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How the new age spirituality of #manifestions can make companies toxic October 21, 2020

Manifestation is the latest viral trend on social media, presented as a way to create – or physically manifest – your own reality through carefully monitoring thoughts, beliefs and feelings. The hashtag #manifest has over a billion views on TikTok alone. In these posts, advice is offered on manifestation as the mechanism to achieve the […]

How the new age spirituality of #manifestions can make companies toxic


Manifestation is the latest viral trend on social media, presented as a way to create – or physically manifest – your own reality through carefully monitoring thoughts, beliefs and feelings. The hashtag #manifest has over a billion views on TikTok alone. In these posts, advice is offered on manifestation as the mechanism to achieve the life you want, whether it is money, happiness, the body you desire, or exam grades. Techniques to manifest involve imagining something has already happened, visualizing it, writing it down, and using positive language such as “I have” rather than “I want”. To be successful at…

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How the new age spirituality of #manifestions can make companies toxic
Source: The Next Web

Vivo makes big expansion into Europe

Vivo, one of the largest smartphone brands in the world, is expanding its operations in Europe. The company will now sell phones and accessories in six new markets: the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Poland and Spain.

Vivo is kicking things off with the X51 5G flagship phone, essentially a rebranded version of the X50 that launched earlier in the year. Its headline feature is a “gimbal-style” camera system that is claimed to offer much-improved image stabilization.

The X51’s other features include ultrawide, 2x, and 5x telephoto cameras, a Snapdragon 765 processor, a 90Hz 6.56-inch 1080p OLED screen, 256GB of storage, a 4,315mAh battery, and 33W fast charging. It’ll cost £749 ($972) in the UK and go on sale on October 29th.

T…

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Vivo makes big expansion into Europe
Source: New feed

DOJ's antitrust suit against Google is being driven by cronyism and election season politics, and not by a serious concern about monopoly power (Karl Bode/Techdirt)

Karl Bode / Techdirt:

DOJ’s antitrust suit against Google is being driven by cronyism and election season politics, and not by a serious concern about monopoly power  —  Last month we noted how Bill Barr was rushing DOJ staffers (much to their chagrin) to launch his “antitrust inquiry” into Google.  Why?  Three reasons.

DOJ's antitrust suit against Google is being driven by cronyism and election season politics, and not by a serious concern about monopoly power (Karl Bode/Techdirt)
Source: Tech Meme

Netflix will offer its library for free to Indian non-subscribers for a weekend


Earlier this month, Netflix said that it’s ending the 30-day long free trial that it used to entice people into getting a subscription. Today, during its earnings call, the company stated that it’s exploring new ways for people to experience its library before they get a subscription. The first test the streaming giant is performing is a free weekend-long trial. The company will start this experiment in India, where it’ll offer its service for free on the weekend of December 4, as reported by Protocol. India is the first of many countries where Netflix will test this two-day “Streamfest” to hopefully…

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Netflix will offer its library for free to Indian non-subscribers for a weekend
Source: The Next Web

Light Fields: Missing Ingredient for Immersive 3D Video Gets Improved

46 time-synchronized action cameras make up the guts of the capture device.

3D video content has a significant limitation, one that is not trivial to solve. Video captured by a camera — even one with high resolution and a very wide field of view — still records a scene as a flat plane, from a fixed point of view. The limitation this brings will be familiar to anyone who has watched a 3D video (or “360 video”) in VR and moved their head the wrong way. In these videos one is free to look around, but may not change the position of their head in the process. Put another way, pivoting one’s head to look up, down, left, or right is fine. Moving one’s head higher, lower, closer, further, or to the side? None of that works. Natural movements like trying to peek over an object, or moving slightly to the side for a better view simply do not work.

Light field video changes that. It is captured using a device like the one in the image above, and Google has a resource page giving an excellent overview of what light field video is, what it can look like, and how they are doing it. That link covers recent improvements to their camera apparatus as well as to video encoding and rendering, but serves as a great show-and-tell of what light fields are and what they can do.

Light field image, with viewer’s point of view moving in a figure eight pattern. Colors show depth layers interpolated by software.

The meta-camera is a hemisphere just under one meter in diameter that contains an array of 46 time-synchronized action cameras pointed outwards. On the software end, camera input is used to reconstruct the scene and create a 6 DoF volumetric video. In other words, the perspective of the video correctly changes depending on a user moving their point of view (within an area very roughly corresponding to the size of the camera device, anyway.)

The other significant improvement is in compression and rendering of the resulting video. By reducing the video down to a small, fixed number of depth layers to represent the light field content, conventional video encoding and compression can be leveraged to deliver lightweight representations that can render easily on just about any platform. A picture is worth a thousand words, so here is a short animation showing a light field image. The point of view moves in a figure eight, and the perspectives and sight lines all change exactly as one would expect them to. The animation also briefly peeks behind the curtain, showing the color-coded depth layers that the software uses to decide what belongs where.

You can download the PDF of the SIGGRAPH 2020 technical paper, or browse the DeepView resource page hosted on GitHub for plenty of in-browser demos and a downloadable VR headset demo. The team’s video presentation is also embedded below, and gives an excellent overview.

Light fields don’t have to be complex affairs, and there is plenty of room for curious hackers to explore. Interested? [Alex Hornstein] shared a fascinating presentation on working with light fields in his 2018 Hackaday Superconference talk, so check it out.

Light Fields: Missing Ingredient for Immersive 3D Video Gets Improved
Source: HackADay

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez played “Among Us" in a bid to get out the vote

“‘Pokémon Go’ to the polls” is out. “Be ‘Among Us’ other registered voters and make a plan to vote” is in. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez played “Among Us" in a bid to get out the vote
Source: Washington Post Tech

NASA's Osiris-Rex spacecraft touches down on asteroid Bennu – CNET

The mission marks the space agency’s first landing on an asteroid. NASA's Osiris-Rex spacecraft touches down on asteroid Bennu – CNET
Source: CNet

Threatening emails reportedly sent to Democratic voters in three swing states, sparking investigations

The emails claimed to be from the Proud Boys, a far-right group supportive of President Trump, but appeared instead to be a deceptive campaign making use of a vulnerability in the organization’s online network. Threatening emails reportedly sent to Democratic voters in three swing states, sparking investigations
Source: Washington Post Tech

A long-awaited Willow sequel is official, and it’s coming to Disney Plus

Image: Lucasfilm

After years of silence, Disney has confirmed that Lucasfilm’s Willow will receive a sequel, in the form of a TV series coming to its Disney Plus streaming subscription service. The pilot will be directed by Crazy Rich Asians’ John M. Chu.

Willow has largely remained untouched since its original release in 1988, but this long rumored sequel will join existing novels and a comic book that previously built out the world of the film. The original can already be streamed on Disney Plus, and this new series will join The Mandalorian as Lucasfilm’s second television spin-off on the platform.

The 1988 film, directed by Ron Howard, was a cult hit when it first premiered, a fantasy adventure about an aspiring sorcerer named Willow (Warwick Davis)…

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A long-awaited Willow sequel is official, and it’s coming to Disney Plus
Source: New feed

Over 430,000 viewers tuned in simultaneously to watch Rep. Alexia Ocasio-Cortez play Among Us on Twitch, the third highest ever for an individual Twitch stream (Ina Fried/Axios)


Ina Fried / Axios:

Over 430,000 viewers tuned in simultaneously to watch Rep. Alexia Ocasio-Cortez play Among Us on Twitch, the third highest ever for an individual Twitch stream  —  More than 430,000 people tuned in simultaneously to Twitch on Tuesday night to watch Rep. Alexia Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) …

Over 430,000 viewers tuned in simultaneously to watch Rep. Alexia Ocasio-Cortez play Among Us on Twitch, the third highest ever for an individual Twitch stream (Ina Fried/Axios)
Source: Tech Meme

Quibi apps arrive on Apple TV, Android TV, and Fire TV

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Quibi, the troubled streaming service focused on “quick bites” of mobile-first content, has just launched apps for Apple TV, Android TV and Fire TV. The company quietly announced the change in an updated support article.

These apps follow Quibi’s ongoing attempts to get more eyes on its content after launching as a mobile-only app. The company first made content more shareable in May, and followed that soon after with AirPlay and Chromecast support.

Unfortunately for Quibi, these changes to the initial mobile-first strategy may have come too late. A new report in The Information claims that co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg has attempted to sell Quibi’s programming to Facebook and NBCUniversal while telling…

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Quibi apps arrive on Apple TV, Android TV, and Fire TV
Source: New feed

AOC’s debut Twitch stream is one of the biggest ever

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez reacts to being chosen to be an impostor during her first live-streamed round of Among Us, moments after saying she hoped not to be picked as an impostor.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) made her Twitch debut tonight to play Among Us and encourage viewers to vote. She also, very quickly, became one of the platform’s biggest broadcasters: her stream peaked at 435,000 viewers around the time of her first match, according to Twitch. (The stream is still going as of this writing, but it had dipped to around 350,000 viewers after about two hours of playing.)

That peak viewership puts her broadcast among the 20 biggest streams ever, according to the third-party metrics site TwitchTracker, and much higher if you’re only looking at broadcasts from individual streamers. Ninja holds the record for an individual streamer, with more than 600,000 viewers during a Fortnite match with Drake in 2018….

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AOC’s debut Twitch stream is one of the biggest ever
Source: New feed

Netflix plans to test a 48-hour free weekend in India, dubbed StreamFest and scheduled for Dec. 4, and may bring the promotion to other countries later (Janko Roettgers/Protocol)


Janko Roettgers / Protocol:

Netflix plans to test a 48-hour free weekend in India, dubbed StreamFest and scheduled for Dec. 4, and may bring the promotion to other countries later  —  Netflix is looking to promote its service with a 48-hour free streaming event, confirmed COO Greg Peters during the company’s Q3 2020 earnings call Tuesday afternoon.

Netflix plans to test a 48-hour free weekend in India, dubbed StreamFest and scheduled for Dec. 4, and may bring the promotion to other countries later (Janko Roettgers/Protocol)
Source: Tech Meme

NASA just landed on asteroid Bennu. What you need to know about the mission – CNET

NASA’s Osiris-Rex spacecraft attempted to swipe space souvenirs from Bennu Tuesday to bring home to Earth. Soon we’ll know how successful it was. NASA just landed on asteroid Bennu. What you need to know about the mission – CNET
Source: CNet

eVisit, a SaaS startup that helps hospitals and health care systems provide telehealth services, raises $14M Series A led by TVC Capital (David Gargaro/IT PRO)


David Gargaro / IT PRO:

eVisit, a SaaS startup that helps hospitals and health care systems provide telehealth services, raises $14M Series A led by TVC Capital  —  SaaS telehealth company seeks to simplify health care delivery  —  eVisit, a software as a service (Saas) telehealth company that enables virtual care …

eVisit, a SaaS startup that helps hospitals and health care systems provide telehealth services, raises M Series A led by TVC Capital (David Gargaro/IT PRO)
Source: Tech Meme

WarnerMedia debuts WarnerMedia RIDE, a free video service for smartphones and tablets connected to in-car WiFi via AT&T's unlimited data connected-car plans (Todd Spangler/Variety)


Todd Spangler / Variety:

WarnerMedia debuts WarnerMedia RIDE, a free video service for smartphones and tablets connected to in-car WiFi via AT&T’s unlimited data connected-car plans  —  Are we there yet?  —  WarnerMedia is bringing its premium video programming to bored kids and other road-weary passengers …

WarnerMedia debuts WarnerMedia RIDE, a free video service for smartphones and tablets connected to in-car WiFi via AT&T's unlimited data connected-car plans (Todd Spangler/Variety)
Source: Tech Meme

GMC Hummer EV's first year of production already sold out – Roadshow

Or, more precisely, reservations are full. “Watts To Freedom?” Well, the initials are correct. GMC Hummer EV's first year of production already sold out – Roadshow
Source: CNet

WTF, mate: Here's the GMC Hummer EV's Watts to Freedom launch mode in action – Roadshow

GMC says its gigantic Hummer EV can accelerate to 60 mph in 3 seconds. WTF, mate: Here's the GMC Hummer EV's Watts to Freedom launch mode in action – Roadshow
Source: CNet

Raspberry Pi and Raspberry Pi Spy: This Is How Trademark SNAFUs Should Be Handled

In the eight years or so since the Raspberry Pi first landed as tangible hardware, we’ve all dealt with the Pi folks whether as customers or through their many online support and outreach activities. They’ve provided our community with the seed that led to an explosion of inexpensive Linux-capable single board computers, while their own offerings have powered so many of the projects we have featured here. Their heart lies in their educational remit, but they have also become an indispensable part of our community.

The statement from the Pi Foundation’s Philip Colligan.

Thus it was a surprise when [Raspberry Pi Spy], a long-time commentator on all things Pi, received a legal notice from the Raspberry Pi Foundation that their use of the Raspberry Pi name contravened the acceptable use guidelines and demanding that all content be removed and the domains be handed over. Some consternation ensued, before Pi foundation boss [Philip Colligan] released a statement retracting the original letter and explaining that the incident was the result of an over-zealous legal adviser and that the Foundation has no wish to undermine the Pi community.

All’s well that ends well, but what just happened? In the first instance, it’s natural for any organisation to wish to protect their brand, and there would be plenty of unscrupulous entities ready to sell fake Pi products were the Foundation not active in asserting their rights. In this case it seems that it was the use of the full Raspberry Pi trademark in a domain name that triggered the letter and not the fair-use blogging about the Pi products. We can see that however much we might wish otherwise it was not without legal merit. There have been numerous cybersquatting cases heard since the creation of the Web, and even though some of them have been on more dubious ground than others it remains a well-trodden path.

Where this story differs from so many others though is that the Pi Foundation acted with common sense in withdrawing the notice issued against a member of its community. It is inevitable that sometimes even the best of us can take regrettable paths by whatever means, and respect is earned by how such situations are resolved. We applaud the Pi folks for their swift action in this matter, we’d suggest to anyone that they take care when registering domain names, and we suspect that somewhere a legal adviser will be in the doghouse. But that all such incidents in our community could be resolved with such ease.

Raspberry Pi and Raspberry Pi Spy: This Is How Trademark SNAFUs Should Be Handled
Source: HackADay

Google sued by DOJ over antitrust practices: What you need to know


The US Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit against Google today, claiming the company has an illegal monopoly of search traffic. It’s a major challenge to the dominance of the Big Tech companies — the first from the DOJ. But it’s been coming on for a long time. The DOJ’s complaint is 57 pages long, but to sum it up, it contends that Google uses a series of business deals and shady practices to kneecap any potential competition, calling it “a monopoly gatekeeper for the internet.” The deals it’s made with Apple and other hardware manufacturers to make its…

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Google sued by DOJ over antitrust practices: What you need to know
Source: The Next Web

The GMC Hummer EV's 11,500 lb-ft torque number is misleading, here's why – Roadshow

It all depends on how you measure it. The GMC Hummer EV's 11,500 lb-ft torque number is misleading, here's why – Roadshow
Source: CNet

GMC Hummer EV pricing and reservation details – Roadshow

The brawny new electric Hummer is here from GMC, and the automaker is taking $100 refundable deposits. Here’s everything you need to know about pricing and ordering. GMC Hummer EV pricing and reservation details – Roadshow
Source: CNet

DJI’s new Pocket 2 brings big updates to a little camera


DJI today announced the Pocket 2, an update to the Osmo Pocket. For those not familiar, it’s an adorable little handheld vlogging camera that features an impressive stabilization gimbal. This time around, DJI is increasing the sensor size and adding a wide range of functionality through a removable base plate. The most notable spec upgrade is a larger sensor, going from 1/2.3 inches to 1/1.7. Moreover, the new lens has both a wider field of view — equivalent to 20mm on a full-frame sensor — and a brighter F1.8 lens. Combined, these should make for a significant improvement in low…

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DJI’s new Pocket 2 brings big updates to a little camera
Source: The Next Web

WaterNSW tapping into real-time IoT data to improve water availability

As part of the state-owned entity’s plan to build a holistic picture of the quantity and quality of water in NSW. WaterNSW tapping into real-time IoT data to improve water availability
Source: ZDNet Microsoft

Fast & Furious can’t resist that joke about turning it up to 11, so you get one last movie

The Fast & Furious saga will finally end after its 11th installment, Deadline and Variety report — which, if you’re counting, is one more movie than we were expecting until now. Justin Lin, who directed five of the past eight F&F films (counting the upcoming F9), is reportedly set to direct the last two as well.

Of course they were going to make another movie. Unlike Chaim and Julia, I may know next to nothing about Fast’s plot or characters, but I do know spectacle — and there was no way in hell a $5+ billion box office blockbuster franchise, a series whose every installment attempts to jump the shark in the most spectacular ways possible, and a series that’s literally about tuning cars to the max, wasn’t going to turn it all the way up…

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Fast & Furious can’t resist that joke about turning it up to 11, so you get one last movie
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