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Samsung’s 970 series SSDs provide the write speeds you crave

The two drives also promise better endurance, with even the 970 Evo officially supporting up to 1,200TB of written data. You'll still want a Pro drive if longevity matters most, though, since their 2-bit MLC flash memory enables roughly double the number of bytes written at the same capacity.

Both SSD models will be available worldwide on May 7th. As always, how much you pay depends on the model and capacity. The home-oriented Evo line starts at $120 for a 250GB drive with capacities of 500GB ($230), 1TB ($450) and 2TB ($850). The Pro series, meanwhile, starts at $330 for a 512GB variant and jumps to $630 for 1TB. These SSDs are still built for gaming PCs, pro workstations and other high-end machines where massive throughput is vital -- it's just that you're getting more power for your money.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/04/24/samsung-970-evo-and-pro-ssds/

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LG G7 ThinQ will come with a super bright display

Additionally, LG claims that this mobile display uses "as much as 30 percent" less power than the one on the G6, though it fails to specify under what condition. The company also mentioned the panel's support for 100-percent DCI-P3 color gamut, while the G7 ThinQ also offers six screen color modes -- Auto, Eco, Cinema, Sports, Game and Expert -- that are common on TVs, and these can be toggled automatically depending on the video content.

We have a feeling that LG has more to say about this upcoming smartphone's screen, let alone the dedicated Google Assistant button that it'll apparently come with, but chances are we'll have to wait until early May for the full reveal.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/04/24/lg-g7-thinq-super-bright-display-lcd/

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Researchers digitize writing with cheap, touch-sensitive paper

Once a sensor board is connected to the sheet of paper with one of the conductive backings applied, it allows touch -- whether it be from a finger, a pen or a stylus -- to be digitized and applied in a variety of ways. As you can see in the video below, the researchers used their paper to digitize notes, enhance a board game, grade a test in real time and even share articles in a printed newspaper online.

The design resulted in a cost of around $0.30 per sheet, but the researchers say that price can likely be reduced through large-scale production. The researchers acknowledge more works needs to be done, but added, "We believe this illuminates one possible approach for achieving low-cost, interactive, paper-based experiences in the future."

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/04/24/researchers-digitize-writing-cheap-touch-sensitive-paper/

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BMW’s Concept iX3 dials back the futuristic styling

I'm led to a room where a small SUV is covered by a sheet. There's none of the pomp and circumstance that comes with an auto show reveal (that'll happen in Beijing a few weeks later). Instead, the cloth is removed to show off the pure electric Concept iX3, a vehicle that in one form or another will eventually make its way into production. Other than a few design tweaks and an off-white matte paint job, the crossover looks like an X3. That's the point.

The i brand was launched with two very different and equally polarizing vehicles. The urban i3 and the i8 hybrid supercar. If the character Tron were to escape the grid and need two cars to get around, these would be his first choice. Which is great for fans of science fiction, but off-putting to some. "It's difficult with such niche products to reach the main customers in the wide range." Domagoj Dukec head of the design team for BMW i and M vehicles said during the unveiling.

That's not to say that when the iX3 goes into production it will blend in with the rest of the SUVs on the road. The body has been smoothed out to reduce wind resistance and the iconic BMW "kidney" grill (found at the front of all the automaker's cars) no longer has slats to feed air to the radiator. The car doesn't need that air and it lowers the vehicle's aerodynamics.

One thing that will differentiate it, is the color blue. All the i cars will have blue badges and accents to show the world you're piloting a greener vehicle. Even the space where you would typically see the exhaust has been replaced with blue rectangles. The familiar design language of a BMW is there, even if the legacy internal combustion engine elements are gone.

"We don't invent a completely new car with the design. We give it this cleanness. This boldness and a more modern design," Dukec said. The result is an SUV (or as BMW calls it, an SAV - Sports Activity Vehicle) that appeals to anyone that's already a fan of the petrol version of the crossover. If you like the X3, you'll like the iX3. But it takes more than looks to sway folks from the tried and true world of gas-powered engines.

Under the hood, it delivers the goods with a 249 mile range (which may vary depending on regional regulatory standards and testing) and 270 horsepower (the regular X3 has 248). According to BMW, the 70kWh battery charges up to 80 percent (via a 150 kW DC fast charger) in about 30 minutes.

But the news isn't about the range or horsepower, it's how BMW is building the electric motor found in the iX3. In fact, the current generation of the "eDrive" system is a combination of the electric motor, transmission and electronics. It's all bundled into one unit that just so happens to be modular. So, the automaker doesn't have to design an entirely new drivetrain to add more power to a vehicle. It can just swap out the electric motor and/or transmission.

In the future that modularity will expand beyond eDrive to how the car's themselves are built. The automaker will have a single platform for each car that accepts gas, hybrid and pure EV drivetrains. The result should give the automaker the agility to adjust production of vehicles, regardless of how they are powered, based on demand.

In other words, there will be more i vehicles, like the Concept iX3, that only look slightly different from their gas counterparts. Frankly it's those cars that'll grow the EV market. For fans of the i3 and i8 (like myself), BMW will continue to introduce -- and put into production -- cars that look like they're from the future. They probably won't sell as well and -- like the i8 -- will end up on more posters on people's walls than in people's garages.

As the presentation ended another journalist asked why the windows of the Concept iX3 were blacked out. Should we expect a surprise at the Beijing Auto Show? When the car goes into production would it have a next generation infotainment system or stylish new interior? BMW informed us that owners of the iX3 will have the same in-car experience as the owners of the X3.

Dukec notes that there will always be drivers that want to express their allegiance to EVs in an extreme way. For them, there's the niche dedicated i vehicles. But to continue down the electrified road, the automaker needs to actually sell cars to everyone.

I had hoped to see something outlandish in the design studio of FIZ. Something that glowed blue that would make people stop in their tracks and stare as it rolled down the road. Instead I saw the future of BMW's electrification. While it won't turn as many heads as it rolls down the street, as long as it sells to the masses, BMW is totally fine with that.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/04/24/bmw-concept-ix3-unveil/

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Xbox One update can automatically put your TV in game mode

Mixer controller sharing

This is also the patch that adds controller sharing via Mixer. Now streamers can let viewers take over their game remotely, using either a virtual control in the web browser or by plugging a controller into their PC and hopping on the sticks. Another much-needed fix is that pictures and videos shared to Twitter will play directly there, instead of posting a link to Xbox.com.

When it comes to audio, gamers can adjust the mix between streaming audio from SoundCloud or Spotify with in-game audio, right in the guide that pops out from the side when they hit the Xbox button on a controller. System sounds finally support spatial audio for people with surround sound, and the Narrator volume can be adjusted independently of the system volume.

Xbox One groups

Those aren't the only fixes arriving right now, but Microsoft is already testing a new batch for next month. The May update that recently went out to Insiders adds an option for high refresh rate 120Hz output at 1080p or 1440p. Also, it upgrades the "Pinning" option that has been with Xbox One from the start by allowing gamers to create custom groups of games or apps, similar to the way the PlayStation 4 UI works. The accessories app and parental controls are getting a facelift, and now that gamers can share clips directly to Twitter, they'll also be able to Trim them directly in the guide before uploading.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/04/25/xbox-one-april-1440p-game-mode-freesync-mixer/

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Hulu cancels Aaron Paul-starrer ‘The Path’

Paul confirmed the news on Twitter, where he said:

The series' creator, Jessica Goldberg, also said in a statement:

"While it's sad that The Path is ending, I'm brimming with gratitude and pride. It was a gift to be able to tell challenging and emotional stories for three seasons in this very strange and unique world. The caliber of talent and passion everyone who worked on this show brought -- from my partners Jason Katims and Michelle Lee, the execs at Hulu, the writers, actors, directors, designers, and crew -- was something to behold, and for which I'm very thankful. Thanks Hulu and Universal Television for taking a shot on this show, it was a life changing experience."

While Hulu didn't reveal the reason for the cancellation, a study last year found that Hulu (and Amazon) originals just aren't as in demand as Netflix's shows. Hey, at least The Handmaid's Tale is coming back for another season today, and with a number of Emmys and Golden Globes under its belt, it's likely not going away anytime soon.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/04/25/hulu-cancels-the-path/

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OnePlus 6 will make its debut on May 16th

As with many other 2018 flagships, the OnePlus 6 is expected to center around a virtually-all-screen design -- in this case, a 6.3-inch 2,280 x 1,080 display with the seemingly obligatory notch. It won't represent a radical break from the 5T on the inside, although the Snapdragon 845 chip and doubled maximum storage (up to 256GB) will help. And to no one's surprise, leaks have the OnePlus carrying dual cameras (16MP and 20MP) on the back. This is an evolutionary phone, albeit one you might like if you're either a fan or just don't like the higher prices of OnePlus' rivals.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/04/25/oneplus-6-event-may-16/

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Gmail’s big redesign helps you spend less time in your inbox

Gmail already flags emails that are blatant phishing attempts or seem pretty sketchy in general, but this feature is ditching all subtlety. Open one of these up and you'll now see a huge red banner that is your cue to immediately delete the thing and move on.

By far the biggest change to the overall look of Gmail is a new side panel off to the right that lets you load up other Google apps alongside your inbox. You can, for example, see your calendar in that panel, meaning you don't have to switch tabs to add an event you've just received an email about. Or maybe you want to add a note to Google Keep or your Tasks list. If you haven't used Tasks before, it's a very simple to-do list app integrated into Gmail. This is finally getting a visual refresh, moving away from the basic plain text look to something more fitting of the decade. Dedicated iOS and Android apps for Tasks are also being launched to make it more useful when you're away from your laptop.

Using the side panel does mean losing some screen real estate to accommodate your calendar or what have you, but to make up for that you can now hide the left side rail to temporarily declutter. While the side panel sounds great for all types of use cases, the idea is Gmail's third-party add-ons -- the majority of which are geared towards enterprise -- will be particularly handy in this new spot next to your inbox. The side panel will become a feature common to several Google apps in the future, so eventually you'll be able to have, say, a G Doc sitting next to a Slide presentation.

Down to business

Just as there are aspects of the big Gmail update that'll be useful for all, there are some new features geared specifically towards G Suite enterprise accounts. In the one camp are those intended to boost productivity, like the option to temporarily suspend all but the most important of push notifications. Google's secret sauce will figure out when an email is urgent and let you know; otherwise, radio silence. This should be especially useful on mobile, stopping you getting distracted every 10 seconds by a company-wide thread about the Friday drinks location.

Nudging is another new, automated feature that should more or less eliminate the need to constantly revisit the bottom of your inbox or sent folder. Google's algorithms will detect emails that look like they need replying to, but that you might not have thought about in a few days. Gmail will 'nudge' these emails to the top of your inbox and add a little note reminding you to think about replying. Similarly, if you've sent an email that has gone unanswered, this will be flagged so you can send a follow-up if you need to.

Possibly the best news of all, at least for anyone that's tried to catch up on emails on a plane using the clunky Gmail Offline Chrome extension, is native offline support. Your Gmail tab now syncs the last 90 days of activity, so take your laptop offline and that same tab should work as normal. Naturally, you can't send or receive emails, but you can manage your inbox and queue up replies for when you're next in WiFi range.

Making Gmail a more secure place to operate is another big push in this update. There's a new "Confidential mode" for emails a sender doesn't want permanently sitting in your inbox. The sender can set an expiration date for any sensitive comms, or manually self-destruct them whenever -- these emails are also stored in the sender's Gmail account, not in some other random part of Google's cloud. The sender can even enable two-factor authentication, meaning the recipient must request an access code via SMS before they can access the contents (this is in case an inbox is potentially already compromised).

In addition, these emails will have special rights management controls, effectively disabling the recipient's ability to copy, forward, download or print an email. This won't stop someone that really wants to leak sensitive information. They could always just take a screenshot, or snap a picture of an email on their phone, but it adds a bit more friction Google hopes will prevent accidents (an unintended forward, for example) and deter those that will give up when they realize they can't easily print a sensitive email in a few clicks.

Say when

There's a lot of moving parts to this update, not all of which you'll start seeing immediately. Your Gmail mobile apps will need to update, for example, and certain smart features like assisted unsubscribe will need a while to figure out what constitutes spam before offering the quick out. Confidential mode will be available in a few weeks, and if you're a G Suite user, your administrator will be responsible for flipping the switch on your account.

The core redesign is live for everyone worldwide as of today, though, so just head into the settings menu to opt-in by hitting that "Try the new Gmail" button. In the coming months, Google plans to run in-app promotions to encourage people to make the move manually, before eventually enabling it by default and retiring the old Gmail forever.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/04/25/google-gmail-redesign/

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Opera’s ‘Flow’ keeps its new mobile and desktop browsers synced

When you launch the browser, the keyboard's already up and the cursor's already blinking on the address bar -- all you need to do is start typing what you want to search for. Opera also made sure you can access its key features with one thumb, including the new Fast Action Button (gloriously nicknamed FAB) at the bottom of the screen, which gives you a way to quickly switch between the most recent tabs and the search function.

If you want a seamless way to connect your phone and PC browsers, though, Touch's most useful offering is a new feature called "Flow." According to Opera, 69 percent of smartphone users don't use their browsers' syncing features, because doing so typically requires you to log in and follow a set of steps. You'd only need to set up Flow once: after you update to the latest version of Opera on your desktop, simply activate the feature and scan the QR code that pops up with the Touch browser. Once that's done, anything you add to Flow -- any website, page, video, and so on and so forth -- on one device will be accessible on the other. And, yes, the feature is end-to-end encrypted.

Opera is holding a live online launch on its website right now (April 25th, 4AM ET). But you can also watch videos featuring the new browsers below:

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/04/25/opera-flow-touch-browser/

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Amazon renews ‘Jack Ryan’ months before it premieres

There's very little to say about season two at this stage, although Amazon noted that Ryan will go to a "new, exciting and dangerous world." You can presume he survives the first season, then.

The renewal bodes well for the series, although we'd take Amazon's hype with a grain of salt. It's not exactly shocking that watchlist additions would surge for a show when it gets one of the most coveted ad spots on the planet. And the watchlist doesn't guarantee that people will watch the season at all, let alone every episode. Think of this as an experiment on Amazon's part -- it's betting that a strong presence in show queues will translate to strong audience numbers. If that bet pays off, viewers won't have to wait as long for the follow-up as they would if Amazon had been more conservative.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/04/25/amazon-renews-jack-ryan-for-second-season/

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