Tag Archives: Gadget Features

Check out the amazing flying skills of the Airbus A350-1000

The most beautiful phone ever has one wildly annoying issue

The Samsung Galaxy S8’s fast speeds and fantastic curved screen make it a top phone for 2017, but the annoying fingerprint reader could sour your experience.

Article source: https://www.cnet.com/pictures/check-out-the-amazing-flying-skills-of-the-airbus-a350-1000/#ftag=CAD590a51e

‘The Last Knight’ needs to be the last Transformers film

It’s amazing how “Transformers” movie sequels continue to roll out despite overwhelming bad reviews.

The latest in the series, “Transformers: The Last Knight,” is reportedly the last time Michael Bay will direct the series. The movie pulls out all the stops and gives you epic fight scenes featuring metal dragons, gods, knights in rusty armor, the end of the world and valiant humans doing stupid things like taking on 28-foot-tall metal robots with just guns.

The best way to appreciate the movie is to put aside all logic and understanding, and just try to enjoy the flick for what it is — popcorn munching entertainment with a hunky male lead (Mark Wahlberg) and a female lead (Laura Haddock) who sports high heels. She at least switches out of them, unlike Claire Dearing (played by Bryce Dallas Howard) in “Jurassic World.” 


A Transformer dragon? What’s next? Dinosaurs? Oh wait.

Credit: Paramount Pictures/Bay F

“Transformers: The Last Knight” could have been so much better. The nonstop pace of the 2 1/2-hour movie stretches out the action, leaving you little time to catch your breath. The slight pauses in action where the characters spend time with each other prove the movie had potential, but it was thoroughly wasted.

The first two acts build up the plot and the world nicely. Everything pretty much makes sense. Then it all goes to hell in the finale. Bay decides to toss logic out the window, with unexplained set pieces used to resolve matters. It’s like Bay threw out the original script and replaced it with a new one that didn’t quite share the same plot.

It’s silly that I’m complaining. The exact same thing happens in almost all of the previous “Transformers” movies. I should know better by now.

If you decide to check out the movie anyway, watch it for Anthony Hopkins. Unlike his elder statesman characters in “Westworld” and “Thor,” Hopkins doesn’t appear to just be doing this for a paycheck. He’s having way too much fun flipping the bird, cackling in mad glee or playing it up for laughs as Sir Edmund Burton, keeper of Transformer history. It’s such a change of pace for him, and when he’s onscreen, the movie is watchable. 


Anthony Hopkins plays Sir Edmund Burton, alongside Hot Rod, in “Transformers: The Last Knight.”


Thanks to Hopkins’ performance though, the other actors don’t quite shine. Isabela Moner’s Izabella doesn’t impress, unless you like pensive shots of her looking stoic, while Haddock’s Vivian Wembley is really nothing more than eye candy.

It’s a shame the female characters don’t stand out, but then again, Wahlberg’s Cade Yeager could have skipped the movie and nothing really would have changed.

In the end, it’s robots that save the show (and the world) somewhat. Cogman, played by Jim Carter of “Downton Abbey,” is a sociopathic Transformer butler serving Hopkins’ character. Having both on screen together is quite the hoot.

The rest of the Autobots and Decepticons lurk around menacingly, while fan favorite Hot Rod finally makes his debut, though in a terribly bizarre version that bears no resemblance to his cartoon roots.

While it’s an entertaining spectacle, “Transformers: The Last Knight” drags on far too long. At least you get your money’s worth at the cinema for its incredibly long run time and CGI effects. Given the terribly obvious Chinese product placements that pop up, the movie’s likely looking to China to earn most of its box office money.

“Transformers: The Last Knight” opens in theaters on June 21 in the US and on June 22 in the UK and Australia.


Optimus Prime and Bumblebee in “Transformers: The Last Knight.”

Credit: Paramount Pictures/Bay F

Tech Culture: From film and television to social media and games, here’s your place for the lighter side of tech. 

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Article source: https://www.cnet.com/news/transformers-the-last-knight-review-michael-bay-needs-to-be-the-last/#ftag=CAD590a51e

Bots and trolls are swaying opinions on Facebook and Twitter

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Bots and trolls could be using social media such as Facebook and Twitter to mould your political views, according to a new study.

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Your political views could have been shaped by bots and trolls on Facebook and Twitter.

Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have become a tool for the spreading of propaganda, found a new study released Monday by the University of Oxford. The study was conducted across nine countries, including the US, China and Russia.

The report found social media to be “significant platforms for political engagement” and “crucial channels for disseminating news content” where efforts are put into swaying opinion. One example cited of the US includes using bots to give the illusion of significant online popularity so as to build real political support.

The proliferation of fake news has been a huge concern for countries around the world. The fake news phenomenon was put in the spotlight amid allegations that it helped put President Trump in the White House. Consequently, Google and Facebook launched the CrossCheck project ahead of the French elections earlier this year to verify news stories. In April, Facebook also outlined the steps it’s taking to combat alternative facts.

The most powerful way to spread propaganda involves the cooperation between “bots and trolls,” according to the study. This is most apparent in China, where the spread of propaganda over social media is “heavily coordinated.”

Germany was found to be a “leader” in the battle against the spread of fake news over social media, with regulation set to be implemented across the country by summer as well as “numerous civil society watchdog projects.”

CNET has reached out to the University for further insights.

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Article source: https://www.cnet.com/news/bots-and-trolls-are-swaying-opinions-on-facebook-twitter-study/#ftag=CAD590a51e

Ikea and Apple will put virtual furniture in your living room


At WWDC, Apple demoed how you can place virtual objects in real life settings using its AR tech.

James Martin/CNET

Don’t you hate it when you spend hours Allen-wrenching a Dyfjord only to find it doesn’t fit in your closet? Don’t you wish you could’ve seen what it would look like before you built it? That’s the power of augmented reality.

Ikea, the famous flat-pack furniture manufacturer, is working on an app that will digitally overlay true-to-size furniture using Apple’s new ARKit technology. Looking through the window of an iPhone or iPad, you’ll be able to see how Ikea’s furniture could look in your home before you have to buy or assemble anything.

Apple unveiled ARKit at its WWDC conference earlier this month, naming the Swedish furniture company as one of its partners, but other details were scarce. Now, thanks to an interview with Ikea digital transformation manager Michael Valdsgaard at Di Digital, we’re getting a little more information on the fruits of that partnership.

According to Valdsgaard, the app will have realistic 3D renders of 500-600 pieces of furniture upon its launch, with more items being added sporadically. Ikea also hopes to add a feature that lets you buy furniture from the app after you virtually map it out in your house.  

Just don’t be surprised if the app doesn’t have the exact rocking chair you want at launch — IKEA’s full catalog includes tens of thousands of items. 

We already knew that Apple CEO Tim Cook is a big fan of AR, calling the technology “huge” and claiming it has more potential than VR. But in order to get behind Cook’s excitement, we’ll need to see some real world applications of the technology — besides just catching Pokemon. The Ikea app, which is reportedly aiming to launch in the autumn when iOS 11 is available, could be a good example.

Ikea did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Apple jumps into augmented reality with developer kit

Apple launches its AR platform for iOS, making it possible for developers to build augmented-reality experiences.

Article source: https://www.cnet.com/news/ikea-ar-app-apple-arkit-report/#ftag=CAD590a51e

Jay-Z’s new ‘4:44’ album exclusive to Tidal and Sprint users

Tidal is way behind on subscribers compared to Spotify and Apple Music, but company head Jay-Z has a secret weapon to turn the tide: Jay-Z.

The rapper’s 13th album, “4:44,” will be release on June 30 exclusively on Tidal. Spotify and Apple Music subscribers are out of luck. Sprint users, however, are in luck, as new and existing customers will get access to the album through six months of free Tidal HiFi membership.  

You can chalk that partnership up to Sprint in January buying a 33 percent stake in Tidal.

Jay-Z isn’t new to linking the worlds of music and tech. His previous album, 2013’s “Magna Carter Holy Grail,” was made free to anyone who bought a Samsung Galaxy S3, S4 or Note 2. Meanwhile, his protege Kanye West made his most recent album, “The Life of Pablo,” exclusive to Tidal for around six weeks before it hit Spotify, Apple Music and Google Play Music. 

Tidal last year claimed it had 3 million subscribers, 45 percent of which have signed up to the hi-fidelity, $19.99 option, according to Billboard. That number is likely much bigger now, as Sprint’s 45 million users gained access to the service back in January. Spotify is still king though, with 50 million paid subscribers. Apple Music sits at an impressive 27 million.

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Article source: https://www.cnet.com/news/jay-zs-new-444-album-exclusive-to-tidal-and-sprint-users/#ftag=CAD590a51e

Beyoncé’s dad tweets she’s had twins and ticks off Twitter

 Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that’s taken over our lives.

NBA All-Star Game 2017

Some of her fans are upset.

Ronald Martinez / Getty Images

I’d rather thought that Father’s Day on Twitter was all about honoring dads and all that they’ve done for their kids.

Beyoncé’s dad, however, had a different experience Sunday morning. 

Mathew Knowles’s tweet was an announcement: “They’re here! #beyonce #twins #jayz #happybirthday.” Accompanying this was a happy birthday card from grandpa.

To some on Twitter this seemed odd — not because the great singer has apparently given birth but because it was her dad who announced it.

Aren’t stars’ births supposed to be meticulously coordinated by a plethora of PR types in order to gain the maximum positive coverage? Moreover, Knowles is said by some to have a complicated relationship with his daughter.

This being Twitter, therefore, much of the reaction ventured toward the harsh. “Shame on you,” tweeted actor and writer Angie Grace, together with an annoyed GIF. 

Other fans were likewise miffed. “Just had to ruin it for Bey did you,” mused AntiKunta, with an appropriate (for her) moment from the career of actress Taraji P. Henson. 

British politician Mohamed Salih even offered his shillings-worth: “Beyoncé: Dad don’t tell anyone until we’re ready. Beyoncé Dad: I’m going viral for this tweet…hashtag, hashtag…”

This reflected the feelings of a number of fans who were surely hoping for something a little more choreographed. 

At least one Twitterer offered a positive reaction. “It is fathers day so I think beyonce gave him permission. Stop making a drama out of everything,” said IFB.

Neither Beyoncé’s representatives nor Knowles immediately responded to a request for comment. The star’s Twitter account, which enjoys more than 14.8 million followers, has been silent since April of last year. 

Personally, I’m entirely happy as long as mother and babies are healthy. I’m also very happy to wait for her and husband Jay Z to tell the world. 

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Article source: https://www.cnet.com/news/beyonce-twins-born-dad-tweets-anger/#ftag=CAD590a51e