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Intel wants laptops to know that you are nearby



Intel does not manufacture laptops. But in the past, it has occasionally used its power to determine the trajectory of a laptop. If you remember ultrabooks, it was a drive from Intel to steer the future of premium laptops.

Now Intel is introducing the Athena project, only this time focusing less on premium laptops than durable laptops. A Project Athena laptop (a brand name will come later) should have a battery life of nine hours. And if you think that many laptops now reach this benchmark, they will be tested under ideal conditions. In general, when playing a video, the screen brightness is very low. Intel wants to test laptops with something that is closer to real world conditions.

The company knows that saying "make longer" is not too helpful. Therefore, Intel also introduces a proposed feature to achieve this goal: presence detection. On prototype laptops, Intel showed a proximity sensor embedded next to the webcam. When you step back, the proximity sensor detects that you are no longer around and shuts down the unit. When you come back, you will be seen by the laptop and the login screen will be displayed. It comes quite close to the method many smartphones currently use.

Alternatively, Intel also tests with a camera and face recognition. The idea is not to save certain faces, at least not yet, but to recognize that a particular face exists, and to use that information to wake up or fall asleep. Unfortunately, the technology at demonstrations was far too sensitive, and the Intel employee had to point the camera at the ceiling for the laptop to go to sleep. It requires a lot of fine tuning. And of course, the impact of facial recognition on privacy needs to be considered.

But I think we all agree that longer battery life for laptops would be a good thing. [Engadget]

In other news:

  • Google adheres to its rules when blocking ads: We've already reviewed Google's plans to change how ad blocking works, and of course there was some negative feedback , Google announces its plans to drive forward and allow enterprise users internal access to the old schema. [9to5Google]
  • The latest version of Windows Insider Build includes the following new features for your phone application: We like the phone application, and it's gratifying that Microsoft adds more features. With the latest insider update, your phone gets MMS features and better accessibility support. Very nice. [Microsoft]
  • You can hold an official wedding with Pokémon designs if this is your thing: Of course, you can also host official Pokémon Weddings in Japan. If you are not scared of seeing a pikachu in a cute top hat or bridal veil, be sure to check it out. No word on Ryan Reynolds officiating. Or if it's okay to capture one of the existing Pokémon. [Kotaku]
  • Checker's payment system was hacked, resulting in credit card theft: Checker's (or depending on location rallies) is one of the larger fast food chain stores in the US. Unfortunately, over 1
    00 of the company's restaurants had malware. The malware stole credit card numbers, cardholder names, PIN information, and more. If you have eaten at a checker or rally, you should check if your local restaurant is on the list and then call your bank. [ZDNet]
  • 70% of Hulu subscribers are ad-free and ad-free. Unlike Netflix, Hulu is ad-free and ad-free. You might think that giving up on ads would be the more popular option, but the ad-supported layer is almost half the cost. According to the company, 70% of subscribers opt for the cheaper option. That's fine for the company, it's so much off ads that it recently lowered the price for that tier. [Variety]
  • In the Google Play Store, app developers must now disclose loot box odds: Dropboxes are controversial, and wrongdoing can ruin a game. The biggest problem resulting from training is the promise of a fantastic item that has no idea how likely it is that it wins. If you get cool, red-shaded things in only 0.01% of the time, this is practically a rip-off and a lie. Now, Google's game publishers must disclose these odds so you can make an informed decision before you part with your hard-earned dollars. It's good. [The Verge]
  • Microsoft Announces Game Pass for PCs: Microsoft launches its Xbox Game Pass for PCs. Details are rare (like prizes, which games, etc.), but the company promises over 100 games from 75 developers. That said, it's not limited to Microsoft-supported games like Forza. If the pricing is right, a look might be worthwhile. [The Verge]
  • Wyze cameras now work with Google Assitant: Wyze cameras are exceptional for their price. However, a feature that they lacked in Google integration is no longer a problem. Now you can start recording with voice commands or turn your camera on (but not off). If you have a Google Home hub, you can view a video feed. Currently, the feed has a high latency, so it is not perfect. Call it a good start. [Wyze]

Astronomers discovered a Neptune-like planet (NGTS-4b) about 920 light-years from Earth. Neptune-like planets are not uncommon in themselves, but this is something special. You see, it's incredibly close to his star.

How close? Well, a single orbit around its star (which we call a year) takes less than two days. For comparison, Mercury, the closest planet to our sun, takes just over 89 days to reach orbit.

Normally, only small rocky planets (like Mercury) or massive and hot planets (like Jupiter) exist so close to a star. This is the first time astronomers have discovered a Neptune planet so close to its star. The discovery led to a new name: a Neptune desert.

The best guess as to how this happened is, of course, gravity. Astronomers do not believe that the planet has formed so close to its star, but it began at a far farther position and is approaching. Scientists are now looking for similar examples that could change our understanding of planetary physics. [Gizmodo]


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