If you’re perhaps looking for an accessory to go with a new holiday gift, a couple of Apple’s more popular ones have received price cuts today to the lowest levels we’ve ever seen in our tracking.
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Apple Pencil 2
While we saw the Apple Pencil 2 drop to as low as $104.99 for My Best Buy members ahead of the holidays, the iPad Pro accessory has hit a new low of $99.00 at both Amazon and Best Buy, a roughly 25 percent discount from its regular $129.00 price.
The Apple Pencil 2 works with Apple’s latest iPad Pro models introduced in 2018, including the new 11-inch size and the third-generation 12.9-inch model. It magnetically attaches to the side of the iPad Pro, charges wirelessly, and supports customizable double-tap gestures such as switching between drawing tools and bringing up a color palette.
AirPods Wireless Charging Case
Amazon has also discounted the AirPods Wireless Charging Case to just $46.33, an over 40 percent discount compared to the regular price of $79.00. Compatible with both the first- and second-generation AirPods, the standalone case accessory lets you upgrade from the standard case that charges only over a wired Lightning connection to one that also charges wirelessly via a Qi charging mat.
Google pledges not to use other web tracking tools after phasing out cookies – Financial Post
Privacy activists have criticized tech companies for using cookies to gather web browsing records across websites they don’t own
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Now, Google is pledging it will not use other technology to replace the cookie or build features inside Chrome to allow itself access to that data, though it continues to test ways for businesses to target ads to large groups of anonymous users with common interests.
“Keeping the internet open and accessible for everyone requires all of us to do more to protect privacy — and that means an end to not only third-party cookies, but also any technology used for tracking individual people as they browse the web,” Google said in the blog post.
Rival advertising tech companies are building tools to identify users across the web anonymously, including Criteo SA and The Trade Desk.
Shares of both companies dropped in January 2020 immediately after Google first announced it would eliminate cookies, but have risen consistently over the past year.
© Thomson Reuters 2021
Microsoft Teams Gets End-to-End Encryption, Channel-Sharing, Webinar Support for 1,000 Attendees, and Mor… – Gadgets 360
Microsoft Teams app has got new features including end-to-end encryption for calls, webinar support for up to 1,000 attendees, a new channel-sharing feature, and support for intelligent speakers that can differentiate between voices of up to 10 participants. Microsoft announced the new features during its ongoing Ignite 2021 developers’ event. It also introduced Microsoft PowerPoint Live in Microsoft Teams for more engaging presentations and a new Presenter Mode for customised video feeds during virtual meetings.
As per the announcements made during Microsoft Ignite 2021, the company said that its communication and collaboration app Microsoft Teams can now support up to 1,000 attendees during webinars. “And if your webinar grows to over 1,000 attendees, Teams will seamlessly scale to accommodate a 10,000-person, view-only broadcast experience,” Microsoft said. The limit will be increased to up to 20,000 people till the end of the year in order to facilitate remote work amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The new event capabilities are included with several Microsoft Office and other plans.
Microsoft Teams will now also support end-to-end encryption (E2EE) for one-to-one Teams calls. Microsoft says that a company’s IT department will have full discretion over who can use E2EE in the organisation.
Another important update regarding Microsoft Teams is the announcement of Teams Connect, a new feature that allows a firm to collaborate with multiple organisations internally or externally. With Microsoft Teams Connect, organisations can share channels with anyone, which will appear within a person’s primary Microsoft Teams account alongside other teams and channels. For example, if a team in an organisation is working on a specific project in collaboration with another team at a different company, they can share channels in order to easily access content for a streamlined workflow.
Microsoft Teams Connect is available today in private preview and will roll out broadly later this calendar year, said the company. Furthermore, the company is also bringing new gallery views to Microsoft Teams Rooms, including Together Mode “to make it easier to see everyone in the meeting”.
Microsoft also launched new Microsoft Teams Intelligent speakers. Microsoft says that these speakers can identify and differentiate the voices of up to 10 people talking in a Microsoft Teams Room. Created in partnership with EPOS and Yealink, the speakers can also automatically generate a transcript during a meeting, which will be attributed to the person speaking at any given point. The company is also giving users full control to turn attribution on/ off as a privacy and security measure. As per a report by The Verge, these speakers also support translation if users want to follow a meeting in a different language. However, there is no information on what all languages are supported for translation.
The company also announced Microsoft PowerPoint Live in Microsoft Teams that enhances the ease of presenting by bringing notes, slides, meeting chat, and participants all in a single view. Microsoft Teams will also soon get a new Presenter Mode that will show the presenter’s video feed alongside their content as they present.
What will be the most exciting tech launch of 2021? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.
Microsoft Mesh is a new Azure-based platform for build mixed reality experiences – MobileSyrup
As part of Microsoft’s virtual Ignite 2021 conference, the tech giant unveiled ‘Mesh,’ its new augmented and virtual reality (AR, VR) platform built on Azure.
Mesh, in short, is meant as a tool to help developers build “immersive, multiuser, cross-platform mixed reality apps,” mixed reality (MR) referring to everything from the real environment we exist in to an entirely virtual environment.
In a technical overview blog post, Microsoft outlines how Mesh solves various difficult problems with MR so developers can focus on designing their MR apps instead of solving complex challenges like keeping a hologram stable in a shared MR space, representing people with appropriate realism and more.
On a website detailing Mesh, Microsoft breaks it down as allowing users to “Feel presence,” “Experience together” and “Connect from anywhere.”
For example, the company talks about using ‘holoportation’ to project yourself in MR in a photorealistic sense to interact with others as if you were actually in the room with them. Experience together, on the other hand, is about virtual collaboration — Microsoft illustrates this with several images of people looking at and working with a shared hologram.
If you’re anything like me, you may look at the marketing material and find yourself thinking it looks awfully glamourous and, well, not really something we can actually do right now. And, to an extent, you’d be right.
The Verge’s Tom Warren had an opportunity to go hands-on with Mesh in what he described as something “like a Microsoft Teams meeting set in the future.” In Warren’s demo, participants appeared as avatars — Microsoft’s ‘holoportation’ feature will come in the future. The avatars come from AltspaceVR, a virtual social network Microsoft acquired in 2017. Further, in the demo, Warren was able to handle virtual items, resize them, put them down or pass them to other participants.
Of course, MR meetings are just one of many possible Mesh applications. Microsoft hopes developers will leverage the platform to build out new experiences for users. Mesh will also be available on various devices, including the HoloLens 2, several virtual reality headsets, tablets, smartphones and PCs. A preview of Mesh on the HoloLens 2 is available now, and the company plans to integrate Mesh with Teams and Dynamics 365 in the future.
Mesh holds potential, but it’ll rely on developers to build out experiences that people actually want to use — if that doesn’t happen, then Mesh may not take off in the way Microsoft hopes.
Image credit: Microsoft
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