Tablo easily turns Android TV boxes into standalone DVRs

Tablo easily turns Android TV boxes into standalone DVRs

According to Tablo, its app will work on Android TV devices with its tuner or hardware from Nuvyyo and Hauppage. Plex offers a similar solution at a comparable price, while HDHomeRun’s still in beta software is also an option. With Tablo, owners can record video to internal storage on a device like the Shield, or plug in a hard drive via USB for extra space. This option may not work for everyone, but if you’re within range for antenna TV and want to save a few bucks, it could do the job.

The free Tablo ENGINE app provides the Tablo interface and DVR features including:

  • Live TV: Watch, pause and rewind live TV in stunning full HD quality
  • Fast Channel Changes: Tune to live TV in seconds from the live TV grid guide
  • Recording & Time Shifting: Watch, pause, rewind and fast forward completed and in-progress recordings
  • 14-Day Live TV Grid Guide: Browse and set recordings for shows airing over the next 14 days
  • Content Discovery & Series Recording: Discover new shows and set one-click series recordings (ALL NEW or ALL episodes) via the Netflix-style program guide
  • 5.1 Surround Sound: Enable Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound pass-through for a premium audio experience

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/06/28/tablo-android-tv/

Pornhub will sync videos with your interactive sex toys

From today, you can now find a new Interactive section of Pornhub that offers clips intended for both the Kiiroo Onyx and Fleshlight Launch. The company has promised, however, to widen the gadgets that its clips are compatible with, to include female-friendly devices from OhMiBod, We-Vibe, Lovense and Kiiroo. Pornhub has also pledged to widen the category to include VR videos that can sync with the hardware, making truly immersive teledildonics a possibility.

The content itself is being produced in partnership with Ufeel.tv, a provider of interactive videos for such tech already. In addition, Ufeel will be showing Pornhub how to embed the sync technology in a variety of other videos both from established studios and amateurs. There’s a pledge, too, that the category will launch with hundreds of clips, with at least five new ones being added each and every day.

As we noted in our review of the Launch, however, it will be up to both Ufeel and Pornhub to ensure that there is a wide diversity of content available. Right now, it’s clear that the majority of these videos fit into the vanilla sex or hand job categories, although that shouldn’t be the limit as to what genres are embraced.

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/06/28/pornhub-will-sync-videos-with-your-interactive-sex-toys/

Volkswagen’s cars will be ‘talking’ to each other by 2019

The system will initially be limited to warnings and local information, but as the tech rolls out it’ll be possible to bring more extensive features on board, such as real-time traffic light monitoring and information on emergency service vehicles. So you’ll be able to see how far away an ambulance is, and which direction it’s travelling in, without getting flustered trying to locate it in your mirrors.

The technology uses a frequency band specially intended for road safety, and because this is localized there’s no data storage involved, meaning there’s no need to worry about data costs or network coverage. It complies with the automotive industry standard for this type of tech, so there won’t be any VW cliques – cars fitted with pWLAN can talk to each other regardless of their make.

The Department of Transportation has already made it pretty clear it wants America’s cars to talk to each other sooner rather than later, so you can probably expect similar announcements from other manufacturers soon.

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/06/28/volkswagen-cars-will-talk-to-each-other-by-2019/

Report details Facebook’s bizarre logic on hate speech

The social network has attempted to build a global ruleset of what does, and what does not, constitute hate speech. But the logic that it uses is likely to provoke outrage in users who feel that the company already fails to do enough to tackle radicalization.


Facebook only deletes hate speech if it is directed against a group that it determines is a “protected category.” pic.twitter.com/0P6qPYh9qD

— Julia Angwin (@JuliaAngwin) June 28, 2017

On one hand, Facebook appears to believe that you cannot, or should not, criticize someone for the things that are out of their control. For instance, a slur made against someone’s race, gender, sexuality and religious affiliation, amongst others, would be marked for deletion. But those factors that are less central to identity — in Facebook’s eyes — are fair game for comment, such as a person’s social class, job, appearance, age or religion.

If that’s a little wooly, it may be easier to explain using a hypothetical situation in which the following statements were made:

  • “Let’s hunt and kill radicalized muslims, for the sake of all that is good and righteous.”
  • “Let’s hunt and kill all black children, for the sake of all that is good and righteous.”
  • “Let’s hunt and kill all white men, for the sake of all that is good and righteous.”

According to ProPublica’s report, the first two statements are considered fair comment because they only target a subsection of a group. Advocating the murder of the members of an entire race or religion would be protected, but a subset — the radicalized muslims, the black children — are not. The third statement, since it is targeting an entire race and gender, would be moderated off the platform.


Facebook’s strange formula allows Rep. Clay Higgins’ call for violence against “radicalized Muslims” because it attacks a subgroup pic.twitter.com/UkJe85Soqh

— Julia Angwin (@JuliaAngwin) June 28, 2017

One document sourced by ProPublica seems to ask moderators which groups “do we protect” from a list of female drivers, black children and white men. The answer is the final group, for the same logic that was outlined above, although it’s likely that many will be horrified that the sentiment was expressed at all.

Facebook’s head of global policy management, Monika Bickert, is quoted in the report, saying that its policies “do not always lead to perfect outcomes.” But Bickert stresses that the company’s rules need to apply to a “global community” with “very different ideas about what is OK to share.”

The report also accuses the company of drafting its comment rules in a way that favors businesses and governments against individual citizens. For instance, documents seen by ProPublica claim to encourage censorship of comments made that encourage resistance of “an internationally recognized state.” Facebook moderators have reportedly deleted posts from activists and journalists in a variety of disputed territories and authoritarian regimes.


Here’s the quiz Facebook has given to its “content reviewers” pic.twitter.com/zv8hS27H0A

— Julia Angwin (@JuliaAngwin) June 28, 2017

Unfortunately for Facebook, this is the latest in a long series of scandals concerning how it deals with offensive and illegal content. Earlier this year, a trove of documents relating to its moderation policies was leaked, revealing that it will not delete violent language unless it presents a “credible” threat. The company also pledged to hire 3,000 extra moderators to help deal with extremist and violent content, although this may still not be enough. Facebook has not yet responded to a request for comment, although we expect an update on this story in the near future.

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/06/28/report-details-facebook-s-bizarre-logic-on-hate-speech/

Toshiba’s latest SSD tech squeezes 128GB onto a tinier chip

To give you an idea how fast things change in flash land, Intel has started selling its SSD 545 line that uses 64-layer 3D NAND priced at $180 for 512GB. Other companies, including Toshiba and WD, will soon launch their own 64-layer models, starting a new downward price spiral. Once 96-layer SSDs come on the market, prices will fall even more.

WD and Toshiba have a partnership that seems to be deteriorating very rapidly, thanks to Toshiba’s contentious upcoming sale of its NAND division. Both companies issued press releases on the new tech, but while WD said that it partnered with Toshiba on the tech, Toshiba didn’t mention WD at all in its own release.

It could be unrelated, but Toshiba just sued Western Digital for $1 billion, saying that it’s holding back a potential sale of its chip division. That situation is very messy, because WD and Toshiba have a partnership that WD says gives it first right of refusal. However, other bidders, including Foxconn (possibly backed by Apple), SK Hynix and Broadcomm, have reportedly offered to pay a lot more for Toshiba than WD. Toshiba, meanwhile, says that a sale to another company would not violate its agreement with WD, according to Bloomberg.

Either way, Toshiba will start sampling its new 96-layer tech later this year, and begin manufacturing in three of its Japanese fab plants starting in 2018.

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/06/28/toshibas-latest-ssd-tech-squeezes-128gb-onto-a-tinier-chip/

Qualcomm’s new fingerprint sensors work underwater

The sensors, expected in the first half of 2018, can even be used underwater, and can detect heart beat and blood flow whether the screen is on or off.

The company’s also announced it plan to improve its entry-level gear with the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 octa-core chips.

Built on a 14nm process, these chips offer a marked step up from their 435 processor predecessor, including a four-hour battery life extension and a 25 percent increase in graphics performance.

It’s also the first time its 400 tier supports real-time bokeh effect, where you can blur the background of a photo before taking it, which will go nicely with the chip’s support for dual cameras and FHD+ resolution.

Keep an eye on the likes of Vivo, Huawei and Xiaomi — this chip will likely appear on their low- to mid-priced phones.

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/06/28/qualcomm-new-fingerprint-sensors-underwater-Snapdragon-chip/

You’ll need an Xbox to enjoy Netflix’s Dolby Atmos debut

While you can only enjoy the feature with Okja right now, Netflix already has a lineup of upcoming releases with Atmos support, starting with anime movie BLAME! to be available on July 28th. Its high-budget live action Death Note (August 25th) remake will also support the feature, as well as Will Smith’s $90 million fantasy action film Bright, which will launch sometime in December. The last movie in the list is action thriller Wheelman, though the service will likely add more for next year.

The bad news? Netflix has pretty stringent requirements for Dolby Atmos streaming. You can only experience what it can offer if you stream Okja on a Microsoft Xbox One or Xbox One S. Further, the console must be connected to an Atmos-enabled home theater system, TV or soundbar. Headphones will also work, so long as you download the Dolby Access app from the Xbox Store. If you have an LG OLED TV, though, you don’t need to spring for an Xbox One if you don’t have it. Netflix says support for LG’s OLEDs is coming “soon,” and since they come with built-in Atmos capabilities, there’s no need to hook them up to a separate sound system.

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/06/28/netflix-dolby-atmos-debut-okja/

Censors pull ‘BoJack Horseman’ two days after Chinese debut

The Beijing-based video streaming service (a subsidiary of Baidu) told Bloomberg that “adjustments need to be made” to the show before it can be restored to its site, which could mean that its mix of dark comedy and earnest commentary didn’t go down well with the country’s censors. Netflix shows were added to iQiyi on 19 June, and its other shows (including originals Chef’s Table and Making a Murderer) are still available.

A “sadcom” about the exploits of a melancholy, anthropomorphic horse and his group of human and animal friends, BoJack’s mature themes and quirky nature make it an easy target for cuts. On the other hand, China remains a tough market to crack for overseas programme providers as even tame US shows — such as the non-offensive, long-running sitcom The Big Bang Theory — have been taken off the air. Just last year, China’s government issued TV broadcasting guidelines that banned everything from teenage lovers to depictions of characters drinking to drown their troubles. It’s weird that Netflix somehow thought a show about a sad, drunken horse would get the green light in the present atmosphere.

Whether there will be any sort of outcry over BoJack’s sudden removal from the web remains to be seen. The show has reportedly built a cult fanbase online, with Chinese social media users regularly sharing memes and screenshots from the show. Perhaps Netflix needs to have a word with its hostile competitor Hollywood (an industry that knows a thing or two about China’s strict censorship rules) to figure out how to play ball before more of its shows goes dark.

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/06/28/netflix-bojack-horseman-china/

Vivo beats Apple to an under-display fingerprint scanner

Vivo beats Apple to an under-display fingerprint scanner

Even though it was Xiaomi who got to use Qualcomm’s previous-gen “Sense ID” solution on its Mi 5s, this time the chip maker is letting Vivo get first dibs. Over at Vivo’s booth, I got to play with a prototype — based on the existing Xplay6 — fitted with Qualcomm’s under-display fingerprint scanner. The demo started off with a familiar fingerprint registration process, except I had to place my finger on a marked area on the screen, which was just above the old fingerprint button. Once done, I was able to unlock the phone by touching that same spot using my registered finger; and just to be sure, I tried with my other fingers which fortunately failed to unlock the device.

While the solution seemed to work as advertised, I found the fingerprint recognition speed to be noticeably slower — about one second between first touch and entering home screen — than the near-instantaneous unlock that I’m used to on most recent smartphones. I was also slightly disappointed by how small the recognition area was. That said, Vivo’s demonstrators told me that in theory, the same sensing technology could be applied across the entire screen, but that would significantly increase production cost; instead, Vivo might eventually cover just the bottom half of the screen, which would still be better than what the demo offered.

Vivo beats Apple to an under-display fingerprint scanner

In another demo, the company applied the same ultrasonic tech to a spot on the back of the phone’s metallic body, thus allowing the phone to be unlocked even when placed in water. Since this unlock method could be associated with the camera app, this could come in handy for those moments when you want to take underwater photos or videos while in shallow water. But of course, other companies have solved this use case with a physical shutter button (Sony) or squeeze detection (HTC).

The Vivo reps couldn’t provide a timeline as to when we’ll start seeing this tech on their devices, but according to Qualcomm, its solution will come in two waves. “Qualcomm Fingerprint Sensors for Glass and Metal” can be integrated into devices powered by Snapdragon 660 and 630, and it’ll start shipping to OEMs this month. As for the more advanced “Qualcomm Fingerprint Sensors for Display,” it’ll work with future Snapdragon platforms as well as non-Snapdragon platforms, and it’ll only start commercial sampling in Q4 this year.

Vivo beats Apple to an under-display fingerprint scanner

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/06/28/vivo-qualcomm-under-display-fingerprint-reader/

The first commercial astronaut training center will be built in the UK

The base, which is set to fully close in 2020, already houses some of the facilities that paid-for astronauts need to acclimatise to the rigours of space. Its centrifuge base, for example, will expose space-goers to extreme G forces as part of their commercial astronaut training programme. The idea is to provide the necessary services needed by private spaceflight providers to get their passengers launch ready.

The pool, which will be three times deeper than NASA’s 12 metre Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL), won’t just be used for space projects. Offshore oil, gas and renewable companies will be invited to test their equipment in Blue Abyss’ waters. Submersibles will also be welcome, allowing companies to test underwater vehicles in “extreme environments.”

The first commercial astronaut training center will be built in the UK

The announcement comes at a key time. Just last week, the UK government announced new legislation to secure the growth of UK’s space industry. The Space Industry Bill paves the way for the development of the UK’s first spaceports and lays the groundwork for vertically-launched rocket, space plane and satellite launches in the near future.

The government originally earmarked eight locations for the first UK spaceport back in 2014. Six were in Scotland, with Wales and England potentially offering one apiece. That list has been whittled down, with Newquay, Cornwall now believed to be the number one choice.

Development of the Blue Abyss facility — designed by Robin Partington, the man behind London’s Gherkin tower — will likely begin at the end of the year and begin operations in 2019. It’ll provide up to 160 jobs when it opens, including an on-site specialist diving team.

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/06/28/uk-blue-abyss-world-first-commercial-space-research-centre/