The iPhone 11 Pro triple-camera system re-established Apple’s crown as a critic’s choice this year for smartphone cameras, but Marques Brownlee’s blind Twitter survey always turns up some interesting results.
Last year, the iPhone lost to a BlackBerry … and for 2019, the iPhone 11 Pro didn’t make it past the first round losing to a photo taken by the OnePlus 7T Pro.
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MKBHD’s test format involves taking photos on sixteen different phones and then uploading those pics to Twitter in blind polls for his followers to pick their favorites. The lower voted photos are knocked out and the winners go onto successive rounds.
The iPhone only participated in the first round, as it was immediately eliminated. Here is the photo it took compared to its competition, the OnePlus 7T Pro.
The iPhone cast a blue tint over the scene, whereas the OnePlus 7T Pro was more yellow. The iPhone’s white balance is certainly questionable here. The iPhone also left more of Brownlee’s face in shadow than the OnePlus camera system. In general, brighter photos win these polls.
The iPhone 11 Pro’s photo here is not the best photo that phone can take but it’s not awful. As always, the question of what is a ‘good’ photo is subjective. In this case, the lower lightning level on the iPhone photo clearly hurt it. It also seems a little flat between the foreground subject and the background.
As Brownlee only posts the images to Twitter, which heavily compresses uploads, examination of photos at a pixel level for detail is essentially impossible. Whilst having access to the full-res versions would probably affect decision making substantially, the existing test is pretty relevant to today’s world where most images are merely uploaded to social media sites anyway.
The overall winner of the camera test was the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus. You can watch the full video here:
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Microsoft launches Mesh mixed reality platform at Ignite – IT World Canada
Microsoft kicked off its virtual Ignite conference with a splash as chief executive officer Satya Nadella announced the company’s new mixed reality platform, Microsoft Mesh. Powered by Azure, Mesh allows people to interact in a virtual or augmented reality world.
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“Mesh enables you to interact holographically with others with true presence in a natural way,” Nadella said during his keynote. “I can meet my colleagues on the other side of the world collaborating as though we were in the same room. Again, with no screen mediating our interactions. It’s pretty mind-boggling to imagine, but this is the future we are building. One of my favourite lines we used to describe the possibilities when we first introduced HoloLens was when you change the way you see the world, you change the world you see. I can’t wait to see the world we create together.”
He then handed the reins to Alex Kipman, a Microsoft technical fellow in AI and mixed reality, who spent the next 45 minutes presenting from several virtual worlds. In an unusual twist, viewers could don their own headsets, join him, or get a similar (although 2D) experience viewing the keynote on the AltspaceVR website – or through the desktop app.
“Today, you and I make history as we collaborate on the largest mixed reality show ever created,” Kipman said. “Microsoft Mesh connects the physical and the digital worlds, allowing us to transcend the traditional boundaries of space and time. Microsoft Mesh is powered by Azure, and all of its AI and compute capabilities working seamlessly together from the intelligent edge to the intelligent cloud.”
Mesh, he said, lets developers create immersive experiences that lead users to connect from anywhere, feed true presence in mixed reality, and let workflows transition from familiar 2D mediums to the world of mixed reality. He said that over half of the Fortune 500 companies have purchased Hololens.
For example, Toyota uses Hololens, Dynamics 365 Remote Assist, and mixed reality services to improve maintenance efficiency. Technicians wearing Hololens can view information such as wiring harness configurations on specific car models via Azure Object Anchors while working on the vehicle. This process reduces inspection times by up to 20 per cent. The company is rolling out the Hololens 2 solution to all of its dealerships in Japan.
Another customer, Accenture, is experimenting with hybrid workflows to increase accessibility, allow remote collaboration and minimize unnecessary travel with a Mesh-enabled alt space. Since Mesh will work on HoloLens 2, Windows virtual reality headsets, Oculus headsets, PCs, Macs, and even smartphones, users are free to pick the most convenient device.
Beyond the enterprise
“But what happens when you go beyond the enterprise?” Kipman asked. “Collaboration doesn’t just take place in enterprise settings. Sometimes we just call it hanging out with friends. With Microsoft Mesh, you can connect from any device on any platform, transforming the way we connect to one another. Enabling hanging out wherever your friends are.”
In his virtual arena, the audience consisted of the avatars of attendees joining through VR. Kipman and several of his guests, including Niantic CEO John Hanke (who, with Pikachu, interacted with a colleague in a Pokémon GO battle), appeared via holoportation, which uses 3D capture technology to beam a lifelike image of the individual into the virtual world.
“Whether you’re exploring a brand-new park, or just walking through a familiar neighbourhood, augmented reality can make the real world a little more magical,” Hanke observed. “In the future, we imagine a real-world filled with adventures, helpful information, and of course, a lot of friends. AR that’s grounded in the real world, aware of us, and the environment, is an incredibly powerful starting point. And it becomes even more powerful when we can share it.”
In conjunction with Mesh’s release, Microsoft is also releasing developer tools to build Mesh experiences.
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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.
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