothes

Smartwatches will continue their slow expansion next year, but 2017 should, finally, be the year of truly wearable technology. Clothes, coat, shoes, socks, underwear, bras and more will get a deep tech infusions, especially if Google's Project Jacquard and other smart textile innovations can migrate from the lab to retail rack. You’ll have to get used to putting on and plugging in your clothing.

Author : LANCE ULANOFF
Source : http://mashable.com/2016/12/27/tech-trends-to-watch-in-2017/?utm_cid=hp-h-4#iKAuaWGFmiq3

Categorized in Internet Technology

For 240 years, Americans have believed anybody could be president. This November, the internet finally made that happen.

People voted for Donald Trump for many different reasons, but all of his supporters had to believe, at least on some level, that a man who is willfully ignorant of the president’s job—and who pitched his ignorance as a feature, not a bug—can work the levers of the Oval Office just fine. For the first time in history, voters in the U.S. said that professional experience is not necessary for perhaps the most complex job in the world.

Doubling down on that, Trump has tapped Dr. Ben Carson to do a Cabinet job for which he has no qualifications. Carson got this far in the Republican Party by portraying himself as a clueless politician instead of an Ivy League–educated neurosurgeon. He once tweeted, “It is important to remember that amateurs built the Ark and it was the professionals that built the Titanic.” If this anti-professional trend works in reverse, politicians can watch a few YouTube videos and pull off brain surgery.

We’re witnessing “the ascendency of the notion that the people whom we should trust the least are the people who best know what they are talking about,” writes Charles Pierce in his book, Idiot America. Anti-professional sentiments are not new, of course. In the early 1960s, historian Richard Hofstadter felt driven to write Anti-Intellectualism in American Life, which won the Pulitzer Prize. But now it seems Hofstadter’s observations were like feeling a few drops of rain at the front end of a hurricane and wondering if you need an umbrella. He had no idea how bad it was going to get.

Why this war on pros? A lot of the blame falls on the internet and much of what has been built on it—your Googles and Twitters and WebMDs and Expedias. Look how the net has affected medicine. As the techies would say, the internet democratizes information: It sets free info that companies, governments and professionals used to horde and wield for power. So in many ways, democratizing information is good. It means a car salesman can’t swindle us because now we have access to car-pricing data. And it helps us be better informed about our health and medical care.

Yet there are unintended consequences to setting information free. We used to revere doctors and, for better and sometimes worse, implicitly trusted their judgment. Now we show up at the doctor’s office after pre-diagnosing ourselves on the web. One poll by the Pew Research Center found that 72 percent of Americans search for health information online, and Google said earlier this year that about 1 percent of its total searches are for medical symptoms. Doctors have a term for people who come in after Googling themselves sick: cybercondriacs. The result of all this health Googling is an erosion of esteem for doctors. Now that we can easily know more about medicine, we’re less impressed by what they know.

In my profession, the internet brought blogs and podcasts and other low-barrier ways to reach the public. Anybody could set himself or herself up as a journalist, and just about anybody did. Over time, the internet helped devalue the journalism profession to the point where today Gallup reports that public confidence in mass media “has dropped to its lowest level in Gallup polling history.”

The same dynamic has pummeled all sorts of professions. If you can find out anything about travel on Expedia or TripAdvisor, why believe a travel agent knows anything of value? If something is wrong with your bathroom pipes, you can find an online video showing how to fix it. So what’s the value of a plumber? The web is a vast constellation of free tools and information that allow you to do yourself what you used to pay someone to do. Makes you think twice about calling an expensive pro.

This is only going to get more prevalent. Artificial intelligence is making web-based tools smarter, which means we’ll soon get not just information but expertise built into free or cheap online services. Sooner or later, some startup is going to encourage us to employ an AI lawyer to work through our divorce agreement so we don’t have to pay a human $300 an hour. The Maker movement—do-it-yourself engineering—is all about democratizing invention and production. If Noah were around today, he’d come home from a Maker Faire, buy a 3-D printer, download free open-source boat-building hacks and then bark at nautical engineers to get out of his face.

Even the way we work is devaluing professionalism. We’re supposedly entering the net-driven gig economy, defined by doing lots of different kinds of jobs in small batches. You might do freelance coding for a few hours a day, rent out your room on Airbnb and sell hand-thrown neti pots on Etsy to somehow claw out a living. If that’s the path to success in the coming decades, it means the value is in knowing a little about a lot of things and a lot about not much. If you work for a corporation, same deal. Companies these days love Agile development, which throws people together in teams that do incremental work at a fast pace. In such an environment, deep knowledge can make you seem like a dinosaur. Fast knowledge—basically, fast-food professionalism—wins you a raise.

Granted, popular culture has never cried too hard over the comeuppance of the professional class. The 1939 movie Mr. Smith Goes to Washington was all about a rube who gets appointed to the Senate and shows up the veterans. (Hey, Hollywood: when’s the Mr. Trump Goes to Washington sequel coming out?) Today, when we hear about the possibility of AI-guided self-driving trucks ransacking truck driver jobs, the drivers get sympathy, as they should. Talk about AI knocking off lawyers, though, and anybody in the room who’s not a lawyer will break into a jig.

How will all this play out? I’ve heard some technologists say we’re ultimately going back to a self-sufficient way of life that echoes the pre-industrial age. In those days, people did everything at home because they had to—the nearest professional might have been a two-day horse ride away. So you made your own clothes, built your own furniture, analyzed your own finances, amputated your own gangrenous toe.

In the future version of that, you’ll do everything at home not because you have to but because you can, and because you think professionals suck. You’ll fire up a cloud-based service to scan your body and help you design your own clothes to perfectly fit you. You’ll 3-D-print furniture parts and bolt them together, Ikea-style. Some AI Schwab account will manage your money. And your R2-D2 robot armed with a laser will tap into Mayo Clinic software and deal with that ugly toe for you.

Maybe that will turn out to be a better way of life, but consider this: Kanye West will be president.

Author : 

Source : http://europe.newsweek.com/internet-changing-how-we-define-work-530912?rm=eu

Categorized in Internet Technology

OS X El Capitan (version 10.11) is the twelfth release of OS X, of Apple Inc.‘s server and desktop operating system for Mac computers. It was released on September 30, 2015, for end users as a free upgrade through the Mac App Store. With the release of this version the major focus was put on Apple performance and user experience.

 

This edition has been introduced with some hidden features that users would surely want to explore in order to retrieve 100% out of it. Some of these remarkable features are:

 

1. Spotlight Search is Smarter

 

El Capitan helps to find stuff quicker with refinement in spotlight search. Let’s assume you want to invoke information regarding sports information, video search and stock quotes, all the results will come up with more or less details in the Spotlight box. And the size of the search box is not fixed anymore; you can drag it to the height you want.

 

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You can invoke Spotlight search by clicking the magnifying glass in the right top corner of the menu bar. You can move the box of search results anywhere you want. Type in the search string and if the result set does not fit in the box then you can drag it down by placing the cursor on the bottom edge.

 

 2. Searching in common language

 

There is a chance that you have worked on a document last week but you forgot what you have named it. Never mind. Open the Documents and search document, assuming we have ordered the documents by date. Or type into the Spotlight search something like “Documents that I have worked on last week”, then results will appear in box. You can also speak the command, by pressing the Function button twice.

 

 

3. Simultaneous display of windows on the screen

 

We can open two programs at the same time parallely in the full-screen view to easily locate the track of live windows. Each running program is assigned half of the display, but you can adjust the relative portion of the windows.

 

We can minimize the running window by holding the green full-screen button, one of the three provided buttons (red, amber and green) which are on the top left hand side of each window. After holding, its shape will change showing that it’s ready to be snapped. Then drag it to top of the screen. Click on the other program and it will automatically fit into the other half of the screen. Thus both are accessible and live.

 

 

4. Wiggle to enlarge the cursor

 

Sometimes we can’t find the cursor; El Capitan provides the answer to this problem. Wiggle the mouse to find the cursor. Once the mouse is wiggled, it enlarges the cursor massively so you can find it. It remains large as long as you wiggle and returns to the normal size once you stop which saves time.

 

5. Mail Enhancement

 

Mails have a number of enhancements when used in full-screen mode. While composing a message in full screen, one can swap over to another conversation or click on their inbox which makes copying a text from another email or adding attachments from one message to another message by dragging them easier.

 

 

If a mail comes containing a phone number or an invitation to an event, there is a toolbar at the top of each message which can be used to add content to apps like Calendar and Contacts. A right swipe will mark mails as read or unread and a left swipe lets you delete messages.

 

6. Photos Enhancement

 

El Capitan comes with the addition of third-party editing tools within the Photos app. All the Photo editing apps in the Mac App Store will be sharing their tools with Photos, so it’s possible to edit images with these apps without actually leaving the Photos app. Thus in the Photos app when you tap on the “More” button, it will show up all third-party apps that it is supporting.

 

 

7. Safari

 

As a part of Safari’s improvement, there is now a Pinned Sites feature that shows frequently visited websites on the left side of the tab bar. So when a website is pinned, it keeps on updating in the background, thus when you are viewing it again it will always have recent info. Such a feature is good for sites like Facebook, Gmail, and Twitter, which you use often.

 

8. Maps

 

The Maps app has a new Transit view feature, which displays subway, walking, bus, train, and ferry routes, for planning a trip that involves mass transit routing in advance. Before, getting transit directions required using a third-party mapping service.

 

 

9. Disk Utility

 

The useful and widely used disk utility in EI Capitan has been overhauled and now looks prettier than ever. You’ll find multiple options and new additions in disk utility, like a repair permission feature.

 

Enter the password when asked. The disk will be checked and any error which persists will be reported and will be fixed if possible. Disk utility is indeed helpful to fix disk related errors. If the problems cannot be fixed using disk utility or if it’s crashing, it’s time to use a reliable third party tool like Mac Data Recovery Guru and move all your important data first. Mac Data Recovery Guru is especially helpful when a disk is about to fail or stopped responding and you don’t want to lose all your crucial files and folders..

 

 

10. Hiding Menu Bar

 

You can hide the Menu Bar that runs across the top of the screen as well as the bottom. Go to System Preferences, choose General in the options, and then select the box marked automatically hide. This means that you can opt for a screen that’s completely clean.

 

Undoubtedly, these features make the latest El Capitan more powerful and of course a must try version of the OS X. Once you start exploring these hidden treasures of the Mac OS X 10.11, you will definitely start admiring it.

 

Source:  lifehack.org

Categorized in Internet Technology

Google has announced exactly when you’ll be able to get your hands on Daydream View, the new headset it created for Daydream-ready Android phones, including the Pixel and Pixel XL. The View headset will arrive in the Google Store online, and at retailers in the US, Canada, the UK, Germany and Australia on November 10 for $79 US.

Pricing in the other countries varies, but is mostly in line with current exchange rates; retail partners also vary country-to-country, but include Verizon and Best Buy in the US, as well as Best Buy and Carphone Warehouse in Canada and the UK, respectively, along with select carriers.

If you’re not already familiar, Daydream View is a headset created by Google to work with its new Daydream VR platform, which is built into Android Nougat. The View was designed by Google to be easy to set up, convenient to use and comfortable to wear, and is aimed at helping make sure even VR first-timers can jump in and get the most out of the experience.

View ships with a Daydream View controller, which is a simple motion-enabled remote you can use to navigate VR experiences in Daydream. It also includes wrist strap for making sure you don’t lose track of said remote while you’re using VR.

Daydream View works completely wirelessly, automatically detecting when you slide a Pixel or Pixel XL in and switching the device to VR mode. I got the chance to use View briefly at Google’s launch event for the Pixel, and it’s comparable to using something like Samsung Gear VR, and provides a great VR starter experience for those who own a Daydream-compatible smartphone (it’s a very short list right now).

Daydream VR is launching with a number of apps ready to go from the Play Store, including Hulu VR, Google Play Movies (in a virtual theater environment) the Guardian VR and Gunjack 2. We’ll have more in-depth impressions of Daydream in our upcoming review, but if you’re excited about it now, I can safely say that it’s a good way for Pixel owners to dip your toes into VR without much cost.

Source: techcrunch.com

Categorized in Internet Technology

While many people mourn the end of summer, there is one thing it always brings; the release of the next iPhone. Now that Apple has released the most recent incarnation, many people wonder if they should jump in and buy the latest version, especially since iOS 10 is available for the majority of iPhones still walking the planet.

Before you make a final decision, here are five reasons the iPhone 7 should be on your shopping list this year.

1. Storage in Spades

With the release of the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus, Apple has decided that they want to make storage a priority. All versions of the newest devices offer twice the hard drive space of previous versions. In fact, it appears the previous 16 GB options in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S lines are also a thing of the past.

If you are one of the many people who use their phones for photos and video, more memory is always welcomed. And speaking of photos…

2. Higher Quality Photos

The iPhone 7 camera has seen some notable improvements as well. You have the ability to shoot RAW images, making photos easier to edit in post, and video can be shot in stunning 4K. Image stabilization is included, helping you to take crisper pics in many conditions.

The f/1.8 aperture lens is also improved, and you get the quad-LED flash to brighten up darker, or low-light, conditions. The use of the camera remains simple, and the included editing options are what you would expect from a phone at this price point.

3. Water Resistant

Taking a cue from other smartphone producers, the iPhone 7 is the first version that is officially water resistant on its own. Individual connections are waterproofed, avoiding the need for physical plugs to be in place. This may be a relief to those among us who have had an iPhone ruined by accidentally dropping it into the small sources of liquid, like a cereal bowl or puddle.

While it isn’t completely waterproof, you shouldn’t have to worry about bringing your phone out in the rain, or answering a call when you’re still dripping from the shower. It can also be submerged for up to 30 minutes, as long as the depth is only a couple of feet.

4. Improved Home Button

The home button saw improvements with the addition of the Apple Taptic Engine. In fact, it isn’t even technically a button anymore.

When you press it, it does produce a sensation similar to the feel of an actual button-press. This allows it to feel more familiar without having to actually perform in a mechanical fashion. You can even customize the buttons “click” response to be more satisfying to you personally, which is an interesting addition.

5. Faster Performance

The iPhone 7 finally brings a quad-core processor to the iPhone line, and that is coupled with 2 GB of RAM (the same amount of RAM as found in the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus). This lets the phone seem more responsive than previous iterations.

Apps can appear to open almost instantaneously, and games should run more smoothly. If you tend to have a lot of apps running in the background, the increased processing capabilities should help keep everything running more smoothly than previous versions of the iPhone allowed.

Should You Give the iPhone 7 a Try?

Just like every new edition of the iPhone, everyone wonders whether now is the time to upgrade, or if they should wait. If you are one of the many who found themselves running out of memory for photos, then switching to the iPhone 7 may be worth it just for the additional memory. It is also a great choice for people who have a lot of apps running in the background at all times, or those who see their iPhone 7 as a portable gaming device.

Otherwise, most iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus users will likely still be happy with their current phone. For every other loyal iPhone user, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus do bring some notable improvements to the table that can make it worth the cost to upgrade.

Source:  lifehack.org

Categorized in Internet Technology

Have you ever wondered how long you stared or tapped away at the screen on your phone? How about the amount of time spent on the Internet? According to calculated data and social scientist research, this could prove to have many negative effects on your health. For the past eight years, we have experienced the rise of the smartphones. No longer do we have to sit down and glance at a screen from our home or desk; now we always carry one with us. Also, the overall style of the Internet has evolved over the past 40 years from lines of code to written words, and finally, to highly stylized Internet with various graphics, emojis, and videos. Technology, as it stands today, serves the people and has a number of benefits but can also disconnect you from reality and damage your human-like qualities such as senses and emotions.

Intrusions Upon the Real World

Technology overload seems to be affecting not just a single demographic but anyone who has multiple devices. While having these devices has caused people to become high-level multi-taskers, it has left many without any time to themselves. At one point, work was something you go to, but now smartphones have made work much more; you carry it around wherever you go. While technology overload isn’t a medically recognized disorder, it can easily be seen thanks to research into the habits of people and organizations that have used or over relied on technology.

In an article titled “Does the Internet Increase Anxiety?” freelance writer Ned Smith, who is also a former senior writer at international consulting firm Sweeney Vesty and vice president of communications for iQuest Analytics, stated, “The promise of the digital age has been that constant connectedness will increase productivity and effectiveness, but the opposite has turned out to be true. The constant onslaught of information from smartphones, computers, and other digital devices has actually decreased productivity, creativity, and the quality of personal relationships. Information overload and the multitasking required by today’s digital demands make people feel like there is too much to do and that life is spinning out of control.”

While the quality of relationships, time and productivity on a personal level is important, companies are losing out financially as well. Within the same article, Smith stated, “Basex, a research firm that specializes in technical issues in the workplace, reckons that information overload is responsible for economic losses of $900 billion a year at work.”

How to Set Boundaries

One of the first steps to limit your technology usage is to set boundaries. You may wonder how to accomplish these steps. Many social scientists, researchers, and advocates of limiting technology have opinions and real data on what methods to take to help alleviate these symptoms.

1. Do things in a sequential order

Dr. Joanne Cantor, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison stated within the same article that you should limit your multi-tasking and focus more on single tasking. “Do one thing at a time,” she said. “You’ll find you actually save time.” Focusing on single-tasking instead and committing to longer goals can help you be more productive.

2. Be the master of your own interruptions

Learning how not to respond is easier said than done especially when it has become instantaneous. Besides single tasking, checking your phone every hour can devolve into every minute. The idea is to not be on available 24/7 for every single thing. While some calls, emails and texts will be more urgent than others, you should set aside blocks of time every so often to check emails and text messages.

3. Take the time to recharge

 Technology also makes work better but at the same time longer than before and can even cause you to work outside of the office. “Research shows that information overload interferes with your ability to think outside the box,” Cantor said. Work is good, but leisure is needed to get the most out of work. Channel energy into other hobbies such as fitness, cooking, drawing or playing musical instruments. These activities focus more on single sequential tasks instead of juggling multiple things at a time.

Since the groundbreaking creation of the Internet, there has been a constant innovation that we have benefited from. Making our lives easier, faster and safer than ever before, something like technology is a double-edged sword. Normal usage of the multiple devices around us can push people further into addiction-like qualities, causing an overload of information around us. Smartphones and computers can work tirelessly while humans cannot; that is why it is important that researchers tell you to recharge yourself by stepping away from the deluge of information once in a while.

Source: nevalleynews.org

Categorized in Internet Technology
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