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Canada Computers Boxing Day Sale ends January 2 – MobileSyrup

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Canada Computers & Electronics’ Boxing Day sale starts today and ends on January 2nd.

Here are some of the deals available in Canadian dollars.

  •  LG 60UM6900 Smart 4K UHD TV: now $649.99 and comes with a free LG SK1 Soundbar
  • Asus Vivobook Pro Notebook 15.6-inch FHD: now $799.99 with a free Asus ROG gaming mouse
  • Elgato Game capture HD60 S: now $159.95
  • Google Chromecast Ultra 4K: now $69.99 / Chromecast: now $35
  • Xbox One wireless controller: now $49.99
  • DualShock 4 wireless controller: now $49.99
  • Google Home Mini: now $29
  • Amazon Echo Dot: now $29
  • Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 portable Bluetooth speaker: now $99
  • Seagate 2TB Blue USB 3.0 portable Backup Plus Slim: now $69.99
  • Zenbook ScreenPad Notebook: now $1,399

There are tons of different devices on sale, customers just need to head to Canada Computer’s website.

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Amazon Sidewalk is coming to your neighborhood. Here's what you should know – CNET

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James Martin/CNET

Amazon has had its sights set on the smart home ever since Alexa came along — but now the online mega-retailer is thinking bigger, and envisioning entire smart neighborhoods. First announced in 2019, the effort is called Amazon Sidewalk, and it uses a small fraction of your home’s Wi-Fi bandwidth to pass wireless low-energy Bluetooth and 900MHz radio signals between compatible devices across far greater distances than Wi-Fi is capable of on its own — in some cases, as far as half a mile, Amazon says.

You’ll share that bandwidth with your neighbors, creating a sort of network of networks that any Sidewalk-compatible device can take advantage of. Along with making sure things like outdoor smart lights and smart garage door openers stay connected when your Wi-Fi can’t quite reach them, that’ll help things like Tile trackers stay in touch if you drop your wallet while you’re out on a walk, or if your dog hops the fence.

Amazon Sidewalk is coming this year as a free feature for Alexa and Ring users.


Amazon

Maybe most noteworthy of all is that, for a lot of us, Amazon Sidewalk won’t require any new hardware. Instead, it’ll arrive as a free software update to the Echo speakers and Ring cameras people already have in their homes. That means that the infrastructure is already in place for Sidewalk to be a robust, large-scale network right at launch — and it also means that you’ll soon see it pop up as a new feature in your Alexa app (and yes, you’ll be able to turn it off).

Amazon didn’t have a whole lot to say about Sidewalk at its September products showcase, but it’s likely that we’ll hear a lot more about it in the weeks ahead, as Amazon draws closer to a launch. For now, here’s everything we know about it.

How exactly does Sidewalk work?

Amazon is designating many of its existing Echo and Ring gadgets (and presumably the majority of its new devices from here on out) as Sidewalk bridges. That means that they’re equipped to siphon off a tiny amount of your home’s Wi-Fi bandwidth and then use it to relay signals to Sidewalk-compatible devices using BLE and 900MHz LoRa signals. Those kinds of low-energy signals can’t carry much data at all, but they can travel great distances.

Amazon claims that the 900MHz band, which is the same band used for amateur UHF radio broadcasts, allows for range of up to half a mile. So, if you have an Echo speaker or a Ring camera in your home that works as a Sidewalk bridge, you’ll be able to send wireless signals to Sidewalk-compatible devices across a huge area. And, if you had a Sidewalk-enabled device like a Tile tracker paired with your Sidewalk bridge, you’d be able to connect with it so long as it was within half a mile of anyone else’s Sidewalk bridge.

With Amazon Sidewalk, data travels from the device to the application server and back by way of the Sidewalk bridge (or gateway) and Amazon’s Sidewalk Network Server.


Amazon

Are there any security or privacy concerns?

There’s definitely a lot to think about. By design, smart home tech requires the user to share device and user data with a private company’s servers. By extending the reach of a user’s smart home, Sidewalk expands its scope and introduces new possible uses. That means new features and functionality, yes — but it also means that you’ll be sharing even more with Amazon.

Jeff Pollard, an analyst at Forrester, took the example of a dog with a Tile-type tracking device clipped to its collar when he described his concerns to CNET last year.

“It’s great to get an alert your dog left the yard, but those devices could also send data to Amazon like the frequency, duration, destination and path of your dog walks,” Pollard said. “That seems innocuous enough, but what could that data mean for you when combined with other data? It’s the unintended — and unexpected — consequences of technology and the data it collects that often come back to bite us (pardon the pun).”

In this example, a Ring motion alert passes through three levels of encryption on its way to the Ring server. During the trip, Amazon can’t see the inside of that packet — just the data needed to authenticate the device and route the transmission to the right place.


Amazon

Now, as Sidewalk prepares to roll out across Amazon’s entire user base, the company is looking to get out ahead of concerns like those. This week, Amazon released a detailed white paper outlining the steps it’s taking to ensure that Sidewalk transmissions stay private and secure.

“As a crowdsourced, community benefit, Amazon Sidewalk is only as powerful as the trust our customers place in us to safeguard customer data,” Amazon writes.

To that end, Amazon compares Sidewalk’s security practices to the postal service. In this analogy, Amazon’s Sidewalk Network Server is the post office, responsible for processing all of the data your devices send back and forth to their application server and making sure everything gets to the right place. But the post office doesn’t get to read your mail — it only gets to read the outside of the envelope. And when it comes to your device data, Amazon says, it uses metadata limitations and three layers of encryption to create the digital version of the envelope.

“Information customers would deem sensitive, like the contents of a packet sent over the Sidewalk network, is not seen by Sidewalk,” Amazon writes. “Only the intended destinations [the endpoint and application server] possess the keys required to access this information. Sidewalk’s design also ensures that owners of Sidewalk gateways do not have access to the contents of the packet from endpoints [they do not own] that use their bandwidth. Similarly, endpoint owners do not have access to gateway information.”

In other words, Amazon’s server will authenticate your data and route it to the right place, but the company says it won’t read or collect it. Amazon also says that it deletes the information used to route each packet of data every 24 hours, and adds that it uses automatically rolling device IDs to ensure that data travelling over the Sidewalk network can’t be tied to specific customers.

Those are good standards that should help Sidewalk steer clear of creating new privacy headaches for consumers — but as Pollard points out, it’ll be important to keep an eye out for any unexpected data consequences of such an expansive and ambitious smart home play.

How much of my home’s Wi-Fi bandwidth does Sidewalk use?

Not much at all. The maximum bandwidth of each Sidewalk bridge transmission to Amazon’s Sidewalk server is just 80Kbps. Each month, Amazon caps the total data allowance at 500MB, which the company notes is roughly equivalent to the amount of data you’d move to stream 10 minutes of HD video.

And keep in mind that you aren’t going to use Sidewalk to stream video or anything else that needs a lot of bandwidth. The signals Sidewalk devices pass back and forth are things like authentication requests and quick commands to turn the lights on, things that don’t require very much data at all.

cnet-black-friday-best-buy-amazon-echo-dot-3rd-gencnet-black-friday-best-buy-amazon-echo-dot-3rd-gen

Ring cameras and a wide range of existing Echo devices — including every version of the ultrapopular Echo Dot — will now double as Sidewalk bridges.


Ry Crist/CNET

Which devices will work as Sidewalk bridges?

A lot of them, as a matter of fact. Here’s the list of the ones that will work once Sidewalk launches later this year:

It’s noteworthy that the list includes so many Echo devices, including some that date back nearly five years, including the very first Echo Dot. That suggests that Sidewalk is something that Amazon’s been planning for quite some time, and it also means that there are already millions and millions of Sidewalk bridges installed and ready to go in people’s homes. That might even be understating it. At the start of last year, Amazon claimed it had sold more than 100 million Alexa devices.

Also noteworthy: There aren’t any Eero devices on the list. Amazon bought the mesh router maker in early 2019 and released a new version of its mesh system later that year. This year, Amazon introduced two new versions of the Eero system, each of which support the new, faster Wi-Fi 6 standard — but none of them will double as Sidewalk bridges. 

Does Amazon Sidewalk cost extra?

Nope. It’s a free feature for Amazon device users, with no installation or subscription fees.

ring-pathlight-solar-nightring-pathlight-solar-night

Expect to see things that typically push your Wi-Fi range to the limit, like outdoor smart lights, to join Sidewalk’s network in the coming year.


Ry Crist/CNET

What else will work with Sidewalk?

We’ll likely know a lot more about that in the weeks ahead, but judging from Amazon’s imagery, it’s safe to assume that the list will include Ring smart lights and accessories. Tile is also working on a new, Sidewalk-enabled tracker for the platform, and it’s likely that other manufacturers will follow suit with new devices of their own. Things like outdoor lights, connected car tech and smart garage openers that might typically sit on the fringes of your home’s Wi-Fi range seem like especially strong bets, but we’ll update this space as we learn more.


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Google Maps will now show COVID-19 outbreaks for users – National Post

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Google Maps is set to launch a COVID-19 filter showcasing global coronavirus cases and regional trends, the company announced Wednesday.

Google will begin showing users weekly averages of cases per 100,000 using a colour-coded filter. Areas will be one of six colours to signify the severity of the outbreak — Green areas have less than one instance per 100,000 people whereas more than 40 cases per 100,000 people are indicated by dark red, Forbes reported.

This optional filter will show users if cases are trending upwards, remaining stable, or heading down. This is available for all 220 Google Maps supported countries at a national, state or local level depending on available data.

“(It’s) a tool that shows critical information about COVID-19 cases in an area so you can make more informed decisions about where to go and what to do,” wrote Google.

Google will aggregate data from multiple sources, including Johns Hopkins, the New York Times, and World Health Organization. They are also relying on data from varying levels of government.

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Apple Watch Series 3 vs Apple Watch SE: Which should you buy? – 9to5Mac

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For the first time ever, Apple has a new mid-range Apple Watch consideration for potential buyers. The Apple Watch SE sits between the Apple Watch Series 3 and Series 6 in Apple’s lineup, and it provides an interesting hybrid of features. Here’s how the differences between the Apple Watch Series 3 vs. Apple Watch SE stack up.

Design and Display

One of the most striking differences between the Apple Watch Series 3 and the Apple Watch SE is the design. The Apple Watch Series 3 features a boxier design with a smaller display and larger bezels. It’s the same design that the very first Apple Watch model used and it’s available in 38mm and 42mm sizing.

On the flip side, the Apple Watch SE features the same physical design as the Series 4, Series 5, and Series 6. This means you get slimmer bezels with rounded display corners. In practice, this difference makes for a notable increase in display area with the Apple Watch SE compared to the last-generation design of the Apple Watch Series 3:

  • 38mm Apple Watch Series 3 display area: 563 sq mm
  • 40mm Apple Watch SE display area: 759 sq mm
  • 42mm Apple Watch Series 3 display area: 740 sq mm
  • 44mm Apple Watch SE display area: 977 sq mm

If you’re looking for the always-on display, you’re out of luck with both the Apple Watch Series 3 and Apple Watch SE; instead, this feature is only available on the Apple Watch Series 5 and Apple Watch Series 6.

The Apple Watch Series 3 and Apple Watch SE both feature Retina OLED displays with 1000 nits max brightness, though the Apple Watch SE also includes the power-preserving LTPO display technology that could help battery life.

Performance and battery life

Another major difference between the Apple Watch Series 3 and the Apple Watch SE is performance. The Apple Watch Series 3 is powered by Apple’s dual-core S3 processor, while the Apple Watch SE features Apple’s S5 processor. In terms of real-world performance, Apple says the Apple Watch SE is up to two times faster than the Series 3.

This means you can expect performance of apps, Siri, Maps, and other features to run notably faster with the Apple Watch SE than with the Apple Watch Series 3. The Apple Watch SE is also more likely to receive additional software features in the future, while the Series 3 could be excluded because of performance concerns.

As for battery life, Apple says that the Apple Watch Series 3 and Apple Watch SE can both run for up to 18 hours on a single charge. Actual battery life will always vary, but this 18-hour benchmark is a good way to shape your expectations.

Best Apple Watch charging docks:

Health features

apple watch fall detection

Both the Apple Watch Series 3 and Apple Watch SE miss out on Apple’s newest health features, including electrocardiogram support and blood oxygen level detection. If you’re looking for the best Apple Watch in terms of overall health features, the Apple Watch Series 6 is your best choice.

But with that having been said, the Apple Watch Series 3 and Apple Watch SE both support high and low heart rate notifications as well as irregular heart rhythm notifications. Both models also feature Apple’s Emergency SOS feature, but only Apple Watch SE features international emergency calling support, noise monitoring, and fall detection.

The Apple Watch SE and Apple Watch Series 3 both feature support for Apple’s Fitness app and looming Fitness+ service, ensuring you’ll be able to close your rings, track fitness progress, compete with friends, and more.

Cellular vs GPS

One of the key differences between the Apple Watch Series 3 and the Apple Watch SE is the available connectivity options. The Apple Watch SE is available in two configurations: GPS and GPS + Cellular. The latter configuration allows your Apple Watch to connect to cellular networks and work independently of your iPhone.

This also has implications for the new Family Setup feature in watchOS 7, which allows you to set up an Apple Watch for a family member without an iPhone, such as a kid or elderly relative. Because the Apple Watch operates completely on its own in this arrangement, however, a cellular connection is required. The Apple Watch Series 3 is not available with cellular connectivity and therefore is not supported by Family Setup.

Note: Even if you have a cellular Apple Watch Series 3, which Apple used to sell, it does not work with the Family Setup feature.

Apple Watch Series 3 vs Apple Watch SE: Pricing

The Apple Watch Series 3 is available in Apple’s lineup in 38mm and 42mm sizes. The former will cost you $199, while the latter will cost you $229. These are the only two configuration options available, aside from your choice of silver or space gray casing.

The Apple Watch SE is available in 40mm and 44mm configurations, with the former going for $279 and the latter going for $309. If you opt for cellular, you’re looking at $329 for the 40mm size and $359 for the 44mm size.

Something to consider here is that if you plan on choosing the 42mm Apple Watch Series 3 for $229, you could consider the 40mm Apple Watch SE. There’s a $50 price difference, but the 40mm Apple Watch SE actually gives you more display area (759 sq mm) than the 42mm Apple Watch Series 3 (740 sq mm).

Comparison chart

Apple Watch Series 3 vs. Apple Watch SE: The verdict

apple watch SE

For someone looking to enter the Apple Watch ecosystem at the most affordable price point possible, the Apple Watch Series 3 is a great option. Even though it’s several years old, it’s one of the best smartwatches on the market and one of the best fitness trackers on the market.

If you can justify the additional price jump to the Apple Watch SE, however, that is the best choice for most people. You’ll get significantly better performance, a more modern design, quadruple the internal storage, Family Setup integration, and much more.

What do you think of the differences between the Apple Watch Series 3 vs. the Apple Watch SE? Which are you planning to buy? Let us know down in the comments!

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