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Startups remake classic games for the digital era

ZDNet

Ross Rubin is the founder and principal analyst at Reticle Research, editor of the Reticle Research Report newsletter, and co-host of the Techspansive podcast. Ross has been an industry analyst focusing on innovation in the technology, media and telecom markets for over 20 years. For decades, the games market has included both physical and digital games with little crossover. More than a decade ago, I wrote about the Sifteo Cubes, a set of thick tiles with small screens that could be repositioned to create a range of games. The innovative effort may have inspired Hasbro to trot out a line of cheaper and simpler electronic games that included Scrabble Flash and Yahtzee Flash.


Qualcomm announces Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1, for when flagship isn't flagship enough

#artificialintelligence

It's called the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1, which just rolls off the tongue, and Qualcomm says it'll offer 10 percent faster CPU performance, 10 percent faster GPU clocks, and -- get this -- use 15 percent less power for "nearly 1 hour" of extra gameplay or, say, 50 minutes of social media browsing. Technically, Qualcomm says it's achieved "up to 30 percent" better power efficiency from both the CPU and GPU, and 20 percent better AI performance per watt, but that doesn't necessarily all transfer into more battery life -- some of it's about performance, too. Qualcomm is particularly touting better sustained performance from the new chip too -- theoretically maintaining its clockspeed for longer as it heats up while gaming or tapping into 5G. Of course, that all depends on how phone manufacturers decide to cool the chip. The company's not breaking down where the extra performance and efficiencies are coming from, but you can see some of the chip's other features in the slide above, even though many of them (like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 10Gbps of theoretical 5G, and 8K HDR video capture) haven't changed from the original Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. Qualcomm says it'll live alongside that older chip, so you can probably expect a price premium. Qualcomm's also announcing a new Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 today, suggesting to journalists that it's aimed at gamers with a 20 percent graphics performance boost over the prior gen and the trickle-down of features like its "Adreno Frame Motion Engine" to make games see smoother by interpolating frames.


Turning off facial recognition can help reduce screen time, study says

Daily Mail - Science & tech

If you spend too much time on your smartphone, scientists have a list of 10 solutions that can help you cut back on screen time. The small but effective changes can help curb smartphone addiction and mental health issues such as depression, say experts at McGill University in Canada. In experiments, people following the strategies reduced their screen time, felt less addicted to their phone and improved their sleep quality, the experts report. Among the 10 strategies are changing the phone display to'greyscale' so the display appears black and white, and disabling facial recognition as a method of unlocking the screen. A black and white screen makes smartphones'less gratifying' to look at compared to the bright colours offered by app icons such as TikTok and Instagram.


Apple's new accessibility features include door detection and live captions

Mashable

Today, May 19, is Global Accessibility Awareness Day, and Apple has announced several new accessibility features to mark the occasion. For people who are blind or have low vision, Apple has a feature called Door Detection, which is designed to help users locate a door when arriving at a new destination. The feature works on iPad and iPhone models with the LiDAR scanner and combines the LiDAR with the device's camera and AI capabilites. It will show up within Magnifier, which already hosts several accessibility features, including the People Detection feature launched in 2020. Door Detection will only work on the 2nd and 3rd gen 11-inch iPad Pro, 4th and 5th gen 12.9-inch iPad Pro models, as well as iPhone 12 Pro and 13 Pro devices.


Swoop Aero gets green light from Australian aviation authority for drone centre

ZDNet

Since completing a degree in journalism, Aimee has had her fair share of covering various topics, including business, retail, manufacturing, and travel. She continues to expand her repertoire as a tech journalist with ZDNet. Drone company Swoop Aero has been given the thumbs up by Australia's Civil Aviation and Safety Authority (CASA) to operate its drone logistics remote operations centre (ROC) at the company's campus in Port Melbourne Victoria. According to the company, the approval means the company will be able to "operate like an international airliner" and centralise its operations in one facility, including remotely monitoring its global operations across Oceania, Africa, and Europe, as well as pilot up to five drones by a single pilot beyond the physical view of the aircraft through a web interface. "The ROC will serve as an important function to foster complete visibility of drone operations. From a regulatory perspective, the ROC ensures Swoop Aero is meeting the highest aviation and safety standards at a global level," Swoop Aero chief regulatory officer Zachary Kennedy said.


Facebook issues $397 checks to Illinois residents as part of class-action lawsuit

Engadget

More than a million Illinois residents will receive a $397 settlement payment from Facebook this week, thanks to a legal battle over the platform's since-retired photo-tagging system that used facial recognition. It's been nearly seven years since the 2015 class-action lawsuit was first filed, which accused Facebook of breaking a state privacy law that forbids companies from collecting biometric data without informing users. The platform has since faced broad, global criticism for its use of facial recognition tech, and last year Meta halted the practice completely on Facebook and Instagram. But as Vox notes, the company has made no promises to avoid facial recognition in future products. Even though it was first filed in Illinois, the class-action lawsuit eventually wound up on Facebook's home turf -- at the U.S. District Court for Northern California.


Elon Musk's Twitter Bot Problem Is Fake News

WSJ.com: WSJD - Technology

With his professed concern about fake accounts on Twitter, Elon Musk appears to be grasping at legal straws in an attempt to back out of his commitment to buy the social networking company for $54.20 a share, or at least to pay less for it. But his gambit has shined a light on a real scourge of online companies and their users. Counting the autonomous accounts that mimic real people is just as slippery as valuing companies. A 2020 study by Adrian Rauchfleisch and Jonas Kaiser looking at thousands of Twitter accounts, including hundreds of verified politicians as well as "obvious" bots, found Botometer, the industry-standard learning algorithm trained to calculate the likelihood an account is a bot, yields imprecise scores leading to both false negatives and false positives.


The 5 best dating apps of 2022

ZDNet

You may find forever love on the platform, but Tinder is an app best designed for more casual connections. The new Millennial dating app offers casual daters to find like-minded matches, although that does not mean there are no opportunities for serious relationships. As the app says, "You can be here for a long time, and a good time, too." There have been 30 billion matches to date worldwide, further attesting to its convenient use and short-term compatibility. Free to use, you can designate your sexual orientation to narrow the dating pool and then wait for viewers, which you can easily track under the Likes You feature.


AI is better at hiring staff than human bosses, study finds

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Artificial intelligence (AI) is better at hiring staff than human bosses, but companies still don't trust it in the recruitment process, a new study finds. Researchers in London have conducted a review of previous studies that assessed the effectiveness of AI as a recruitment tool. They found AI is'equal to or better than' human recruiters when it comes to hiring people who go on to perform well at work. Although AI had limited abilities in predicting employee outcomes after they were hired, AI is'fairer' and marked a substantial improvement over humans, they reveal. AI also boosts the'fill-rate' for open positions and is'mostly better than humans' at improving diversity in the workplace.


The Download: The grim spread of the Buffalo shooting video, and crypto's tough test

MIT Technology Review

Although Twitch took down the livestream within two minutes from the start of the attack, a recording of the video was swiftly posted on a site called Streamable. That video was viewed more than 3 million times before it was taken down, according to the New York Times. Links to the recording were shared across Facebook and Twitter, and another clip that purported to show the gunman firing at people in the supermarket was visible on Twitter more than four hours after being uploaded. Additionally, TikTok users shared search terms that would take viewers to the full video on Twitter, according to Washington Post reporter Taylor Lorenz. Although Twitch removed the livestream in less time than the 17 minutes it took Facebook to take down the live broadcast of the 2019 mosque shooting.