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Vizio M-Series M512a-H6 review: This mid-range soundbar delivers big, dynamic sound

PCWorld

What Vizio's mid-range M512a-H6 lacks in Wi-Fi connectivity, it makes up for in big, exciting, room-filling sound. Slated to ship in July for a list price of $450, this 5.1.2-channel M-series soundbar from Vizio is easy to set up, offers plenty of discrete audio adjustments, and delivers immersive Dolby Atmos and DTS:X sound courtesy of upfiring drivers. Now, a sub-$500 soundbar like the M512a-H6 (which Vizio calls an "M-series" soundbar, sitting between its high-end P-series and budget-priced V-series models) will necessarily mean settling for some compromises--in this case, no Wi-Fi support, which means you'll have to do without AirPlay 2 and Chromecast functionality, as well as support for native audio streaming. The good news is that you can add a voice assistant by connecting a smart speaker via a 3.5mm jack or Bluetooth, a nifty feature that's new to Vizio's 2021 soundbars.


We're giving away a 65-inch LG TV

ZDNet

Between Super Bowl 2019 and awards show season, we know that upgrading your TV might be on top of your mind, so we want to give you the chance to get one completely free with our giveaway. There's always a ton of TV deals around the big game -- but nothing beats a free TV. This time around, we joined forces with LG to give away the LG B8 series OLED TV, a TV that comes with AI ThinQ technology and Google Assistant built-in, making searching for content much easier, and it won CNET's Editors' Choice Award for October 2018. Make sure to check all the specs of this TV right here. To enter, you must read the rules, accept the terms and conditions of this sweepstakes, and fill out the form below. Increase your chances of winning by unlocking extra entries for following us on social media or sharing the unique link you get after registering.


Foxconn rethink of Wisconsin LCD screen plant plan flies in face of Trump-ballyhooed job-creation boast

The Japan Times

MADISON, WISCONSIN - Foxconn Technology Group said Wednesday it is shifting the focus of its planned Wisconsin campus away from blue-collar manufacturing to a research hub, while insisting it remains committed to creating 13,000 jobs as promised. The much-ballyhooed facility was heralded by President Donald Trump and former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker as a once-in-a-generation opportunity to return manufacturing to the Midwest and the United States. Foxconn, a major supplier to Apple, is the world's largest contract maker of electronics and China's largest private employer. In a statement Wednesday, Foxconn said it remains committed to the project, the creation of 13,000 jobs and "to our long-term investment in Wisconsin." But because the global market environment that existed when the project was first announced in 2017 has shifted, "this has necessitated the adjustment of plans for all projects, including Wisconsin."


New iPhones to adopt new OLED screen technology across Apple's line

The Independent - Tech

Apple is planning to drop its existing screen technology across its iPhones, according to a new report. As well as meaning the latest OLED displays will come all of its phones, the technology could allow for radical new designs in the iPhone. Future models could include bendy screens, for instance, or allow them to be controlled in entirely different ways. The LCD display has been a fixture of the iPhone since it was first released in 2007. It has featured in just every model since, until the iPhone X arrived last year.


Smartwatch data collection rush raises privacy backlash fears

ZDNet

As wearable devices like smartwatches become more popular with consumers, and remote monitoring of patients using these devices becomes a standard part of healthcare in the next few years, we will have to answer some big questions around privacy and security. Around $20bn a year will be spent on wearable devices, health trackers and remote patient-monitoring devices within five years, according to tech research company Juniper Research. Once you add in assistive hearables, or connected hearing aids made available by healthcare providers as well as directly to customers, the sector is expected to generate revenues of over $40bn by 2022. The tech industry is relying on wearables to grow fast in the next few years. Tech companies made somewhere around 125 million smartwatches and other wearables last year -- up 8.5 percent from 2017, according to calculations by tech analyst IDC, which predicts that around 190 million wearable devices will be sold in 2022, which means growth of about 13 percent a year, with smartwatches accounting for over half of all sales.


CES 2019: LG unveils futuristic roll-up TV that disappears into its base

The Independent - Tech

LG has unveiled the world's first consumer-ready rollable television at the CES 2019 trade show in Las Vegas. The South Korean electronics giant said the "revolutionary form factor" of its Signature OLED TV R will define the next generation of television. A concept for the roll-up screen was first demonstrated at the world's biggest technology showcase in 2016 but it has taken three years to develop a commercially viable version of the television. The Signature OLED forms part of a new trend that has seen manufacturers attempt to diminish the presence of large televisions in the living room when they are not in use. Samsung's answer is Ambient Mode, a setting that blends the screen with the wall behind it when it is on standby.


LG unveils radical TV you can ROLL UP like poster and says it'll finally go on sale this year

Daily Mail - Science & tech

At the Consumers Electronics Show on Monday, the South Korean tech giant took the wraps off the Signature Series OLED TV R, its first-ever OLED television with a screen that can roll itself up and is also voice-activated. After the prototype was teased in 2018, LG announced today that the rollable TV will finally hit the shelves this year, with a launch date expected sometime in the spring. LG didn't disclose pricing details about the rollable TV. The OLED TV R is designed to be in the room when you want it and disappear when you don't, with three different modes that let users decide the size of the screen. 'LG's rollable OLED TV is a true game-changer, freeing users from the limitations of the wall and allowing them to curate their own personal space,' the company explained.


LG's 2019 TVs add HDMI 2.1 and 8K

Engadget

CES 2019 hasn't started yet, but LG is already drip-feeding information about this year's OLED and LCD TVs. While it didn't mention the rollable OLED we're expecting, it did list model numbers for two 8K sets, with an 88-inch Z9 OLED and SM99 8K LCD TV on the way. There's no word on price yet, but the big confirmation is that thanks to HDMI 2.1 ports, all of its 2019 OLED TVs and "selected" NanoCell LCD TVs will support high frame rate (HFR) 120fps video inputs. Other features in the new standard include an enhanced audio return channel (eARC) as well as variable refresh rate (VRR) and automatic low latency mode (ALLM) to keep gamers happy. If you're snagging one of the new 8K TVs, you'll just be pleased to know you won't have to plug in four HDMI cables to get everything connected.


Face2Face

Communications of the ACM

Recent offline performance capture techniques approach the hard monocular reconstruction problem by fitting a blendshape or a multilinear face model to the input video sequence. Even geometric fine-scale surface detail is extracted via inverse shading-based surface refinement. Shi et al.16 achieve impressive results based on global energy optimization of a set of selected keyframes. Our model-based bundling formulation to recover actor identities is similar to their approach; however, we use robust and dense global photometric alignment, which we enforce with an efficient data-parallel optimization strategy on the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU).


Speculative gadgets at the Future Interfaces Group

Engadget

To try to get a glimpse of the everyday devices we could be using a decade from now, there are worse places to look than inside the Future Interfaces Group (FIG) lab at Carnegie Mellon University. During a recent visit to Pittsburgh by Engadget, PhD student Gierad Laput put on a smartwatch and touched a Macbook Pro, then an electric drill, then a door knob. The moment his skin pressed against each, the name of the object popped up on an adjacent computer screen. Each item had emitted a unique electromagnetic signal which flowed through Laput's body, to be picked up by the sensor on his watch. The software essentially knew what Laput was doing in dumb meatspace, without a pricey sensor needing to be embedded (and its batteries recharged) on every object he made contact with.