Not all 4K LCD TVs offer this resolution

If you never watched anything but 720p and 1080p content, something that still applies to a great number of people, you would probably never notice that your new 2017 LG UJ6300, UJ6500, UJ7700, or SJ8000 LCD TV does things a little differently. Note those are models reported by HDGuru—I’ve witnessed only the UJ6300 and UJ6500. If you put said TV next to your neighbors non-LG 4K UHD TV, and then fed some 2160p (4K UHD) video through it, you would most definitely notice something amiss. Details wouldn’t be quite as sharp on the LG, and the overall image just wouldn’t quite seem—well, 4K. There’s a reason for that: Your TV is only 4K by LG’s dubious definition. By most definitions, including the one that really matters, the eyeball test, these TVs are 2.8K. As they were when we first covered this phenomenon at the behest of a concerned reader just over a year ago. It’s all about the subpixels Most people today have heard of RGB, and most probably know that by combining those colors you can make all sorts of other colors. That’s how TVs work—varying the intensity of the red, green, and blue subpixels that comprise each pixel to to create the desired color. Most 4K UHD TVs have 3840 pixels per row, each having the standard three RGB subpixels for a total of 11,520 of these smallest elements. But with some implementations, that can leave something to be desired in the way of brightness and contrast. To increase brightness, some panel manufacturers add fourth white subpixel: RGBW (red, green, blue, white). Done the kosher way, this means 3840 pixels each consisting of four subpixels: one red, one green, one blue, and one white for a total of 15,360 subpixels. Indeed, this is the way LG’s OLEDs do it. Done the way LG does with its RGBW LCD TVs, there are still only 11,520 subpixels, as with RGB, but every fourth subpixel is changed to white.This results in only 2,880 distinct RGBW subpixel groups, or pixels, or possible full color points in each row. We call it subtractive RGBW. By any reasonable definition, including your eye’s when viewing 4K UHD content on such an arrangement, that’s 2.88K, or using the display industry’s loose math—2.8K. Buy or don’t buy, just know what you’re buying I’m not saying the UJ6300, UJ6500, UJ7700, or UJ8000 are bad TVs, nor am I saying you shouldn’t buy one. The models I’ve seen on display actually look pretty nice with 720p and 1080p content, especially at the price. But what they are not, is 4K UHD. There’s a simple test you can do with a magnifying glass to see if a TV uses subtractive RGBW. Put a white image on the screen, and simply observe if every fourth pixel is white. If they’re not groups of four, and the white changes position in the group, something like the image below, then it’s the 2.8K, subtractive version of RGBW. The bottom line is, If you want to view the 4K UHD content that’s likely to take off in the next year in its full-detailed splendor, then buy something else. Perhaps from a company that doesn’t misrepresent the technology in its TVs. Source: TechHive

Amazon video app

Amazon Prime Video app for Android TV is listed on Play Store

Amazon’s Prime Video has never been available for Google’s Chromecast. And earlier this month, even Google decided to pull the strings of the YouTube app from Amazon’s Fire TV stick. However, the ‘productive discussions’ between the two tech giants has finally resulted in a treat for the customers. While Google decided to drop its decision to pull out YouTube from the Fire TV Stick, even Amazon has launched the Prime Video app for Android TV. Although we were not able to test the on any Android TV, international media is reporting that the app listed is not compatible on many Android TVs. This indicates that Amazon might be testing the Prime Video app on Android TVs or it is yet to update the app for making it compatible. The app was earlier available for a select Android TVs such as NVIDA Shield TV in the past. Although the launch of the Prime Video app for Android TV seems to be a good move from Amazon, there is still no update on whether Amazon plans to release the app for the much popular Google Chromecast. It is only recently that the Prime Video app went live on Apple TV as well. Other than the Prime Video app, Amazon has also introduced browsing support on the Fire TV devices. Amazon has announced the rollout of Mozilla’s Firefox and its own Silk browser for the regular Fire TV and Fire TV Stick.


Amazon Alexa

Amazon Alexa isn’t only found on Echo devices. Third-party hardware makers have released their own take on hardware that supports the voice-controlled assistant. Amazon Alexa in the office and home Out of the box on an Echo device, Amazon Alexa is super useful for everyday life tasks such as making to-do lists, setting timers and alarms, shopping Amazon and more. But thanks to third-party integrations of Alexa into other hardware not made by Amazon, the voice assistant can also make your work life much easier with optimal gadgets for different situations. Here are the best devices that support Alexa you might consider in the 2018 holiday shopping season…

microsoft surface2

Microsoft’s high-end Surface Book 2

Microsoft’s Surface Book 2 is the most powerful mobile Surface device yet. It easily blows away the Surface Pro, Surface Laptop and, of course, the old Surface Book. It’s also one of the odder devices in the lineup, though. It’s not just a Surface Pro with a rigid keyboard. It’s a relatively heavy base with a powerful processor and graphics card and a big battery — and it has a surprisingly light removable screen that turns it into a tablet and that features a less powerful processor and graphics chip.There surely a world of difference between the performance of these low-end and high-end machines, so you get what you pay for. But Microsoft’s message here is pretty clear: the Surface Book 2 is basically a mobile workstation for those who want to edit videos and photos, play games on the road or just need a really powerful mobile machine to crunch numbers or compile a Linux kernel or two. It’s Microsoft’s challenger to the MacBook Pro and it’s not shying away from the comparison.

Bitcoin mining

The lives of bitcoin miners in Mongolia

A decade ago, after a speculative coal boom fizzled, the once-thriving desert city of Ordos, in Inner Mongolia, became China’s largest ghost town, littered with unfinished or empty buildings and desperate for another way to make money. Blessed like most of China with cheap labor, land, and, most important, cheap electricity, Ordos threw open its doors to all-comers, including bitcoin, the stateless digital currency whose total market value has more than quadrupled this year to $70 billion, and whose ability to act as a kind of digital gold has captured the imaginations of governments, big banks, and small entrepreneurs. Continue with the original article HERE Source: https://qz.com/

Smartphone addiction it-dienst.at

How to escape from the smartphone addiction

Let’s try to say be honest if you would survive without your smartphone? We do not talk about the essential use of your phone, perhaps for business communication, We talk about the need to check your  facebook everytime you get a chance. We are talking about the need to post photos of every meal or check up on that on Facebook. With this in mind Jumia Travel, an online travel agency highlights several helpful ways to break a smartphone addiction: Monitor Your Smartphone Use Paying attention to the number of times per hour you check your phone can help to increase your awareness about any addiction you might have to your smartphone. If you’re aware of the problem, then it will be easier to address it and better help you begin to identify goals and possible solutions. To help you monitor your smartphone use, you can download an app that helps with this kind of tracking. An example of such an app would be ‘Checky’ and there many others like this you can use.   Consciously Limit Your Smartphone Use to Certain Times of the Day There really is no other way to deal with a smartphone addiction than to make a conscious effort to address the problem. You should consciously limit your smartphone use to specific times of the day to give yourself time to do other things. This is very important. You can later reward yourself for meeting the goals you have set to limit your smartphone usage with suitable incentives. Remember, scientifically, it takes thirty days to break/make a habit, so you only have to keep it going for a while before it becomes easier for you, practically a thing of habit.   Turn Off or Customize Your Notifications Notifications are one of the major causes of smartphone addictions, especially for ‘addictive’ apps like Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter and the like. Just make things easier for yourself and temper the temptation to check your phone all the time, by turning off the notifications for those ‘addictive’ apps because they only make you more prone to whipping out your phone and drowning in the vicious cycle of texts, mentions, comments, replies etc. that waste so much of the time you can use to do things that are more beneficial.   Try To Understand What Triggers Your Excessive Smartphone Use Everything we do is for a reason, and if your smartphone use is excessive then there is a reason for it. Trying to uncover what this reason is and trying to understand it will make it easier for you to overcome your smartphone addiction. You might be addicted to your phone because you often get bored. Boredom has been known to trigger individuals to engage in addictive behaviours. To address the issue, you can then work on developing hobbies or engaging yourself in activities that will not only solve your problem of boredom but will be more beneficial to you.


Docker will pack Kubernetes in the box

Docker announced they will integrate a version of Google’s Kubernetes container-orchestration tool as a native part of Docker. The Kubernetes integration will be available as a beta release. The integration will be available to all Docker’s versionsll the operating systems they currently support. One reason of including Kubernetes is to spare developers the effort of standing up a Kubernetes instance, whether for simple dev/test or for actual production use. Historically it’s been a chore to get Kubernetes running, and so a slew of Kubernetes tools and third-party Kubernetes projects have emerged to simplify the process. Most of the time, it’s easier to use a Kubernetes distribution, becayse the distribution’s packaging deals with these problems at a high level. Docker’s inclusion of Kubernetes makes Docker itself a Kubernetes distribution.To integrate the two, Docker is using a Kubernetes feature called custom resources, a native way to customize particular installations of Kubernetes. Previous repackagings of Kubernetes sometimes made changes that subtly broke compatibility, and custom resources was devised as a way to avoid that. Any changes Docker makes to Kubernetes can be kept separate from the Kubernetes code base, and done entirely on the Docker side. Another reason is integrating Kubernetes to provide an easy alternative to its own orchestration tool, Swarm.

Razer with new Gaming Mobile Phone

Finally Razer introduced their Razer Phone, a gamers handset. It boasts the first in use 120 Hz Ultramotion display with the potential to deliver fast refresh rates and the smoothest graphics available. “It’s common knowledge that I’m obsessed with my smartphones. I play a ton of games on them, and they’re my go-to for streaming content,” said Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan. “We have wanted to make a phone with gaming-level tech for years, and the Razer Phone delivers in every way we imagined,” he said. Razer Gamers Smartphone Tech Specs: At a glance 120 Hz UltraMotion™ screen Featuring Dolby ATMOS and THX certified audio Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 with 8GB RAM 12MP dual cameras for complete versatility 4,000 mAh battery for all-day power Processor Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 835 Mobile Platform System Memory 8GB dual channel (LPDDR4, 1866 MHz) Storage Internal: 64GB UFS External: microSD (class 10, 2TB max.) Display 5.7-inch IGZO LCD 1440 x 2560 120 Hz, Wide Color Gamut (WCG) Corning Gorilla Glass 3 Rear Cameras 12MP AF f1.75 Wide 13MP AF f2.6 Zoom Dual PDAF Dual tone, dual LED flash Front Camera 8MP FF f2.0 Sound Stereo Front-facing speakers Dual Amplifiers Audio Adapter with THX certified DAC Power 4000 mAh lithium-ion battery Qualcomm® Quick Charge™ 4+ Wireless 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Bluetooth 4.2 NFC Bands GSM: Quad-band GSM UMTS: B1/2/3/4/5/8 LTE: B1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/17/19/20/25/26/28/29/30/66 TDD LTE: B38/39/40/41 TD-SCDMA: B34/39 Size 158.5 x 77.7 x 8 mm 6.24 x 3.06 x 0.31 in 197 g More info – https://www.razerzone.com/mobile/razer-phone

IT-Dienst.at Remote Control

Turn any object into a TV remote

Imagine changing the channel of your TV simply by moving your cup of tea, adjusting the volume on a music player by rolling a toy car, or rotating a spatula to pause a cookery video on your tablet. New gesture control technology that can turn everyday objects into remote controls could revolutionise how we interact with televisions, and other screens – ending frustrating searches for remotes that have slipped down the side of sofa cushions. In a paper – ‘Matchpoint: Spontaneous spatial coupling of body movement for touchless pointing’ – which will be presented at the UIST2017 conference in Quebec City this October, researchers from Lancaster University show a novel technique that allows body movement, or movement of objects, to be used to interact with screens. The ‘Matchpoint’ technology, which only requires a simple webcam, works by displaying moving targets that orbit a small circular widget in the corner of the screen. These targets correspond to different functions – such as volume, changing channel or viewing a menu. The user synchronises the direction of movement of the target, with their hand, head or an object, to achieve what researchers call ‘spontaneous spatial coupling’, which activates the desired function. Unlike existing gesture control technology, the software does not look for a specific body part it has been trained to identify – such as a hand. Lancaster’s technology looks for rotating movement so it doesn’t require calibration, or the software to have prior knowledge of objects. This provides much more flexibility and ease for the user as it works even while hands are full, and while stood or slouching on the sofa. Users also do not need to learn specific commands to activate different functions, as is the case with some gesture controlled televisions on the market, and the user is able to decouple at will. When selecting volume adjustment or channel selection, sliders appear. The user moves their hand, head, or object, in the required direction indicated by the slider to change the volume or to find the desired channel. As well as televisions, the technology can also be used with other screens. For example, YouTube tutorials, such as mending bikes or baking cakes, could be easily paused and rewound on tablet computers without users having to put down tools or mixing bowls. Multiple pointers can be created to allow more than one user to point at drawings or pictures on interactive whiteboards simultaneously. Matchpoint also allows users to manipulate images on whiteboards by using two hands to zoom in and out, and rotate images. In addition to short-term couplings, users can also link stationary objects to controls, which even when left for prolonged periods will retain their control function. For example, a mug sat on a table could change a track on a music player when moved left or right, and a rolling toy car could be used to adjust volume. Objects can lose their coupling with controls simply by removing them from the camera’s field of view. Christopher Clarke, PhD student at Lancaster University’s School of Computing and Communications, and developer of the technology, said: “Spontaneous spatial coupling is a new approach to gesture control that works by matching movement instead of asking the computer to recognise a specific object. “Our method allows for a much more user-friendly experience where you can change channels without having to put down your drink, or change your position, whether that is relaxing on the sofa or standing in the kitchen following a recipe. “Everyday objects in the house can now easily become remote controls so there are no more frantic searches for remote controls when your favourite programme is about to start on another channel, and now everyone in the room has the ‘remote’. You could even change the channel with your pet cat.” Researchers believe Matchpoint is also suitable to be used as an accessibility tool for people who are unable to use traditional pointers, such as remote controls and a mouse and keyboard. The researchers on the paper are Christopher Clarke and Professor Hans Gellersen, both of Lancaster University’s School of Computing and Communications. Source: http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/news/articles/2017/revolutionary-new-gesture-control-tech-turns-any-object-into-a-tv-remote/

Open Data Licensing Agreements

The Linux Foundation on Monday introduced the Community Data License Agreement, a new framework for sharing large sets of data required for research, collaborative learning and other purposes. CDLAs will allow both individuals and groups to share data sets in the same way they share open source software code, the foundation said. “As systems require data to learn and evolve, no one organization can build, maintain and source all data required,” noted Mike Dolan, VP of strategic programs at The Linux Foundation. “Data communities are forming around artificial intelligence and machine learning use cases, autonomous systems, and connected civil infrastructure,” he told LinuxInsider. “The CDLA license agreements enable sharing data openly, embodying best practices learned over decades of sharing source code.” The agreement could help foster an increase in data sharing across a variety of industries, supporting collaboration in climate modeling, automotive safety, energy consumption, building permit processes, water use management and other functions. Uniform Guidelines The agreement calls for two main sets of licenses, which are designed to help data contributors and consumers work with a uniform set of guidelines that clarify the rules of the road and mitigate risks. The Sharing license encourages contributions of data to the community. The Permissive license does not require any additional sharing of data. Among the commercial and creative implications of the licenses: Data producers can be more specific regarding what recipients can do with data. Data producers can choose between the Sharing and Permissive licenses, depending on which model better aligns with their needs. Either type of license gives them greater clarity of agreement terms, and provides greater protection from liability and warranties. Licenses allow communities to share data on equal terms that balance out the needs of data users and producers. Data communities can add their own rules and requirements for curating data, particularly involving personally identifiable information. A data user looking for information that will be used for training on an artificial intelligence system or for another use will have access to data shared under a known license model that has terms that are clearly spelled out. The agreements are agnostic with regard to data privacy, and it will be up to publishers and curators of data to create their own governance structure, taking into account applicable laws. Higher Learning The agreement comes at a time when technologies like machine learning and artificial intelligence are capable of analyzing data sets in ways that previously were not possible. The licensing agreements provide a framework to make data repositories uniform enough to allow accurate and replicable analysis. “The critical issues for deep learning are verification and transparency — and is the training replicable?” said Paul Teich, principal analyst at Tirias Research. Organizations often share data in order to allow other groups to try to replicate their results, he told LinuxInsider. In addition, organizations might publish data sets speculatively for other groups to process — and potentially pick a vendor for advanced analytics, depending on how well different algorithms worked on a particular data set. “The new Community Data License from The Linux Foundation reflects the growing importance of information as a resource for big data analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence,” said Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT. “In essence, data provides the fuel required for processes, including ‘teaching’ systems to accurately perform complex functions and analyze ongoing occurrences,” he told LinuxInsider. Rising Demand There has been a surge in the level of interest in data sets in recent years, noted Mark Radcliffe, global chair of the FOSS Global Practice Group at DLA Piper. For example, connected cars can provide a wealth of data, including GPS, miles per hour and music playlist information, he told LinuxInsider. Internet of Things devices could provide information like boiler temperatures, or wind speeds from wind farms. CDLAs will encourage a more uniform process for sharing such data. “These license agreements [could be] very, very helpful,” Radcliffe said, “because in many cases people are doing this on an ad hoc basis.” The legal protection available for data is very fragmented and very uncertain, he pointed out. “It’s not an area that has had [much] case law involved. In many cases you have a very uncertain background in which to work.” The Open Transport Partnership, which is backed by the World Bank, has been working since 2016 to collect GPS streams in order to research traffic congestion, particularly during peak commute times. The partnership launched an effort last year with a number of organizations, including the World Resources Institute, the National Association of City Transportation Officials, ride-sharing firms like Grab and Easy Taxi, open mapping firm Mapzen, data platforms like MDrive, and other firms. The World Bank collaborated with Grab, with backing from the Korea Green Growth Trust Fund, to use anonymized GPS data from 500,000 Grab drivers to map out peak congestion times in Manila. The program was scheduled to expand to other countries like Brazil, Malaysia and Columbia. Source: technewsworld.com, by David Jones