Apple's MacBook Pro Unleashed intro included enough performance multipliers to shame a pinball machine. We learned that the M1 Max has 4x faster GPU performance than the M1 -- and that the M1 Max's memory bandwidth is 2x that of the M1 Pro and 6x that of the M1. Furthermore, the M1 Max has 3.5x the transistor count and 4x the unified memory of the M1. Apple noted that the M1 Max's GPU performance is more than 2.5x that of a compact pro PC laptop when running on battery and over 3.3x faster than a high-end PC laptop on battery. Machine learning models perform on average of over 3x faster on the new chips than on Apple's fastest Core i9-based MacBook Pro, with some models performing over 20x faster!
Raspberry Pi has launched a new product that would make it easier to build robots out of LEGO components. The Build HAT (or Hardware Attached on Top), as it is called, is an add-on device that plugs into the Pi's 40-pin GPIO header. It was specifically designed to make it easy to use Pi hardware to control up to four LEGO Technic motors and sensors from the the toy company's Education Spike kits. Those sets are meant as a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics) learning tool for young students. The HAT also works with motors and sensors from the Mindstorms Robot Inventor kit. In addition to the Build HAT itself, the company has created a Python library that can help students build prototypes using a Raspberry Pi and LEGO components.
Given all the talk of supply chain issues this year, it's no surprise that we're starting to see early Black Friday sales hit the internet before November 1. Best Buy announced last week that it's first early Black Friday event would begin today, and as promised, the company has discounted hundreds of gadgets from headphones to robot vacuums to electric scooters. Best Buy is also has a "Black Friday Price Guarantee" on these deals, which means that you shouldn't see these gadgets go on sale for less at Best Buy before Black Friday proper comes around. And if they do, you can get the difference reimbursed to you if you're a My Best Buy or Best Buy Totaltech member (the former is free to sign up for, so it's worthwhile to make an account). We sifted through this first round of early Black Friday deals and picked out the ones that are worth your money. Also, some of the sale prices are being matched on Amazon -- we've made note of which those are below so you can decide where you want to shop. Our favorite pair of Sony headphones, the WH-1000XM4, are down to a record low of $248 right now.
This includes games that are actually old as well as new games that use a "retro" pixel design. Just about every game I tested that contains pixel graphics benefited from Vivid mode, from last year's indie brawler darling "Streets of Rage 4" with its hot neon streets, all the way to classic Super Nintendo and Game Boy Advance titles found in bundles like the "Mega Man X Legacy Collection" and Konami's recent "Castlevania Advance Collection." Much of the popular indie RPG "Undertale" is told via text and a black screen, which makes its charming and creepy visuals stand out. Most classic pixelated games and modern retro games have color palettes that are a bit soft and muted. Vivid mode gives those visuals some vibrancy.
Researchers led by the Institute of Scientific and Industrial Research (SANKEN) at Osaka University have trained a deep neural network to correctly determine the output state of quantum bits, despite environmental noise. The team's novel approach may allow quantum computers to become much more widely used. Modern computers are based on binary logic, in which each bit is constrained to be either a 1 or a 0. But thanks to the weird rules of quantum mechanics, new experimental systems can achieve increased computing power by allowing quantum bits, also called qubits, to be in "superpositions" of 1 and 0. For example, the spins of electrons confined to tiny islands called quantum dots can be oriented both up and down simultaneously. However, when the final state of a bit is read out, it reverts to the classical behavior of being one orientation or the other. To make quantum computing reliable enough for consumer use, new systems will need to be created that can accurately record the output of each qubit even if there is a lot of noise in the signal.
I just reviewed AMD's new Radeon RX 6600, which is a budget GPU that squarely targets 1080p gamers. It's a decent option, especially in a time when GPU prices are through the roof, but it exposed a trend that I've seen brewing over the past few graphics card launches. Nvidia's Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) tech is too good to ignore, no matter how powerful the competition is from AMD. In a time when resolutions and refresh rates continue to climb, and demanding features like ray tracing are becoming the norm, upscaling is essential to run the latest games in their full glory. AMD offers an alternative to DLSS in the form of FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR).
From making GPU based video games to leading groundbreaking innovations in data science, AI and computing, Nvidia is leading the fourth industrial revolution. After years of innovation and experimentation, Nvidia launched "Grace," the company's 1st data center CPU. Grace will use NLP processing, recommendation systems, and AI supercomputing to tap large datasets. After opening the Omniverse design and collaboration platform in December, the company is developing its Omniverse Enterprise with over 400 major companies already using it. With Blue-field3, the company is facilitating real-time network visibility, and detection of cyberthreats for multiple organisations and with many other innovations such as autonomous vehicles, new SDK for quantum circuit simulation and more that's yet to disrupt AI and technology.
To be more specific, Google is developing something called the Tensor chip for the Pixel 6 phones. There are still plenty of important details about Tensor that Google probably won't reveal until the Oct. 19 Pixel 6 launch event -- such as which companies are providing which exact components for it -- but we can use what little we have to paint a picture of what this means for the future of Pixel. In technical terms, Tensor is a new system on a chip (or SoC) that will power the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro phones. You're probably wondering what the heck an SoC is. This is actually the rare tech term that's somewhat self-explanatory, as an SoC is a group of the essential components that make up a computing system (like CPU, GPU, and RAM) packed together into a silicon chip.
There is currently a large interest in understanding the potential advantages quantum devices can offer for probabilistic modelling. In this work we investigate, within two different oracle models, the probably approximately correct (PAC) learnability of quantum circuit Born machines, i.e., the output distributions of local quantum circuits. We first show a negative result, namely, that the output distributions of super-logarithmic depth Clifford circuits are not sample-efficiently learnable in the statistical query model, i.e., when given query access to empirical expectation values of bounded functions over the sample space. This immediately implies the hardness, for both quantum and classical algorithms, of learning from statistical queries the output distributions of local quantum circuits using any gate set which includes the Clifford group. As many practical generative modelling algorithms use statistical queries -- including those for training quantum circuit Born machines -- our result is broadly applicable and strongly limits the possibility of a meaningful quantum advantage for learning the output distributions of local quantum circuits.
As of Oct. 15, the Eufy WiFi Video Doorbell is on sale. Add an extra Amazon coupon to snag it for $69.99, which beats its previous lowest price. Now is a great time to try a video doorbell -- both because the holiday season usually brings an uptick in visitors and because we found a really good deal on a budget-friendly model. Eufy's WiFi video doorbell is on sale at Amazon for $79.99 as of Oct. 15. That already ties its lowest price ever, but Amazon also has an extra $10 coupon to add.