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2024-04-11 16:00:00| Marketing Profs - Concepts, Strategies, Articles and Commentaries

A pivotal shift in programmatic advertising is long due as enhanced measurement practices challenge the traditional ad stack and reshape the economics of programmatic. Learn more. Read the full article at MarketingProfs

Category: Marketing and Advertising
 

2024-04-11 15:15:16| Engadget

Instagram is far from a gleaming example of protecting young people online, having failed to prevent its algorithm from promoting child sexual abuse material. But new features bring some (at least a little?) hope that the platform could become a bit safer. Meta announced it's rolling out new tools meant to protect users against intimate image abuse and sextortion when a person is digitally blackmailed under threat of sharing intimate media. One of the most significant updates is that nudity protection is coming to private messages. Meta first confirmed it was building this technology back in 2022, and it will automatically activate the tool for users under 18. Once switched on, a machine learning tool will detect and blur images it suspects of containing nudity for the recipient. The analysis happens on the user's device, so messages should remain end-to-end encrypted without Meta ever having access to them. Users will have the option to view the image alongside a pop-up message from Meta that they shouldn't feel pressured to respond, along with a safety tips button and an option to block the sender.  Meta's new tool which it will start testing "soon" also detects if a person is sending a nude image and warns them to "take care when sharing sensitive photos" while outlining potential risks. Plus, it reminds users that they can delete a message before anyone sees it. Then there's the final warning: a reminder to be responsible and respectful appears when someone tries to forward a message with detected nudity (though it still lets the image be forwarded). Then there are the tools designed to detect potential scammers or sextortionists and make it more difficult for them to approach teens. Message requests from these possible bad actors should now go to hidden requests, and anyone already involved in a conversation will receive a warning with boundary reminders and steps to report users. As for young people, Meta previously barred people from messaging users 16 or under if they weren't mutually connected even if the other account claimed to be the same age. Now, these potential scammers won't see the option to message a teen even if they follow each other.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/instagram-will-test-nudity-protection-in-messages-to-fight-sextortion-131516318.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising
 

2024-04-11 15:00:52| Engadget

When DJIs Avata came out in 2022, its agility and people-safe propeller guards made it an instant hit especially with video pros and content creators. It was hampered by poor video quality, though, and gave users no ability to see the outside world when using the Goggles 2 pilot headset. It was also less maneuverable than other FPV drones and quite expensive. Now, the company has released its successor, the Avata 2. The camera now uses the same 1/1.3-inch sensor as the Mini 4 Pro, so video quality is highly improved. The Goggles 3 have passthrough cameras to show the world around you and the Avata 2 can now maneuver more like a real FPV drone. Battery life has improved and its cheaper to boot. It sounds great, but how is it in the real world? With my drone and FPV pilot friends, we tested it in a variety of scenarios and events. In general, it's much improved from its predecessor, but there are a few things to know if youre considering buying one, especially around the Goggles 3. Body The Avata 2 has been completely redesigned to improve flight characteristics. Its more oblong, less top-heavy, comes with a bigger battery and weighs 30 grams less at just 377 grams. It also just looks less toy-like and more professional. The updated propeller guards and extensive obstacle detection make it far more crash-resistant than other drones. Updated binocular fisheye sensors cover both the bottom and rear views to detect hazards while increasing flight stability. It also features a turtle mode that flips the drone back to a normal stance for takeoff if it hits something and flips over during flight. The propellers have the same 3-inch size as before, but engine noise is reduced to 81dB, making it more suitable for events like weddings. Steve Dent for Engadget The camera unit and gimbal are larger and the protective covering is easier to install and remove. The USB-C and card slots, notoriously hard to access on the Avata, are much easier to get to here. Another welcome update is the generous 46GB of onboard storage, more than double the last model and considerably higher than most other drones. The 18-minute battery life was a big issue with the Avata, but the new model now boasts 23 minutes max flight time, up 28 percent. The batteries can be charged quickly using the charging hub, too, from 0 to 100 percent in 45 minutes with a 60W charger a bit faster than before, considering the higher capacity. The hub also supports DJIs new power accumulation feature, letting you completely drain the two weakest batteries to transfer power to the strongest. Transmission and controls Like the Mini 4 Pro and Air 3, the Avata uses DJIs latest O4 transmission system that boosts range to 13km in the US and 10km in Europe impressive for an FPV drone. It streams a 1080p video feed at up to 100 fps, with latency as low as 24 milliseconds using the Googles 3. Steve Dent for Engadget Speaking of, the Goggles 3 have a built-in battery like the Goggles Integra while updating to O4 capability. Along with the improved transmission, they now come with higher-resolution 1080p MicroOLED displays and improved eye comfort compared to the Goggles 2 that shipped with the original Avata. The big update, though, is the Real View pass-through cameras. With a double tap on the side of the headset or side button on the RC Motion 3 controller, youll instantly switch to a forward view outside the Goggles 3. The resolution isnt very high, but at least you can see outside without removing them. A setting allows you to see the drone view as a picture-in-picture to boost situational awareness. The Goggles 3 now allows you to capture up to 1080p video directly to a microSD card on the headset itself and you can even stream live to another Goggles 3 headset simultaneously. Video quality is still higher when capturing directly to the drone, of course, but it does provide a backup. You can also record a view showing the on-screen controls handy for reviewing flights. Another new feature is head tracking to control the aircraft and gimbal with head functions, allowing better control for experienced pilots. Steve Dent for Engadget There are a few downsides. It still doesnt support glasses, so folks with astigmatism will need to purchase custom lenses. If you have the Goggles V2, which does support eyeglasses, its unfortunately not compatible with the Avata 2. DJI hasnt quite nailed the comfort part, either. The padding isnt soft enough, so the edges pushed against the bridge of my nose, creating some discomfort. It was better after installing the additional (included) pad, but still not perfect. The RC Motion 3 controller has been considerably revamped for the better. Its smaller, lighter and has a more comfortable grip. Controls are also more precise, with a new sidelink wireless solution boosting the quality of the joysticks signal. And for FPV enthusiasts who prefer a classic drone controller, the Avata 2 also works with the new FPV Remote Control 3. Performance Steve Dent for Engadget Where the original Avata dumbed down FPV performance, the Avata 2 goes all in. Its incredibly maneuverable, and unlike most FPV drones, highly crash-resistant. Maximum speeds are the same as the Avata at around 60MPH in manual mode with obstacle detection turned off. That might be slower than purpose-built open-propeller FPVs, but its fast for a consumer product and wont slice up bystanders like regular drones. Though its not faster, its quicker and more precise than the Avatar thanks to the slimmed-down and better-balanced body. It turns on a dime around obstacles and climbs and descends with alacrity. At the same time, you can plow through small twigs or leaves and barely slow down. Flying it is truly fun. The improved Goggles 3 with O4 give a clearer view, and the Motion 3 controller allows for precise and intuitive control. For events around people, you can fly in normal or beginner modes for safety, or elsewhere at 35 or 60 MPH in sport and manual modes. Steve Dent for Engadget The Motion 3 adds a new trigger setting that rotates the Avata 2 in place for easier maneuvers and it now includes a dedicated mode button for normal or sport flying. The joystick is larger and the controller more responsive and precise overall. Head tracking is a common feature on FPV and Cinewoop drones, and it now works on the Avata 2. I found it helpful mainly for controlling the camera tilt, as its a natural way to adjust that parameter. If you want to fly the Avata 2 at top speed in manual mode, youll need the FPV Remote Controller 3, which is sold separately for $199. The Easy Acro mode is cool, but a bit cumbersome since you have to switch it on and off. Also, its so easy to implement with the RC Motion controller that it's almost... boring. Tricks include slides, 180-degree drifts and flips, though you cant record video in flip mode. Steve Dent for Engadget The Avata 2 is better than before in stiff winds, but can still get buffeted around and often has to lean against the breeze, causing choppy or unlevel footage. Keeping things smooth, particularly outdoors, requires more practice than with a drone like the Mini 4 Pro. It doesnt have forward-facing sensors, so its main protection is the prop guards and high durability. It does detect obstacles from the rear and below, and that kept me safe in some tight spots. I still crashed it at least four to five times though, luckily just in the grass or against small twigs and leaves without leaving a scratch. This could make some pilots overconfident, though. Battery life is noticeably better than the Avata and eliminates much of the range anxiety typical with FPV drones. However, you only get 18-20 minutes of realistic range. Most serious pilots will want to have at least three batteries with the Fly-More kit, and preferably more. Video The Avata 2 eliminates the Avatas mediocre video quality via a much larger 1/1.3-inch sensor with 10-bit D-LogM capability borrowed from the Mini 4 Pro. As before it offers normal, wide and ultra-wide shooting with up to a 155-degree field of view. It has two stabilization modes, RockSteady 3.0 and HorizonSteady. The latter is best if you want to keep things level, particularly in high winds it does tend to lean into wind. RockSteady smooths footage more while allowing the camera to tilt, all the better to show off thrilling maneuvers. It supports 4K video at up to 60 fps or 1080p and 2.7K at 120 fps. However, it can only capture 12-megapixel JPEG stills, so its not ideal for photography. All that puts it leaps ahead of the Avata for video. Images are generally sharper and colors more accurate. The 10-bit D-LogM mode allows for higher dynamic range in bright or contrasty conditions. The one quality flaw I noticed was occasionally blockiness in video at 4K 60p when flying fast, likely artifacts due to the 130Mbps bit rate (beware of re-encoding for YouTube). Its much improved in low light for cityscapes or interiors as well thanks to the larger sensor. Its not up to the level of a mirrorless camera, but as with the Mini 4 Pro, its fine for well lit night scenes in most cases. ISO levels are usable up to 12800 with noise reduction, with the 25600 max setting being for emergency use only. Wrap-up Steve Dent for Engadget The Avata 2 is bound to be another hit for DJI. It eliminates nearly every flaw on the Avata, boosting picture quality, FPV maneuverability, battery life, range and more. Video quality, in particular, will make it even more desirable for content creators, event videographers and others (my pro friends, who already own the Avata, are planning to order one). At the same time, its a fantastic FPV drone for beginners just super fun to use. Its also more affordable. The Avata 2 is priced at $1,000 with a single battery in the Fly-More kit with the Goggles 3 and Motion 3 controller, or $1,200 with three batteries, the two-way charging hub and a carrying case. You can also purchase it alone at $490. That compares to original $630 price for the Avata. That model also cost $1,388 for the Avata with Goggles and Motion Controller, plus another $279 for the 2-battery/charger Fly-More kit (for $1,667 total) so the Avata 2 is nearly $500 cheaper in that configuration. As mentioned, the FPV Remote Controller 3 is $199, while the ND Filters et is $79. The Avata 2 doesnt have much competition, as regular FPV drones generally lack propeller guards and rivals like Autel dont offer similar products. That doesnt really matter, though, as DJIs latest drone is both powerful and attractively priced making it a highly desirable product for creators of all stripes.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/dji-avata-2-fpv-drone-review-a-cheaper-more-potent-tool-for-creators-130052278.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising
 

2024-04-11 14:30:36| Engadget

Plenty of women who use rideshare services regularly send details of their trips to loved ones and take other precautionary measures, especially at night. Now, Uber is putting all its safety tools in one place, making them easier to access and allowing users to customize them so that they'd automatically switch on. In the app's new safety preferences section, passengers can choose to schedule when its safety tools should automatically get activated, whether it's for every ride after 9PM, on the weekends or only for rides that begin within 50 meters of a bar or a restaurant. They can also ensure that Uber's safety features are active for every single ride they take if they want to.  One of the tools passengers can activate in the new portal is audio recording, which the company introduced some time ago. Uber assures users that those recordings are encrypted and can't be accessed by anyone, even by the company. However, if something happens during the trip, passengers can choose to report an incident and share the recording with Uber for proof. Users can also switch on PIN verification so that they can be sure they're getting into the right vehicle, as well as RideCheck, which helps Uber detect if a ride goes off-course or stops unexpectedly. Finally, there's Share My Trip, allowing passengers to automatically share their live location and trip details with trusted contacts.  At the moment, the new safety preferences page is only live in the US, Canada and Latin American countries, but the company plans to expand its availability to more regions. To access the new portal, users can go to Settings and find a link to it or tap the Safety Toolkit blue shield while on a trip and then tap "Set up safety preferences." This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/uber-makes-its-safety-tools-easier-to-access-and-customize-123036849.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising
 

2024-04-11 14:00:07| Engadget

Many web browser companies offer VPNs these days, including Google, Mozilla and Opera. DuckDuckGo is the latest to join the fray, with a Privacy Pro plan that includes three services. Along with a VPN, you'll get personal information removal and identity theft restoration services for $10 per month or $100 per year. The subscription is only available in the US for now. The Privacy Pro features are built directly into the DuckDuckGo browser, so you won't need to install separate apps. DuckDuckGo says it won't keep VPN logs in order to help maintain user privacy. As such, it says it has "no way to tie what you do while connected to the DuckDuckGo VPN to you as an individual or to anything else you do on DuckDuckGo, like searching." DuckDuckGo is using the open-source WireGuard protocol to encrypt your traffic and route it through VPN servers. As it stands, the company has VPN servers across the US, Europe and Canada. It plans to add more over time. DuckDuckGo One subscription will cover up to five desktop and mobile devices. Rather than using an account, you'll have a random ID that you'll need to keep safe. If you wish, you can add an email address for easier authorization across devices. Still, you won't need to hand over any personally identifiable information to DuckDuckGo the company is using Stripe, Google Play and the Apple App Store to handle payments. DuckDuckGo's focus on protecting user privacy extends to the personal information removal tool, which removes details such as your full name, home address and birthday from people search sites and data broker services. The details you provide during the setup process stay on your device and requests to remove your personal information start directly from your desktop (for now, you need a Windows or Mac computer to set up and manage the personal information removal tool). DuckDuckGo says this is a first for a service of its ilk, as your details aren't stored on remote servers. To help it build the tool, DuckDuckGo bought data removal service Removaly in 2022. The personal information removal service will regularly re-scan people search sites and data brokers to see if your info pops up again so you can dela with it accordingly. As for the identity theft restoration service, DuckDuckGo will connect you with an advisor from Iris, its partner, if your identity is stolen. The advisor will help with restoring any stolen accounts and financial losses, as well as fixing your credit report. Moreover, they can help you cancel and replace important documents such as your drivers license, bank cards and passport. Iris can also provide you with a cash advance if you're far from home and stuck due to identity theft.  Again, you won't have to provide any of your personal information up front. You'll only need to provide an advisor with those details if you need help after having your identity stolen. Expanding privacy protections through these services is a logical way for DuckDuckGo to try and boost its bottom line. Privacy Pro seems reasonably priced compared to some of the alternatives too Mozilla's personal information removal service alone costs $9 per month.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/duckduckgo-unveils-a-10-privacy-pro-plan-with-a-no-log-vpn-120007653.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising
 

2024-04-11 14:00:02| Engadget

Ive found myself at a loss for words when trying to explain the Humane AI Pin to my friends. The best description so far is that its a combination of a wearable Siri button with a camera and built-in projector that beams onto your palm. But each time I start explaining that, I get so caught up in pointing out its problems that I never really get to fully detail what the AI Pin can do. Or is meant to do, anyway. Yet, words are crucial to the Humane AI experience. Your primary mode of interacting with the pin is through voice, accompanied by touch and gestures. Without speaking, your options are severely limited. The company describes the device as your second brain, but the combination of holding out my hand to see the projected screen, waving it around to navigate the interface and tapping my chest and waiting for an answer all just made me look really stupid. When I remember that I was actually eager to spend $700 of my own money to get a Humane AI Pin, not to mention shell out the required $24 a month for the AI and the companys 4G service riding on T-Mobiles network, I feel even sillier. What is the Humane AI Pin? In the companys own words, the Humane AI Pin is the first wearable device and software platform built to harness the full power of artificial intelligence. If that doesnt clear it up, well, I cant blame you. There are basically two parts to the device: the Pin and its magnetic attachment. The Pin is the main piece, which houses a touch-sensitive panel on its face, with a projector, camera, mic and speakers lining its top edge. Its about the same size as an Apple Watch Ultra 2, both measuring about 44mm (1.73 inches) across. The Humane wearable is slightly squatter, though, with its 47.5mm (1.87 inches) height compared to the Watch Ultras 49mm (1.92 inches). Its also half the weight of Apples smartwatch, at 34.2 grams (1.2 ounces). The top of the AI Pin is slightly thicker than the bottom, since it has to contain extra sensors and indicator lights, but its still about the same depth as the Watch Ultra 2. Snap on a magnetic attachment, and you add about 8mm (0.31 inches). There are a few accessories available, with the most useful being the included battery booster. Youll get two battery boosters in the complete system when you buy the Humane AI Pin, as well as a charging cradle and case. The booster helps clip the AI Pin to your clothes while adding some extra hours of life to the device (in theory, anyway). It also brings an extra 20 grams (0.7 ounces) with it, but even including that the AI Pin is still 10 grams (0.35 ounces) lighter than the Watch Ultra 2. That weight (or lack thereof) is important, since anything too heavy would drag down on your clothes, which would not only be uncomfortable but also block the Pins projector from functioning properly. If you're wearing it with a thinner fabric, by the way, youll have to use the latch accessory instead of the booster, which is a $40 plastic tile that provides no additional power. You can also get the stainless steel clip that Humane sells for $50 to stick it onto heavier materials or belts and backpacks. Whichever accessory you choose, though, youll place it on the underside of your garment and stick the Pin on the outside to connect the pieces. Hayato Huseman for Engadget How the AI Pin works But you might not want to place the AI Pin on a bag, as you need to tap on it to ask a question or pull up the projected screen. Every interaction with the device begins with touching it, there is no wake word, so having it out of reach sucks. Tap and hold on the touchpad, ask a question, then let go and wait a few seconds for the AI to answer. You can hold out your palm to read what it said, bringing your hand closer to and further from your chest to toggle through elements. To jump through individual cards and buttons, youll have to tilt your palm up or down, which can get in the way of seeing whats on display. But more on that in a bit. There are some built-in gestures offering shortcuts to functions like taking a picture or video or controlling music playback. Double tapping the Pin with two fingers will snap a shot, while double-tapping and holding at the end will trigger a 15-second video. Swiping up or down adjusts the device or Bluetooth headphone volume while the assistant is talking or when music is playing, too. Cherlynn Low for Engadget Each person who orders the Humane AI Pin will have to set up an account and go through onboarding on the website before the company will ship out their unit. Part of this process includes signing into your Google or Apple accounts to port over contacts, as well as watching a video that walks you through those gestures I described. Your Pin will arrive already linked to your account with its eSIM and phone number sorted. This likely simplifies things so users wont have to fiddle with tedious steps like installing a SIM card or signing into their profiles. It felt a bit strange, but its a good thing because, as Ill explain in a bit, trying to enter a password on the AI Pin is a real pain. Talking to the Humane AI Pin The easiest way to interact with the AI Pin is by talking to it. Its supposed to feel natural, like youre talking to a friend or assistant, and you shouldnt have to feel forced when asking it for help. Unfortunately, that just wasnt the case in my testing. When the AI Pin did understand me and answer correctly, it usually took a few seconds to reply, in which time I could have already gotten the same results on my phone. For a few things, like adding items to my shopping list or converting Canadian dollars to USD, it performed adequately. But adequate seems to be the best case scenario. Sometimes the answers were too long or irrelevant. When I asked Should I watch Dream Scenario, it said Dream Scenario is a 2023 comedy/fantasy film featuring Nicolas Cage, with positive ratings on IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic. Its available for streaming on platforms like YouTube, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video. If you enjoy comedy and fantasy genres, it may be worth watching. Setting aside the fact that the answer to my query came after a lot of preamble I found unnecessary, I also justdidnt find the recommendation satisfying. It wasnt giving me a straight answer, which is understandable, but ultimately none of what it said felt different from scanning the top results of a Google search. I would have gleaned more info had I looked the film up on my phone, since Id be able to see the actual Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic scores. To be fair, the AI Pin was smart enough to understand follow-ups like How about The Witch without needing me to repeat my original question. But its 2024; were way past assistants that need so much hand-holding. Were also past the days of needing to word our requests in specific ways for AI to understand us. Though Humane has said you can speak to the pin naturally, there are some instances when that just didnt work. First, it occasionally misheard me, even in my quiet living room. When I asked Would I like YouTuber Danny Gonzalez, it thought I said would I like YouTube do I need Gonzalez and responded Its unclear if you would like Dulce Gonzalez as the content of their videos and channels is not specified. When I repeated myself by carefully saying I meant Danny Gonzalez, the AI Pin spouted back facts about the YouTubers life and work, but did not answer my original question. Thats not as bad as the fact that when I tried to get the Pin to describe what was in front of me, it simply would not. Humane has a Vision feature in beta thats meant to let the AI Pin use its camera to see and analyze things in view, but when I tried to get it to look at my messy kitchen island, nothing happened. Id ask Whats in front of me or What am I holding out in front of you or Describe whats in front of me, which is how Id phrase this request naturally. I tried so many variations of this, including What am I looking at and Is there an octopus in front of me, to no avail. I even took a photo and asked can you describe whats in that picture. Every time, I was told Your AI Pin is not sure what youre referring to or This question is not related to AI Pin or, in the case where I first took a picture, Your AI Pin is unable to analyze images or describe them. I was confused why this wasnt working even after I double checked that I had opted in and enabled the feature, and finally realized after checking the reviewers' guide that I had to use prompts that started with the word Look. Look, maybe everyone else would have instinctively used that phrasing. But if youre like me and didnt, youll probably give up and never use this feature again. Even after I learned how to properly phrase my Vision requests, they were still clunky as hell. It was never as easy as Look for my socks but required two-part sentences like Look at my room and tell me if there are boots in it or Look at this thing and tell me how to use it. When I worded things just right, results were fairly impressive. It confirmed there was a Lysol can on the top shelf of the shelving unit and a purple octopus on top of the brown cabinet. I held out a cheek highlighter and asked what to do with it. The AI Pin accurately told me The Carry On 2 cream by BYBI Beauty can be used to add a natural glow to skin, among other things, although it never explicitly told me to apply it to my face. I asked it where an object I was holding came from, and it just said The image is of a hand holding a bag of mini eggs. The bag is yellow with a purple label that says mini eggs. Again, it didn't answer my actual question. Humanes AI, which is powered by a mix of OpenAIs recent versions of GPT and other sources including its own models, just doesnt feel fully baked. Its like a robot pretending to be sentient capable of indicating it sort of knows what Im asking, but incapable of delivering a direct answer. My issues with the AI Pins language model and features dont end there. Sometimes it just refuses to do what I ask of it, like restart or shut down. Other times it does something entirely unexpected. When I said Send a text message to Julian Chokkattu, whos a friend and fellow AI Pin reviewer over at Wired, I thought Id be asked what I wanted to tell him. Instead, the device simply said OK and told me it sent the words Hey Julian, just checking in. How's your day going? to Chokkattu. I've never said anything like that to him in our years of friendship, but I guess technically the AI Pin did do what I asked. Hayato Huseman for Engadget Using the Humane AI Pins projector display If only voice interactions were the worst thing about the Humane AI Pin, but the list of problems only starts there. I was most intrigued by the companys pioneering Laser Ink display that projects green rays onto your palm, as well as the gestures that enabled interaction with onscreen elements. But my initial wonder quickly gave way to frustration and a dull ache in my shoulder. It might be tiring to hold up your phone to scroll through Instagram, but at least you can set that down on a table and continue browsing. With the AI Pin, if your arm is not up, youre not seeing anything. Then theres the fact that its a pretty small canvas. I would see about seven lines of text each time, with about one to three words on each row depending on the length. This meant I had to hold my hand up even longer so I could wait for notifications to finish scrolling through. I also have a smaller palm than some other reviewers I saw while testing the AI Pin. Julian over at Wired has a larger hand and I was downright jealous when I saw he was able to fit the entire projection onto his palm, whereas the contents of my display would spill over onto my fingers, making things hard to read. Its not just those of us afflicted with tiny palms that will find the AI Pin tricky to see. Step outside and youll have a hard time reading the faint projection. Even on a cloudy, rainy day in New York City, I could barely make out the words on my hands. When you can read whats on the screen, interacting with it might make you want to rip your eyes out. Like I said, youll have to move your palm closer and further to your chest to select the right cards to enter your passcode. Its a bit like dialing a rotary phone, with cards for individual digits from 0 to 9. Go further away to get to the higher numbers and the backspace button, and come back for the smaller ones. This gesture is smart in theory but its very sensitive. Theres a very small range of usable space since there is only so far your hand can go, so the distance between each digit is fairly small. One wrong move and youll accidentally select something you didnt want and have to go all the way ou to delete it. To top it all off, moving my arm around while doing that causes the Pin to flop about, meaning the screen shakes on my palm, too. On average, unlocking my Pin, which involves entering a four-digit passcode, took me about five seconds. On its own, this doesnt sound so bad, but bear in mind that youll have to re-enter this each time you disconnect the Pin from the booster, latch or clip. Its currently springtime in New York, which means Im putting on and taking off my jacket over and over again. Every time I go inside or out, I move the Pin to a different layer and have to look like a confused long-sighted tourist reading my palm at various distances. Its not fun. Of course, you can turn off the setting that requires password entry each time you remove the Pin, but thats simply not great for security. Though Humane says privacy and transparency are paramount with AI Pin, by its very nature the device isnt suitable for performing confidential tasks unless youre alone. You dont want to dictate a sensitive message to your accountant or partner in public, nor might you want to speak your Wi-Fi password out loud. That latter is one of two input methods for setting up an internet connection, by the way. If you choose not to spell your Wi-Fi key out loud, then you can go to the Humane website to type in your network name (spell it out yourself, not look for one thats available) and password to generate a QR code for the Pin to scan. Having to verbally relay alphanumeric characters to the Pin is not ideal, and though the QR code technically works, it just involves too much effort. Its like giving someone a spork when they asked for a knife and fork: good enough to get by, but not a perfect replacement. Cherlynn Low for Engadget The Humane AI Pins speaker Since communicating through speech is the easiest means of using the Pin, youll need to be verbal and have hearing. If you choose not to raise your hand to read the AI Pins responses, youll have to listen for it. The good news is, the onboard speaker is usually loud enough for most environments, and I only struggled to hear it on NYC streets with heavy traffic passing by. I never attempted to talk to it on the subway, however, nor did I obnoxiously play music from the device while I was outside. In my office and gym, though, I did get the AI Pin to play some songs. The music sounded fine I didnt get thumping bass or particularly crisp vocals, but I could hear instruments and crooners easily. Compared to my iPhone 15 Pro Max, its a bit tinny, as expected, but not drastically worse. The problem is there are, once again, some caveats. The most important of these is that at the moment, you can only use Tidals paid streaming service with the Pin. Youll get 90 days free with your purchase, and then have to pay $11 a month (on top of the $24 you already give to Humane) to continue streaming tunes from your Pin. Humane hasnt said yet if other music services will eventually be supported, either, so unless youre already on Tidal, listening to music from the Pin might just not be worth the price. Annoyingly, Tidal also doesnt have the extensive library that competing providers do, so I couldnt even play songs like Beyonces latest album or Taylor Swifts discography (although remixes of her songs were available). Though Humane has described its personic speaker as being able to create a bubble of sound, that bubble certainly has a permeable membrane. People around you will definitely hear what youre playing, so unless youre trying to start a dance party, it might be too disruptive to use the AI Pin for music without pairing Bluetooth headphones. Youll also probably get better sound quality from Bose, Beats or AirPods anyway. The Humane AI Pin camera experience Ill admit it a large part of why I was excited for the AI Pin is its onboard camera. My love for taking photos is well-documented, and with the Pin, snapping a shot is supposed to be as easy as double-tapping its face with two fingers. I was even ready to put up with subpar pictures from its 13-megapixel sensor for the ability to quickly capture a scene without having to first whip out my phone. Sadly, the Humane AI Pin was simply too slow and feverish to deliver on that premise. I frequently ran into times when, after taking a bunch of photos and holding my palm up to see how each snap turned out, the device would get uncomfortably warm. At least twice in my testing, the Pin just shouted Your AI Pin is too warm and needs to cool down before shutting down. A sample image from the Humane AI Pin.Cherlynn Low for Engadget Even when its running normally, using the AI Pins camera is slow. Id double tap it and then have to stand still for at least three seconds before it would take the shot. I appreciate that theres audio and visual feedback through the flashing green lights and the sound of a shutter clicking when the camera is going, so both you and people around know youre recording. But its also a reminder of how long I need to wait the shutter sound will need to go off thrice before the image is saved. I took photos and videos in various situations under different lighting conditions, from a birthday dinner in a dimly lit restaurant to a beautiful park on a cloudy day. I recorded some workout footage in my buildings gym with large windows, and in general anything taken with adequate light looked good enough to post. The videos might make viewers a little motion sick, since the camera was clipped to my sports bra and moved around with me, but thats tolerable. In dark environments, though, forget about it. Even my Nokia E7 from 2012 delivered clearer pictures, most likely because I could hold it steady while framing a shot. The photos of my friends at dinner were so grainy, one person even seemed translucent. To my knowledge, that buddy is not a ghost, either. A sample image from the Humane AI Pin.Cherlynn Low for Engadget To its credit, Humanes camera has a generous 120-degree field of view, meaning youll capture just about anything in front of you. When youre not sure if youve gotten your subject in the picture, you can hold up your palm after taking the shot, and the projector will beam a monochromatic preview so you can verify. Is not really for you to admire your skilled composition or level of detail, and more just to see that you did indeed manage to get the receipt in view before moving on. Cosmos OS on the Humane AI Pin When it comes time to retrieve those pictures off the AI Pin, youll just need to navigate to humane.center in any browser and sign in. There, youll find your photos and videos under Captures, your notes, recently played music and calls, as well as every interaction youve had with the assistant. That last one made recalling every weird exchange with the AI Pin for this review very easy. Youll have to make sure the AI Pin is connected to Wi-Fi and power, and be at least 50 percent charged before full-resolution photos and videos will upload to the dashboard. But before that, you can still scroll through previews in a gallery, even though you cant download or share them. The web portal is fairly rudimentary, with large square tiles serving as cards for sections like Captures, Notes and My Data. Going through them just shows you things youve saved or asked the Pin to remember, like a friends favorite color or their birthday. Importantly, there isnt an area for you to view your text messages, so if you wanted to type out a reply from your laptop instead of dictating to the Pin, sorry, you cant. The only way to view messages is by putting on the Pin, pulling up the screen and navigating the onboard menus to find them. Hayato Huseman for Engadget That brings me to what you see on the AI Pins visual interface. If youve raised your palm right after asking it something, youll see your answer in text form. But if you had brought up your hand after unlocking or tapping the device, youll see its barebones home screen. This contains three main elements a clock widget in the middle, the word Nearby in a bubble at the top and notifications at the bottom. Tilting your palm scrolls through these, and you can pinch your index finger and thumb together to select things. Push your hand further back and youll bring up a menu with five circles that will lead you to messages, phone, settings, camera and media player. Youll need to tilt your palm to scroll through these, but because theyre laid out in a ring, its not as straightforward as simply aiming up or down. Trying to get the right target here was one of the greatest challenges I encountered while testing the AI Pin. I was rarely able to land on the right option on my first attempt. That, along with the fact that you have to put on the Pin (and unlock it), made it so difficult to see messages that I eventually just gave up looking at texts I received. The Humane AI Pin overheating, in use and battery life One reason I sometimes took off the AI Pin is that it would frequently get too warm and need to cool down. Once I removed it, I would not feel the urge to put it back on. I did wear it a lot in the first few days I had it, typically from 7:45AM when I headed out to the gym till evening, depending on what I was up to. Usually at about 3PM, after taking a lot of pictures and video, I would be told my AI Pins battery was running low, and Id need to swap out the battery booster. This didnt seem to work sometimes, with the Pin dying before it could get enough power through the accessory. At first it appeared the device simply wouldnt detect the booster, but I later learned its just slow and can take up to five minutes to recognize a newly attached booster. When I wore the AI Pin to my friend (and fellow reviewer) Michael Fishers birthday party just hours after unboxing it, I had it clipped to my tank top just hovering above my heart. Because it was so close to the edge of my shirt, I would accidentally brush past it a few times when reaching for a drink or resting my chin on my palm a la The Thinker. Normally, I wouldnt have noticed the Pin, but as it was running so hot, I felt burned every time my skin came into contact with its chrome edges. The touchpad also grew warm with use, and the battery booster resting against my chest also got noticeably toasty (though it never actually left a mark). Hayato Huseman for Engadget Part of the reason the AI Pin ran so hot is likely that theres not a lot of room for the heat generated by its octa-core Snapdragon processor to dissipate. I had also been using it near constantly to show my companions the pictures I had taken, and Humane has said its laser projector is designed for brief interactions (up to six to nine minutes), not prolonged usage and that it had intentionally set conservative thermal limits for this first release that may cause it to need to cool down. The company added that it not only plans to improve uninterrupted run time in our next software release, but also that its working to improve overall thermal performance in the next software release. There are other things I need Humane to address via software updates ASAP. The fact that its AI sometimes decides not to do what I ask, like telling me Your AI Pin is already running smoothly, no need to restart when I asked it to restart is not only surprising but limiting. There are no hardware buttons to turn the pin on or off, and the only other way to trigger a restart is to pull up the dreaded screen, painstakingly go to the menu, hopefully land on settings and find the Power option. By which point if the Pin hasnt shut down my arm will have. A lot of my interactions with the AI Pin also felt like problems I encountered with earlier versions of Siri, Alexa and the Google Assistant. The overly wordy answers, for example, or the pronounced two or three-second delay before a response, are all reminiscent of the early 2010s. When I asked the AI Pin to remember that I parked my car right here, it just saved a note saying Your car is parked right here, with no GPS information or no way to navigate back. So I guess I parked my car on a sticky note. To be clear, thats not something that Humane ever said the AI Pin can do, but it feels like such an easy thing to offer, especially since the device does have onboard GPS. Googles made entire lines of bags and Levis jackets that serve the very purpose of dropping pins to revisit places later. If your product is meant to be smart and revolutionary, it should at least be able to do what its competitors already can, not to mention offer features they dont. Screenshot One singular thing that the AI Pin actually manages t do competently is act as an interpreter. After you ask it to translate to [x language], youll have to hold down two fingers while you talk, let go and it will read out what you said in the relevant tongue. I tried talking to myself in English and Mandarin, and was frankly impressed with not only the accuracy of the translation and general vocal expressiveness, but also at how fast responses came through. You dont even need to specify the language the speaker is using. As long as youve set the target language, the person talking in Mandarin will be translated to English and the words said in English will be read out in Mandarin. Its worth considering the fact that using the AI Pin is a nightmare for anyone who gets self-conscious. Im pretty thick-skinned, but even I tried to hide the fact that I had a strange gadget with a camera pinned to my person. Luckily, I didnt get any obvious stares or confrontations, but I heard from my fellow reviewers that they did. And as much as I like the idea of a second brain I can wear and offload little notes and reminders to, nothing that the AI Pin does well is actually executed better than a smartphone. Wrap-up Not only is the Humane AI Pin slow, finicky and barely even smart, using it made me look pretty dumb. In a few days of testing, I went from being excited to show it off to my friends to not having any reason to wear it. Humanes vision was ambitious, and the laser projector initially felt like a marvel. At first glance, it looked and felt like a refined product. But it just seems like at every turn, the company had to come up with solutions to problems it created. No screen or keyboard to enter your Wi-Fi password? No worries, use your phone or laptop to generate a QR code. Want to play music? Here you go, a 90-day subscription to Tidal, but you can only play music on that service. The company promises to make software updates that could improve some issues, and the few tweaks my unit received during this review did make some things (like music playback) work better. The problem is that as it stands, the AI Pin doesnt do enough to justify its $700 and $24-a-month price, and I simply cannot recommend anyone spend this much money for the one or two things it does adequately.  Maybe in time, the AI Pin will be worth revisiting, but its hard to imagine why anyone would need a screenless AI wearable when so many devices exist today that you can use to talk to an assistant. From speakers and phones to smartwatches and cars, the world is full of useful AI access points that allow you to ditch a screen. Humane says its committed to a future where AI seamlessly integrates into every aspect of our lives and enhances our daily experiences.  After testing the companys AI Pin, that future feels pretty far away.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/the-humane-ai-pin-is-the-solution-to-none-of-technologys-problems-120002469.html?src=rss

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2024-04-11 13:15:57| Engadget

Amazon has cut paid perks for Alexa developers. With a bigger focus on generative AI, the voice assistants third-party apps (skills) arent a priority. An Amazon spokesperson told Engadget that the older programs have simply run their course, so we decided to sunset them. Launched in 2017, when Alexa was all the rage, the program paid developers bonuses for skills that resonated with users. It was part of Amazons quest to turn Alexa Skills into a booming app store. (Did that happen?) At the companys fall 2023 devices event, Amazon previewed its next-gen version of Alexa, with ChatGPT-like generative AI abilities. With AI powers, Alexa appeared versatile enough to address all sorts of queries and requests without creating apps and skills manually. Alexa isnt going anywhere; Amazon is just making it think for itself. Mat Smith The biggest stories you might have missed The Fallout TV series is V.A.T.S. (a very awesome TV show) Physicist Peter Higgs, who predicted the God particle, has died at 94 US bill proposes AI companies list what copyrighted materials they use ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 review: The 14-inch gaming laptop to beat ISPs roll out mandatory broadband nutrition labels that show speeds, fees and data allowances You can get these reports delivered daily direct to your inbox. Subscribe right here! Google Photos enhanced editing tools will no longer require a subscription Magic Eraser, Photo UnBlur, Magic Editor and more will be widely available in May. Free Google Photos users get enhanced editing features without paying $20+ annually. This means all users will get a few of Googles AI-powered tools, such as Photo UnBlur, Magic Eraser, and Magic Editor. I can attest: Photo UnBlur is a game-changer when taking shots of toddlers that will. Not. Stay. Still. Continue reading. Knock another $74 off the Nothing Phone 2 It works on T-Mobile and AT&Ts networks. Engadget Amazon has the Nothing Phone 2 on sale for the first time since its launch. The offbeat mainstream smartphone alternative is $74 off its usual price, down to $625. The deal includes the version with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, and its ready for activation on T-Mobile or AT&T. Continue reading. Vampire Survivors hits PlayStation this summer The game is also getting Contra DLC in May. Hit retro bullet-hell-rogue-ish Vampire Survivors is coming to PlayStation possibly the only platform it hasnt been on yet. The game is also getting a batch of crossover DLC on May 9. Vampire Survivors: Operation Guns brings Contra characters and weapons, so expect a lot more guns. 22 of them, in fact. Continue reading.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/the-morning-after-amazon-stops-paying-bonuses-to-alexa-developers-111557415.html?src=rss

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2024-04-11 12:45:54| Engadget

Some iPhone users got a very concerning alert to their devices on Wednesday. Apple sent notifications to individuals in 92 countries warning them that they may have been the target of mercenary spyware attacks, TechCrunch reports. "Apple detected that you are being targeted by a mercenary spyware attack that is trying to remotely compromise the iPhone associated with your Apple ID -xxx-," the message read. Apple's alert went on to share additional information about the incident. "This attack is likely targeting you specifically because of who you are or what you do. Although it's never possible to achieve absolute certainty when detecting such attacks, Apple has high confidence in this warning please take it seriously," the alert continued. Apple explained that it couldn't provide any information about what prompted the message out of concern that additional information would help attackers avoid future detection. The company uses internal information and investigations to pinpoint attacks. This instance is hardly the first time Apple has had to send this sort of notification. Since 2021, individuals in over 150 countries have received similar messages, including a warning to some journalists and politicians in India last October. However, it's unclear which countries individuals received alerts in this time around.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/iphone-users-in-92-countries-received-a-spyware-attack-warning-from-apple-104554943.html?src=rss

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2024-04-11 11:22:37| Engadget

Mercedes-Benz has released a preview of its 2025 EQS electric vehicle model that comes with a new grille design featuring chrome slats against a deep black background along with a standing star on its hood. With just those changes, the upcoming EQS more clearly resembles Benz's S-Class vehicles, its counterpart in the automaker's non-EV lineup, than its predecessor does. In addition to the more traditional Benz look and upgrades that make its seats more comfortable, the 2025 EQS will also come with a larger battery.  Its new battery has a larger usable capacity of 118 kWh, compared to the older model's 108.4 kWh. Of course, the higher the kWh, the longer an EV's range is the first EQS had an EPA-estimated 350 mile-range, so expect Mercedes to announce a longer range than that. The 2025 EQS will feature new regenerative braking software that the automaker says can recover more energy for use, as well. That will also contribute to a longer range, lesser use of the car's brake discs and a better pedal feel.  The automaker hasn't announced how much the model would cost yet, but prices will likely start at $100,000-plus when it arrives at US dealerships later this year. This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/mercedes-new-eqs-looks-a-lot-more-like-an-s-class-092237724.html?src=rss

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2024-04-11 08:37:18| TRENDWATCHING.COM

Spotted by:  Marie-Michele Larivee

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