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Bluetooth headphones to improve performance and audio sharing

Sharon Ross

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Bluetooth headphones to improve performance and audio sharing

Coinciding with the Consumer Electronics Show, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group has announced new updates. The announcements on Tuesday stated Low Energy (LE) Audio that is to roll out soon. The LE Audio will facilitate better sharing of audio as well as will also serve the people having difficulty hearing.

With the rolling out of the LE Audio, several people will be able to connect to the same audio source. Therefore, the update will facilitate people to sync to a particular source based on location. For instance, family or friends of the users will be able to watch movies, hear audios together.

This will benefit the students in lecture halls significantly. The students can tune in to the earplugs to eliminate interruption and disturbances in the lecture halls.

The current features allow users to connect to 2 different or the same devices for a single source at most. But, the new updates brought in will allow connecting more types of devices to a unique product.

Furthermore, the LE Audio will enhance the quality of the audio even while streaming with low rates of data. Hence, according to reports, the audio quality will remain high even when the source file is not of high quality.

Moreover, the introduction of Bluetooth hearing aids will benefit people with hearing defects to a large extent.

Stefan Zimmer, the Secretary-General at EHIMA (European Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association) applauded the advancements.

Zimmer stated that the coming of LE Audio to the market is a significant development for the people who find difficulty in hearing. The audio system will henceforth allow people with hearing defects to access gadgets like phones and televisions. Therefore, this will contribute to these people for better hearing experiences.

According to reports, the LE Audio will be available early, in the first six months of the year.

Sharon Ross has been phenomenal in the success of Report Door. She is the super dedicated types, always glued to her computer. She talks less, but when it comes to work, she is behind none. She is a tech geek and contributes to the technology section of Report Door.

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Grindr will finally remove the app’s ethnicity filter

Sharon Ross

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Grindr will finally remove the app's ethnicity filter

Dating app Grindr will finally remove its ethnicity filter, following years of criticism culminating in accusations of hypocrisy regarding the company’s stance on #BlackLivesMatter. The app currently lets users filter potential matches based on age, height, weight and ethnicity, but the company — which says it has a “zero-tolerance policy for racism and hate speech” — has confirmed the ethnicity filter will be removed from the next version of the app.

The change, which coincides with the start of Pride month, appears to have been catalyzed by responses to a tweet in which Grindr said, “Demand justice. #BlackLiveMatter,” in relation to the ongoing protests in the US and around the world following the alleged murder of George Floyd by police officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis, Minnesota. One response to the tweet said “remove the ethnicity filter” and was subsequently retweeted 1,000 times. Grindr later deleted its original tweet, replacing it with the below.

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Microsoft finally gives AppGet developer the credit he deserves

Sharon Ross

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Microsoft finally gives AppGet developer the credit he deserves

Microsoft is crediting a developer after he accused the company of copying the core mechanics of its new Windows Package Manager. AppGet developer Keivan Beigi provided a detailed account of Microsoft reaching out with interest about his app, inviting him for interviews, and then ghosting him for months before unveiling an app that he felt was inspired by his own work.

Beigi claimed the “core mechanics, terminology, the manifest format and structure, even the package repository’s folder structure” of Microsoft’s Windows Package Manager (winget) are all heavily inspired by AppGet. Microsoft only briefly mentioned AppGet once in its announcement, in a throwaway line

that lists other Windows package managers.

Microsoft doesn’t dispute the claims. “Our goal is to provide a great product to our customers and community where everyone can contribute and receive recognition,” says Andrew Clinick, a program manager responsible for the app model at Microsoft, in a blog post. “Over the past couple of days we’ve listened and learned from our community and clearly we did not live up to this goal. More specifically, we failed to live up to this with Keivan and AppGet. This was the last thing that we wanted.”

Clinick stops short of directly apologizing for the circumstances around AppGet and winget, and admits Microsoft’s implementation was inspired — or as he puts it “helped us get to a better product direction” — by AppGet:

No scripts during install – something that we completely agreed with and don’t allow with MSIX

Rich manifest definition within GitHub – the power of being open combined with rich declarative meta data about the app is so important to meet goal #1

Support all types of Windows applications installers

Seamless updates for applications in the repository

Microsoft is now promising to credit Beigi in an upcoming update to the readme portion of the Windows Package Manager. We reached out to Beigi to comment on the blog post and Microsoft’s overall response, but the developer says he’s still in discussions with Microsoft over the issue. “There are a few areas Andrew and I have been discussing,” says Beigi in a comment on GitHub. “Hopefully we’ll have something to share with you guys soon.”

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Yandex promises better side visibility perception using autonomous 2020 Hyundai Sonata

Sharon Ross

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Yandex promises better side visibility perception using autonomous 2020 Hyundai Sonata

Shortly after revealing its driverless vehicle fleet has racked up over 2 million autonomous miles, a total that stands at 3 million today, Yandex unveiled its fourth-generation self-driving car design. It’s built atop the 2020 Hyundai Sonata and will soon join the Moscow company’s over 100 autonomous Toyota Priuses on the road.

Autonomous vehicle designs abound, from Uber and Waymo’s modified Volvo XC90 and Jaguar I-Pace to Cruise’s Origin, which is without steering wheel or pedals. But despite differences in appearance, each new generation brings improvements to perception across the industry, enabling the cars to navigate roads more safely than their predecessors.

This appears to be the case with Yandex’s fourth-generation car, at least, as it adds three cameras for a total of nine (up from the third generation’s six) and moves the radar system from beneath the bumpers to the roof. These changes, along with reoriented front lidar sensors, help it better distinguish smaller objects around the vehicle, Yandex says. The autonomous 2020 Sonata can supposedly “see” obstacles more quickly in scenarios with limited side visibility, such as when leaving an alley to turn onto a busy street.

Beyond those improvements, Yandex says the Hyundai Mobis team modified the Sonata’s electronic control units to “interface more effectively” with the former’s driverless control technology. (Last year, the companies

inked a memorandum of understanding to architect the control systems for level 4 and level 5 cars, categories of automation defined by the Society of Automotive Engineers as requiring limited to no human intervention.) And while the internal computer’s specs are similar to those of the third generation, which packs several Nvidia GTX graphics cards, the cooling was “significantly” reworked to fit the Sonatas.

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Work on a prototype vehicle began in May 2019, and it was tested on a closed track in a range of weather and simulated traffic conditions.

“We’re excited to reveal the great progress we’ve made in the first year of our collaboration with Hyundai Mobis,” said head of Yandex self-driving Dmitry Polishchuk in a statement. “In one of the first projects to come from our work together, we assembled our first self-driving Hyundai Sonata prototype last summer in just a month.”

Yandex says an initial set of five Sonatas is now operating on the streets of Moscow. The company adds that 100 more will be added to the fleet and deployed as part of tests in Michigan and an ongoing robo-taxi program in Innopolis (but not Tel Aviv). That will bring the total size of the company’s fleet to roughly 200 by the end of 2020, including the 105 self-driving Toyota Priuses it has on the road.

Work on Yandex’s platform began in earnest in 2016, when the company’s 120-person self-driving team started piecing together components atop a Toyota Prius V chassis. What emerged is largely custom, from the sizable under-the-trunk PC to the roof-mounted sensor stack consisting of three Velodyne lidars, five cameras, eight radars, and GPS.

Currently, a small team within Yandex handcrafts maps of areas ahead of deployments, but the company expects the process to become more or less automatic in the future. Yandex says its taxis have given over 8,000 autonomous rides both with and without in-car safety drivers who keep tabs on route progress (along with teleoperators). And within four years, the company intends to build a car without a steering wheel that’s capable of “human-level” driving in certain cities.

Yandex fourth-gen Hyundai

However, the pandemic threatens to push those plans far back into the future, as it could for competitors. Earlier this year, autonomous vehicle companies that include Waymo, Cruise, Uber, and Lyft were forced to pause commercial and testing efforts as a result of shelter-in-place orders. Some have since resumed, but experts believe the disruptions — and economic fallout — could impact their paths to market.

Indeed, Yandex says the pandemic delayed this week’s announcement. “The development of the fourth-generation cars was completed earlier this year.  We started operating the first set of the fourth-generation cars in early March when they were complete but delayed the announcement until the next steps were more clear,” a spokesperson said. “Moving forward, we will slowly roll out the other vehicles across our testing locations and put them on the roads in line with the local regulations … We are continually improving the AV tech, and this process is in parallel with the development of a new self-driving platform.”

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