Tech

Drone taxis to take flight

Chinese dronemaker EHang's 184 vehicle is reportedly ready to take to the skies in summer, ferrying paying passengers around Dubai, UAE, reported Digital Trends.The aircraft requires no skills to operate - passengers just climb inside, tap their destination on a digital map, then sit back and enjoy the view. The drone is 1.5m tall and weighs around 200kg. It is battery-powered and can fly for around 30 minutes at an average cruising speed of 100kmh.

 

La La Land sound work by S’porean gets two Oscar nods

A Singaporean, Ms Ai-Ling Lee, is up for two Oscars for her sound work on the critically acclaimed musical La La Land, which received a record-tying 14 nominations this year.

The 89th Academy Awards will be held on Feb 26 in Los Angeles.

Ms Lee and Ms Mildred Iatrou Morgan have been nominated for Best Sound Editing, and she is also up for Best Sound Mixing with Mr Andy Nelson and Mr Steve A. Morrow.

According to Variety, she is the first Asian woman to be nominated in sound editing and is also part of the first female team in a category traditionally dominated by men.

She told the publication: "I always had the desire to do more, to do mixes, to push my skills and build up my resume so people know I can do a lot of things within sound."

According to Variety, she grew up watching movies with her audiophile father who had a top-notch home theatre. She moved to Los Angeles in 1998. - THE STRAITS TIMES

Pokemon Go releases new monsters

Pokemon Go developer Niantic has released 80 new monsters from the second generation of Pokemon games.

Creatures from the Pokemon Gold and Silver series are now available for capture - the first time new additions have been made since the game's launch last July.

The update also introduces new changes to the way Pokemon encounters are handled, two new berry types and customisation options to keep the characters from looking the same, reported Forbes.

Pokemon Go has suffered from a flagging user base since the burgeoning first few weeks, and many have been looking forward to the introduction of Gen 2 monsters as a way to take the game back to the top of the app charts.

Many long-awaited features are still missing, however, including trading, PvP battles and a new combat system to replace the odd and sometimes confusing battles currently in the game.

 
 
 

 

 

 

Facebook launches new TV app

Facebook is to roll out an app that lets users watch the platform's video content on television.

The move could allow it to eventually better compete with the likes of YouTube and traditional television channels for advertising revenue, reported the BBC.

Users with Apple TV, Amazon's Fire TV and Samsung's Smart TVs will be able to watch Facebook's user-generated videos directly on their televisions.

The announcement is in line with Facebook's increasing focus on video.

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The company has recently been paying creators for exclusive premium video content and is heavily promoting the Facebook Live feature that allows users to livestream events.

Facebook says the standalone app will be released "soon".

The company's decision to launch these TV apps, which was expected for some time now, is the first significant step it has made to build its challenge to the likes of Netflix and Hulu.

Apple's home button to go?

The iPhone's home button may not be around for long.

Apple has been granted a patent for an "interactive display panel with IR diodes" - which would let users activate a device through a virtual home button within the touchscreen, reported CNet.

The technology, described in a filing made public by the US Patent and Trademark Office, could replace the physical home button that has occupied the space below the iPhone's screen.

The patent was first spotted by Apple-tracking site AppleInsider.

The round home button has been a focal point of the iPhone ever since Apple co-founder Steve Jobs introduced it in 2007.

But rumours of its demise began in 2013, when Apple introduced Touch ID, a fingerprint security sensor that allowed iPhone 5S users to bypass typing in a password, even though it was built into the home button.

That speculation increased in 2015, when Apple filed a patent application to move the fingerprint sensor beneath the glass of the touchscreen, eliminating the need for a home button.

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