Uber Goes Electric, AMD Beats Intel, and Origami Kids Clothes – Top Tech News

Uber is under investigation for spying on Lyft drivers, but they’re also mandating all drivers go electric by 2020. AMD is gaining on Intel FAR faster than analysts thought, and as a father of a toddler, I’m VERY interested in kids clothes that unfold like origami. My favorite tech stories for the first week of September 2017!

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Apple Officially unveils iPhone 5S & 5C. Available September 20th.

iPhone5c_34L_AllColors_PRINT“In the past, when we’ve launched a new iPhone, we lowered the cost of the old iPhone, making it more accessible to new people. But this year, we’re not going to do that.” – Tim Cook

Yes, they’re officially official! The iPhone 5S will reign as the new premier handset and the iPhone 5C will replace the iPhone 5 as a mid range offering. The iPhone 4S will remain as a “free on contract” option for frugal buyers.

The iPhone 5C is largely an iPhone 5 in a candy colored polycarb plastic shell. Inspired by phones like the Nokia Lumia, Apple is releasing the iPhone 5C in green, white, blue, pink, and yellow. Pricing will be very reasonable, coming in at $99 for a 16GB version and $199 for the 32GB model. This is a smart play by Apple, as it provides a much needed mid-range which wont be as expensive as the uni-body aluminum iPhone to produce. This should also help open up some Asian and African developing markets where consumers might not be interested in paying the Apple premium for the 5S.

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The iPhone 5S will retain the aluminium shell of its predecessor, meaning in the wild it will be difficult to see whether someone is carrying the latest and greatest. In part to address that, the color options for the 5S have changed. Silver remains, but instead of Black, the 5S  will come in “Space Grey”. This may also be a response to complaints that the black iPhone was easily scratched. Also, for those wanting a bit more bling, a Gold version will also be available. I would expect this to be the top seller for this generation of iPhone, as even I can be guilty of wanting other people around me to know I have a bleeding edge phone. And yes. I did just say “bling”.

iphone 5s camera rear goldWhile the 5S wont be visually much different than the iPhone 5, it is packing new equipment under the hood to improve the iOS experience. A new camera is on board, marking the first improvement in two generations of iPhone. The resolution remains the same at 8 megapixels, but the new sensor is larger allowing more light to hit individual photo sites. When paired with a new f2.2 aperture lens, this should improve low light capabilities. The new camera app will also be capable of shooting continuous 10 frame per second stills. A new slow-motion video mode is also included which can shoot at 120 frames per second to catch all those great sports and pet moments in delicious slow motion detail.

A new processor is on board. The Apple claims the A7 is up to twice as powerful as the A6, though details regarding actual performance are thin. Interestingly enough, the new A7 is a 64-bit chip. I can’t really understand why Apple made this jump now, as the move to 64-bit on desktops was to facilitate more than 4GB of RAM (which the iPhone does not have). This could perhaps be a preemptive move towards unifying OSX on the desktop and iOS on mobile devices? We’ll just have to wait and see…

The new chipset does feature improved graphics processing thanks to OpenGL ES 3.0. Apple showed off a preview of Infinity Blade 3 which demonstrated dynamic lighting, improved texture mapping, and larger playable areas.

For those active smartphone users, the 5S packs a new sensor co-processor dubbed the M7. It’s a small mini-brain responsible for driving and collecting all of the data from the various sensors, gyros, accelerometers, and the compass. This is a cool piece of tech, as all that info can be collected and sorted by apps without the new A7 processor turning on. This should help battery life, and open new doors for tracking and location apps with the new M7 API.

Speaking of power, Apple claims 10 hours of LTE browsing, 40 hours of music listening, and 250 hours of standby time. No word yet on whether the battery can sustain real world use through dinner time…

iphone 5s touch id home button fingerprint sensor somegadgetguyLastly, for those a bit more security conscious, Touch ID was introduced, which builds a capacitive fingerprint scanner into the Home button on the 5S. Apple demo’ed the feature, which should make unlocking an iPhone near invisible to the person who owns the iPhone, just by tapping the Home Button. This should be of interest to corporate and government IT departments which have to force smartphone users into using alphanumeric passwords which can sometimes be difficult to enter on a touchscreen display.

iPhone 5s will follow in the footsteps of previous iPhones launching at $199 for 16GB, $299 for 32GB, and $399 for a 64GB version. The iOS7 update goes live September 18, and iPhone pre-orders start September 13. The phones will be available for purchase September 20 in the US, Australia, Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Japan, Singapore, and China. That last is very important for Cupertino, as this will be the first time an iPhone will include the Chinese market at launch, and offering that mid-range iPhone 5C could help open up Asian markets which haven’t warmed to Apple’s mobile offerings in the past.

Watch the keynote at Apple.com. Full Press Releases after the jump! Continue reading “Apple Officially unveils iPhone 5S & 5C. Available September 20th.”

Verizon and FCC addressing Appellate Court today over Net Neutrality

Verizon-logoI’m not sure that’s how the First Amendment works Verizon?

Verizon is suing to halt the Open Internet Order enacted to protect net neutrality. To oversimplify, it prevents ISP’s from prioritizing their own services or degrading the services of their competitors. Verizon has taken umbrage to this directive, and they think they have a First Amendment argument to striking this type of regulation.

To oversimplify again, they feel the government is interfering with their First Amendment right to interfere with the quality of other companies’ communications and services.

What’s sad is that from a legal perspective they might not actually be wrong here. What powers the FCC might have in regulating the internet still haven’t been expanded or properly defined by Congress, so Verizon has an argument in questioning whether the FCC overstepped its bounds. From Verizon’s brief:

“Broadband networks are the modern day microphone by which their owners engage in First Amendment speech. The FCC thus must identify an actual problem and narrowly tailor its solution to solve that problem. The FCC’s ‘prophylactic’ rules cannot pass that test. The Fifth Amendment likewise protects broadband network owners from government compulsion to turn over their private property for use by others without compensation, especially in light of their multi-billion-dollar investment-backed expectations.”

Today, both Verizon and the FCC will be given 20 minutes apiece to address the appellate court hearing this case. The FCC has also posted a detailed response to all of Verizon’s claims. Lot’s of legal-speak, but it’s an interesting read if you’re into net neutrality.

How the court decides on this case will have far reaching impact on what powers the FCC has to regulate internet communications, and what rights and responsibilities ISP’s have in handling their own and competing internet traffic.

(via Ars)

Qi wireless gadget charging coming to Mercedes Benz, BMW, Volkswagen, Toyota, and Porsche vehicles.

audi logo windows phone 8 nokia lumia 920 wireless charging QI mercedes benz bmw volkswagen somegadgetguyTalk about getting juiced up!

There are a pair of competing standards for wireless phone and gadget charging. Duracell and Powermat use PMA while Nokia helped developed Qi for use in their Lumia phones. You can also find Qi on Samsung and Nexus devices. It’s one of my favorite convenience features on the 920. I pop it down on the Nokia pad and it charges. No messing with cables, easy peasy.

Well now Nokia’s Qi standard is going to be getting a significant boost in terms of mind share. The group Consumer Electronics for Automotive (CE4A) works with European auto makers to standardize mobile interfaces. They’ve recommended that vehicles implement Qi wireless charging and the big four German auto makers are already on board. They’ll likely also make recommendations on where charging surfaces are placed inside vehicles.

This comes after Toyota has started offering Qi charging in the 2013 Avalon.

If you were backing Powermat’s PMA standard, fret not. GM is set to push their flavor of inductive charging on select cars and trucks as part of an accessories package in 2014.

Full PR after the jump.

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