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Intel starts shipping its first Iris Xe discrete graphics cards for desktop – Engadget

Intel’s first dedicated graphics cards for desktop will soon pop up on the market as part of pre-built systems customers can buy. The chipmaker has announced that it has officially launched the Iris Xe discrete desktop graphics cards, which it developed with partners, including Asus. Intel first gave us a glimpse of the graphics chip — called “DG1” while in development — at CES 2020. In October last year, the first laptops with the Iris Xe Max graphics chips by Acer, Asus and Dell went out for sale.

Now, it’s also rolling out the dedicated Xe GPU for desktops, though customers can’t buy it to build their own rigs. Intel is shipping the chip out to manufacturers for pre-built PCs meant for small and medium businesses, as well as for mainstream users. As Anandtech notes, the DG1 discrete GPU is based on Tiger Lake’s integrated GPU with almost the same specifications — the desktop version even has slightly lower specs than its counterpart for laptops.

You can now run Tasker tasks straight from Google Assistant – XDA Developers

For many of our readers, Tasker needs no introduction. It’s the best app on Android for automation, and since the original developer passed the torch to João Dias nearly 3 years ago (!), it keeps getting even better. With the update to version 5.11.14, Tasker tasks can now be called right from Google Assistant.

As the developer explains over on Reddit, you can say “OK Google, run my task in Tasker” where “my task” matches the name of any of your tasks. Alternatively, you can swap “run” for “start”, “do”, “set”, or “send” in case you prefer those, and the developer is considering adding “turn” to the mix so you can say something like “turn on my PC” or “turn off my lights.” You can even run a task by voice and set a few variables at the same time by saying something like “OK Google, run my task with something and other” which sets the variables %par1 to “something” and %par2 to “other”. Your task, then, can be set up to parse the %par1 and %par2 variables to do whatever you want.

If you want even more control, you can also create a Profile using the new “Assistant Action” event. This will allow you to receive variable inputs. For example, you can ask Google Assistant to “run turn off my bedroom lights in 5 minutes with Tasker” to trigger the Assistant Action Profile, and then parse the “wait 5 minutes” and “turn off my bedroom lights” parts of the query using Tasker’s Pattern Matching to do your desired actions in the correct order.

The video embedded below shows off a couple of things you can do with Tasker’s new Google Assistant integration. Many of the things the developer shows off require an extra plugin or two, but not all do. The app has always had a bit of a learning curve, but the payoff can be big. In my opinion, it’s also fun to play around with the dozens of different Actions and plugins, but to each their own.

While Tasker’s new Google Assistant integration is quite powerful, it only supports English right now. That’s apparently a limitation of the Assistant App Actions feature that Google built, though. The Tasker dev says that he’ll add support for other languages as soon as Google allows it.

If you’re interested in automating your life with Tasker, then download the app from Google Play. It costs $3.49 but is free with a Google Play Pass subscription. You can try the app for free for 7 days if you download the APK from the developer’s website, but we think it’s definitely worth the purchase considering how much it offers.

Tasker 5.11.14 Full Changelog

  • Removed alert that “Assistant Action” event was not working since it’s now working
  • Added Assistant Actions video tip
  • Fixed building apps with App Factory on some devices in some situations
  • Fixed link to forum on Russian translation
  • Made “alert()” function in javascript return which button was pressed
  • Made “BT Connected” event able to select BT devices when being setup
  • Added “GenerateUUID()” function to “Tasker Function” action
  • Made it possible for users to use custom redirect URL in “HTTP Auth” action by specifying it directly there
  • Fixed issue where sometimes a notification would show up saying that Tasker was not authorized when that wasn’t the case
  • Fixed license checking in Tasker in some situations
  • Only use location permission in “Test Net” action if really needed
  • Allow “Perform Task” action’s Parameter input fields to have more than one line of input
  • Fix bug where sometimes when copying files to external SD card with uppercase extensions the wrong extension could be used in the destination file
  • Fixed using Project/Profile/Task variables in Javascript in some situations
  • Disallow using non-monitored built-in variables in “Variable State” state. Was allowing it by mistake
  • Fix using invalid variable names in plugins in some situations
  • Fix “Steps Taken” event on some devices
  • Fixed small crashes

Furry martial arts RPG Biomutant gets May 25th release date – Rock Paper Shotgun

Biomutant caught our eye three years ago, with ambitious promises of being an open world, post apocalyptic action-RPG with a mutating protagonist who knows kung fu. Now it’s got a release date of May 25th, at which point we’ll know which of those ambitions survived.

2022 BMW M5 CS is the companys quickest production car yet – CNET

Gold wheels and yellow LEDs. Hell yes.


BMW

BMW on Tuesday revealed its quickest production car ever, the 2022 M5 CS. Based on the already-extreme M5 Competition, the CS ups power, lowers weight and adds a few rad design touches to set it apart from the pack. That said, you’ll definitely pay for the privilege.

The M5 CS uses the same twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 as the rest of the M5 range. Here, this engine produces 627 horsepower, an increase of 10 hp over the M5 Competition. Torque output is unchanged at 553 pound-feet, and that power gets to the wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. BMW says the M5 CS can accelerate to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds — there’s that quickest-ever spec — though that’s only 0.2 seconds off the Competition’s 3.1-second time. The CS gets a revised exhaust with stainless steel tips, so it should sound pretty sweet under full acceleration assault, too.

Like the Competition, the M5 CS has an active all-wheel-drive system, with torque vectoring between the front and rear axles. The standard Active M rear differential can further shuffle power between the two back wheels, which is especially helpful since — like all M5s — the CS can shut off its front axle and operate in a rear-wheel-drive mode.

Thanks to the increased use of carbon fiber in the body panels and inside the car, the M5 CS is 230 pounds lighter than the M5 Competition, though it’s still no lightweight, at 4,114 pounds. The roof, redesigned hood (which looks a little too Charger Redeye for our tastes), front splitter, rear diffuser, spoiler and mirror caps are all done in carbon fiber, as is the engine cover.

To better handle the slight power bump and reduced weight, the CS makes minor adjustments to the M5 Competition’s springs and dampers, which are already a good deal stiffer than the base M5. Another boon for handling is the availability of grippy Pirelli P Zero Corsa summer tires, measuring 275/35R20 up front and 285/35R20 out back. These tires are a no-cost option, and you’ll definitely want them. The 20-inch gold wheels, thank goodness, are standard, and you can get gold calipers for the carbon-ceramic brakes.

Rear passengers get their own racy bucket seats.


BMW

Speaking of which, there are a whole bunch of gold accents on the M5 CS. As well as the wheels, you’ll find this gold-bronze finish on the grille surround and badges. Oh, and the LED running lights illuminate in yellow instead of white, which is an awesome bit of race-inspired style. It all looks pretty good against the frozen deep green paint of the car pictured here.

Inside the M5, the CS has a four-seat configuration with individual rear buckets. The carbon-fiber front seats have a ton of bolstering and look supportive as heck, and don’t worry, the M5 logos on the front chairs are illuminated. You’ll find CS badges throughout the cabin, as well as Alcantara suede. BMW’s latest iDrive 7 infotainment tech is housed on a large touchscreen atop the dash, and a digital gauge cluster shows more important info, too.

Now, the massive caveat: The 2022 BMW M5 CS costs $142,995 including $995 for destination. That means it’s $30,900 more expensive than the M5 Competition, which is a pretty significant increase. Yes, you get cool seats, gold trim and an extra 10 hp, but things like the gold wheels and P Zero Corsa tires could likely be sourced for a whole lot less. It’s a similar story to the M2 CS: cool car, but really expensive. Nevertheless, BMW will only offer the M5 CS for the 2022 model year and the first US cars will arrive in the second half of 2021. 

‘Plex Arcade’ streams your classic video games to Android, Chrome, Android TV – 9to5Google

Cloud streaming has benefits for gaming, as we’ve seen with Google Stadia, but it’s not all about high-end, graphically demanding titles. Sometimes, it’s just about making games easy to access. Today, “Plex Arcade” is launching as a way to stream classic video games to Android and Android TV devices, Chrome, and more.

Plex got its start as a way to stream things like music, movies, and television shows from your home computer or a server to any of your favorite devices. With the announcement of Plex Arcade, the streaming server app is expanding into another major form of media: video games — specifically retro games.

Like Stadia, GeForce Now, and other game streaming services, the idea behind Plex Arcade is to stream games from a Plex server in a remote location — or in your own home — back to your device. The underlying tech comes from Parsec — a free remote gaming application — which makes it possible to have the low-latency stream needed for playable games.

For now, Plex Arcade only allows you to stream games from one of about a dozen consoles, with the emulation aspects being handled by the open source LibRetro project. Out of the box, included with your subscription, you also gain access to a small library of classic Atari games.

  • Atari 2600
  • Atari 5200
  • Atari 7800
  • Sega Genesis / 32X
  • Sega Game Gear
  • Sega Master System
  • Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)
  • Super Nintendo (SNES)
  • Nintendo 64
  • Nintendo Game Boy Color
  • Nintendo Game Boy Advance
  • Arcade (MAME)

Plex Arcade does come with some other restrictions. For one, the server hosting your games will need to be Windows or macOS-based and have a Parsec compatible graphics card. Those hosting Plex from a Linux machine, NAS, or Nvidia Shield TV won’t be able to host games yet.

Further, gameplay is limited to Android, iOS, Chrome, Apple TV, and Android/Google TV too. Similarly, there are no guarantees for which controllers will or won’t work, with Plex recommending you use a DualShock 4 or Xbox controller.

If you’ve got all the right hardware, Plex Arcade is available for $4.99 per month and comes with a free one-week trial of the service.

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Firefox 85 Ditches Flash and Boosts Privacy Protections – Gizmodo

Illustration for article titled Firefox 85 Ditches Flash and Boosts Privacy Protections

Photo: LEON NEAL / Staff (Getty Images)

Do you hear that? It’s the last dying breaths of Adobe Flash, which might finally be rendered obsolete by Mozilla’s release of Firefox 85 on Tuesday.

Up until now, Firefox had been the last of the old guard to support Flash. Apple first dissed the software in 2010 by banning it from iPhones and then again in 2020 by refusing to support it with Safari 14, and Google and Microsoft both jettisoned it earlier this year with the releases of Chrome version 88 and Edge 88, respectively. Although the software was an early pioneer for gaming, video and animation on the web, Adobe had previously announced a long-term strategy to halt updates to and distribution of the Flash Player, encouraging creators to migrate any reliant content over to the more modern open formats.

In addition to some notable omissions, Firefox 85 has also added some interesting new features, including network partitioning that works to protect users from supercookie tracking by splitting the browser cache on a per-website basis.

“Over the years, trackers have been found storing user identifiers as supercookies in increasingly obscure parts of the browser, including in Flash storage, ETags, and HSTS flags,” Mozilla wrote in a blog post. “The changes we’re making in Firefox 85 greatly reduce the effectiveness of cache-based supercookies by eliminating a tracker’s ability to use them across websites.”

Other big additions include changes to how bookmarked pages are stored within the browser and an option to remove all saved credentials by clicking a single button, which could make life easier for users who share a computer or need to clear out their browser for privacy reasons.

The 2022 M5 CS Is the Quickest and Most Powerful BMW Road Car Ever – RoadandTrack.com

BMW is releasing an even quicker, more powerful version of its brutally capable M5 sedan, the automaker announced Tuesday. Dubbed the M5 CS, it has 627 horsepower—10 more than the M5 Competition—and a quoted 0-60 time of just 2.9 seconds. It’s the quickest and most powerful road car BMW has ever built, according to the company.

Much like the hardcore M2 CS, the M5 CS is turned up to 11, setting aside comfort and livability for ultimate track performance. BMW says it cut 230 pounds from the M5’s curb weight thanks to reduced sound-deadening and a litany of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic parts, including the roof, hood, splitter, spoiler, diffuser, and mirror caps. Other changes to the exterior include hood vents, red-painted calipers for the standard carbon-ceramic brakes, and a bronze finish trim on the kidney grilles, badging, and the 20-inch forged alloy wheels.

Of course, the best changes are the updates that hide underneath. That extra 10 horsepower comes from a new tune applied to the 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8 under the hood. Peak torque remains the same at 553 lb-ft, but now it’s available from 1800 to 5950 rpm—90 rpm more than before. Like the normal M5, it sends power to all four wheels via an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission and a trick AWD system with three modes: 4WD, 4WD Sport, and 2WD. Top speed is 190 mph.

That extra thrust is backed up by stiffer engine mounts, 10-percent stiffer springs, stiffer tow-link ball-joint mounts, and a stiffer rear sway bar. There’s also a 0.2-inch drop in ride height and more negative camber up front. The standard adaptive dampers have been retuned for the new suspension pieces as well as the no-cost optional Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires.

In addition to the normal selection of M5 colors, CS buyers will also have two specially chosen BMW Individual colors to choose from: Frozen Brands Hatch grey metallic and Frozen Deep green metallic, the latter of which can be seen in the pictures above. Inside, there are carbon bucket seats up front and two individual seats for the rear passengers (the center seat has been deleted). All four seats have a map of the Nürburgring imprinted on the headrests.

Production of the 2022 BMW M5 CS is set to begin in March 2021. Base price is $142,995 including destination, a premium of $30,000 over the M5 Competition. The company won’t reveal at this time how many units have been allocated to the U.S., but says they’ll begin to arrive at dealers in the second half of 2021. Considering the fat price tag and niche segment, we bet there won’t be many of these cars up for grabs. Better call your dealer now if you want to get ahold of one.

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Apple just had its best quarter in India – TechCrunch

When Apple reports its earnings on Wednesday, you can expect mentions of India on the call.

Apple shipped more than 1.5 million iPhone units in India in the quarter that ended in December, up 100% year-on-year, making this its best quarter in the world’s largest smartphone market to date, according to research firms Counterpoint and CyberMedia.

Thanks to the improved sales of older generation iPhone 11, iPhone XR, iPhone 12 and the newer iPhone SE, Apple doubled its market share in India to 4% in the quarter, the research firms said.

Overall, Apple shipped more than 3.2 million iPhone units in India in 2020, up 60% year-on-year, Counterpoint said.

The shipment growth comes months after Apple launched its online store in the country and offered customers a wide-range of financing and upgrade options, AppleCare+, and lucrative perks such as a free set of AirPods with the purchase of iPhone 11. The company plans to open its first physical retail store in the country later this year.

For more than a decade, Apple has struggled to sell its handsets in India because of the expensive price tags they carry. Most smartphones that ship in India are priced between $100 to $200. Samsung, and a group of Chinese smartphone vendors including Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo flooded the market in the past decade with their affordable smartphones.

None the less, in recent years Apple has visibly grown more interested in the country that is also one of the world’s fastest growing smartphones markets. The company’s contract manufacturers today locally assemble a range of iPhone models and some accessories — an effort the company kickstarted more than two years ago. (A recent violent event at an Indian facility of Wistron, one of Apple’s contract manufacturers, however, underscored some of the challenges Apple will grapple with as it looks to scale its local production efforts in the country.)

That move has allowed Apple to lower prices of some older generation iPhone models in India, where for years the company has passed import duty charges to customers. The starting price of the iPhone 12 Pro Max is $1,781 in India, compared to $1,099 in the U.S. (Apple has yet to start locally assemble the iPhone 12 units.) The AirPods Pro, which sells at $249 in the U.S., was made available in India at $341 at the time of launch. AirPods Max, similarly, is priced at $815 in India, compared to $549 in the U.S. (It doesn’t help that an average person in India makes $2,000 a year.)

Unlike most foreign firms that offer their products and services for free in India or at some of the world’s cheapest prices, Apple has focused entirely on a small fraction of the population that can afford to pay big bucks, Jayanth Kolla, chief analyst at Convergence Catalyst, told TechCrunch.

That’s not to say that Apple has not made some changes to its price strategy for India. The monthly cost of Apple Music is $1.35 in India, compared to $9.99 in the U.S. Its Apple One bundle, which includes Apple Music, TV+, Arcade and iCloud, costs $2.65 a month in India.

DJI is now selling a warranty to replace your drone if it flies away – The Verge

DJI is now offering flyaway coverage for its Mini 2 and Mavic Air 2 drones, should they develop a mind of their own and take off. The cost of replacing the escaped drone is $225 for the Mini, and $399 for the Mavic, which is on top of the price of DJI’s Care Refresh extended warranty. For that, you’ll pay $50 for the Mini, and $80 for the Mavic. If you already own one of these drones and the extended warranty, you’re eligible for flyway replacements going forward.

The extended warranty also lets you replace your drone if you damage it, twice per year, for $50 each. For flyaway coverage, there’s a one-time limit — if your replacement also goes AWOL, you’ll be on the hook to replace it, though there is a two-year version of the warranty that costs more and covers three accidents and two flyaways.

At half the price of a new drone, the replacement costs are rather high compared to something like AppleCare Plus with Theft and Loss, which only charges $149 to replace a lost or stolen iPhone. DJI’s coverage doesn’t cover you if your drone gets lost or stolen, only if it’s taken by the sky, but it also costs less to start: adding Theft and Loss coverage to an iPhone 12 is $219, or $269 for an iPhone 12 Pro, for example.

Of course, you would hope that the drones would simply not fly away on their own in the first place. On the announcement page, DJI says that “some accidents are inevitable when flying in complex environments, or in locations with signal interference, strong winds, or obstructed views.If I were buying an expensive drone, I would hope that it would know what to do in most of those situations (though wind does seem like a valid factor in a flyaway event.)

It seems like DJI has made progress in this regard, though — Googling “drone flyaway” brings up several stories from 2018 and before, but they seem to be less frequent nowadays. Still, if you’re worried about losing your nice drone, it’s good to have more options, should it ever decide to slip the surly bonds of Earth to visit the great drone factory in the sky.

Samsung Display details new energy-efficient OLED used in the Galaxy S21 Ultra – GSMArena.com news – GSMArena.com

Samsung Display revealed more details on the new generation of power-efficient OLED panels, which is currently adorning the Galaxy S21 Ultra. Not only is it more efficient but brighter too.

Samsung to release a new generation of energy-efficient OLEDs in 2021

The OLED is cutting the power draw by 16% while increasing brightness too. The results from our Galaxy S21 Ultra testing proves that the display can get really bright and the battery runtimes seem to confirm Samsung’s claims that the panel is more efficient as well.

We all know that OLEDs use organic light-emitting diodes and Samsung has come up with a new material that increases the moving speed of the electrons bumping up the brightness.

Samsung to release a new generation of energy-efficient OLEDs in 2021

It’s implicit that Samsung will be making this new generation of OLEDs for other manufacturers as well but it’s unclear when the new tech will hit the market in a consumer-ready product. As for now, the only way to experience the new tech is to get a Galaxy S21 Ultra.

Source (in Chinese)

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