Posts with «author_name|saqib shah» label

Polaroid's Now+ connected camera comes with five clip-on lens filters

Polaroid is adding to its line-up of products that mix retro looks with modern smarts. The new Polaroid Now+ is an analog camera with Bluetooth connectivity and five physical lens filters. It's the first time the company has included the latter out of the box. You can clip the filters on to the camera's lens to saturate or deepen the contrast of your photos, or add new effects like starburst, red vignette, and orange, blue and yellow colors.

The new camera, which is out today for $150, is essentially an updated version of last year's Polaroid Now. This time, there's a new Blue Gray colorway (alongside white and black) that ditches the company's rainbow-colored strip for a more muted look. Polaroid also integrated the camera’s light sensor into the lens stage to accommodate the different filters. On top of the core autofocus, dynamic flash, and self-timer functions, the snapper now comes with a tripod mount.

What's more, Polaroid has made way for improvements on the software side. The Polaroid Originals app now boasts a new, streamlined design with new features including aperture priority and tripod mode, designed to offer more control over depth of field and long exposures. You can also swipe between light painting, double exposure and manual mode. The Polaroid Now+ camera is available online exclusively through Polaroid.

Skate is coming to PC for the first time

You can already play some popular and unique skateboarding games on PC, but one franchise that has been conspicuously absent is Skate. Well, that's about to change with the next instalment in EA's beloved series. The game's official Twitter account confirmed the PC release on Thursday in a tweet that features a clip from a skate vid.


— skate. (@skateEA) August 26, 2021

A new Skate game, a follow-up to 2010's Skate 3, was announced last summer. Since then, we've heard that new developer Full Circle — which counts series vets Deran Chung and Chris “Cuz” Parry among its ranks — will take point on the title. Until now, the main series has mainly stuck to Xbox and PlayStation consoles, though a spinoff (called Skate It) was released for the Nintendo DS, Wii and iOS. 

It's been a big year for skateboarding in general, with the sport making its Olympics debut in Tokyo this summer. Perhaps, EA is looking to capitalize on the mainstream attention with a multi-platform release for its stuttering series.

Waymo will stop selling its self-driving LiDAR sensors to other companies

Just months after a CEO shakeup, Waymo is officially halting sales of its custom sensors to third parties. The move sees the Alphabet-owned self-driving company unwinding a business operation just two years into its lifespan. Waymo confirmed the decision to Reuters, adding that it's now focusing on deploying its Waymo Driver tech across its Waymo One ride-hailing and Waymo Via trucking divisions.

The decision comes in the wake of long-term CEO John Krafcik's departure, who was replaced at the helm by Waymo execs Tekedra Mawakana and Dmitri Dolgov. Some suggested that Krafcik's deliberate approach was hindering the company's push toward commercialization. Earlier this month, Waymo hit a milestone of 20 billion miles driven in simulations, with 20 million on public roads. Just days ago, it brought its robotaxis to vetted riders in San Francisco.

Waymo began selling LiDARs — the tech that measures distance with pulses of laser light — to companies barring its autonomous vehicle rivals in 2019. It initially planned to sell its short-range sensor (known as Laser Bear Honeycomb) to businesses in the robotics, security and agricultural technology sectors. A form on its website also lists drones, mapping and entertainment as applicable industries.

Waymo's fifth-generation Driver technology uses an array of sensors — including radar, lidar, and cameras — to help its cars "see" 360 degrees during the day and night, and even in tough weather conditions such as rain or fog. While its simulated and real world driving tests have helped it to amass a massive dataset that is crunched using machine learning-based software. According to anonymous sources cited by Reuters, Waymo intends to use in-house tech and external suppliers for its next-gen LiDARs.

Puma is releasing official 'Animal Crossing' sneakers and clothing

Nintendo's colorful, character-filled island life sim Animal Crossing: New Horizons lends itself to merchandise collabs. On the heels of its Uniqlo and Monopoly crossovers, the game is getting the footwear treatment. Puma is releasing an Animal Crossing collection featuring sneakers and apparel. The company teased the new drop on Twitter with an image featuring both the Puma and Animal Crossing logos. Nintendo subsequently retweeted the teaser with the caption “Something new is on the horizon.” 

It didn't take long for images of the collab to start circulating online. That's the Animal Crossing x PUMA Wild Rider silhouette above via Sneaker Freaker. More sneakers are reportedly on the way. Fan site Animal Crossing World also shared an image of a hoodie from the crossover. The collection is all pastel blues and greens, while the sneakers also add light and dark browns for a nature vibe. 


It's no wonder Puma is teaming up with the tranquil game for its new range. AnimalCrossing: New Horizons has been a massive hit for Nintendo. It was the third biggest selling game of 2020, according to some estimates, and continues to attract players to this day.

In the past, gaming and fashion tie-ups have been a mixed bag. We'll let you decide whether you'd be seen in Nike's League of Legends range or Adidas and Ninja's sneaker. While Puma has previously dropped a Mario collab and a Sonic clothing line.

The Rock's new Under Armor over-ear headphones pack ANC and a 45-hour battery life

Fans of celeb-endorsed gadgets rejoice. Hollywood's busiest man Dwayne Johnson has found time to release another pair of workout headphones under the Project Rock line he created with Under Armor. The cans are essentially an updated version of the durable over-ears released in 2018. But, this is more of a trio than a tag team. Built by JBL, the new headphones' standout upgrades include adaptive noise cancelling and a promised 45-hour battery life. With speed charging, you can get a purported two hours of playback time in just five minutes. 

Like their predecessors, the over-ears are designed to be the ultimate gym buddy. The IPX4 rating means they can withstand your sweaty workouts. While UA provided the extra grip on the headband and supervent materials on the fast-drying cushions, which you can remove and hand wash. 

Under Armor

Johnson, meanwhile, finely tuned JBL's Charged Sound to his liking. Possibly, so he could listen to his workout playlist on Spotify or relive his atrocious gospel rap ditty, Pie. Just so you know who cooked these up, his Brahma Bull insignia his prominently placed on each ear cup. Additional audio tech includes two ambient modes that filter through external chatter and sounds. Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa are also on hand for when you need voice commands mid-workout.

UA Project Rock Over-Ear Training headphones are out now via JBL and Under Armor for $299.95.

Watch Blue Origin's spaceflight carry a NASA payload for lunar landers

Just weeks after Blue Origin's first manned flight, with founder Jeff Bezos onboard, the space company is preparing to launch its New Shepard spacecraft again. Liftoff is scheduled to take place at at 9:35 AM EDT (6:35 AM PDT) from the company’s launch site in West Texas. The flight's NS-17 mission title is a reference to its status as New Shepard's 17th launch. You can watch the proceedings live on the stream below. This time, there won't be any humans aboard, however. Instead, the reusable rocket and capsule will carry a payload of NASA tech including a LiDAR sensor and computer designed for lunar landers. 

The launch comes amid a brewing lawsuit filed by Blue Origin over the space agency's handling of the Human Landing System program. For this launch, it's capsule will also house experiments from academic institutions including the University of Florida.

Tesla's redesigned iPhone app features two new home screen widgets

Tesla is rolling out a major update for its iOS smartphone app with new controls, improved management and cool visuals. Version 4.0 also gives you the choice between two different sized widgets for your iPhone home screen. As detailed by Tesla Software Updates, both feature the same information: the name of the car, battery percentage, location (or charging info), unlock status, an image of the vehicle and the time the information was last updated. Tesla previously had a "Today" extension for iOS that was nowhere near as comprehensive as the new widgets. 

Widget flex 🤩

— David (@dsdavies1) August 26, 2021

In terms of controls, you can send commands to your car immediately upon opening the app, instead of waiting for the vehicle to wake up. There's also enhanced phone key support that essentially lets you unlock multiple Teslas.

An updated visual that should be immediately noticeable is the new 3D vehicle render. There are also new animations when you charge your car and in the climate and controls sections. Design-wise, Tesla has ditched the charging section and now displays that info when your car is plugged in. You can also view Supercharging history from within the app. While the speed limit, valet mode and sentry mode settings have been moved to a new category titled Security, which includes tips on how to use the Bluetooth, phone key and location services.

To sum up, this is the biggest update to the EV maker's iOS app in a while. Recently, Tesla has mainly focused on providing bug fixes and improvements, outside of the introduction of Virtual Power Plant enrolment in July.

Palantir glitch allegedly granted some FBI staff unauthorized access to a crypto hacker's data

Peter Thiel's AI company Palantir, whose clients have included the CIA and US immigration agency ICE, is back in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. A new report claims a glitch in its secretive software program used by the FBI allowed unauthorized personnel to access private data for more than a year. According to The New York Post, the mishap was revealed in a letter by prosecutors in the Manhattan federal court case against accused hacker Virgil Griffith. Palantir denied the claims in a statement and said the fault was caused by the FBI's incorrect use of the software.

Griffith was arrested in 2019 for allegedly providing North Korea with information on how cryptocurrency and blockchain tech could help it to evade US sanctions. The incident in question revolves around the alleged hacker's social media data, obtained through a federal search warrant in March 2020. According to the letter, the Twitter and Facebook information was uploaded to Palantir's program through the default settings, effectively allowing unauthorized FBI employees to access it.

Between May 2020 to August 2021, the material was accessed four times by three analysts and an agent. The FBI case agent assigned to Griffith's case was alerted to the issue by a colleague earlier this month, according to the letter. Those who accessed the info reportedly told prosecutors that they did not recall using it in their investigations.

“An FBI analyst, in the course of conducting a separate investigation, had identified communications between the defendant and the subject of that other investigation by means of searches on the Platform that accessed the Search Warrant Returns,” the letter noted.

Palantir is trying to distance itself from the issue. "There was no glitch in the software," it told The New York Post in a statement, adding that the "customer" did not follow the "rigorous protocols established to protect search warrant returns."

Amid increasing growth, the last thing Palantir needs is a major PR crisis involving flaws in its software. Since going public last fall, the company has seen its revenues surge, though it's operational losses are also increasing. Palantir's customers now span government agencies, tech stalwarts like IBM and even mining group Rio Tinto. Plus, it's working with commercial space companies to manage a meta-constellation of 237 satellites.

Lucid is offering two variants of its Air Dream Edition luxury EV

Lucid is giving prospective owners of its $169,000 luxury electric sedan the choice between two variants. The Air Dream Edition will be available in a "Performance" or "Range" version that ultimately leaves you to decide between speed and real-world driving range. The former promises 1,111 horsepower, which rivals the Tesla Model S Plaid, and can hit 0-60 mph in 2.5 seconds.

The Dream Edition Range, meanwhile, will deliver 933 horsepower and take 0.2 seconds longer to go from 0-60 mph. Both have a top speed of 168 mph, cost $169,000 (before factoring in federal tax credits or other incentives) and are expected to ship later this year. You'll be able to identify each variant with the "P" or "R" letter on their respective badges. The company previously revealed that it only planned to build about 500 units of the Dream Edition.

Notably, Lucid is still in the process of confirming the cars' official range with the US Environmental Protection Agency. In real-world tests, the company says a pair of Dream Edition Range models travelled 445 miles on a single charge. The journey saw the cars venture from LA to San Francisco at highway speeds via central California, and then back across the San Francisco Bay to Lucid’s global headquarters. Upon arrival, Lucid claims the the cars displayed 30 miles and 72 miles of charge remaining (for totals of 475 and 517 miles). 

The EV maker is currently reaching out to those who put down $7,500 to reserve the Air Dream Edition to confirm their chosen configuration. Lucid said in June that it had received over 10,000 reservations across all Air models, which — along with the top-of-the-range Dream Edition — includes the base edition, the Air Touring and Air Grand Touring.

Zoom's latest update includes gesture-activated reactions on iPad

As more businessesdelay the return to the office, Zoom looks set to keep thriving in a hybrid work setup. To build on that momentum, the communications platform is introducing a raft of new updates that span meetings, chat and even phone calls.

The neatest new feature rolling out today are gesture-activated reactions for iPad. Now, when you raise your hand or give a thumbs up during a meeting it will automatically show the corresponding icon in your video panel. The broader "non-verbal feedback" function needs to be activated first.

For now, "Raise Hand" and "Thumbs Up" are the only gesture-supported reactions, though that could change in the future. The others are "slow down," "yes" and "no," while the standard emoji also include clapping hands, heart, tears of joy, open mouth and party popper (celebration). The gist of non-verbal feedback is to allow participants to communicate with the host while maintaining the flow of a meeting. Using physical gestures may help novice Zoomers to express themselves without the fear of mishaps.


As mentioned, this latest update is a biggie, but how much of it you notice depends on the parts of Zoom you actually use. For Meetings, there's a new Focus Mode that only shows participants the host and the content they are sharing. As its name implies, the feature is designed to cut out distractions. You can now also seamlessly transition a meeting from mobile to desktop and vice versa. Plus, admins can limit screen sharing when a guest joins a meeting.

In addition, Zoom is making the chat sidebar easier to navigate with public and private channel markers. Now, the display will generally show fewer chats and channels per group, but you'll be able to expand it to see more activity. Zoom is also once again moving the search function to the left side. Lastly, you can try out the new admin experience — which puts a bunch of management controls in one place — before it becomes the default in October.

As for calls, Zoom Phone users are getting more usage metrics, group call monitoring privileges and a privacy feature that prevents others from accessing shared line calls.