Posts with «author_name|igor bonifacic» label

The Internet Archive's Calculator Drawer lets you relive high school math class

If you’ve been reading Engadget for a while, there’s a good chance your high school education involved using a scientific or graphing calculator during math class. Your old calculator might even be sitting in a desk drawer somewhere collecting dust. If you can't find it, the Internet Archive’s latest project is here to help (via Ars Technica).

With the help of the team behind the Multi-purpose Emulation Framework (MAME), a project that has spent the past 25 years creating software that can emulate all sorts of gadgets, the archive now offers emulated versions of some of the most popular calculators of the past few decades. In all, The Calculator Drawer features 14 different models for Internet Archive visitors to noodle around, including the venerable Texas Instruments TI-81 from 1990.

Not every calculator of note from the past 25 years is part of the collection. For instance, you won’t find the Casio fx-7000g, the world’s first graphing calculator, on the list, but if you used a Texas Instruments or HP model back in school, there’s a good chance you’ll find something that should feel familiar. And if you feel a bit overwhelmed by all the buttons, worry not; the Internet Archive has also uploaded manuals for most of the included calculators.

Cash-strapped EV startup Arrival is laying off half its staff

For the second time in less than a year, electric transport startup Arrival is cutting staff. The company announced Monday plans to lay off approximately 50 percent of its workforce. The move will reduce Arrival’s headcount to about 800 employees. In the middle of last year, Arrival warned it was strapped for cash, and the company’s financial position appears to have become more dire since.

As of the end of 2022, Arrival had $205 million cash on hand. Following its latest round of layoffs and a handful of other cost-cutting measures, Arrival says it expects to reduce the cost of day-to-day operations to about $30 million per quarter. Critically, Arrival’s plan to focus on the US market – and take advantage of Inflation Reduction Act incentives – is contingent on it raising more money from investors. Provided it can secure additional funding, Arrival expects to start Van production in Charlotte in 2024.

On Monday, Arrival also announced a leadership change. Less than three months after taking over as CEO, former Marvel Entertainment chief Peter Cuneo is handing over day-to-day operations to Igor Torgov, Arrival’s former executive vice president of Digital. Before joining the startup in 2020, Torgov held leadership positions at Atol, Bitfury, Yota, Columbus IT and Microsoft. It’s now on him to turn the once-promising startup around. Arrival said it would share more information about its financial position on March 9th.

The latest ‘Super Mario Bros. Movie’ trailer pits Cat Mario against Donkey Kong

Over the weekend, Nintendo shared a surprise trailer for TheSuper Mario Bros. Movie. The 30-second clip shows additional footage from a scene that was first featured in the trailer Nintendo released last November. More importantly, it marks our first chance to hear Seth Rogen’s take on Donkey Kong. After Mario dons his cat suit, first introduced in 2013’s Super Mario 3D World, Rogen’s Donkey Kong starts laughing. “You got the cat box! I’m sorry,” the ape tells his one-time nemesis before turning serious. “Now you die.”

🐱#SuperMarioMoviepic.twitter.com/GcgIPZyLV3

— The Super Mario Bros. Movie (@supermariomovie) January 29, 2023

With Sunday’s trailer, Nintendo has now offered fans a chance to hear the entire ensemble cast of The Super Mario Bros. Movie, including Chris Pratt as Mario, Jack Black as Bowser and Anya Taylor-Joy as Peach. Following the release of the film’s second trailer, Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto said Nintendo redesigned Donkey Kong's model for the first time since the ape made the jump to 3D in 1994’s Donkey Kong Country. The company went for a more comical design reminiscent of Donkey Kong's original character. The Super Mario Bros. Movie will arrive in theaters on April 7th.

Samsung’s entry model Galaxy S23 could feature slower storage

How much storage you decide to configure the Galaxy S23 with could be a more meaningful decision than with some of Samsung's past phones. According to frequent Samsung leaker Ice Universe (via Android Police), the 128GB variant of the base model S23 will make use of a UFS 3.1 chip instead of Samsung’s newer UFS 4.0 standard. Consumers will need to pay extra for the 256GB version if they want the company’s latest storage technology. Ice suggests the reason for this is that Samsung doesn’t produce a 128GB UFS 4.0 chip.

Samsung has made big claims about UFS 4.0 since announcing the standard last year. The company says the new chips are twice as fast as its older UFS 3.1 memory. UFS 4.0 offers sequential read and write speeds of up to 4,200MB/s and 2,800MB/s, respectively. The new silicon is also 46 percent more power efficient, an upgrade that could lead to longer battery life on phones that make use of the technology.

I’ll note here Ice Universe’s information isn’t definitive. A handful of leaks have suggested all S23 models will start with 256GB of storage. Yet other reports have said that Samsung will offer a storage upgrade to people who preorder the Galaxy S23. Either way, UFS 4.0 should be a meaningful upgrade, but if you decide to save a bit of money by going for a potential 128GB model, don’t overthink things. It’s not like Samsung is reportedly planning to outfit the base Galaxy S23 with eMMC or UFS 2.1 storage.

Phil Spencer says Microsoft will continue to ‘support and grow’ Halo amid 343 layoffs

Xbox head Phil Spencer says Microsoft remains committed to the Halo franchise and developer 343 Industries. In an interview following this week’s Xbox and Bethesda Developer Direct showcase, Spencer told IGN “the heart and soul of Halo is with 343 and the team’s that there, and I have the utmost confidence in the team that's there and leading and the plan that they have going forward.”

Spencer’s comments come after 343 was reportedly “hit hard” by Microsoft’s recently announced company-wide layoffs. The number of employees Microsoft let go at the studio is unknown, but according to Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier, Halo Infinite’s campaign team saw significant cuts. The news prompted 343 to publish a brief statement on the layoffs last weekend. “Halo and Master Chief are here to stay,” studio head Pierre Hintze said. “343 Industries will continue to developer Halo now and in the future, including epic stories, multiplayer, and more of what makes Halo great.”

According to Spencer, the layoffs were an effort by Microsoft to position 343 for the future. “What we're doing now is we want to make sure that leadership team is set up with the flexibility to build the plan that they need to go build,” he said. “Halo will remain critically important to what Xbox is doing, and 343 is critically important to the success of Halo.”

Frustratingly, Spencer wouldn’t discuss the franchise's future beyond the broad strokes he offered. He declined to comment on whether Microsoft still has a 10-year support plan in place for Halo Infinite. “I'm going to let 343 talk about the plans that they have right now,” Spencer said when asked about the subject. However, he did offer reassurances for Halo fans left worrying about what comes next for Master Chief. “I expect that we'll be continuing to support and grow Halo for as long as the Xbox is a platform for people to play.” The rest of the interview is well worth reading if you're an Xbox fan. The piece covers a lot of ground, including the console’s lackluster 2022.

The Meta Quest Pro is $400 off right now

Less than three months after arriving on store shelves, Meta’s pricy Quest Pro headset is on sale for the first time ever. After a hefty 27 percent discount, the headset is currently $1,100 or $400 off through Amazon and other retailers. That’s an all-time low for a device that typically costs $1,500.

Even with its price tag cut by nearly a third, the Quest Pro isn’t for everyone. Thanks to its Snapdragon XR2+ chipset and 12GB of RAM, the Quest Pro is 50 percent more powerful than the Quest 2. It also features solid built-in speakers with support for spatial audio, meaning you don’t necessarily need to reach for a pair of headphones when using the Quest Pro.

Additionally, it adds a variety of advanced sensors designed to facilitate more lifelike virtual meetings in Horizon Workrooms. However, all of those features come in a package that weighs over a pound and a half, making it less comfortable to wear for extended periods of time than the Quest 2. Battery life also suffers due to those more advanced components, and if you’re looking for a VR headset for gaming, the Quest Pro doesn’t offer a significantly better experience than its more affordable predecessor. Engadget’s Sam Rutherford gave the Quest Pro a score of 83 when he reviewed the headset last October but said the device’s $1,500 price tag made it too pricey for all but the most enthusiastic VR users. At $1,100, that’s still true.

Follow @EngadgetDeals on Twitter and subscribe to the Engadget Deals newsletter for the latest tech deals and buying advice.

Federal prosecutors ask court to bar Sam Bankman-Fried from using Signal

US prosecutors have asked a federal court to tighten Sam Bankman-Fried’s bail conditions to prevent the disgraced entrepreneur from contacting his former colleagues. According to court documents seen by The New York Times, lawyers from the Department of Justice allege Bankman-Fried tried messaging the general counsel of FTX's US arm over Signal and email earlier this month. The communication was “suggestive of an effort to influence Witness-1's potential testimony,” the filing states. 

“I would really love to reconnect and see if there’s a way for us to have a constructive relationship, use each other as resources when possible, or at least vet things with each other,” says one message Bankman-Fried sent, according to the Justice Department. The DOJ has asked the judge overseeing Bankman-Fried’s criminal case to bar him from contacting current and former FTX employees, as well as using Signal or any other encrypted or ephemeral messaging app. Following the request, SBF’s legal team accused federal prosecutors of trying to paint their client in the “worst possible light.” They claim Bankman-Fried tried contacting the general counsel of FTX US and CEO John Ray to offer “assistance,” not to interfere with his criminal case. His lawyers also claim a Signal ban isn’t necessary since Bankman-Fried is not using the app’s auto-delete feature.

Prosecutors allege SBF’s use of Signal is consistent with “a history” of using the app to hide his dealings at FTX. Prior to FTX’s implosion in November, Bankman-Fried and former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison were reportedly part of a secret “Wirefraud” group chat on Signal. During his tenure at the exchange, SBF also allegedly directed employees to enable Signal’s disappearing messages feature.

Apple could limit WiFi 6E availability to iPhone 15 Pro models

The feature gap between the iPhone and iPhone Pro could widen with the 2023 models. According to a leaked antenna design document obtained by MacRumors, the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max will include WiFi 6E connectivity, while their more affordable siblings will not. The document, a schematic outlining the iPhone 15 line’s antenna architecture, shows iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus will continue to use the older WiFi 6 standard.

Some of Apple’s latest devices, including the recently announced M2 variants of the Mac mini, MacBook Pro and iPad Pro, sport WiFi 6E connectivity, but the company has yet to roll out the feature more broadly. Provided there’s a compatible WiFi 6E router for your device to connect to, the standard promises faster connectivity speeds and lower latency than WiFi 6. The potential omission of WiFi 6E from the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus probably won’t hurt most consumers given that the majority of homes and businesses are running older WiFi 5 and WiFi 6 routers.

As MacRumors notes, in the past Apple hasn’t restricted the availability of new WiFi standards to iPhone Pro models. Before the iPhone 14 line, the differences between the Pro and standard models were fairly negligible unless you had an interest in photography. However, as of last year, only the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max came with Apple’s new A16 Bionic chip, Dynamic Island cutout and ProMotion display. It now appears the company is trying to find even more ways to differentiate its Pro models from their more mainstream counterparts. Per past reports, other features that could be exclusive to the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max include Apple’s upcoming A16 chipset, a titanium frame and more RAM for multitasking. The phones could also sport solid-state volume and power buttons.

US, Netherlands and Japan reportedly agree to limit China's access to chipmaking equipment

The Biden administration has reportedly reached an agreement with the Netherlands and Japan to restrict China’s access to advanced chipmaking machinery. According to Bloomberg, officials from the two countries agreed on Friday to adopt some of the same export controls the US has used over the last year to prevent companies like NVIDIA from selling their latest technologies in China. The agreement would reportedly see export controls imposed on companies that produce lithography systems, including ASML and Nikon.

Bloomberg reports the US, Netherlands and Japan don’t plan to announce the agreement publicly. Moreover, implementation could take “months” while the countries work to hammer out the legal details. “Talks are ongoing, for a long time already, but we don’t communicate about this. And if something would come out of this, it is questionable if this will be made very visible,” said Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Friday, responding to a question about the negotiations.

According to Bloomberg, the agreement will cover “at least” some of ASML’s immersion lithography machines. As of last year, ASML was the only company in the world producing the extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV) machines chipmakers need to make the 5nm and 3nm semiconductors that power the latest smartphones and computers. Cutting off China from ASML’s products is an effort by the Biden administration to freeze the country’s domestic chip industry. Last summer, Chinese state media reported that SMIC, China’s leading semiconductor manufacturer, had begun volume production of 14nm chips and had successfully started making 7nm silicon without access to foreign chip-making equipment. China has said SMIC is working on making 5nm semiconductors, but it’s unclear how the company will do that without access to EUV machines.

Apple now offers less for some iPhone trade-ins

Following the recent announcement of the HomePod and new M2 MacBook Pros, as noted by MacRumors Apple has quietly adjusted the trade-in values it offers for its own devices. In the US, iPhone models are now frequently worth less than before. For instance, if you plan to trade in an iPhone 13 Pro Max anytime soon, Apple says it will offer up to $570 towards purchasing a new device. Previously, you could get as much as $650 for the company’s 2021 flagship. Other iPhone 13 models have similarly decreased in value. As of this week, an iPhone 13 Pro will net you up to $470 toward a new purchase, down from the up to $550 you could expect before. Meanwhile, iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini trade-ins are now valued at a max of $400 and $350, down from $450 and $380, respectively.

Not every iPhone has seen its trade-in value decline. For example, you can get up to $200 for an iPhone 11, just like you could before this week. The same is true of even older models like the iPhone X and iPhone 8. The value of iPad trade-ins hasn’t declined either. Bring an iPad Pro to your nearest Apple Store and the company will offer you up to $445. Interestingly, Apple is now offering more for most Mac trade-ins. Specifically, an old MacBook Pro model can now net you up to $670 on your next purchase, up from $630 previously, while you can expect up to $460, up from $440, for an older MacBook Air. You can find the complete list of trade-in values on Apple’s website.