All posts on February, 2017


HTC’s Netflix-esque VR subscription costs $6.99 per month

HTC is giving users of its Vive virtual reality headset access to a Netflix-like subscription service. Everyone who currently owns a Vive will get a free trial for a month, and the service will cost $6.99 a month thereafter.

For that price, users will be able to pick out five virtual reality apps at the start of each month, including games and other interactive experiences. The service will be available in a “couple weeks,” Rickard Steiber, the company’s senior vice president for virtual reality, said during an interview at the Game Developers Conference Monday.

One benefit to consumers is that the subscription will give users an affordable way to try out titles every month, without requiring them to commit to a full retail purchase. The company had 14,000 people say they were interested in such a subscription after HTC announced it at the Consumer Electronics Show last month, Steiber said.

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Intel will change its approach to PC chip upgrades

Intel is changing its view on how it upgrades chips.

Rather than tying chip upgrades directly to the manufacturing process involved, Intel will look at delivering a sustained set of performance upgrades with each new chip architecture.

“We’re going to be focused more on the generation by the amount of performance increment it will give us,” said Venkata Renduchintala, president of Intel’s client and internet of things businesses and its systems architecture Group. “I don’t think generations will be tagged to node transitions.”

The performance benefits will matter more, and the process technology that lives underneath is going to be less conspicuous, Renduchintala said.

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26% off Portal Mesh Wi-Fi System (2-pack) – Coverage for Homes up to 6,000 sq. ft., Gigabit Speed – Deal Alert

PORTAL is designed for homes with lots of devices and many neighbors. WiFi devices all share the same airwaves, and just like an old highway with not enough lanes, your internet slows to a crawl whenever there are too many people and devices crowding the same channels. Mesh 2.0 patented technology and 9 dedicated antennas act like a shield to keep your WiFi maxed out at the speed you pay for. The result is consistently fast reliable internet, lag-free gaming and smooth ultraHD video streaming everywhere in your home.  

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Mobile Tech

Nokia 3310 Pushes Nostalgia Buttons

HMD Global, owner of the Nokia phone brand, on Sunday reintroduced the classic 3310 feature phone at the MWC, along with a line of brand new Nokia smartphones that run on the Android platform. The relaunch of the 3310 is the reimagination of one of the world’s best-selling feature phones as a sleek, lightweight device that features 22 hours of talk time and an entire month of standby time.

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A.I. scheduling startup launches subscription for businesses

Setting up meetings can be a pain, since they often require workers to send emails back and forth figuring out a time before finally sending off a calendar invitation to block everyone’s schedule. A New York startup called x.ai wants to simplify that with a helpful bot, and the company launched a product aimed at serving businesses.

The service provides users with access to x.ai’s assistant, which can go by Andrew or Amy Ingram, to automatically set up meetings with people inside a company and help schedule time with folks who work elsewhere. It’s an extension of the company’s existing service, which is built for individuals.

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MediaTek will sit out the ARM race for Windows 10 PCs

Despite a turbulent past, Windows PCs with ARM are making a grand return later this year, but only with Qualcomm chips.

Another big ARM chipmaker, MediaTek, is sitting out the opportunity to put its ARM-based chips in Windows PCs because the company sees it as a limited opportunity.

MediaTek’s chips are already used in Chromebooks, but ARM has had a turbulent history with Windows. That’s another reason for the company to stay out.

ARM getting into PCs is like Intel trying to get into smartphones — it’s a risky proposition, said Finbarr Moynihan, general manager of sales at MediaTek.

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