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SpaceX’s Explosive Test May Launch Year of Renewed Human Spaceflight

NYT Technology - Sun, 01/19/2020 - 17:13
A NASA program could be ready to launch astronauts to orbit once again, and the number of people traveling to space could surge.

Packers vs 49ers live stream: how to watch NFC Conference Championship from anywhere

Techradar - Sun, 01/19/2020 - 16:36

Green Bay or San Francisco - two of the biggest names in the NFL, but only one can head to the Super Bowl.The NFC Conference Championship is on the line today at Levi’s Stadium and we’re here to make sure you catch every play and touchdown with a Packers vs 49ers live stream from pretty much anywhere on Earth.

Green Bay ended the regular season at the top of the NFC North with a record of 13-3 and last weekend the Packers defeated the Seahawks 23-28 in the Divisional Round of the 2020 playoffs.

During the game, wide receiver Davante Adams and running back Aaron Jones both scored two touchdowns. Can the Packers defeat the 49ers to secure a spot in Super Bowl 2020?

San Francisco also finished the regular season in the top spot at the NFC West with a record of 13-3. During the Divisional Round last weekend, the 49ers destroyed the Vikings 10-27 thanks in part to two field goals from place kicker Robbie Gould and two touchdowns from running back Tevin Coleman. Will quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo lead the 49ers to victory against the Packers?

Whether you’re a Packers fan in Green Bay, a 49ers fan in San Francisco or just want to tune in to see which of these NFC teams will head to Super Bowl 2020 in Miami - we’ll show you how to get a Packers vs 49ers live stream from anywhere in the world.

Watch the Packers vs 49ers game online from outside your country (or in a blackout)

Watching this game from the US, UK, Canada or Australia? We'll tell you how to catch the NFL game further down in the article.

But if you're somewhere else in the world - or if a coverage blackout is stopping you from watching in the US - then there's still a way you can live stream the Packers vs 49ers online (and you don't even have to slum it with a grainy, illegal feed you've found on Reddit). Instead you could use a VPN - or Virtual Private Network - to change the IP address to one in a different state or country which does have a stream. And it's not even hard to do.

How to watch the Packers vs 49ers in the US for free Can I watch with the NFL Game Pass?

Well it's a no and a yes. The NFL Game Pass in the US will only let you watch a replay of the game, but not the live action.

Interestingly, it's a different story with an International NFL Game Pass where all post season games are being shown absolutely live...shame you can't officially get access to that if you and your laptop's IP address is in the US.

Other ways cord cutters can stream NFL live online

Sling TV $40 per month - Sling TV splits its live NFL options across its $30 a month Blue plan and $30 a month Orange plan. By combining the two, you get a $10 dollar discount and access to Fox, NBC, ESPN and the NFL Network.  

Hulu with Live TV $40 per month - Hulu with Live TV includes CBS, Fox, NBC and ESPN but does not come with NFL Network.

FuboTV $35 for the first month - FuboTV gives you the first month at a discounted rate but after that the price increases to $45 a month. The service includes CBS, Fox, NBC and the NFL Network but does not come with ESPN.

DirecTV Now $50 per month - DirecTV Now includes CBS, Fox, NBC, ESPN and for $5 extra you can add the NFL Network. However, with this service you can only watch football on local TV stations live.

YouTubeTV $40 per month - YouTubeTV gives you access to CBS, Fox, NBC and ESPN but just like with Hulu with Live TV, there is no NFL Network.

How to stream 49ers vs Packers in the UK

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Get a NFC Conference Championship live stream in Canada for free

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Live stream Packers vs 49ers in Australia for free

Australian Open 2020 live stream: how to watch tennis online from anywhere

Techradar - Sun, 01/19/2020 - 16:30

The decade's first tennis Grand Slam is upon us, but one look at the favorites for this year's Australian Open suggests the tournament is unlikely to signal a new era for the sport. Will the old guard reign supreme once more in Melbourne? You can watch all the tennis action unfold from absolutely anywhere in the world with our handy 2020 Australian Open live stream guide below.

The familiar names of Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer head up the men's odds, while Serena Williams is the clear choice for the women's tournament - currently at ahead of upstarts (oh, and 2020 major winners in their own right) Naomi Osaka and Ashleigh Barty.

The 108th edition of the Aussie Open sees the aforementioned Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka defending their titles. 

Djokovic will be buoyed by recent success in Australia after he started in Serbia's win at the innugural ATP Cup Down Under earlier this month. Japanese ace Osaka meanwhile comes into the tournament off the back of a shock defeat to Karolina Pliskova in the semi-final's of the Brisbane International.

While showers are expected for the early part of the tournament, the bigger concern for players will be the air quality in Melbourne thanks to the ongoing bushfire tragedy in the east of the state.

Tennis fans will be hoping the haze won't impact on what looks set to be the most eagerly contested Australian Open for some time. Find out how you can live stream all the Australian Open 2020 tennis action from wherever you are in the world below. 

How to live stream Australian Open tennis for FREE Down Under Live stream the Australian Open tennis 2020 from anywhere in the world 

For your watching options in Australia, the US, UK, Canada and New Zealand, we have more details below - just scroll down the page.

But if you try to watch your domestic coverage from somewhere outside your home country, you'll soon find a problem...geo-blocking. That's where the broadcaster prevents you from watching the feed overseas.

How to watch the Australian Open 2020: US live stream

How to live stream Australian Open tennis in the UK

The best ways to stream the Australian Open 2020 in Canada

The best way to stream the Australian Open in New Zealand Who has won the most Australian Opens?

Novak Djokovic currently stands as the most successful men’s player at Melbourne having won the Aussie Open on seven occasions (2008, 2011–2013, 2015–2016, 2019) – that’s one more than Swiss rival Roger Federer.

Serena Williams leads the pack for women’s titles during the Open era, having also been crowed champion on seven occasions (2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2015, and 2017).

How much do the winners get at the 2020 Australian Open?

There’s a record prize pot of AUD$71 million in prize money up for grabs in Melbourne this year. Both the Men’s and Women’s winners this year will each pocket a tidy AUD$4,120,000.

What is the format of the Australian Open tennis?

As with all Open tournaments, Men’s matches are the best-of-five sets, while Women’s and Doubles matches are best-of-three.

Which city hosts the Australian Open tennis?

The Australian Open is played at Melbourne Park, which is located in the Melbourne Sports and Entertainment Precinct; the event moved to this site in 1988.

How have the bushfires affected this year's Australian Open?

Melbourne hasn't been as badly affected as Canberra or Sydney by the fires, however, thanks to changing winds air pollution shot up to "hazardous" levels in the week running up to the event.

While the tournament is set to go ahead as scheduled, umpires have been told to stop play if air monitoring shows it is too dangerous to continue.

DSLR vs mirrorless: which camera type is right for you?

Techradar - Sun, 01/19/2020 - 15:30

With many emerging technologies, it’s often the case that the idea at their core is ahead of the real-world implementation – and in the field of photography, that’s definitely the situation when it comes to interchangeable lens cameras (ILCs). At a rough count, there have been 20 new mirrorless models launched in Australia over the last 12 months alone, compared to just two DSLRs. That’s a telling trend. While there’s still a huge number of DSLR users that are happy with their cameras, the industry has turned a lot of its focus onto the mirrorless format – meaning that, in the future, DSLR lovers won’t be able to upgrade in the way they’ve done in the past. So why are DSLRs still so popular, and what are the advantages of the mirrorless configuration?

The Canon EOS 90D is one of the few DSLRs to have been launched recently

As you’ve probably worked out, it’s all about the mirror… specifically, the reflex mirror. This is the component at the heart of the single lens reflex – aka SLR – camera which, as we know it today, has actually been around since the late 1940s. When digital capture first came along, 35mm film was simply swapped for an imaging sensor, but nothing much else has changed. The reflex mirror is located just behind the lens mount and reflects light up to the optical viewfinder – so, at the eyepiece, you’re seeing reality, pure and simple. It’s real world, real time… and that’s why so many photographers love their DSLRs.

However, that reflex mirror is actually in front of the imaging sensor, so at the moment of exposure it has to be physically flipped out of the way. This is obviously done mechanically, so it’s noisy, creates vibrations and also blacks out the viewfinder when in the up position.

It's all about the reflex mirror in the Canon EOS 90D DSLR

The mirrorless camera is pure digital-era, replacing the traditional mirror box and optical viewfinder with an electronic finder which live streams from the imaging sensor. This allows for a smaller, lighter camera body and, with all that mechanical activity gone, one that’s also quieter and quicker. No brainer, then?

Well, yes and no. Electronic viewfinders obviously have a frame rate (also known as the refresh rate) so, at faster shooting speeds, they can black out too, and no matter how good, they can’t match an optical viewfinder for dynamic range, contrast or resolution… at least not right now.

The same, but different

Consequently, it’s not surprising that a camera-maker like Canon – market leader in DSLRs for a very long time – is giving consumers the choice. Those two new DSLRs mentioned earlier were both from Canon. Moreover, the company still busily promoting models such as its best-selling EOS 5D Mark IV and has already announced the development of the EOS 1D X Mark III professional sports DSLR. Yet, it’s also very active with not one, but two mirrorless camera systems – the full-frame EOS R and the APS-C format EOS M.

In fact, Canon’s most recent new camera launch was a joint one for a DSLR and a mirrorless camera – the EOS 90D and the EOS M6 Mark II. The two share the same 34.4 megapixels APS-C format CMOS sensor (32.5 MP effective) and Canon’s latest-gen DiG!C 8 image processor, so they have similar feature sets and imaging performance. However, side-by-side, they illustrate the key differences between the DSLR and mirrorless designs. 

Thanks to its more compact form factor, the EOS M6 Mark II makes the for the perfect travelling companion

Clearly, the EOS M6 Mark II is more compact and it’s around 300 grams lighter. Overall portability is further enhanced by the comparative smallness of Canon’s EF-M mirrorless lenses. Size and weight considerations – especially if you carry a kit of lenses – are currently the prime reasons for DSLR users switching to mirrorless. Yet Canon also makes some compact DSLRs, such the 25.8 MP EOS 200D Mark II – the company's other comparatively-recent DSLR release in Australia. Interestingly, as a result of being, shall we say, a ‘mature’ technology, DSLRs are starting to represent excellent value for money in interchangeable lens cameras. Canon currently has three DSLRs priced at under $1000 complete with a standard zoom, and the 200D Mark II is not much over this so it’s a lot of camera for the money.

Through the looking glass

On the mirrorless front, the EOS M6 Mark II is the new EOS M flagship with key specs such as continuous shooting at a cracking 14 fps when using its focal plane (FP) shutter, and at a super-fast 30 fps when using the sensor-based shutter… both with full autofocusing and exposure adjustment. Sensor-based autofocusing is another plus for mirrorless cameras, especially in terms of scene coverage, and Canon’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF system has a total 5,481 measuring pixels (with 143 user-selectable points) which, in particular, makes for very reliable subject tracking even with fast-moving objects or erratic ones such as small children. 

To make the most of the size reductions possible with the mirrorless configuration, Canon packages the M6 II with a clip-on electronic viewfinder which, nevertheless, fully integrates with the camera, even maintaining ‘touch and drag’ AF point selection from the monitor. On the other hand, if you prefer a fully-integrated EVF – and a lot of photographers still do – Canon has both the EOS M5 and M50 mirrorless models (again with 25.8 MP resolution) which, consequently, both look like mini DSLRs. 

While camera specs matter, design plays a huge part as well

Don’t laugh, styling is still an important consideration for many camera buyers, and it’s one reason why the DSLR isn’t done yet, especially at the enthusiast and pro levels. And the experiential factor too – handling, control layout and, of course, the optical viewfinder. Interestingly with the EOS 90D, Canon really exploits these elements, making it the most capable mid-range APS-C DSLR on the market, while also offering some of the benefits of a mirrorless camera when it’s in either the live view or movie modes. These include a shooting speed of 11 fps – that’s fast for a mid-level DSLR – and the coverage and responsiveness of the Dual Pixel CMOS AF system. And you can switch between traditional controls and the touch screen monitor so, in many ways, the EOS 90D represents the best of camera tradition and technology.

Tradition will undoubtedly have a role in the DSLR’s ongoing longevity while new technology is giving the mirrorless camera a number of hard-to-ignore benefits… and it’s really only just getting started here, so there’s a lot more to come. Whatever your preference though, there’s almost certainly a Canon ILC that fits.

Rumored Comet Lake-S processors offer another sneak peek at Comet Lake-S

Techradar - Sun, 01/19/2020 - 15:14

At this point, everything we know about Comet Lake-S – the upcoming desktop processors from Intel’s Comet Lake line – is all speculation and rumors. Still, thanks to solid leads from eagle-eyed hardware leakers, many of them are pretty much confirmed. 

Take the Intel Core i9-10900 and Core i5-10500 processors as examples. Leaked slides from Intel, which appeared on Informatica Cero in late December 2019, show these upcoming Comet Lake-S processor with 10 cores, 20 threads and a 5.1GHz single-core boost clock speed, and 6 cores, 12 threads and a 4.5GHz boost clock speed, respectively.

Thanks to Twitter user @_rogame, who recently spotted the CPUs make an appearance in the 3DMark database, some of the specs on these two chips are now confirmed, giving us another sneak peek at the long-anticipated Comet Lake-S range.

Intel Core i9-10900 and Core i5-10500 specs

According to the screenshots tweeted by the hardware investigator, the Core i5-10500 will definitely boast 6 cores, 12 threads and a base clock speed of 3.1GHz – although it looks like 3DMark failed to detect its boost clock correctly.

The Core i9-10900, on the other hand, will definitely impress with its 10 cores and 20 threads. However, it’s looking to only deliver 2.8GHz base and 4.9GHz boost clock speeds, a tad lower than what was shown on the aforementioned leaked slides.

Though it might be premature to worry about the lower numbers – as Tom’s Hardware reports, these could be engineering samples whose specs are subject to change. We might still get the 5.1GHz boost clock when the Core i9-10900 finally rolls out.

Although no other information is available in the shared screenshots, the fact that we’re seeing more and more signs of these rumored Comet Lake-S chips – a UserBenchmark entry for an Intel Core i3-10300 was also recently leaked – is already great news. It means that the Comet Lake-S chips are well on their way and will be launching very soon, possibly in Q2 or early spring.

Titans vs Chiefs live stream: how to watch AFC Conference Championship from anywhere

Techradar - Sun, 01/19/2020 - 15:12

The AFC Conference Championship is on the line and today you’ll get to see the Tennessee Titans take on the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium with the winner heading straight to Super Bowl LIV at Miami Gardens, Florida. We’re here to make sure you catch every minute of today’s huge NFL game - see how to get a Titans vs Chiefs live stream regardless of where in the world you are.

Kansas City finished the regular season at the top of the AFC West with a record of 12-4. Last weekend the Chiefs went up against the Houston Texans in the Divisional Round of the 2020 playoffs.

The Texans started the first quarter strong with three touchdowns but in the second and third quarter, Chiefs running back Damien Williams and tight end Travis Kelce both scored three touchdowns each for a final score of 51-31. Can quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs defeat the Titans at home for a spot in the Super Bowl?

Tennessee on the other hand finished the regular season in second place in the AFC South with a record of 9-7. In their matchup against the Ravens last weekend, the Titans walked away with a 28-12 victory and the week before, the team took down the Patriots to put an end to New England’s dynasty. Can the Titans stop the Chiefs and take home the AFC Conference Championship?

Whether you’re a Titans fan in Tennessee, a Chiefs fan in Kansas City or just want to tune in to see which of these AFC teams will head to Super Bowl 2020 - we’ll show you how to get a Titans vs Chiefs live stream from anywhere in the world and it's even free to watch in the US thanks to a simple stream.

Watch the Titans vs Chiefs game online from outside your country (or in a blackout)

Watching this game from the US, UK, Canada or Australia? We'll tell you how to catch the NFL game further down in the article.

But if you're somewhere else in the world - or if a coverage blackout is stopping you from watching in the US - then there's still a way you can live stream the Titans vs Chiefs online (and you don't even have to slum it with a grainy, illegal feed you've found on Reddit). Instead you could use a VPN - or Virtual Private Network - to change the IP address to one in a different state or country which does have a stream. And it's not even hard to do.

How to watch the Titans vs Chiefs in the US for free Can I watch with the NFL Game Pass?

Well it's a no and a yes. The NFL Game Pass in the US will only let you watch a replay of the game, but not the live action.

Interestingly, it's a different story with an International NFL Game Pass where all post season games are being shown absolutely live...shame you can't officially get access to that if you and your laptop's IP address is in the US.

Other ways cord cutters can stream NFL live online

Sling TV $40 per month - Sling TV splits its live NFL options across its $30 a month Blue plan and $30 a month Orange plan. By combining the two, you get a $10 dollar discount and access to Fox, NBC, ESPN and the NFL Network.  

Hulu with Live TV $40 per month - Hulu with Live TV includes CBS, Fox, NBC and ESPN but does not come with NFL Network.

FuboTV $35 for the first month - FuboTV gives you the first month at a discounted rate but after that the price increases to $45 a month. The service includes CBS, Fox, NBC and the NFL Network but does not come with ESPN.

DirecTV Now $50 per month - DirecTV Now includes CBS, Fox, NBC, ESPN and for $5 extra you can add the NFL Network. However, with this service you can only watch football on local TV stations live.

YouTubeTV $40 per month - YouTubeTV gives you access to CBS, Fox, NBC and ESPN but just like with Hulu with Live TV, there is no NFL Network.

How to stream Chiefs vs Titans in the UK

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Get a AFC Conference Championship live stream in Canada for free

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Live stream Titans vs Chiefs in Australia for free

Why 2020 is the year you should finally buy true wireless earbuds

Techradar - Sun, 01/19/2020 - 10:30

Since the first true wireless earbuds were unveiled in 2015 by Japanese electronics company Onkyo, the fledgling form factor has improved in both audio quality and performance – and CES 2020 showed that true wireless technology might finally be ready for the bigtime. 

In the past, true wireless earbuds were riddled with connectivity issues, poor audio quality, and bulky designs – however, based on what we saw at CES this year, the best true wireless earbuds of 2020 will be able to compete with wired headphones on a much more level playing field.

We finally saw the kind of specs we can expect from true wireless earbuds in 2020; from noise cancellation to long-lasting battery life, so here are three reasons why, if you’ve been holding off, you should consider a pair of untethered earbuds to enjoy your tunes every day.

true wireless earbuds

The JLab Go Air True Wireless Earbuds are incredibly cheap.

More choice when it comes to price

For a while now, true wireless earbuds have typically cost more than their wired counterparts – but CES 2020 showed us this form factor doesn't have to come at a premium. 

The new JLab Go Air True Wireless Earbuds are a great example of the growing accessibility of cord-free listening; at just $29 / £29 (about AU$40), they're nearly eight times cheaper than the current class-leading model, the Sony WF-1000XM3

Do they sound as good as their more expensive rivals? Absolutely not, but they're filling a gap in the market for cheap true wireless earbuds from a trusted audio brand. 

At the other end of the price scale, we're also seeing some incredibly high-spec (and incredibly expensive) models entering the market. 

Klipsch's latest model, the T10 True Wireless Earbuds were announced at CES, with a recommended retail price of $649 (around £490 / AU$930). 

Why so expensive? Well, these earbuds are packed to the brim with every single top-end piece of tech available in the wireless audio market, including noise cancellation and built-in artificial intelligence, which brings us on to the next true wireless trend for 2020...

ticpods

The TicPods 2 Pro come with artificial intelligence built-in

Artificial intelligence and gesture controls

CES 2020 saw a number of brands announce true wireless earbuds with built-in artificial intelligence - let’s explain what that means. 

The aforementioned Klipsch T10 have their own operating system with "embedded artificial intelligence," which will allow for voice-controlled music playback without the need for a third-party voice assistant like Google Assistant or Alexa to be installed on your smartphone. 

Similarly, the TicPods 2 Pro come with Mobvoi's own AI tech built in, called TicHear and TicMotion.

TicMotion is the technology that allows you to control your music and calls by moving your head, thanks to built-in motion sensors – that means you can nod your head to accept a call, or shake to decline. 

While the TicPods’ gesture controls are limited to calls, the adoption of this technology points to a future where we’ll be able to control far more with simple movements, including music playback and perhaps even the way our earbuds sound, with gesture-controlled equalizer settings.

Until now, hands-free control of our true wireless earbuds has been limited to giving vocal commands to the voice assistants built into our smartphones – and for anyone who's on the shy side, speaking aloud in public isn't an attractive proposition. 

Gesture controls like we've seen in the TicPods 2 Pro (even if we felt they weren't as effective as they could be) could allow for more organic interactions with our earbuds, making them feel more like a natural extension of ourselves.

Whether models like the Klipsch T10 and the TicPods 2 Pro will pave the way for a world where everybody views their true wireless earbuds in the same way we view our smartphones remain to be seen – but with AI, our regular ‘dumb’ headphones are set to become far smarter. 

true wireless earbuds

The Sony WF-1000XM3 are leading the trend for noise-cancelling true wireless earbuds.

Noise cancellation as a given

We’re not saying that there haven’t been any good true wireless headphones already; for example, the Sony WF-1000XM3 have been our top buds since their release in 2019, and the Apple AirPods Pro have been a massive improvement on the AirPods Classic (AKA among the highest-selling true wireless earbuds in the world).

What's set to change in 2020 and beyond, however, is that noise cancellation will become expected beyond a certain price point – we’d suggest you don’t buy a pair of non noise-cancelling true wireless headphones beyond $100 / £100 / AU$150.

This once-premium feature is already turning up in cheaper true wireless earbuds, like the $99 / £119 / AU$209 TicPods 2 Pro, and while its effectiveness may vary between different models, this trend is only set to continue. 

It makes the decision by Jabra to not include this capability in its recent Elite Active 75t headphones all the more surprising. The rumored Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus are also reportedly eschewing noise cancellation, which could prove a missed opportunity for the Apple rival.

On the other hand, just as audiophiles tend to avoid the 'closed-off' sound of noise-cancelling headphones, we may see an increase in the number of natural-sounding true wireless earbuds, like the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 – and these buds won't have noise cancellation built-in, instead striving for the wide soundstage of open-back headphones to, again, bring you closer to the audiophile sound.

Bluetooth LE is the latest wireless transmission standard.

Better connectivity, longer battery

Thanks to innovations in wireless connectivity, like aptX Low Latency, which reduces the lag between audio and video when using wireless earbuds to watch TV and play games, the best wireless headphones of 2020 rarely experience the frequent connection dropouts of their predecessors.

Announced at CES was Bluetooth LE, the latest standard in wireless technology. Bluetooth LE is a particularly interesting development; using a new codec called LC3, this technology is set to improve sound quality and battery life, as well as allowing for hundreds of devices to connect to a single source.

For the average listener, Bluetooth LE will mean that the five-hour battery life we've become accustomed to (we're looking at you, Apple AirPods) will become a thing of the past, with 10 hours or more becoming the standard. 

That's because Bluetooth LE uses less power than previous wireless standards – and based on the adoption rates of previous standards like Bluetooth 5.0, it's only a matter of time before we see Bluetooth LE advertised on the packaging of true wireless earbuds.

It may take a few years before we see the majority of wireless headphones using Bluetooth LE however; after all, Bluetooth 5.0 was released in 2016, and it’s only in the last couple of years that the standard has become widely adopted by headphone manufacturers. 

Still, innovations like this, along with specs like noise cancellation, artificial intelligence, and gesture control make it clear that true wireless earbuds are moving beyond basic portable audio devices – and these are the features you should be looking for if you decide that 2020 is the year you finally dip your toes into the world of true wireless.

Ubisoft is aiming to create more unique games with an editorial shake up

Techradar - Sun, 01/19/2020 - 09:51

Following a spate of delays and underwhelming 2019 sales figures for key titles like The Division 2 and Ghost Recon Breakpoint, Ubisoft is reportedly planning to restructure its editorial team and, by extension, shake up its games. 

As first reported by VGC, for the past twenty years Ubisoft has employed a central editorial team of around 100 people and tasked them with overseeing the development of its titles. Advising on a variety of key aspects from visual design to scripts, this team is believed to have had a significant influence on the direction of Ubisoft’s games, resulting in “a cohesive vision across all Ubisoft titles, with learnings from one project feeding into the next.”

Given Ubisoft’s huge success with franchises like Assassin's Creed and Far Cry, this approach has clearly worked to some extent. However, more recently it’s been felt that it's also led to too much similarity between Ubisoft’s games, with one anonymous source reportedly saying,  “there were often the ideas of just one or two people getting put into every game. That’s why you tended to see such similarity, because it’s the same taste and opinion being replicated.”

Editorial edits

As a result, Ubisoft is planning to expand and restructure its editorial team, telling VGC, “We are reinforcing our editorial team to be more agile and better accompany our development teams around the world as they create the best gaming experiences for players.”

According to VGC’s sources, Ubisoft’s chief creative officer, Serge Hascoet, will still lead the editorial team overall. However, there will be an additional group vice presidents, each leading their own franchises with more autonomy and freedom to make decisions.

The hope is that this will result in more variation between Ubisoft’s games which have increasingly faced accusations of being formulaic and overly similar; following Ghost Recon Breakpoint’s disappointing performance, CEO Yves Guillemot himself said that the game “did not come in with enough differentiation factors, which prevented the game’s intrinsic qualities from standing out.” 

Overall, it looks like Ubisoft is listening to players and gearing up to make some big changes ahead of the launch of the next generation. The impact of this new approach could be seen quite quickly, with VGC reporting that at least one title that was far into its development has now been cancelled while other games still in development have been altered "with the intention of making them more distinct". Hopefully we’ll see more novelty in the titles Ubisoft brings to PS5 and Xbox Series X

Verizon’s plans to connect rural US in a 5G era

Techradar - Sun, 01/19/2020 - 09:01

The Verizon 5G network is based around high-speed but small-area millimeter wave (mmWave) frequencies, and its expansion throughout 2019 was restricted to cities - leaving it unclear if, or when, rural US will get the next-gen network.

The answer: not any time soon, sadly, for the most remote users. But Verizon does have a plan to improve service to its users who aren’t based in dense urban areas. As Verizon consumer wireless group CEO Ronan Dunne told TechRadar during a chat at CES 2020, the carrier’s plans are to deliver 5G in public areas and expand its coverage on the top of the 4G spectrum.

If you like congregating with your fellow humans en masse, the carrier will continue to blanket stadiums, airports, and public areas with mmWave 5G, which it sees as aligning with the ‘follow the traffic’ philosophy. That way, sports fans can get update their fantasy teams or bets with fewer delays, while folks can still speed-download media in line while they’re waiting to board their airplane.

  • Yes, 5G phones are on sale right now, for all four major US carriers
  • Here's all we know about T-Mobile 5G's plans - lower spectrum and wider range
  • And if you're still curious, here's all we know about Sprint 5G and AT&T 5G, too

For those who have bought a pricey 5G phone, Verizon is building out benefits - even beyond its 5G network radii - when it finally deploys its Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS) tech over the course of 2020. 

DSS theoretically allows customers’ 5G devices to still get some high speeds while outside the mmWave coverage area by efficiently surfing on lower (including 4G) bands of the frequency spectrum. When Verizon describes its ‘nationwide 5G,’ this is what they mean: delivering 5G on top of the 4G spectrum.

4G rural customers will get… more 4G

For anyone not in a 5G or DSS traffic nexus, Verizon believes its 4G LTE will be enough for regular use, and will continue to build out its existing current-gen network to supplement its more remote customers and encourage adoption of Unlimited plans. 

Currently, Verizon’s only built out LTE across 60% of its possible spectrum, so there’s more room to move across, Dunne noted.

This runs counter to other carriers’ strategies, of course, which are delivering 5G on dedicated higher frequencies. T-Mobile 5G boasts both mmWave (in the 28 GHz and 39 GHz) and lower-band (600 MHz) frequencies, using the latter for wider-ranging but lower-speed coverage. Consequently, its coverage map expands over far greater area, though it doesn’t account for the differences in speed between these networks. 

When Sprint adds its own mid-band (2.5 GHz) frequencies, T-Mobile will have a wide range indeed for multiple applications and different tiers. 

That doesn’t fit in Verizon’s plan, as Dunne isn’t confident that mid-band frequencies alone are capable of sustaining 5G service. But if a mid-band frequency were to open up, he noted, the carrier may be interested - but it would have to be at the right price and make economic sense to be worth the expense of fitting another frequency range into its existing 5G plans. 

Still using Windows 7? It's time to move on, but kudos

Techradar - Sun, 01/19/2020 - 09:00

Eleven years after its debut, Windows 7 has reached End of Life. The venerable operating system will no longer receive security updates from Microsoft (unless, as happened with Windows XP in 2017, something truly dangerous is found) so it's time to say a fond farewell and upgrade to Windows 10.

It might be easy to tease anyone who's still using such an old operating system, but if you (or a family member) are still using Windows 7 for day-to-day computing then I'd argue that's actually something to be respected.

Not only is it the thrifty option, sticking with older kit minimizes waste and means there's less demand for materials such as cobalt (used in batteries), which is in short supply and often mined in terrible conditions.

While there's increasing demand for ethically and sustainably built tech (and companies like Fairphone are a step in the right direction) the best option is keep using whatever devices you have for as long as possible.


Waste not...

Your Windows 7 device has probably been chugging along happily for at least seven years (Windows 8 was released in 2012, but proved so unpopular with users that many retailers continued to offer Windows 7 as an option until the launch of Windows 8.1 in 2013) and resisting the temptation of shiny new hardware for so long is admirable.

There's relentless pressure to upgrade your hardware, with advertisers working to convince you that you're missing out, but unless you're into gaming or video editing, the fact is that you don't need 128GB RAM and a Core i9 processor for everyday tasks. Google Chrome might be a memory hog, but it's not that bad.

Old laptop

You don't need brand new hardware to run Windows 10

The good news is, there's no need to shell out for a new PC or laptop if you're content with your current one. Upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 10 is a straightforward process, and it needn't cost you a penny.

You might even benefit from a speed boost; Windows 10 is optimized to run well on even low-powered devices. That's why Microsoft chose to ditch Windows 7's Aero Glass interface; those translucent, soft-focus toolbars used resources that could be put to better use elsewhere. Don't worry if you miss the Aero look, though – you can easily give Windows 10 a retro makeover with some free software and few simple tweaks.

Either way, great job making your hardware last so long. Here's hoping you get many more productive years out of it with Windows 10 on board.

Galaxy S20 Ultra leaked image offers another hint of 100x digital zoom

Techradar - Sun, 01/19/2020 - 08:30

We've been hearing plenty about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S20 (previously known as the Galaxy S11) this week, and a newly leaked image gives us some idea of what the rear camera array on the Ultra model is going to look like.

Not only that, but the image posted by tipster Ishan Agarwal on Twitter makes another mention of the 100x digital zoom that's supposedly coming to the most powerful and most expensive S20 in the range.

That matches up with spec sheets we saw yesterday and other rumors that have been floating around in the last few days. It appears that the Galaxy S20 Ultra is going to have a very impressive quad-lens camera attached on the back.

And Samsung is apparently so proud of what it's been able to put together that a "100x" label will be attached right by the periscope camera that also offers up to 10x optical zoom – though we're not sure if that's truly optical or not.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra leak

Optical zoom means zooming in without any loss in picture quality, in the same way as conventional cameras do – even when you're zoomed in, all the original detail is retained, up to the zoom level limit.

Digital zoom, meanwhile, uses software trickery to make educated guesses about details in images, and where pixels should be put as a picture gets bigger. It's not considered as good as optical zoom, but it's easier to do on a phone with limitations on space.

With Google, Apple and others now relying so heavily on algorithms and digital enhancements to make mobile pictures the best they can be, the line between digital and optical zoom is blurring.

We'll have to wait and see exactly what optical and digital zoom levels the Galaxy S20 phones use, and how much of a role software processing plays. The big announcement day is February 11.

Via SamMobile

Cheap web hosting - don't miss out on this exclusive InMotion Hosting deal

Techradar - Sun, 01/19/2020 - 08:03

If you've got a bad case of the January blues and you'd rather be sitting on a beach than in your office, then we've got news - we can't get you a holiday but we can get you an incredibly cheap web hosting deal.

InMotion Hosting is offering up to 60% discount on its three year Launch Plan, so you'd be looking at paying $2.95 a month to get unlimited bandwidth, email, disk space and two websites!

And the good news continues, as this web hosting deal is available all year long for TechRadar readers so you don't have to worry about it expiring. What's more, it's absolutely exclusive to TechRadar readers - you won't be able to get this deal anywhere else.

Click here to get this InMotion Hosting deal right now 

And, if you're looking for more complex or feature-packed plans, InMotion also has discounts on its Power and Pro plans. They pile on the extra features for just a few more quid a month.

Sound good? Just remember that with this deal, you do have to pay the 36 months cost upfront rather than monthly - you're still getting an awesome discount, just in bulk for a one off payment of $106.20.

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InMotion's cheap web hosting deal Why is InMotion among the best web hosting providers?

There's plenty of reasons why we rank InMotion Hosting as the second best web hosting provider. Not only does it boast 24/7 customer support so none of your queries will ever go answered, but it also boasts malware and DDoS protection, ‘spam-safe’ email and a system of basic backups - many of these features other providers charge you extra for. We also love its excellent performance, top-notch tech support and CPannel.

If you're unsure which of InMotion's web hosting plans is best for you, you can compare every last feature and detail on its website.

India vs Australia live stream: how to watch 3rd ODI cricket 2020 from anywhere

Techradar - Sun, 01/19/2020 - 07:15

1-1 and all to play for - two of the world's biggest cricket nations will play a huge decider today to see who takes the honours. To see who will win the 3rd and final ODI today, you can follow our guide to getting an India vs Australia live stream to watch all the action - no matter where you are in the world.

255 never quite looked like enough at Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium in the first ODI, but nobody could have expected captain Aaron Finch and the awesome David Warner to knock it off with a comfortable 74 balls remaining. But big runs from star men Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan and an excellent all-round bowling display in the second brought things back to level pegging.

While India's top order looks imperious, their options further down the team sheet still look like a weakness likely to be exploited by the Australians unless they improve.

While India have played plenty ODI cricket in recent months, this series marks Australia's first taste of the format since last year's World Cup.

Follow the instructions below to find out how to grab an India vs Australia live stream from pretty much anywhere on Earth.

Live stream India vs Australia from outside your country

In India, Australia, the UK,  or New Zealand and looking to find out how to watch the ODI matches between India vs Australia? We've got all the details about the broadcaster with the rights to show the series in your region below. 

But if you're away from home country - maybe abroad on business or on holiday - but still want to tune in to your domestic coverage of the match then you'll run in to issues. Because of broadcaster geo-blocking, you won't be able to watch online from overseas. By using a VPN however, you'll be able to watch the game without having to resort to watching a potentially illegal feed from a dodgy Reddit link.

How to watch the cricket series in India

Live stream the ODI cricket series in Australia 

How to stream India vs Australia live in the UK

How to get an India vs Australia live stream in New Zealand

Oracle aims to benefit the most as customers shift from on-premise to cloud

Techradar - Sun, 01/19/2020 - 05:58

Oracle aims to become the top revenue earner and number one cloud provider when organisations start moving from on-premises to the cloud, a top official said.

Speaking in an exclusive to TechRadar Middle East, Steve Miranda, Executive Vice-President for applications product development at Oracle, said SaaS [software as a service] will play a big role in the digital transformation and provide innovation faster to the customers.

“Whether you believe Oracle or not, the market is speaking for itself. From a SaaS perspective, we have the best apps for enterprises on the cloud,” he said.

The US software giant, with decades of database software and technologies and has strong penetration in the enterprise space, is gearing up for the next growth phase in cloud services.

Miranda said that Oracle is already the number one ERP (enterprise resource planning) provider in the cloud by a large margin but the vendor with the true SaaS applications are going to be most successful and “we feel that we have that and we have demonstrated it through thousands of customers,” he said.

“As people start moving to the cloud from the traditional on-premises, we are clear that we will overtake everyone in the industry and become the number one cloud provider in the market,” he said.

Both SAP and Oracle, biggest ERP providers, are flexing their muscles to be the world’s number one apps provider.

SAP has huge followers on on-premise ERP while Oracle has a strong presence in the cloud.

Looking at the ERP market, he said that it is quite fragmented and with Oracle and SAP at the top.

Market is for SaaS

Going forward, Miranda said the market is for SaaS and Oracle has the lead in the market.

Miranda said that Oracle took a very different approach to the ERP in the cloud.

First, he said that Oracle built the Fusion ERP cloud from the ground up and took a lot of critics from the industry and the people for doing that.

“It is built and it is very successful and a lot of people are moving into that with a complete suite of applications. SAP did it through a variety of suite of acquisitions and that is not fully integrated and not into the cloud. 

“On the one side, we have Oracle as the true cloud and SAP with partial solutions and not a true cloud.

Second, "we are committed to our customers. If you are happy with your on-premise solutions, we will support you and when you are ready, we will help you to move forward.

“SAP took a very different approach. They did not build the product but has set a deadline for its customers to move to the cloud,” he said.

SAP has set a deadline, by 2025, for its legacy ERP customers to consider moving to cloud offerings.

“We have two different approaches now but we feel that we have a more customer-centric approach by showing them [customers] value and showing how and when to move as opposed to what other competitors have shown to force the issue,” he said.

Oracle’s CTO and Chairman Larry Ellison had said at its Fusion ERP will be the lever that ultimately dislodges SAP from the number one spot.

“SAP has set a deadline and customers who have the deadline have to take a look at all the SaaS solutions very seriously and when they evaluate, we hope to gain from the move to the cloud,” Miranda said.

He said that out of the 6,000 ERP customers in the Oracle cloud today, two-thirds are already live.

According to Gartner’s Magic Quadrant, Oracle ERP is in the leader category for the last three years while SAP is in the visionaries’ category.

Making headway in IaaS

Oracle's cloud-related success mostly lays with SaaS applications, so Oracle is focusing on improving its base in IaaS [infrastructure as a service] with its autonomous cloud database.

To become a leader in an autonomous cloud database, Oracle needs to become a big player in IaaS but Miranda said that as Oracle flourishes in the autonomous database, “we will become a much big player in the infrastructure business as people will start to move their workloads to take advantage of the autonomous database.

“I don’t think that people have to come to the IaaS and utilise our autonomous database but people are coming to grow our infrastructure business. We strongly believe that from an infrastructure perspective, we now have the data centres and the technology to manage people’s cloud workloads very successfully. We do that by an autonomous database which allows to us pull out the best performance and best security at a lower cost,” he said.

Latest iOS 13.3.1 beta lets you fully disable location tracking on the iPhone 11

Techradar - Sun, 01/19/2020 - 04:30

Apple often makes a point about how much it cares about user privacy, and a new feature coming in iOS 13.3.1 is specifically intended to give iPhone 11 owners extra peace of mind about one area of privacy in particular – location tracking.

As reported on Twitter, the latest beta version of iOS 13.3.1 includes a new toggle switch, enabling users to disable the Ultra Wideband chip that was introduced with the 2019 range of iPhones.

Ultra Wideband is like a more spatially aware version of Bluetooth, giving iOS features like AirDrop a better idea of where an iPhone is and which way it's pointing. It's going to come in very useful if Apple decides to launch a Tile competitor.

However, it's not been approved for use in every country where the iPhone 11 models are sold, so up until now it's been logging device locations, even when all the location service options are disabled.

Performance vs privacy

Now Apple is fixing the issue, as it promised to do when it was originally reported – disabling the Ultra Wideband chip on your iPhone 11 will completely disable any kind of location logging on the device.

Of course, you won't be able to use the features that Ultra Wideband offers, either. "Turning off location for Networking & Wireless may affect Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Ultra Wideband performance," says iOS when you flick the switch.

While you may have been living your life blissfully unaware of Ultra Wideband and what it does, now you know why your next iOS update is going to come with an additional toggle switch for you to think about.

Ultra Wideband is most probably coming to all the 2020 iPhones as well – we're expecting a successor to the iPhone SE this year, as well as the flagship phone launches due sometime during September.

Via 9to5Mac

The Policing of the American Porch

NYT Technology - Sun, 01/19/2020 - 04:00
Ring offers a front-door view of a country where millions of Amazon customers use Amazon cameras to watch Amazon contractors deliver Amazon packages.

The Samsung Galaxy S20 needs to fix this one big problem with the Galaxy S10

Techradar - Sun, 01/19/2020 - 03:00

If rumors are to be believed, the Samsung Galaxy S20 is set to be one of the most impressive devices of the year, with incredible specs in the camera, hardware, battery and design departments. There’s one feature that hasn’t been mentioned, though, and it’s something I’m eager to see, because while it was present but flawed in the Galaxy S10, if Samsung can make it useful then the Galaxy S20 could be a true game-changer.

This feature is wireless power sharing (or ‘Bilateral Charging’ as some call it), which lets you turn your smartphone into its own wireless charging mat to power up other devices, like phones, certain wearables, or earbuds.

It’s a feature that we first saw in the Samsung Galaxy S10, and it also came in the Galaxy Note 10 and Huawei P30 Pro, but there's still a lot of work to be done before it’s truly useful.

On the Samsung Galaxy S10, the feature was disappointingly limited, so much so that you were generally best off ignoring it, as all the potential this feature brings was squandered with a few big issues.

If the Samsung Galaxy S20 wants to be a great phone in real life, and not just on paper (as it seems so far), it really needs to improve this feature – here’s why.

What’s wrong with the Samsung Galaxy S10 wireless power sharing?

When I was at a concert with a few co-workers, one of them needed to charge their Samsung Galaxy Note 10, so I offered my fully-charged Samsung Galaxy S10 5G with its reverse wireless charging to give the Note a boost.

That turned out to be a bad idea. From roughly 15% charge, the Galaxy Note informed us it would take almost four hours to charge fully – we let it run for around 30 minutes, in which time the S10 5G lost around 20% charge while the Note only gained 2%, both handsets got really warm, and the phones were out of action for the whole time.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10

We had to hold the phones together at the same time (there’s nowhere to put a phone down at a concert, after all), and you need to hold them at the perfect angle to make sure the Qi chargers in the device align.

It’s possible we didn’t hold them in precisely the right way at times, since the devices are both so slippery that it took conscious effort to line them up just right. Still, a feature meant to be used by consumers should ideally be easy to use, and charging speeds were painfully slow even when we were sure the phones were aligned.

In the end, the co-worker decided it would be easier to just turn off their phone and not use it for the remainder of the concert.

Not only was the power inefficiency threatening to take the Galaxy S10 5G out of action while failing to save the Note 10, but it was just annoying having to hold the two phones together in exactly the right way to let the Note 10 charge.

Of course, this example is very anecdotal, and different people's experiences with the feature may vary, but I'd be very surprised if many people had truly positive experiences with Bilateral Chargng.

Why Samsung Galaxy S20 needs improved wireless power share

In theory, wireless power share is a really useful feature – in the previous example, it would have been an addition that changed my co-worker’s experience with the phone, had it worked. However in its current state, being inefficient and slow, it’s not really worth using.

If Samsung were to find a way to improve the feature in the Galaxy S20, it would make the device a genuinely great way to charge other phones, the Samsung Galaxy Buds, and anything else that powers up wirelessly.

Since we’re expecting the Galaxy S20 to come with improved wireless charging, it’s also possible it could come with better reverse power sharing too, with a higher wattage to let it power things up much quicker.

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus charging up another device

That wouldn’t solve the power inefficiency problem though, and that’s more important – generally, when something is power inefficient, most of the energy is lost as heat, and that speaks to the fact the phones in my example got pretty hot. In theory, it's possible the phones could get damaged if they got too hot (although it's probable the company has failsafes to protect against that).

Samsung needs to find a way to ensure wireless power charging in the Galaxy S20 series isn’t as inefficient as it was in the S10 devices, both to keep it a useful option for phone users and to protect the handset as much as possible.

One other way of reducing battery drain in the Galaxy S20 while using power sharing is to bump up the battery on the device, and according to the latest leaks (as of writing) all the S20 devices will have power backs with at least 4,000mAh capacity, so it looks like Samsung is going in this direction anyway.

The Samsung Galaxy S20 looks set to have a slew of impressive features – well, at least on paper, as the rumored specs sheet looks like nothing we’ve seen before. However a phone isn’t just a list of specs but a tool we use every day, and if those specs don’t translate into useful features, they may as well not exist in the first place.

Hopefully, then, the Galaxy S20 can pack reverse wireless power sharing that’s actually useful, so it can fix one of the Galaxy S10’s biggest problems.

Amazon Great Indian Sale 2020 is live: here are the best deals and offers

Techradar - Sun, 01/19/2020 - 01:48

Amazon India has kicked-off 2020 with its first, Great Indian Sale. Amazon is hosting the Great Indian Sale from January 19 to 22, with Prime members getting a 12-hour lead-up. 

Amazon Prime members got early access to the sale from noon on January 18. The users who have subscribed to Prime membership can shop for exclusive deals and offers from a variety of sellers across a multitude of categories.

Amazon India has also partnered with the State Bank of India for the Great Indian Sale. So, SBI credit cardholders are eligible for a 10% instant discount while shopping during the sale. 

Amazon Great Indian Sale 2020: best deals and offers

Amazon India is offering up to 40% off on best selling smartphones. There is no-cost EMI option, exchange offers, and total damage protection deals up for grabs as well.

Shoppers can expect mobile phones by brands like OnePlus, Xiaomi, Samsung, Vivo, Oppo, LG, Nokia, Realme, Honor, Huawei, 10.or, and Coolpad on offer during the sale.

Mobile accessories like power banks, Bluetooth headsets, cables, cases and covers, screen protectors, mounts, and selfie sticks will also be a part of the sale.

Facebook Apologizes for Vulgar Translation of Chinese Leader’s Name

NYT Technology - Sun, 01/19/2020 - 00:46
“This should not have happened and we are taking steps to ensure it doesn’t happen again,” the company said.

Samsung has the cheapest 2TB SSD right now but it uses a controversial technology

Techradar - Sat, 01/18/2020 - 23:00

1TB is the sweet spot as far as solid state drives are concerned, with the cheapest 1TB SSD routinely available for around $80. 

But if you need more capacity, it's often worth looking at a 2TB drive (unless you have enough space and connectors to plug in two separate 1TB drives).

Such items are falling in price rapidly and at least five models - from Samsung, Team Group, Crucial, Micron, and Gloway - can be purchased for under $200 (all from Newegg). Samsung is by far the most well known of the vendors, but its 860 QVO drive (MZ-76Q2T0B/AM) is based on QLC technology, which might raise eyebrows.

In a nutshell, QLC-based SSD tend to have lower endurance and performance, especially as the drive reaches capacity. They also usually have a shorter warranty compared to similar products. For what it’s worth, the Samsung’s 860 QVO has a three-year warranty, similar to other TLC-based products available at the same price.

On paper, the 860 QVO is faster than solid state drives from Micron and Crucial - in sequential and random read and write speeds. It also offers a written warranty of 720TB (i.e. writing/rewriting the drive 360 times over).

Samsung mitigates some of the issues associated with QLC via a feature called Intelligent TurboWrite, which accelerates write speeds and maintains long-term high performance with a larger variable buffer.

  • You will need a cloud backup service to keep all your precious data safe - check out our guide

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