Apple quietly announces 10.5-inch iPad Air and refreshed iPad mini
Apple decided to quietly roll out not one but two new iPads ahead of its big 'showcase' event next week. A new, larger 10.5-inch iPad Air will arrive with a 70-percent performance boost compared to its predecessor, thanks to the company's A12 Bionic chip with Apple's Neural Engine. That'll be useful alongside the now 20-percent larger display -- which is compatible with the first-gen Apple Pencil, too.
Meanwhile, a new iPad mini has been a long time coming. The 7.9-inch option will, barring screen size, match the Air on specs. The screen is also 25-percent brighter versus old iPad minis and will also support Apple Pencil -- the tiniest model to do so. Both the new iPad mini and iPad Air will arrive in silver, space gray and gold, with 64GB and 256GB storage options. The new iPad mini starts at $399 for the WiFi model while adding cellular will cost $529. The bigger 10.5-inch iPad Air starts at $499 with WiFi, or $629 for the WiFi + Cellular model.
Sony A6400 review: Definitely not a vlogger's dream camera
It's not as good a vlogging or video camera as we expected because it lacks in-body stabilization and has a terrible rolling shutter. However, it's a great camera for photography thanks to what is possibly the best tracking autofocus system on the market, period.
NVIDIA's ray-tracing tech will soon run on older GTX cards
NVIDIA has announced its ray-tracing tech, only available on its new RTX cards so far, is coming to its older GeForce GTX 10-series cards in April. The technology will work on GPUs from the GTX 1060 and up, albeit with some serious caveats.
Some games like Battlefield V will run just fine and deliver better visuals, but other games, like the freshly released Metro Exodus, will run at just 18 fps at 1440p -- obviously an unplayable frame-rate. Still, making it available on older hardware might give gamers a taste of what it looks like and give developers more of a reason to implement the technique.
Scientists can turn regular seawater into hydrogen fuel
Stanford chemistry professor Hongjie Dai and her team sought to discover a way to keep salt water from breaking down devices used for water-splitting. They layered nickel-iron hydroxide and nickel sulfide on top of a nickel foam core, essentially creating a barrier that would slow down the decay of the underlying metal. With their approach, the hardware's lifespan extends from a dozen hours into the thousands -- a discovery that could eventually open up the world's oceans as a source of energy.
Xiaomi's Black Shark 2 gaming phone packs a pressure-sensitive display
Xiaomi's third gaming phone, the Black Shark 2, uses a pressure-sensitive display to cram in even more controls. That way not only does the phone have an in-display fingerprint sensor by Samsung, it lets you map left and right controls to the screen. It also has plenty of horsepower, with up to 12GB of RAM and a Snapdragon 855 CPU connected to a vapor cooling chamber.
Google Wear OS at five: Older, wiser, but unpolished
Half a decade has passed since Android Wear debuted. During that time, we've seen in-screen fingerprint readers, rollable TVs, self-driving cars, super-smart AI, phones with folding screens and more. In the midst of all that technological advancement, Android Wear hasn't really changed all that much. Sure, it's smarter and has a new name (Wear OS), but it still doesn't quite feel fully-baked.
MySpace lost 12 years of user content
According to the site's banner announcement, "As a result of a server migration project, any photos, videos, and audio files you uploaded more than three years ago, may no longer be available on or from MySpace." Some estimate nearly 50 million songs from 2003 to 2015 have been lost. According to MySpace users on Reddit, all pre-2015 music stopped working about a year ago.
Atari VCS gets a spec boost and another delay
The creators of Atari's next box have pushed back the system's launch to the end of 2019 in return for an upgrade to an as-yet-unannounced embedded AMD Ryzen chip, complete with Vega-based graphics. It'll offer more power for games, of course, but it'll also pull off feats you might not expect in a retro system, like native 4K video playback and support for protected streaming-video services like Netflix. Hopefully Indiegogo backers are comfortable with waiting by now.
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