The Best Wireless Indoor Home Security Camera

The Best Wireless Indoor Home Security Camera:

The Best Wireless Indoor Home Security Camera

We spent more than two months testing 15 indoor Wi-Fi home security cameras, evaluating motion and sound sensitivity, alert types and frequency, speaker and microphone sound quality, smartphone apps, storage options, placement flexibility, and image quality, and the Logitech Logi Circle is the best choice for most people. The Logitech Logi Circle camera was the easiest to set up, the most flexible to place, and the most intuitive to use of all the cameras we tested.

(Via Wirecutter: Reviews for the Real World)

iMac Pro testing shows 10-core model dramatically faster than any other Mac on intensive tasks

iMac Pro testing shows 10-core model dramatically faster than any other Mac on intensive tasks:

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Two more iMac Pro impressions have been posted, with benchmarks from both showing massive gains in processing power in the iMac Pro over older models — plus the inclusion of AVX-512 vector processing optimization in the W-series Xeon processor giving an added push to properly optimized apps.

(Via AppleInsider – Frontpage News)

Airbnb wants to offer virtual reality previews of rental spots

Airbnb wants to offer virtual reality previews of rental spots:

Airbnb is developing virtual and augmented reality features to help guests find and navigate rental listings, the company announced on its blog today. Three-dimensional scans and 360-degree photos would allow users to get a better sense of a listing, and augmented reality overlays could help guests better understand the homes on a smaller scale once they’re in it. The company has been looking into VR to build trust between guests and hosts since last year, and this announcement confirming experiments and prototypes could mean a feature is coming soon.

It makes sense to take a look around a listing in VR before booking, but Airbnb also lists a few instances where augmented reality might be helpful during your trip. If you’re staying overseas and everything’s in a foreign language, it could be difficult to unlock the door, or figure out the thermostat or the hot water in the shower. It also lists a fun example of AR usefulness like “pulling up a mobile device to get directions to the coffee mugs … first thing in the morning.” This is a problem that could easily be solved by just opening up a few cupboards and figuring it out, but I get what they’re saying.


Airbnb

Virtual tours have been around in the real estate industry for a while, and Airbnb hosts have been asking for a feature to integrate them into their own listings. While the VR technologies could be implemented by providing Airbnb hosts with 360-degree cameras, it might be harder to integrate the AR concept for individual listings. Since ARKit was released on iOS 11, we’ve seen some concepts of what an AR overlay for Airbnb listings might look like. It seems like a useful and worthwhile idea, but it might be a more difficult challenge for Airbnb to take on.

But until this is a reality, I’ll still be satisfied with charming hand-written binders with tips on the local sights and illustrations on how to figure out the thermostat.

(Via The Verge – All Posts)

Pukka Porsche

Pukka Porsche:

Lego Porsche 911

Is it us or is Porsche’s original 911 becoming increasingly pretty the older it gets? Now looking wonderfully simple, the original Porsche 911 was launched in the early 1960s with an air-cooled 2-litre flat-6 making around 130bhp. By the 1980s 911s were producing almost three times as much power, and they were almost all crap, making the 1960s original the perfect example of ‘less is more’.

Lego Porsche 911

The beautiful 1960s 911 pictured here comes from Flickr’s klingen_guru and it captures the original car brilliantly. Opening doors, front trunk and engine cover reveal wonderfully detailed internals to match the accurate exterior and you can see all the photos at klingen’s photostream. Click the link above to make the jump.

Lego Porsche 911

(Via THE LEGO CAR BLOG)

The backpack of the future has magnetic straps to catch your AirPods

The backpack of the future has magnetic straps to catch your AirPods:

Backpacks are great at carrying stuff around, but even the nicest bags are still just canvas and leather sacks that we wear on our backs.

But there’s no product that crowdfunding won’t try to make “smart,” which brings us to Visvo. It’s a new company that’s looking to get funding on Kickstarter for a line of smart backpacks, and it has some interesting ideas of what a technology-focused bag should look like.

For example, there’s the usual integrated USB battery pack, which lets you recharge your gear on the go, but it also powers both external lights for biking, internal LEDs for lighting up the inside of the bag, and even an optional GPS tracker in case your bag gets stolen. One of the models even includes a wireless Qi charging pad integrated into one of the pockets, which is either the most ridiculous or most brilliant thing I’ve ever heard.

The best addition might be the shoulder straps: each one has powerful magnets to hold your headphones — or maybe even catch your AirPods if they fall out of your ears.

There is also a plethora of USB ports hidden around the backpack in addition to the three built into the battery pack (one on the inside of the bag, and one built into a zip pocket on right shoulder strap for charging your phone or wireless headphones). All the internal wiring can be accessed through a handy back zipper, so you don’t have to dig through all your stuff to recharge the internal battery, too.

The rest of the Novel line is pretty standard for a backpack: the outside is a treated canvas that claims to be water and stain resistant, there’s a laptop pocket, and some shock-absorbing rubber on the bottom to protect your gear.

All those extra smarts don’t come cheap, though. The base model Novel 1.0 starts at €249 for early-bird pricing (around $293), with the larger Novel 2.0 at €269 (roughly $316), and the most feature-laden Novel 3.0 at €299 (around $352). The bags aren’t expected to ship until July 2018, either, which is something to take into account, especially seeing as this is a crowdfunded project with all the usual risks that can entail.

(Via The Verge – All Posts)

Think twice before buying a connected toy this Christmas…

Think twice before buying a connected toy:

Lots of kids will be gifted connected toys this holiday season, and while I’m all for spoiling children, I also suggest thinking about the risks that come with an internet-connected plaything. Many of these devices connect to the web or rely on companion apps, and most of them collect data about your child. Beyond security vulnerabilities, the way these companies treat data is worth considering.

Mattel’s Hello Barbie, for example, lets kids talk to their doll. The doll can carry a simple conversation and will remember its owner’s likes and dislikes. A company called ToyTalk provides the voice recognition software and processes all the voice data it receives. The company explains in its privacy policy that it uses that voice data to improve its own product. It says:

We may also use, store, process, convert, transcribe, analyze or review voice recordings (along with text and transcriptions derived from the voice recordings) in order to provide, maintain, analyze and improve the functioning of the speech processing services, to develop, test or improve speech recognition technology and artificial intelligence algorithms, to develop acoustic and language models, and for other research and development and data analysis purposes.

Basically, the data your child gives to Hello Barbie, whether it’s intentional or not, lives on ToyTalk’s servers and the company can access it whenever it wants. It shares information with other third parties, too, including vendors that help maintain the technology.

Now, it might not bother you that your kid’s voice data improves ToyTalk’s software. You’re technically improving their own toy, too. But at the same time, once that data is out there, it’s difficult to recall. Data often spreads far and wide, and it’s transferred from company to company during acquisitions. Who knows where those files could ultimately end up.

None of this might matter to you, and that’s fine. Just please, read the privacy policy for your kid’s toy before handing over parental permissions.

(Via The Verge – All Posts)

Apple’s AI director on advances in machine learning for its self-driving car project

Apple’s AI director on advances in machine learning for its self-driving car project:

Apple’s secretive autonomous car project has shifted focus over the years, but this year, it seems to be picking up speed. In April, the company received a permit to test self-driving cars in California, while in June, Apple CEO Tim Cook confirmed that they were working on software that could allow cars — and maybe other things — to drive themselves. During a talk on Friday, Apple’s director of artificial intelligence research, Ruslan Salakhutdinov, spoke about some of the company’s recent advances in machine learning that would be useful for such a project.

Wired reports that Salakhutdinov spoke before a group of AI experts at the end of this year’s Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS) conference in Long Beach, California. There, he spoke about how Apple is using machine learning to analyze data to from a vehicle’s cameras. He talked about techniques used in a recently published study on the advances that the company has made in using AI to detect pedestrians and cyclists using LiDAR. But he also revealed efforts on some other projects: software that uses a car’s cameras to identify objects such as cars and pedestrians, as well as the drivable lanes on the road. He also showed off images that demonstrated how the system performed even when camera lenses were obscured by raindrops, and how their software could infer where pedestrians were, even when they were obscured by parked cars.

Salakhutdinov also discussed how their software was interpreting the data that it was being fed. One uses a technique called SLAM to allow the software to have a sense of direction, something that’s used in map building and augmented reality, while another project takes the data from the cars and uses it to help build maps with more detail. According to Wired, he didn’t speak specifically about how these projects fit into Apple’s project, but it seems as though Apple’s focus will be on developing the brains that will eventually steer the cars safely.

(Via The Verge – All Posts)

McLaren Senna revealed – McLaren’s most extreme road car yet | Evo

McLaren Senna revealed – McLaren’s most extreme road car yet

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British firm launches 789bhp track focussed road car

In the beginning there was F1, followed 15 years later by the P1 and soon after came the 675LT, a mighty line-up of no holds barred performance cars from McLaren. Now there is Senna. Or rather: the Senna. The most extreme McLaren road car to date, Senna has been designed to be the quickest track car possible. And the name is no meaningless cash-in, either. Ayrton’s nephew Bruno Senna has been instrumental in the car’s development and McLaren Automotive has worked closely with the Senna Foundation in order to be able to use the name. A financial contribution will be made to the Senna Foundation for the sale of all the cars.

What will each owner who takes delivery of a Senna be getting, exactly? A 789bhp, 590lb ft, 11198kg (dry) mid-engined road car that looks like it has driven straight out of an LMP pit lane, that’s what. It may have a passing resemblance to the current cars that are produced in McLaren’s Woking factory, but when you start to pick up the details it’s clear the Senna is something very special.

Aerodynamics are why the Senna looks the way it does, designed to produce genuine performance enhancing downforce for the track via active-aerodynamics like no other seen on a road car.

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An ankle height splitter combined with over-sized intakes dominate the front end, and within each outer opening are the active flaps and winglets to direct the air either under and through the body for aero purposes, or into the radiators and oil coolers for the powertrain. The latter’s warm air is forced out of the opening in the front bonnet area and over the roof of the car, neatly missing the engine’s roof mounted air intake that captures the cooling air flowing that’s required. Turbulent and disruptive air built up within the front wheel arch is accelerated out through the opening in the back of the front wheel arches

Along the flanks of the Senna two further intakes suck air through to the engine bay and out through a set of staggered louvers on top of the engine cover, or under the car and through the single piece double diffuser positioned at the rear of the car. And then there is the twin-plane rear wing, that’s fixed to the bodywork by two pylons that attach themselves to the top of the wing rather than in the more tradition position under it. This allows for an uninterrupted 6,500 square centimetre surface area.

Playing an integral role in the Senna’s active aerodynamics, the rear wing is hydraulically controlled and constantly moves to suit the driving situation. In its most upright position it sits 1.2-metres above the ground, can angle through nearly 90-degress when working as an airbrake, and is also part of a drag reduction system (DRS).

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Built around MonoCell III, McLaren’s lightest and stiffness carbon-fibre tub, the Senna’s bodywork is also made exclusively from carbon fibre in a bid for ultimate lightness. How light, exactly? The front wings weigh just 600grams compared to the 2kg that the same item on a 720S weighs.

Behind the bulkhead of MonoCell II is the latest iteration of McLaren’s 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8, albeit one that has had every possible component lightened. The results are a formidable 789bhp and 590lb ft of torque – up 79bhp and 47lb ft respectively over a 720S – and a power to weight ratio of 669bhp. The company’s seven-speed double clutch gearbox is retained, but modified accordingly to suit the engine’s increased performance.

Retaining the double-wishbone set-up with hydraulic dampers and anti-roll bars, the Senna also features the latest evolution of the variable stiffness and ride height technology first introduce on the P1. The engineers have further developed the Race active chassis control II system (RCC II), primarily to work with the increase in aerodynamic loads that will be forced through the chassis. The active dynamic system now also features a Race mode accompanying the Comfort, Sport and Track options we’ve become accustomed to. In Race the dampers switch to their stiffest setting as well as the ride height dropping 50mm.

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Behind the nine-spoke, centre-lock alloy wheels (which are equipped with McLaren specific Pirelli Trofeo Rs) is a set of the latest carbon-ceramic brakes, with discs that reach their peak operating performance at a temperature 150-degrees lower than McLaren’s normal ceramics. They are also lighter, but do take seven months to manufacturer instead of one…

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Functional is how best to describe the interior. Carbon and Alcantara are the materials of choice. There is also number of neat touches to mark Senna out as something special. The door ‘handle’ for example is a switch positioned in the roof along with the engine stop/start button, controls for the air-con fan and the switch to enable Race mode. In fact there’s nothing fixed to the doors aside from the visible gas strut, painted blue on this car to match the contrasting colour used to pick out its active aerodynamic components. The gear selector panel is also fixed to the driver’s seat and moves fore and aft with it. The flip instrument display is from the 720S. Being a car designed for the track, the Senna has no luggage storage except room for two crash helmets and races suits to be stored behind the seats in the rear bulkhead. And the front number is fixed to a removable bracket to optimise airflow when driving on track.

The Senna is dripping in detail, all of it functional, all of it necessary to be the most extreme and fastest road going McLaren the company has built. In the carbon fibre it looks brutal. To sit in it feels every inch the perfect driver’s car. The lucky 500 who have been notified by McLaren that their order has been accepted (they are, unfortunately all sold) will be owners of one the most extreme road cars of 2018 and for many years to come.