Connect with us

Tech

LG’s CES 2020 press conference tried to convince us of its AI future – The Verge

Published

 on


In its press conference at CES today, LG presented its upcoming lines of TVs and kitchen appliances for the coming year. This year, the emphasis was on AI: in fact, the first 20 minutes of the presentation pushed a speculative look at the future of AI as a consumer service.

Once it got down to its product announcements, LG started with its newest kitchen appliances. First up was the LG ThinQ washer and dryer. According to LG, the washer will not only detect the volume and weight of laundry but also the type of fabric used in each load. It can also automatically select the optimal wash cycle. With smart pairing, the washer will automatically send the correct setting to the dryer. Another laundry product called the LG TwinWash will include two washers, one on top of the other, for small loads and larger loads simultaneously.

Passing on to the kitchen, LG is presenting new models of its InstaView fridges, which feature 22-inch panels that turn transparent so you can look inside without wasting the cold. The presentation featured a fridge called InstaView with Craft Ice, which makes slow-melting ice balls (in case that’s important to you).

If you want to see what’s in your oven, LG has announced the InstaView Oven, a convection oven that lets you see what’s going on inside. It includes air fry features and accepts recipes and cooking instructions from your phone. A Signature wine cellar lets you see your wine collection without opening the door, and it includes multi-temperature control.

LG also talked about its new Proactive Customer Care, which will use AI to help prevent problems (by, say, warning customers if they’re putting too much soap in the washer) and automatically alerting them to problems that may need repair.

On the TV front, LG introduced six new models of what it calls “real 8K” TVs, which adhere to the Consumer Technology Association’s definition of 8K (as opposed to the certification that Samsung recently announced from the 8K Association. They sport LG’s Alpha 9 Gen3 AI processors, which it says will take advantage of the screens’ over 33 million pixels to optimize both picture and sound quality.

The company also stated that four of its premium LCD models will feature LG NanoCell technology, which is developed to produce deeper colors at wider angles, along with two 8K models.

In all, LQ promised 18 different ultra-large models across its 2020 lineup and 13 new OLED models that range from 48 inches to 88 inches.

Other announcements included the NextGenTV, a new internet protocol broadcast standard, which LG said about 60 markets were expected to launch over the next year. Other features mentioned include ThinQ AI to allow hands-free voice control, enhanced gaming displays using Nvidia’s G-sync technology, and a 20mm-thin display as part of LG’s gallery series. The LG Signature OLED R rollable TV that has been the centerpiece of its previous presentations got only a brief mention. (It’s promised — again — for the market this year.)

No prices or ship dates were given. Perhaps LG will develop an AI bot to determine that stuff when these products are announced again next year.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Tech

Health Canada encouraging British Columbians to download COVID Alert – Up News Info

Published

 on


Health Canada is encouraging British Columbians to download the COVID Alert app, despite the fact that the province has not yet agreed to support it.

The agency has said that the use of the app could still be useful in curbing the spread of COVID-19.

“It’s still helpful to download COVID Alert from anywhere in the country, even if you can’t use it to report a diagnosis. That way, you’ll be notified if you come into contact with someone from a reporting province or territory or when people in your area are able to report a diagnosis,” a Health Canada spokesperson told Postmedia News.

For context, even though people in the province are unable to submit a positive diagnosis on the app, they can still be notified if they come into contact with someone visiting from a reporting province like Ontario or Quebec.

British Columbia and Alberta are the only two provinces that have not yet signed on to adopt the exposure notification app. Health Canada notes that it is working with provinces and territories, including British Columbia, to roll out the app.

COVID Alert is currently fully functional in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island. The app has reached more than 4.6 million downloads.

The app can be downloaded for free on Android and iOS.

Source: Postmedia News

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Tech

Not spooked by the pandemic, haunted houses find ways around COVID-19 – Yahoo News Canada

Published

 on


TORONTO — Psychotic clowns. Axe murderers. Bedrooms possessed by poltergeists.

Many of the frights greeting visitors of horror attractions this Halloween will be familiar, but the thrill-creators behind them say one terrifying experience is squarely off-limits: the terrors of COVID-19.

Before the pandemic shook our lives, haunted houses sometimes dipped into the fears of contagion, splashing themed rooms with signs of a viral outbreak, hazmat suits and contamination warnings.

But with those experiences uncomfortably close to reality this year, horror masters like Shawn Lippert say reminding people of the virus is one line they’re not willing to cross.

“We use the analogy: Treat ‘COVID’ like the F-word in church,” said the owner of Scarehouse, an industrial-sized indoor haunted house in Windsor, Ont.

“It’s too real and so close to home. It’s almost like when you tell a joke and they say, ‘Too soon.’”

Lippert said that’s one of several rules he’s introduced at his haunt in order to keep people feeling safe and heath authorities satisfied. Ticketholders arrive at staggered times, and everyone is required to wear a mask.

Creepy objects that once brushed against visitors have been removed, and the giant airbags that evoke the feeling of claustrophobia have been stowed away to decrease the potential spread of germs.

Lippert describes those as small changes in a challenging year.

Many haunt operators were jittery about moving ahead with their usual Halloween festivities, considering health authorities could shut down the houses without much notice if the region experiences a surge in local cases. That would leave a brutal dent in their investments.

“If we can keep our doors open for the full run at this point, that would be a success for us,” Lippert said.

Several Toronto haunted houses decided the risk was too high. Casa Loma’s Legends of Horror and 28-year pillar Screemers at Exhibition Place were among the operators who decided to sit this year out, even before the city introduced tighter restrictions that would’ve closed them anyway.

Some organizers have used the pandemic to imagine ways to scare the living daylights out of people from a distance — often from the safety of their own vehicles.

The Pickering Museum Village put a historic spin on its spooky experience with a drive-thru tour that urged visitors to creep their cars along a roadway checkered with old houses, as ghost stories played on their FM radios.

Others have gone online with virtual group parties for kids or, for those of legal drinking age, what’s being sold as Canada’s first Virtual Halloween Cocktail Crawl.

Mentalist Jaymes White decided to embrace the digital world this year for his annual Halloween seances. His new Zoom experience, called Evoke, invites a small circle of friends to channel a spirit through video chat. He admits the idea goes against the traditions of a séance, where people usually hold hands around a table, but he’s confident the spirits will still be ready to unsettle his guests.

“They don’t care that we have a pandemic,” he said.

Paul Magnuson, one of the leaders at Calgary artist collective Big Art, will take over a downtown self-serve car wash for three days for a drive-in of the dead later this month. 

Scare Wash is described as a trip to hell and back that begins when a wash attendee’s seemingly normal car rinse spirals into a nightmare.

Magnuson came up with the idea when it was clear plans for his usual neighbourhood spectacle wouldn’t be possible in the pandemic.

“Last year I turned my garage into a Dexter killer room where we did performances all night. In previous years I’ve had an interactive cemetery,” he said.

“I’m not going to let COVID take this holiday.”

Robby Lavoie felt a similar conviction for keeping Terror Train on track this year at the National Ontario Railroad Museum and Heritage Centre. The annual Halloween event draws thousands of people to Capreol, Ont., part of Greater Sudbury, and provides the museum with a healthy dose of revenue.

Lavoie said he drew inspiration from videos he saw of a Japanese zombie drive-in haunted house over the summer. He knew there was a way to tone down the gore and make the idea a bit more Canadian.

After speaking with museum organizers, Lavoie secured the board’s approval for “Inferno 6077,” an immersive drive-in horror experience inside the garage of the fire hall. 

Pulling from his own knowledge of working in live theatre and movies, Lavoie began thinking on a grand scale. He hired a local writer who penned a story about townsfolk who seek revenge on an old man, and built rolling set pieces for the spectacle, which reaches its peak when the space is engulfed in flames, an illusion created with lights and projections.

“We’re putting you almost in an interactive movie, and it all came together within a month,” he said.

“I see myself doing this again next year, even if there isn’t COVID.”

Kathrine Petch understands the urge to keep Halloween on the calendar. As the general manager of Deadmonton Haunted House in Edmonton, she’s laid down strict COVID-19 precautions for their Area 51-themed haunt.

“The absolute, pure excitement of the customers is contagious to us,” she said.

“As long as we can pay the bills and have some money left over to make a different haunted house next year, I think we’ll be pretty happy.”

Petch said keeping Deadmonton open during the pandemic was important to everyone who runs the show.

“One of our biggest goals was to provide people with some kind of escape from all the crappiness that is 2020,” she said.

“And when they reach the end of our haunted house, at least they know the scares are done.”

Follow @dfriend on Twitter.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 20, 2020.

David Friend, The Canadian Press

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version misspelled Robby Lavoie’s given name.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Tech

Adobe is adding its ‘content authenticity’ tool to the latest Photoshop beta – The Verge

Published

 on


Adobe will let some Adobe Creative Cloud customers try a tool that builds trustworthy attribution directly into a picture. As part of a bigger software update, Adobe is moving forward with the Content Authenticity Initiative, a system it proposed last year. The tool adds an extra panel to Photoshop, and using it attaches metadata that’s supported by Adobe-owned art sharing site Behance.

Adobe lays out exactly how the process works in a video. The system lets users toggle four kinds of metadata: a picture thumbnail, the name of the person creating the image, some broad information about the types of edits that were made, and the original assets used to create the image. These are then cryptographically signed so it’ll be evident if anyone tampers with them.

If the picture is uploaded to Behance, users can see all that information as a pop-up panel, or they can click through to a dedicated website. The CAI panel is coming to “select customers” in Photoshop’s beta release over the next few weeks.

[embedded content]

Adobe’s demonstration video hints at how the system might be useful. If one of a composite photo’s original assets also used CAI, for instance, you can click through and see the full details for it as well — essentially giving artists a one-click attribution tool when they’re building on other people’s images. As we’ve discussed before, CAI isn’t designed to stop determined trolls from faking an image. But if you’d like to make clear that you’ve Photoshopped an image, CAI is also a simple and low-key way to do so.

Adobe eventually wants lots of apps, websites, and even cameras to support the CAI — likely hoping to make it a de facto standard for image attribution. CAI’s effectiveness ultimately depends on how much buy-in it can get across the wider internet, and Adobe has named a few high-profile partners like Microsoft, Twitter, and The New York Times Company. For now, though, Adobe is going to see how the option works within its own ecosystem.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending