Walmart Takes on Chromecast with Its 4K Google TV Streamer

Walmart’s update on the Onn streaming device, the Onn 4K Pro, offers several improvements, including more storage and RAM, additional ports and always-on microphones ready for Google Assistant voice commands for the Google TV device. It also offers Dolby Atmos as well as smart hub capabilities like hands-free voice control and compatibility with Google Home devices, Walmart says. Priced at $49.88, the Onn 4K Pro will be “available this month,” although it appears to have already made it onto retail shelves at some Walmart locations, as per an early unboxing video post. Continue reading Walmart Takes on Chromecast with Its 4K Google TV Streamer

Microsoft, OpenAI Considering a Supercomputer Data Center

Microsoft and OpenAI are contemplating an AI supercomputer data center that may cost as much as $100 billion. Called Stargate, the aim would be to have it operational by 2008 to drive OpenAI’s next generation of artificial intelligence. According to reports, the Stargate complex would span hundreds of U.S. acres and use up to 5 gigawatts of power, which is massive (the equivalent of a substantial metropolitan power grid). In light of those power needs, a nuclear power source is said to be under consideration. The project is not yet green-lit, and no U.S. location has been selected. Continue reading Microsoft, OpenAI Considering a Supercomputer Data Center

AI Helps Steer Nvidia Toward $1 Trillion Market Capitalization

Nvidia announced $7.19 billion in revenue for the first quarter ended April 30. That’s down 13 percent compared to the February through April frame in 2022, but up 19 percent from Q4, which ended January 29. Nvidia has forecast a stunning $11 billion in sales for Q2. That projected 64 percent increase puts Nvidia on track to be the first chip company with a $1 trillion valuation. CEO Jensen Huang attributes the sales spike to exploding demand for GPUs to run artificial intelligence systems. “We are significantly increasing our supply to meet surging demand for them,” Huang said of the processors. Continue reading AI Helps Steer Nvidia Toward $1 Trillion Market Capitalization

CES: Matter Smart Home Protocol Marks Major Trend in 2023

While smart home technologies have often made a strong showing at CES, adoption has been hampered by issues of interoperability. This year at CES saw the widespread reveal of Matter (originally known as Project CHIP), a new smart home standard designed to support interoperability. Matter was originally announced in 2019 as a partnership between Apple, Google and Amazon to create an open-source smart home standard. Today, if CES 2023 is any indication, the standard is becoming more prevalent across a wide variety of connected devices and different product sectors. Continue reading CES: Matter Smart Home Protocol Marks Major Trend in 2023

CES: Nanoleaf Debuts New Matter-Compliant Smart Lighting

LED lighting firm Nanoleaf is debuting innovations at CES that include “learning smart light switches” under the banner Sense+ Controls. The devices span categories such as hardwired Smart Light Switch, Wireless Smart Light Switch and Nala Learning Bridge, all of which work with Matter, a global interoperability protocol designed to help smart homes run smoothly, running on the low-powered Thread mesh networking standard. The new Sense+ Controls products feature motion and ambient lighting sensors that automate routines. The Nala Learning Bridge facilitates color-differentiated, soft-glow night lights and connects via Thread to Wi-Fi or Ethernet. Continue reading CES: Nanoleaf Debuts New Matter-Compliant Smart Lighting

New Apple TV 4K Touts Upgrades Including A15 Bionic Chip

The new Apple TV 4K went on sale online and in stores last week, offering improvements over what some say is the best streaming hardware available. The 2022 model has an A15 Bionic processor, a significant update over the A12 inside the previous model, which shipped in May. A 16-core neural engine and added RAM are among the upgrades. Starting at $129 for Wi-Fi only with 64GB of RAM, there is also a higher-end $149 version with 128GB that is Wi-Fi and Ethernet compatible and has a Thread IoT modem that supports Matter. Continue reading New Apple TV 4K Touts Upgrades Including A15 Bionic Chip

CSA Releases Global Connectivity Spec for Internet of Things

The Connectivity Standards Alliance has announced the release of the Matter 1.0 specification, a global connectivity standard for the Internet of Things, simultaneously opening the product certification program, administered through authorized test labs. Member companies “now have a complete program for bringing the next generation of interoperable products that work across brands and platforms to market with greater privacy, security, and simplicity for consumers,” said CSA. The Matter standard was developed so the devices from companies including Google, Apple and Amazon can communicate with each other via a local controller device. Continue reading CSA Releases Global Connectivity Spec for Internet of Things

Canon Ultra-Fast Mirrorless EOS R3 Hits Stores in November

Canon has set a November release and price of $6,000 for its highly anticipated EOS R3 mirrorless camera. The pro-series device features a 24.1-megapixel back-illuminated stacked CMOS sensor, combined with Canon’s DIGIC X processor allowing 14-bit RAW files at an impressive 30 frames per second, video capability of up to 6K 60p RAW (4K 120p 10-bit) and ISO range of 100-102400 (expandable to 204800) for still images. Machine learning for eye- and body detection are among the features prompting Canon to call the EOS R3 a “monumental evolution” in digital imaging. Continue reading Canon Ultra-Fast Mirrorless EOS R3 Hits Stores in November

Positive Reviews for Latest Intel Modular Mini Gaming PC Kit

Intel’s new NUC 11 Extreme kit, code-named “Beast Canyon,” is the company’s fourth attempt at building a more compact yet powerful gaming PC. Featuring (ironically) Intel’s biggest chassis yet, Beast Canyon relies on Compute Element cartridges containing a miniaturized motherboard, CPU, memory, storage and ports. Like last year’s Ghost Canyon, the form factor enables gamers to upgrade the entire system as if they were upgrading a graphics card. The 8-liter Beast has room for 12 inches of GPU power and includes a 650-watt 80+ Gold power supply. Continue reading Positive Reviews for Latest Intel Modular Mini Gaming PC Kit

Nintendo’s New Switch Features OLED Display, More Storage

On October 8, Nintendo will debut a new $350 Switch, the first major hardware upgrade to the console originally introduced in 2017 for $299. Available in time for holiday season sales, the new Switch will feature a larger 7-inch OLED screen and 64GB of onboard storage, double the original, as well as improved audio and an adjustable stand and dock. What consumers will not find, however, is an upgrade to a 4K display, a highly anticipated feature that would match the console offerings from Microsoft and Sony. Continue reading Nintendo’s New Switch Features OLED Display, More Storage

Industry Alliance Promotes Secure, Royalty-Free IoT Standard

The Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA), an industry group spearheaded by Amazon, Apple, Comcast, Google and SmartThings and focused on the Internet of Things (IoT), has debuted Matter, an interoperable, secure connectivity standard for the future smart home. Formerly known as the Zigbee Alliance, CSA came together with those key Big Tech companies in 2019 to develop and promote an open IoT standard. Matter is a royalty-free unified IP-based connectivity protocol built specifically for IoT systems that enable communication among smart devices. Continue reading Industry Alliance Promotes Secure, Royalty-Free IoT Standard

Multiple Bugs Made Zoom Hardware Susceptible to Hackers

In July, security firm Forescout discovered that DTEN touchscreen smart TVs, one of video conference service Zoom’s “certified hardware providers,” can be hacked to allow evildoers to bug conference rooms and capture video feeds and whiteboard notes. A two-week study of the DTEN D5 and D7 connected displays revealed five bugs, three of which have been patched but two of which remain. After Forescout disclosed the flaws to DTEN, it decided to go public to raise awareness of the security threat. Continue reading Multiple Bugs Made Zoom Hardware Susceptible to Hackers

Alienware’s Powerful Gaming Laptop Allows Swappable Parts

At CES 2019, Alienware debuted its Area-51m 17-inch gaming laptop, touting its power and swappable hardware. Co-founder Frank Azor said the Area-51m counters the current trend of less powerful, more portable gaming laptops with built-in obsolescence. Instead, the Area-51m is basically a desktop PC with built-in battery, screen and keyboard and swappable hard drive, RAM, battery, CPU and GPU. Alienware aids the user in taking it apart with labeled guides in the laptop framework and easily removable screws. Continue reading Alienware’s Powerful Gaming Laptop Allows Swappable Parts

Apple Targets Creative Professionals with Its New Devices

Apple hosted its latest product keynote event in Brooklyn, New York yesterday. The company introduced its “most creative products” — specifically, a new iPad Pro, MacBook Air and Mac mini. As expected, Apple introduced a redesigned iPad Pro with slimmer edges, a USB-C port, Face ID (and no home button), and more powerful specs. The 11-inch model starts at $799 and the 12.9-inch version at $999. The new MacBook Air with high-resolution Retina display (starting at $1199) is 50 percent narrower than its predecessor, 17 percent smaller, and 10 percent thinner. Made from recycled aluminum, it’s also slightly less than 10 percent lighter. Continue reading Apple Targets Creative Professionals with Its New Devices

Microsoft and Google Making Progress in Streaming Games

Streaming games have taken a step forward. Microsoft is tapping its Research division and 54 global regional Azure data centers for Project xCloud, which aims to transform the Xbox from a box into a hub. The company hopes to test it publicly in 2019. Meanwhile, Google is beta-testing Project Stream, which streams games over the Internet via the Chrome browser. Although gaming boasts 2.3 billion players, console makers are now second place to mobile games, which are responsible for more than half of this year’s $138 billion revenue. Continue reading Microsoft and Google Making Progress in Streaming Games