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Devin Coldewey

Gates-backed Lumotive upends lidar conventions using metamaterials

By | Accelerator, Automotive, autonomous vehicles, Bill Gates, Gadgets, Hardware, Intellectual Ventures, lasers, Lidar, Lumotive, Robotics, Science, self-driving cars, TC, Transportation

Pretty much every self-driving car on the road, not to mention many a robot and drone, uses lidar to sense its surroundings. But useful as lidar is, it also involves physical compromises that limit its capabilities. Lumotive is a new company with funding from Bill Gates and Intellectual Ventures that uses metamaterials to exceed those limits, perhaps setting a new standard for the industry.

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The 9 biggest questions about Google’s Stadia game streaming service

By | Gadgets, game streaming, Gaming, GDC 2019, Google, google stadia, Hardware, list, Mobile, stadia, TC

Google’s Stadia is an impressive piece of engineering to be sure: Delivering high definition, high framerate, low latency video to devices like tablets and phones is an accomplishment in itself. But the game streaming services faces serious challenges if it wants to compete with the likes of Xbox and PlayStation, or even plain old PCs and smartphones. Here are our 9 biggest questions about the new platform.

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Google scores a custom AMD GPU to power its Stadia cloud gaming hardware

By | Gadgets, game streaming, Gaming, GDC 2019, Google, Hardware, streaming, TC

Google’s new Stadia game streaming service may be great for people who don’t own a powerful PC or console, but those games have to run somewhere — specifically, in a Google datacenter. And the hardware they run on will be largely powered by a custom graphics card from AMD that, on paper at least, puts the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X to shame.

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Intel and Cray are building a $500 million ‘exascale’ supercomputer for Argonne National Lab

By | cray, Gadgets, Government, Hardware, Intel, Science, supercomputers

In a way, I have the equivalent of a supercomputer in my pocket. But in another, more important way, that pocket computer is a joke compared with real supercomputers — and Intel and Cray are putting together one of the biggest ever with a half-billion-dollar contract from the Department of Energy. It’s going to do exaflops!

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Google’s new voice recognition system works instantly and offline (if you have a Pixel)

By | Apps, Artificial Intelligence, Gadgets, gboard, Google, Mobile, natural language processing, nlp, Speech Recognition

Voice recognition is a standard part of the smartphone package these days, and a corresponding part is the delay while you wait for Siri, Alexa, or Google to return your query, either correctly interpreted or horribly mangled. Google’s latest speech recognition works entirely offline, eliminating that delay altogether — though of course mangling is still an option.

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Niantic’s Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is a sorcerous smorgasbord for the Pokémon GO generation

By | Augmented Reality, Gadgets, Gaming, harry potter, harry potter wizards unite, Mobile, niantic, TC, Warner Bros, warner brothers, wizards unite

Niantic’s follow-up to the absurdly popular Pokémon GO, the long-awaited Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, has one major drawback: unlike its predecessor, you can’t explain it in a single sentence. There’s so much to do in this game that it may repel some casual players — but while its depths of systems and collectibles may be nigh endless, don’t worry: you still basically just walk around doing wizard and witch stuff.

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SpaceX makes history by completing first private crew capsule mission

By | commercial crew, Gadgets, Government, Hardware, international space station, ISS, NASA, Space, SpaceX

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule has safely splashed down in the Atlantic, making it the first privately built crew-capable spacecraft ever to complete a mission to the International Space Station. It’s one of several firsts SpaceX plans this year, but Boeing is hot on its heels with a crew demonstrator of its own — and of course the real test is doing the same thing with astronauts aboard.

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