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Intel’s PC concept ‘hides’ a 5G antenna in a plump kickstand

The unnamed concept 2-in-1 is a preview of what those PCs might be capable of, in terms of connection speeds. Intel is not going to sell hardware like this directly to consumers. At the booth, the convertible streamed Wonder Woman on loop, and company reps told Engadget that the demo was hitting 4 to 5 Gbps rates.

That's impressive if true (we had no real way of measuring), but remember that the conditions were ideal. The 28GHz spectrum that the PC was tapping for the demo is dedicated to the stream, and thus not congested. Intel also placed the base station for the network about four or five feet directly above the device, leaving little room for interference to affect the stream.

One of the biggest challenges in implementing the millimeter wave communication that's crucial to 5G is signal interference. Line of sight, meaning the path between the transmitter and receiver, is necessary to transport data. One of the ways Intel is catering for this is by embedding its early 5G modem in the concept PC's kickstand that flaps out of the device, which it believes should minimize obstruction of incoming signals. To be clear, on this concept device, the kickstand is much larger than we've seen on commercially available convertibles, and might become smaller in eventual products.

Since this isn't a device that you're ever going to be able to (or want to) buy, there's no real point in telling you how the display looked or the keyboard felt. What's interesting is, Intel's rep told me that the device can last between 3 and 4 hours when streaming the 4K video over 5G. We don't have any other benchmark to compare that with just yet, and actual PCs may ship with differently sized batteries, but that's long enough to watch an entire blockbuster, and even a couple of credits scenes.

We're just a year and a half away from these devices launching, and hopefully by then, 5G networks will have become a widespread reality. Until then, we can only wait for a world without buffer delays.

Catch up on the latest news from MWC 2018 right here.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/02/28/intel-5g-2-in-1-pc-hands-on/

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Viasat touts fastest satellite internet in the US with new service

One of the goals of satellite internet is to provide a high-speed internet connection to homes located in areas that don't have the ground infrastructure to support it. "The innovations we're making across our satellite system allow us to do extraordinary things, from moving the satellite industry up-market by delivering premium services, speeds and plans that give consumers new choices in their internet service provider, to helping bridge the digital divide in the U.S. today," said Mark Dankberg, Viasat's chairman and CEO, in a statement. In addition to home internet, Viasat is also planning on using its Via-Sat 2 satellite to provide faster and more reliable domestic in-flight internet.

Satellite internet is becoming a bigger market, as the cost of access to space is lowered thanks to companies like SpaceX. Indeed, SpaceX itself is dipping its toes into the arena with the recent launch of two prototype satellites in its planned constellation.

Via-Sat 2 may have just launched in June of 2017, but the company is already working on the three-satellite Via-Sat 3 constellation. The new system is designed to blanket the world in high-speed internet access, with data speeds of up to 1 terabyte per second. It's scheduled to launch in 2020 for America's satellite, with the two covering the rest of the world to follow.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/02/27/viasat-fastest-satellite-internet-us-via-sat-2/

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Ford will test self-driving car service on Miami streets

Ride hailing from partners like Lyft should come later.

Ford chose Miami both because of Mayor Carlos Giménez's openness to the idea and the city's notorious traffic congestion (about 10 percent of time is spent in gridlock). In theory, this addresses "pain points" by sparing people from driving. What the company learns in Miami will help shape tests in other cities as well as the from-scratch autonomous car it plans to field in 2021.

This isn't exactly the most stringent test. Besides the initial split between delivery and self-driving tech, Miami is a perpetually warm and sunny city with lots of wide open streets. It'd be another matter to test the cars in colder climates, or in dense cities like New York where parking is scarce. Nonetheless, this is an important step. It should help Ford nail the fundamentals of autonomous delivery before it tackles the bigger challenges needed for a full-scale deployment.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/02/27/ford-will-test-self-driving-car-service-in-miami/

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Amazon acquires Ring’s smart doorbell business

The two companies aren't specific about their plans. In a statement, Amazon told Engadget it was "excited" to work with Ring and aid in its "mission to keep homes safe and secure." Ring said it could "achieve even more" by allying itself with Amazon as it focuses on its "vision for safer neighborhoods."

This is the latest (and arguably biggest) in a string of moves to strengthen Amazon's connected home strategy. It purchased Blink in December, giving it both smart doorbells and wireless security cameras. It also launched a Key service for Prime members that uses smart locks and cameras to let couriers into your home. And to no one's surprise, the Cloud Cam is quickly becoming a cornerstone of Amazon's smart home business.

The Ring purchase should help Amazon's overall hardware business, but it's also a not-so-subtle attempt to counter Google's Nest team. Nest has been gradually branching out, most recently introducing its Hello video doorbell. If Amazon doesn't have an effective answer to the Nest group, it doesn't just risk losing out on device sales -- it risks Google Assistant gaining ground on Alexa. Whatever Amazon pays now may be easily justified if it helps the company dominate the voice assistant world.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/02/27/amazon-acquires-ring/

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Visit the British Library’s ‘Harry Potter’ exhibit from your sofa

You can take a 360-degree tour of the Divination room, peep author JK Rowling's original sketch for Hogwarts' layout, peruse Rowling's inspirations for Herbology class and a whole lot more. The original exhibition in London sold out extremely quickly, which inspired Google to put it online for all to see. Mountain View writes that "hundreds of the exhibition's treasures" and some 15 exhibitions are now available to check out any time you want, via your smartphone.

"We've used medieval manuscripts, precious printed books and Chinese oracle bones to explore magical traditions, from the making of potions, to the harvesting of poisonous plants, and from the study of the night sky to the uses of unicorns," a blog post reads. The exhibit closes tomorrow, so this might be your only chance of exploring this window into the wizarding world.

The app is available in half a dozen languages right now including English, French, German and Spanish with more to come. No word yet on when Parseltongue will be added, though.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/02/27/harry-potter-history-of-magic-google-arts-culture/

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Netflix plans to offer around 700 original titles in 2018

Netflix has scored some major deals of late, snagging partnerships with big names like Ryan Murphy, Shonda Rhimes and the Duplass brothers. It also recently snagged the rights to a Matt Reeves-produced sci-fi film and continues to grow its comedy and animated offerings. Last month, the company announced that it's still seeing substantial growth -- adding 8.3 million customers last quarter -- and has around 110 million paying subscribers worldwide.

In addition to adding more original content, the company will also put more emphasis on marketing. It plans to spend around $2 billion this year, an increase of more than 50 percent compared to last year's spending. "We used to think every incremental dollar was best spent on content," Wells said. "We think marketing is a multiplier on the content spend."

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/02/27/netflix-700-original-titles-2018/

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You can finally stream Xbox One games to your Mac

The app isn't an official release from Xbox, however, unlike Sony's solution. We've reached out to Microsoft for comment and will update this post when we hear back. OneCast promises support for 1080p video, low lag, easy set up and the ability to stream Xbox One titles over the internet (with some manual configuration). OneCast says that you can use an Xbox One wireless controller connected via USB or Bluetooth, use any number of different consoles or gamertags and run in either full screen or windowed mode. You'll get a free 14-day trial for your $10 purchase, which is regularly $20.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/02/27/stream-xbox-one-games-mac/

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T-Mobile promises 30 ‘5G-ready’ cities this year, but no actual 5G

ATT and Verizon are expected to be first out of the gates with service by the end of 2018, but T-Mobile is clearly betting that this won't matter to most people until months later, when you can use it away from a computer or tablet and coverage is more consistent. And there's a degree of truth to that. When ATT announced its first 5G cities, it tacitly acknowledged that you'd have to wait until 2019 for the coverage and devices you would prefer. Sprint is aiming for 2019 as well. In other words, much of the talk about 2018 (T-Mobile's included) is more about shouting "first!" than fulfilling promises.

The real challenge is providing good 5G service. T-Mobile may have an edge through its relatively untapped 600MHz network, which promises longer range and better overall coverage even compared to the 700MHz space used for LTE today. Those airwaves will only be usable in some places, however. It's up to providers to deploy enough cell sites and capacity to ensure that 5G has the coverage and breakneck performance you expect.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/02/27/t-mobile-will-prep-30-cities-for-5g-in-2018/

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PayPal settles with FTC over Venmo disclosure and transfer policies

The original complaint stated that many customers were unable to pay real bills like rent when they were unable to transfer their Venmo funds. Other customers complained that they had delivered items (like tickets or other items) to others, taken payment via Venmo, then had the funds removed, resulting in a loss.

The FTC settlement agreement requires that Venmo not misrepresent any material restrictions or levels of security involved with using its service. In addition, Venmo must make disclosures about how it handles transactions and privacy, and it can no longer violate the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which requires financial institutions to provide customers with a privacy notice up front an annually thereafter (Financial Privacy Rule) and must have a written security plan to describe how it protects personal information of its clients (Safeguards Rule). As with other cases in which violations of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act have occured, Venmo must also have a third party assess its compliance every other year for the next 10 years. The FTC will take public comment on the agreement for the next 30 days, after which it will decide whether to make the proposed consent order final.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/02/27/paypal-settles-ftc-venmo-disclosure-transfer-policy/

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Hyundai’s Kona Electric SUV boasts a 292-mile range

Logically, there's a lot of tech inside the cabin as well. A 7-inch center touchscreen (with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay) and a heads-up display aren't surprising in 2018, but you'll also find paddle shifters that tweak the level of regenerative braking to suit your driving style and mileage demands. You'll also see a raft of assists for collision avoidance (including pedestrians), blind spots, lane following and stop-and-go cruise control.

It's not certain if and when the Kona Electric will reach the US (the current focus is on Europe), although the gas-powered original is making its US debut this spring. It wouldn't be surprising if the EV edition comes to the country as well. SUVs remain intensely popular in the US, and the Kona's range could make it practical for the sprawling American landscape.

Hyundai Kona Electric interior

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/02/27/hyundai-kona-electric-suv/

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