Super Bowl 2019 broadcast to include razzle-dazzle for your retinas – CNET

The Super Bowl might revolve around a piece of pigskin, but for those of us watching at home, it’s all about the tech. It starts with making sure your big screen and streaming service of choice are ready to go.

The Super Bowl might revolve around a piece of pigskin, but for those of us watching at home, it’s all about the tech. It starts with making sure your big screen and streaming service of choice are ready to go. Then there’re the big ads for gadgets, and even, uh… sex toys that sync to the action on the field.

But the most high-tech elements of Super Bowl 53 can actually be found behind the scenes of the broadcast operation that projects the whole spectacle onto the retinas of over 100 million people.

As our sister site TechRepublic reports, the brand new Mercedes-Benz stadium in Atlanta that’s hosting the championship is embedded with over 4,000 miles of fiber to support a network that includes plenty of internet-of-things sensors throughout the building. The dome also has 90 miles of audio cabling and nearly 2,000 Wi-Fi access points.

On top of all that digital infrastructure, CBS Sports, which will broadcast the biggest event in American television (Disclosure: CBS is CNET’s parent company), will also be using 2,000 strands of additional fiber and 330 recording channels. It’s required to support the 115 total cameras and five sets around the stadium that will be used to catch all the angles of each play, as well as the halftime show featuring Maroon 5, not to mention the pre- and post-game festivities.

Jason Cohen, vice president of remote technical productions for CBS Sports, told me there will even be a plane 2,000 feet above the stadium before kickoff and a tethered drone 3,000 feet due west of the dome, just to provide those nice panoramic shots of the city during breaks in the action.

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This year, six of the network’s cameras will also be outfitted with augmented-reality sensors from ncam that allow them to track AR graphics.

Integrating AR into a broadcast isn’t new. Watch enough NFL games and you’re bound to notice the graphics, animations, lines and other various markers on the field that aren’t really there. But this year, Cohen says, CBS is experimenting with pushing the technology to new levels.

Provided everything works out and all the technology cooperates, CBS hopes to create coordinated augmented-reality sequences that require cutting together images from four separate cameras.

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Traditional cameras, the skycam, a Techno-jib and an AVS wireless handheld Steadi-cam on the field will hopefully all be able to combine to project imagery into the stadium that’s just for the enjoyment of the massive worldwide audience at home.

“You’re really going to experience AR in a more theatrical manner,” Cohen said.

Pulling it off will require the flawless coordination of the data from the ncam sensors, transmission of wireless signals and video from the field and then running it all through a graphics engine developed by the Future Group to generate what is seen on screens at home.

Look out for the enhanced visual effects during the pre-game show, before kickoff and coming out of halftime, as well as during the game when AR will be used to show statistics and other game info in slick new ways.

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Another big first for the broadcast will be the use of multiple 8K cameras. CBS will have three around the stadium to help an enthusiastic minority justify the purchase of some seriously high-resolution home screenage. That’s in addition to 16 cameras with 4K capabilities, including nine that are zoom-capable with slow motion.

The end result should be a feast for the eyes, which is sure to be better for your health than gorging on the chicken wings, pizza and other elements that often go into a big Super Bowl production at home.

Best Super Bowl TV deals: Buying a new TV for the big game? These are your best choices.

How to watch the Super Bowl: Watch the game in the US for free, on TV or online.

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Cambium Networks anunció una nueva garantía de fábrica estándar para equipos de conmutación, Wi-Fi y de banda ancha inalámbricos líderes en el mercado

“Sabemos que Cambium Networks construye productos muy fiables. Es una de las razones por las que invertimos en Cambium Networks como el principal prestador de nuestras necesidades de trabajo en red inalámbrico, pero es una buena noticia ver que Cambium Networks protege nuestra inversión con la garantía estándar de plazo extendido”, expresó Barry Wilson, gerente de país de Eurona Ireland.

“Sabemos que Cambium Networks construye productos muy fiables. Es una de las razones por las que invertimos en Cambium Networks como el principal prestador de nuestras necesidades de trabajo en red inalámbrico, pero es una buena noticia ver que Cambium Networks protege nuestra inversión con la garantía estándar de plazo extendido”, expresó Barry Wilson, gerente de país de Eurona Ireland.

Además de la garantía extendida, Cambium Networks promueve la propuesta de valor de su Tejido Inalámbrico con servicios de gestión de redes gratuitos basados en la nube; y respecto de Wi-Fi, la funcionalidad gratuita de Controlador; mediante cnMaestro™. No hay costos de suscripción ni de renovación de la licencia de manera anual por los amplios servicios disponibles a través de cnMaestro, lo que le permite gestionar el tejido inalámbrico de Cambium Network de nodo a NOC. “Los prestadores de servicios gestionados han llegado a la conclusión de que cnMaestro es particularmente beneficiosa debido a su capacidad de múltiples tenants desde una cuenta única, lo que permite a los MSP gestionar de manera eficiente y eficaz las redes dispares de sus clientes mediante una vista global unificada”, explicó Rad Sethuraman, vicepresidente de gestión de Productos Empresariales.

“Estas garantías de varios años reducen mi riesgo de negocios. También aprecio el centro de llamados disponible las 24 horas del día y los 7 días de la semana de Cambium Networks; está bueno tener una persona del otro lado que atienda el llamado. Mi personal de tecnología confía en la comunidad de Cambium Networks para acceder a ideas y soluciones nuevas para problemas antiguos. Realmente es una solución de apoyo completa de Cambium Networks”, expresó Chris Bay, director ejecutivo de Bays-ET.

Garantía de tres años para equipos externos:

Wi-Fi empresarial para exteriores cnPilot™cnPilot e700cnPilot e500 cnPilot e501S cnPilot e502SConectividad IIoT cnReach™ Módulos de suscripción y puntos de acceso de distribución inalámbrica ePMP™: ePMP 3000ePMP 2000 ePMP 1000Módulos de suscripción y puntos de acceso de distribución inalámbrica PMP: PMP 450mPMP 450i PMP 450Conexión inalámbrica punto a punto (PTP): PTP 450i PTP 450bAlta ganancia PTP 450bPTP 450PTP 550

Garantía de cinco años en equipos empresariales de Wi-Fi de interiores:

Conmutadores empresariales cnMatrix™ Puntos de acceso empresariales de interiores cnPilot cnPilot e410 cnPilot e430 cnPilot e600

Las soluciones de conectividad inalámbrica de Cambium Networks están disponibles en la lista de revendedores internacionales de Cambium Networks que aparece aquí.

Acerca de Cambium Networks
Cambium Networks es un prestador internacional líder de soluciones de conectividad inalámbrica que refuerzan las conexiones entre las personas, los lugares y las cosas. Especializado en la prestación de un entramado inalámbrico extremo a extremo de plataformas fiables, escalables, seguras y gestionadas en la nube que rinden bien en condiciones exigentes, Cambium Networks dota de herramientas a los prestadores de servicios y a los operadores de redes empresariales, industriales y gubernamentales para que construyan conectividad inteligente de punta. Con sede en las afueras de Chicago y con centros de investigación y desarrollo en los Estados Unidos, el Reino Unido y la India, Cambium Networks vende mediante una variedad de distribuidores globales de confianza. www.cambiumnetworks.com

Contacto de prensa:
Sara Black
213.618.1501
sara@bospar.com

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Logo: https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/117974/cambium_networks_logo.jpg

FUENTE Cambium Networks

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SOURCE Cambium Networks

Best dash cam 2019: 10 car-ready cameras for peace of mind

It’s never a bad idea to have a dash cam mounted in your car – you never know when you’ll need footage from your windshield.

Finding the best dash cam in 2019 can feel overwhelming; there are so many models out there, and many companies make more than one.

It’s never a bad idea to have a dash cam mounted in your car – you never know when you’ll need footage from your windshield.

Finding the best dash cam in 2019 can feel overwhelming; there are so many models out there, and many companies make more than one.

But, once you find the best dash cam for you, it can be one of the most crucial bits of tech you own, coming in handy in the event of an accident, or in case something really amazing happens on the road that helps you become YouTube famous.

We’ve sifted through some of the top dash cams to nail down the very best dash cameras for 2019. It’s important to point out that dash cams are much more than GoPros mounted on your car’s dashboard; these are car-ready cameras that perform some critical functions and can even help you save time and money that would be better spent going back into your vehicle.

Whether used to provide evidence to your insurance company or help you avoid paying for a crash-for-cash scheme, dash cams provide some peace of mind wherever your journey takes you.

Don’t get lost with the best sat navs of 2019Best dash cam: what to look for

Generally the best dash cams have similar technology to one another, and for the most part mount somewhere along a car’s front windscreen, or windshield. Of course, wherever you place your dash cam must not block your view of the road.

Dash cams record smaller snippets of footage, usually in increments of one to two minutes at a time. The cameras continually record over the oldest clip in order to keep the memory card from filling up as well.

And while older models typically required the user to manually save or tag the appropriate clip in the event of an accident, new G-Sensor-based incident detection technology has taken over, and now takes care of this automatically.

There are also dash cams that boast additional features that, just like any other technology, see the price increase

There are also dash cams that boast additional features that, just like any other technology, see the price increase.

These extra features can include multiple lenses for front- and rear-facing coverage, improved sensor and image quality (HD recording, for example), night vision, built-in Wi-Fi for easy file transfer and numerous parking modes.

These modes use a time-lapse feature as a surveillance function to capture details of those irksome car park prangs when you’re off running errands.

Whenever we get a new dash cam review in, we’ll update this list with more of the best we’ve tested. Keep reading to find out which rank among the best dash cams 2018!

Best dash cams in 2019

Garmin has applied its knowledge of action cameras and fitness trackers to the world of dash cams, and its mid-range Dash Cam 55 model offers sharp imagery and enough additional features to make it our top choice.

Offering 1440p video capture at 30p, video footage for a dash cam is great, while the 122 degree viewing angle is pretty good, though there are wider optics out there. A nice touch is the inclusion of an attachable polarizing filter to cutout unwanted glare from your car’s windscreen.

Vital clips are automatically stored via the built-in G-Sensor technology, and thanks to the built-in GPS unit, all footage is stamped with time and location so there’s no disputing when and where an incident happens.

Chuck in the voice control, drive awareness warnings and the neat little travelapse feature, and the Garmin Dash Cam 55 is one great best dash cam.

Not as compact as the Garmin Dash Cam 55, but what the Mio MiVue does, it does very well. It’s still a pretty neat little dash cam, while there’s a large 2.7-inch touchscreen at the rear for simple control. Built-in GPS takes care of speed and location video overlays, while built-in Wi-Fi makes video and image transfer to smartphones and other devices simple. Above all else, the extra-wide 140-degree lens does an excellent job of capturing the action, while a high-performing sensor ensures the resulting video footage (Full HD 1080p at 30fps) is some of the best around.

Nextbase has long been a leading name on the dash cam market, and this dual camera unit offers both front- and rear-facing coverage in one simple unit, as opposed to running unsightly wires to a separate unit in the rear windscreen.

The Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) image processor makes low light and night time recording possible, while the crystal clear two-inch display makes it simple to interact with menus and change settings before setting off.

At 720p resolution, the footage isn’t the sharpest on the market, but the unit cleverly stitches both front and rear imagery together into one handy, side-by-side film for easier reviewing.

Naturally, the Nextbase features a loop recording function, which will automatically delete older files as required. But it will also automatically detect and incident and save important clips to the on-board microSD card.

It also features a built-in GPS module, which allows for the vehicle’s exact route, speed and position to be recorded, while a date and time stamp embedded on to the recorded footage provide further additional evidence.

Unfortunately, there isn’t any Wi-Fi or Bluetooth compatibility, so retrieving footage will require extraction of the memory card and synching up with a laptop or PC.

The super 2.19MP Sony Exmor CMOS sensor provides excellent quality from this sleek and diminutive package, while the additional extra flourishes are an added bonus.

Designed to be mounted just beneath the rear-view mirror, the TW-F770 features just a few small buttons and no external screen – this is because it can be linked to a smartphone via its on-board Wi-Fi.

This enables clips to be quickly and easily sent to a smart device, should you need to access them quickly, for example, but it does add an additional step to any settings and menu changes.

A Super Night Vision feature boosts low-light settings for improved image quality at night, while a neat Time Lapse feature acts as a CCTV camera when the vehicle is parked.

Bear in mind, though, that this mode will require hard-wiring the unit into the vehicle’s power supply, as is the case with most cameras featured on this list, rather than simply using a standard 12V lighter adaptor.

An on-board GPS tracker, as well as speed and upcoming red traffic signal warnings make this a very accomplished piece of kit.

Often cited as one of the best solutions for regular or professional drivers, the dual-camera BlackVue covers many bases and boasts numerous additional features that go some way to justifying the lofty price tag.

To get the most out of its features, including a detailed parking surveillance mode, the cameras require hard-wiring to the car’s power supply, but BlackVue makes this easier with an OBD II port converter, which plugs into most vehicle on-board diagnostics ports with ease.

The 2MP CMOS sensor and 129-degree lens capture excellent-quality HD video footage from the front camera, while a smaller unit at the rear records in 720p, with incident detection technology automatically flagging the appropriate video footage.

The BlackVue’s clear advantage over some of the rivals listed here is its Over-the-Cloud abilities, which mean drivers can check live footage from the car via a smartphone, laptop or PC, even when it’s parked.

The small, sleek unit is also neat and doesn’t look out of place on modern vehicles, although the lack of screen and limited buttons mean it does require smartphone tethering to adjust settings.

With its sharp ‘Ultra 2K HD’ image quality, broad 145-degree field of view and super-simple user interface, the Z-Edge Z3 has regularly been voted one of the best devices in its class.

The CMOS sensor and advanced image processor ensure the resulting footage is razor sharp, making it easier to read licence plates and capture incidents with superb clarity.

A 3-inch touchscreen display makes interacting with the camera extremely easy, although you’ll likely just set the camera up and let it do its thing, as most of the functionality has been automated for ease of use.

Like most cameras on the list, the unit will power up and instantly start recording when the ignition is switched on (so long as it’s plugged into a power source), and turn off when power is cut.

Memory is managed via a loop recording function, and incident detection ensures vital clips aren’t erased.

In short, it’s a great package for those who simply want a fuss-free camera that delivers quality images without the hassle.

Considering the price point, it’s very difficult to fault this TaoTronics model, even if it doesn’t boast GPS for speed and location recording or some of the added niceties of more expensive rivals.

That said, there’s plenty in the box to get excited about, chiefly the various well-made suction or adhesive mounts, the extra-long power cable and a 12V lighter socket adapter that features two ports, meaning you can still charge your phone with the dashcam running.

The unit itself boasts a G-sensor, for automatic saving of important incident footage, as well as a super-wide 160-degree field of view that’s able to capture five lanes of traffic.

Low-light video footage is very good, and the audio quality is surprisingly good at this price.

Minor foibles include the small and fiddly buttons, while the lack of speed and positioning information might be a deal-breaker for some.

A dashcam isn’t exactly the sort of thing you purchase for its smouldering looks, but the Cobra CDR 840 is one of the very few units on this list that seems to have been designed with aesthetics in mind.

The rear touchscreen may be small, but it’s sharp and very easy to navigate thanks to a simple joypad-style switch interface, with a clearly labelled, bright red button for manually saving important clips.

Built-in GPS will take care of speed and location, while the G-Sensor tech will automatically save clips should the device detect an accident.

The GPS system can prove a little touch-and-go if satellites are difficult to reach or if adverse weather is playing havoc with the signal, but this is another unit that’s very quick and easy to set up, with minimal on-going attention required.

Yi is a recent entrant into the action camera arena, and is also busy plying its trade in the world of dashcams with some neat units that cram a large amount of technology into their small forms.

The huge field of view on its Smart Dash Camera model means it can monitor the surrounding area and even warn the driver if the vehicle is straying out of its lane. Plus, a forward collision warning sounds if the device senses an impending impact with the vehicle ahead.

This is all part of the Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) package, which works in conjunction with G-Sensor technology and sees the camera automatically record and save clips in an emergency situation.

An impressive all-glass, high-resolution lens and f/1.8 aperture means that video recorded in low-light situations is crisp and clear.

Simplicity is the name of the game here, and what the RoadHawk DC-2 lacks in exterior looks and additional features it more than makes up for with great image and audio quality.

Gyro-balanced image stabilization and a high-quality sensor team up to create excellent footage, even in low-light scenarios, while an audio-in connection allows additional microphones to be added.

GPS technology is included to take care of speed and location data, although an external GPS antenna connection is also offered should you require a more powerful and reliable signal.

Also consider…

The Fly12 CE from Cycliq isn’t a dash cam for you car, but for cyclists. Packing a 600 Lumen front bike light, the Fly12 CE can record in Full HD at up to 60fps in either 5, 10 or 15 minute segments, while the 6-axis image stabilization system delivers smooth footage. Thanks to an ‘incident mode’ – if the Fly12 CE tilts over 60 degrees (falling off your bike in most instances), it will automatically lock and store the footage immediately before and after.

Thanks to ANT+ connectivity, you can connect it to your Garmin cycling computer to control the Fly12 CE on the go. There’s also a handy app as well that provides greater control over the camera/light. Waterproof down to 1m, it should stand up to some wet rides, while the battery life is good for 8 hours (4-5 hours if you’re going to be using the light as well).

Best sat nav: the ultimate GPS units on the market right now

Super Bowl 2019: Are the wireless networks up to snuff? – CNET

Wireless carriers have spent millions of dollars and years for preparing for one day. Which makes sense when that single day is the 2019 Super Bowl.

The carriers have installed hundreds of new antennas and small cells (think mini cellular towers) in and around Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta to increase the capacity of the network for the more than 1 million fans expected to come to town to root on either the New England Patriots or the Los Angeles Rams at the game on Sunday.

Wireless carriers have spent millions of dollars and years for preparing for one day. Which makes sense when that single day is the 2019 Super Bowl.

The carriers have installed hundreds of new antennas and small cells (think mini cellular towers) in and around Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta to increase the capacity of the network for the more than 1 million fans expected to come to town to root on either the New England Patriots or the Los Angeles Rams at the game on Sunday.

While the football fans won’t be staying, many of the upgrades are permanent and will be used in 5G network upgrades. The next wave of wireless, 5G promises faster speeds and quicker network response times for new services like streaming VR and self-driving cars.

Because 5G builds on 4G foundational technologies, carriers will be able to reuse this gear when it’s time to light up the next wireless generation simply by upgrading the software.

“We want to deliver a great network experience, whether customers are sharing their favorite moments on social media, making a call or checking email,” said Scott Mair, president of AT&T Operations. “Many of the network enhancements deployed for the big game are permanent and will continue to benefit customers and first responders long after the game ends.”

As fans send selfies and share videos on social media, the volume of traffic on the nation’s four biggest carriers is once again expected to hit records, topping last year’s tsunami of data. At the game in 2018, usage included Verizon‘s reported 18.8 terabytes of data flowing through its network during the game inside the stadium; AT&T’s 7.2 TB of data, and Sprint‘s 9.7 TB of data both inside and outside the stadium.

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In order to handle all this traffic, carriers have been upgrading their networks both inside the stadium and throughout Atlanta, including Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, as well as popular tourist areas like Centennial Olympic Park.

Here’s a look at what each of the carriers is doing this year for the big game.

AT&T

In total, AT&T says it’s spent $43 million to upgrade its network in Atlanta. It’s also the first carrier to make standards-based mobile 5G available in Atlanta.

“Bringing mobile 5G to parts of Atlanta ahead of this year’s Big Game was a priority for us,” the company said in a press release.

Here are some of the highlights of that investment.

1,500 antennas and 1,550 remote amplifiers to Mercedes-Benz stadium.
300 percent more LTE capacity since the start of the 2018 football season.
New Distributed Antenna System (DAS) at 30 additional locations throughout the Atlanta area to boost capacity of the LTE network.
The launch of the FirstNet public safety network to provide coverage and capacity for first responders.

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Verizon

Verizon says it’s spent $97 million on upgrades to get ready for the 2019 Super Bowl. Here’s some of what it’s done.

Installed 350+ miles of fiber throughout Atlanta
Installed close to 30 new permanent cell sites
Installed 300+ permanent small cells
Added additional capacity in close to 150 existing cell sites
Added capacity to the DAS system at Hartsfield Jackson
Upgraded DAS system within stadium
Upgraded Wi-Fi system to allow for seamless access for additional capacity.
Deployed antenna technology under seats to boost capacity

T-Mobile

T-Mobile says it’s boosted capacity by eight times in key locations in preparation for the Super Bowl.

Upgraded cell sites where the biggest crowds are expected, including Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, as well as key hotels throughout the city, along transit routes and at dozens of Super Bowl event venues like Cobb Galleria, Centennial Olympic Park, Georgia World Congress Center and State Farm Arena.
Upgraded to the highest-capacity DAS on T-Mobile’s network in the stadium, with 50 percent more capacity than the next largest stadium.
Added the first outdoor C-RAN system in the tailgating and events areas. A C-RAN is a cloud-based radio access network that improves network performance in high-traffic scenarios and can even extend the battery life on smartphones, according to T-Mobile.
Added more than 300 small cells and 20 new DAS at key venues to enhance indoor coverage.
Doubled LTE capacity at SunTrust Park and enhanced the network throughout midtown, downtown and around the stadium and tailgate areas.

Sprint

Sprint says that it’s spent “millions of dollars over the last two years” building its “next-gen network” in Atlanta and that it’s installed the equivalent of seven cell sites worth of equipment serving Mercedes-Benz Stadium. To put that in context, Sprint said that’s the same number of cell sites that are used to cover a small city on a normal day.

Here are some of the specific upgrades the company is touting.

Upgraded hundreds existing metro Atlanta cell sites to use all of Sprint’s available bands of spectrum – 800 MHz, 1.9 GHz and 2.5 GHz – to improve speed and reliability of service.
Installed hundreds of small cells on infrastructure like telephone poles and streetlights to help “fill in” areas of the network.
Deployed 5G Massive MIMO technology to increase 4G LTE capacity up to 10 times, giving customers faster data speeds in high-traffic locations like downtown and around the stadium. Sprint says the radios can easily be upgraded via software to lay the foundation for Sprint’s mobile 5G service, which is expected to launch in Atlanta in the first half of 2019.

Best Super Bowl TV deals: Buying a new TV for the big game? These are your best choices

How to watch the Super Bowl: Watch the game in the US for free, on TV or online

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Which Six Nations host has the best mobile experience?

This weekend is the start of rugby union’s Six Nations championship. The annual contest between Europe’s six leading rugby nations is one of the most-watched sporting events of the year, with many supporters looking forward to away trips to some of Europe’s most famous capital cities.

This weekend is the start of rugby union’s Six Nations championship. The annual contest between Europe’s six leading rugby nations is one of the most-watched sporting events of the year, with many supporters looking forward to away trips to some of Europe’s most famous capital cities.

Although the quality of rugby and the result are the most important factors in determining the visitor experience, sports fans are becoming increasingly demanding when it comes to connectivity in the stadium.

They want to be able to share pictures and posts on social media, but increasingly they want to be able to watch video clips of incidents they might have missed earlier in the game. In the UK, all matches are shown live on the BBC and ITV, meaning they’re easily available to view.

How to watch a Six Nations live stream online from anywhereSix Nations mobile

Of course, to mobile users in general, video is of increasing importance. OpenSignal has created a video experience metric that measures the average time it takes from pressing play to load a video. This figure is dependent on network characteristics such as download and upload speeds, as well as latency. And in a crowded stadium, the experience can also be impacted.

Ireland, the current Six Nations champions, would also be the winners should the tournament be decided on mobile experience. It takes 3.1 seconds to load a video in Dublin, compared to 3.5 seconds in Rome and 3.6 seconds in Edinburgh. Paris is fourth with 3.8 seconds, London fifth on 3.9 seconds and Cardiff last with 4.3 seconds.

However, OpenSignal also tested the capital cities of the 15 other leading European rugby countries and found that Dublin only ranked ninth, with the remaining Six Nations cities making up the bottom five.

While this is hardly an exhaustive sample size, it does demonstrate the varying level of service across Europe.

Mobile sports experience

It’s easy to dismiss the ability to watch video content in a stadium as irrelevant, given that most people want to watch the rugby, but sports organisations increasingly see digital content as a way of engaging and attracting new fans.

Even before the arrival of 4G networks and the wide availability of smartphones, Arsenal offered matchgoing fans the ability to watch highlights on their Sony PSP handheld video games console using a private network.

In 2019, improved Wi-Fi networks and mobile coverage are seen as a priority for venue owners, who also want to be able to generate new revenue streams by better understanding their customers. Examples of this are personalised offers, or location-specific information.

You guarantee this weekend’s Superbowl in Atlanta will break connectivity records among spectators.

At the recent Leaders Meet Innovation event in London, some organisations and broadcasters were talking about how new mobile technologies like Augmented Reality (AR) can help achieve these aims.

And the advent of 5G, which offers faster speeds, greater capacity, and lower latency, will make it easier to deliver more consistent experiences to sports fans in the stadium.

Many rugby fans will shrug their shoulders and focus on the game – which is the most important thing after all – but there is one way to win over sceptics. Mobile payments at the bar and the possibility of at-seat ordering in the future means it’s easier and quicker to get a pint in your hand.

Here are the best iPhone deals for January 2019

Panasonic Lumix S1R and Lumix S1: full details confirmed

Panasonic has finally confirmed the full specs of its two new full-frame L-mount models, the Lumix S1R and Lumix S1.

The cameras, which are the company’s first additions to the L-mount system, were first announced at Photokina in September, although Panasonic only released a handful of details as their capabilities.

Panasonic has finally confirmed the full specs of its two new full-frame L-mount models, the Lumix S1R and Lumix S1.

The cameras, which are the company’s first additions to the L-mount system, were first announced at Photokina in September, although Panasonic only released a handful of details as their capabilities. Now, it has confirmed exactly what they will feature, alongside further details on the triplet of lenses that will be launched alongside.

Read our hands onLumix S1R reviewPanasonic Lumix S1R and S1: features24.2MP (S1) and 47.3MP (S1R) full-frame sensorsS1R features 187MP High Resolution mode (96MP on S1)6-stop Dual IS system

The Lumix S1R and S1 are identical in virtually every respect, with their main point of difference concerning their sensors. While the S1R is fitted with a 47.3MP full-frame sensor, the Lumix S1 sports a lower-resolution 24.2MP alternative. This qualifies the S1R as being the highest-resolution full-frame camera currently on the market, albeit by a tiny margin.

As is now often the case, the Lumix S1R’s 47.3MP sensor has no anti-aliasing filter, which should help more detail to be retained in images, and it’s been designed with a new aspherical micro lens array. As we would expect, the ISO range allowed by both is also different, with a maximum native ISO of 25,600 on the S1R and a top setting of ISO51,200 on the S1, with expansion settings alongside these for emergencies.

Rather than use Panasonic’s existing collection of Micro Four Thirds optics, the two new models are compatible with a fresh collection of L-mount lenses. Three have been announced today and a further ten or more are set to be designed and developed by 2020. On top of these, the two cameras are compatible with existing L-mount lenses from Leica, together with future lenses from both Leica and Sigma.

Both the Lumix S1R and Lumix S1 are also equipped with a fresh iteration of the company’s Venus processing engine, which allows for 9fps burst shooting, or 6fps shooting with continuous focus. Should that not be fast enough, the 6K Photo mode on the two models knocks back resolution to 18MP while boosting burst rate to 30fps, while the older 4K Photo mode can work up to 60fps at 8MP.

This latest engine also powers a Dual Image Stabilisation mode, which combines five-axis image stabilisation from the sensor with two-axis stabilisation from S-series lenses fitted with their own OIS systems, and on both models this is said to deliver a very respectable – though not quite class-leading – CIPA-rated benefit of 6 stops. When the sensor-based system is used on its own, the advantage drops (very) slightly to 5.5 stops on both models.

While the technology is familiar to Lumix users, this system appears to be more sophisticated than those on previous models. Panasonic claims the new system uses information from both the gyro sensor and the main imaging sensor to better help stabilisation, together with additional data from an accelerometer sensor in the camera. These are also the first models to incorporate an I.S. Status Scope, a graphic interpretation of vibration sensed.

The body-based image stabilisation system also powers a High Resolution mode, the likes of which we’ve not seen on any other model yet. While the principle on which it works – capturing a number of separate frames before combining them into a single, high-resolution composite – is familiar, Panasonic claims that the Lumix S1 will be able to output these as a raw file with 12,000 x 8,000 pixels, which is equivalent to 96MP. The S1R, meanwhile, can do the same at 16,736 x 11,168 pixels – a staggering 187MP.

On both models, this feature combines eight individual images captured in quick succession, with a minute shift in sensor position between each one. There’s also a further option to suppress motion blur, which should give better clarity to subjects moving during the duration of the eight frames.

Other new features include HLG Photo Modes (Hybrid Log Gamma) photo modes, as well as 65:24 Film Panorama and 2:1 aspect ratios. An AWBw white balance setting that creates images with a slight red tint also appears for the first time here, as does a Highlight Weighted Light Metering Mode that’s said to prioritise highlight details in the brightest areas of the picture.

Panasonic Lumix S1R and S1: AF and burst shootingContrast-detect AF with Depth from Defocus (DFD)Working range down to -6EVEye AF and AI-powered animal recognition

Panasonic has maintained its well-established contrast-detect AF system for both the S1 and S1R, once again using Depth From Defocus (DFD) technology to drive the focusing system as quickly as possible. Specifically here, the company claims that the sensor and engine inside each body communicate with the lens at a rate of 480fps to deliver speed and precision, responding in as little as 0.08sec.

Much like the recent Olympus OM-D E-M1X, the new models also employ machine learning to help with subject recognition, which in turn is said to benefit tracking and focus acquisition. Here, the system is said to detect humans, cats, dogs and birds, and knows to stick with the subject even when the subject’s back is turned to the camera. To further help the camera focus on what’s essential, face detection is bolstered by Eye AF and pupil detection.

Panasonic Lumix S1R and S1: video recording 4K video to 60/50pS1 uses full width of sensor in 4K30p recording3.5mm ports for microphones and headphones

Panasonic has pushed 4K video recording arguably more than any other manufacturer on its other lines, and both the Lumix S1 and S1R arrive with 4K video recording to 50/60p, together with 2x slow-motion output in 4K to 30p and 6x slow-motion output to 180fps in Full HD. Both bodies also sport 3.5mm ports for microphones and a set of headphones, and both can have footage recorded to either SDHC/SDXC or XQD media, or externally through the full-size HDMI port.

It is, however, the lower-resolution Lumix S1 that appears to be more suited for high-quality video work. It records 4K footage using the full width of the sensor when shooting at 30p, with 4:2:0 8-bit internal recording and 4:2:2 chroma subsampling when outputting footage through the HDMI port.

Later this year, however, the company will issue a paid-for update that will strengthen video specs, with 4K recording at 60/50p boasted to 10-bit 4:2:2 recording through the HDMI output and 10bit internal recording to 30p/25p/24p at a 4:2:2 sampling rate. This update is also set to bring with it a V-Log update.

Other video-specific features on the S1 include gamma curves such as Cinelike D/V and Like709, together with a new flat mode with less contrast and saturation, and a Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG) profile.

Panasonic Lumix S1R and S1: Viewfinder and LCD“World’s highest resolution” electronic viewfinders5.76m dot OLED EVF with maximum 120fps refresh rate3.2in tri-axial LCD touchscreen, 2.1million dots

Another seemingly class-leading feature is the Real View finder (ie electronic viewfinder) incorporated into both models. This is based around a 5.76million-dot OLED panel, which is significantly higher than the 3.69million-dot panels inside the company’s other recent models such as the GH5S and G9.

The viewfinders’ refresh rate can be set to a maximum 120fps, while lag time is rated at 0.005sec, which should help to maintain a realistic view when panning subjects. Magnification, meanwhile, can be adjusted between 0.78x, 0.74x and 0.7x through a View Mode button at the side of the viewfinder chamber.

These finders are joined by a 3.2-inch LCD on both models, each packed with 2.1million pixel and each responding to touch. As Panasonic had already revealed in September, the LCD on each model is attached to the camera through a tri-axial design that’s becoming increasingly common among such cameras, rather than the more conventional side-swivel design we’ve had up until now on similar Lumix models. Each camera also has a small back-lit LCD on its top-plate that rounds up key shooting information.

Panasonic Lumix S1R: Build and designDust- and splash-resistant bodiesIlluminated buttons for low-light ease of operationSD and XQD card slots

Both the S1 and S1R have been crafted with dust- and splash-resistant bodies, each built with magnesium alloy die-cast front and rear panels. Operation is also assured down to -10ºC, and this protection extends to the three lenses announced alongside the new models.

Operation in darker conditions has also been considered, with five illuminated buttons joining Night Mode and Live View Boost options on the LCD screen, while other controls include an eight-way AF joystick and a lock control that prevents settings from being accidentally changed.

The mechanical shutters inside each camera have been rated to 400,000 actuations, and each allows for a maximum shutter speed of 1/8000sec. This ranks well with DSLRs on the same level.

As is now standard for such models, both the S1R and S1 have been designed with a pair of card slots around their side, and these support SDHC/SDXC (up to UHS-II) and XQD media cards. The latter format is starting to gain ground among professional models, and the S1R and S1 will join the likes of Nikon’s Z-system cameras in promising support for the CFExpress format that’s set to succeed XQD in the near future. Those wanting to get their images wirelessly out of the camera, meanwhile, can do so through the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on-board.

Panasonic Lumix S1R and S1: Price and release date

The Lumix S1 will be available at a body-only price of £2,199.99 / $2,499 / AU$3,599 while a kit with the new 24-105mm will cost £2,999.99 / $3,399 / AU$5,199. The Lumix S1R, meanwhile, will be priced at £3,399.99 / $3,699 / AU$5,299 for its body alone and £4.199.99 / $4,599 / AU$6,899 with the same 24-105mm lens.

Both models are set to go on sale from 18th March in the UK and from April in the US. Availability for Australia is yet to be confirmed.

Image credits: Panasonic

Best full-frame camera 2019: 10 advanced DSLRs and mirrorless cameras

Panasonic’s Lumix S1, S1R full-frame cameras make a big first impression – CNET

I never thought I’d see a mirrorless camera bigger and heavier than a full-frame DSLR, but somehow Panasonic made it happen. And while there’s a lot to like about Panasonic’s entrants, the Lumix S1 and S1R — novelties include a terrific high-resolution OLED viewfinder, HLG-tonemapped HDR photo, a triaxial tilt LCD and more — the big body isn’t among them.

I never thought I’d see a mirrorless camera bigger and heavier than a full-frame DSLR, but somehow Panasonic made it happen. And while there’s a lot to like about Panasonic’s entrants, the Lumix S1 and S1R — novelties include a terrific high-resolution OLED viewfinder, HLG-tonemapped HDR photo, a triaxial tilt LCD and more — the big body isn’t among them.

Panasonic’s S line is based around the Leica L mount, based on a strategic partnership with Sigma and Leica in the L-Mount Alliance. At launch, the S line consists of two pro-focused models: one with a high-resolution 47-megapixel sensor optimized for still-first photography, the S1R; and one with a lower 24-megapixel sensor optimized for video-first photography, the S1. This follows the same strategy Sony and Nikon have been following.

But Panasonic’s cameras diverge from the others in two important ways. Nominally, they’re more expensive. Available now for preorder with expected availability in April, the S1 runs $2,500 for the body (about £1,910 or AU$3,440) compared to $2,000 for the Nikon Z6 (£2,100/AU$3,300) or the Sony A7 III (£2,000/AU$3,100); the S1R goes for $3,700 while the Z7 and A7R III go for $3,400 (£3,400/AU$4,160) and $3,200 (£2,900/AU$4,600), respectively.

It will be available in kits with the new Lumix S 24-105mm f4 Macro O.I.S. lens; that tacks another $900 to the bill. The two higher-end lenses that will be available when the camera ships are the Lumix S Pro 70-200mm f4 O.I.S. and Lumix S Pro 50mm f1.4.


Panasonic’s Lumix S1/S1R is a giant among mirrorless cameras
21 Photos

When looking at the prices, however, keep in mind that Panasonic tends to “discount” its prices in the US a lot more than Sony and Nikon do, so the effective prices should be a lot closer to its competitors. And I can see the viewfinder, a brand new 5.8-megapixel OLED with a 120fps refresh rate (probably a Sony), bumping up the price.

The other big difference from its competitors is size. It’s the biggest full-frame mirrorless body I know of — it’s even bigger and heavier than the Fujifilm GFX and Hasselblad X1D mirrorless medium format cameras — and it’s almost as big as the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV.

The extra girth is predominantly due to the sensor-shift stabilization mechanism. But Panasonic claims that it delivers 5 stops of compensation — 6 stops with a compatible optically stabilized lens — so depending on your shakiness quotient it might be worth the extra burden.

The stabilizer’s also an energy vampire. Despite a relatively luxurious 3,050mAh battery it’s rated for only about 350-400 shots. While you’re likely to get more than that in practice, it’s still low for a pro camera. But Panasonic added an intriguing IS Status Scope which indicates how far from stable you are — kind of like a temporal level indicator.

Thankfully, though the lenses seemed pretty big, they’re roughly comparable to the size and weight of Sony and Canon’s equivalents. (Nikon doesn’t yet have a 24-105 f4 or 70-200 f4, the two core lenses that Panasonic’s launching with.)

The same…

The two models have identical bodies, which is essentially a variation on Panasonic’s Lumix G9. Though heavy, it’s comfortable to hold with a reasonable control layout that puts all the frequently needed buttons, dials and AF-area selection joystick within reach.

Some notable physical features include USB-C, 5GHz Wi-Fi, a three-way-tiling LCD and dual card slots. The latter includes one SD and one XQD, which will be updatable in the future via firmware to support CFExpress cards.

Though the autofocus and metering systems are similar to those Panasonic’s been using in its higher-end Micro Four Thirds models, the updated Venus Engine image processor and improved shutter mechanism eke out more speed, consistency and accuracy from them.

Plus, it adds capabilities like a new HSP file format for saving HDR versions of still images tonemapped with an HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma) profile, animal recognition in the autofocus system and exposure leveling in time lapse.

…but different

The two models differ in a couple key ways. The most obvious, of course, is the sensor. The higher-resolution sensor in the S1R is a new architecture designed for fast readout and high performance in low light. The microlenses which sit atop each pixel are all ashpherical (complex curves, neither fully concave or convex), intended to improve the absorption of red wavelengths.

The sensor on the S1, on the other hand, has better characteristics with respect to video noise and color fidelity. On that camera, Pansonic plans to offer an optional update providing 4:2:2 10-bit output, a V-Log profile and HDR video. In order to add the HDR video support, the update will include an H.265/HEVC codec.

We’ve gone from one choice for mirrorless full-frame cameras — Sony — to four in less than a year, now that Panasonic has joined Canon and Nikon to compete. But while there’s some intriguing new tech in the Lumix S1 and S1R, I wonder if there’s enough here to lure entrenched Sony shooters or loyal Canon and Nikon buyers away from those systems.

The best ebook readers for Australians in 2019

Even for the most ravenous of book lovers, dedicated ebook readers can be a fairly easy idea to dismiss. After all, if you’ve got a modern big-screen smartphone or a tablet, it’s dead simple to just download Amazon’s Kindle app to get your ebook fix.

Even for the most ravenous of book lovers, dedicated ebook readers can be a fairly easy idea to dismiss. After all, if you’ve got a modern big-screen smartphone or a tablet, it’s dead simple to just download Amazon’s Kindle app to get your ebook fix.

According to a 2014 report from the Stanford Center for Teaching and Learning, however, the way we read on our smartphones and PCs is different from how we read on paper. Thanks to the internet, we’ve trained our eyes to skim and dart around on screens, constantly hunting for the information we’re after – a non-linear behaviour the Stanford paper calls ‘surface reading’.

When reading from a paper book, by contrast, our brains switch to a more concentrated form of information processing – dubbed ‘deep reading’ – and it’s a mode that actually helps us better absorb and comprehend what’s on the page.

To us, that sounds like a great argument for giving books their own space, away from the distractions of apps and constant notifications on our modern do-all devices.

And while there’s certainly something irreplaceable about curling up with a good hardcover or paperback, nothing beats the convenience of a digital device when it comes to size and browsing for new books – but with a dedicated ebook reader, you can arguably have the advantages of both.

By design, they’re a simpler device made for the singular purpose of reading – and they have advantages too, such as batteries that last weeks rather than hours, and much-clearer legibility in direct sunlight.

Here are the best ebook readers you can buy today:

Kindle Oasis (2017)

Amazon’s original Kindle Oasis has been around for a while now, a premium ebook reader that dropped jaws with its unconventional design – where one side is considerably thicker than the other – and rather outlandish price; in Australia, the Kindle Oasis launched at a jaw-dropping $449.

Amazon’s second-gen Oasis ups the ante on its forebear in numerous areas and this is a redesign that, by and large, has definitely been worth it.

With an aluminium body and a matte-finish glass panel to cover its high-res, 7-inch E Ink display (adding an inch over its predecessor), the new Oasis has an almost iPad-like feel that’s both classy and durable. It’s also the first Kindle to include water-proofing, where it beats most flagship smartphones with an IPX8 rating.

And yet despite those improvements, the price is also more palatable in Australia, dropping $60 to a slightly more reasonable $389 for the 8GB model – although opting for the bigger 32GB model will still set you back $529.

The asymmetrical design gives you a nice big holding area on one side of the display and thin bezels everywhere else. Swap from holding the Oasis in your left to right hand (or vice versa) and the screen orientation automatically flips around to accomodate. The two dedicated page-turning buttons have a super-satisfying and reassuringly-stable click when you press them, and that 7-inch, 300dpi display is gorgeous too, rendering text and images with the same sharp and smooth results we saw on the first Oasis.

There’s another neat new trick underneath the Oasis’s hood, too: Audible audio-book support. There’s a big caveat, though, in that you can only output audio via Bluetooth – there are no inbuilt speakers or a 3.5mm headphone jack, so you’ll need to have a wireless speaker or set of headphones to use it.

Amazon has added a new optional viewing mode, letting you reverse convention and have white text on a black background, which should help reduce the amount of blue light being bounced into your eyes.

You still can’t borrow library ebooks in Australia if you’re a Kindle user. Our libraries use the Overdrive system, which the Kobo range of readers support, but Kindles do not. There’s also no native integration with a read-it-later service, like Kobo has with Pocket, although you can email stories or use a free service like Pocket 2 Kindle to achieve this.

Read our Amazon Kindle Oasis (2017) review

Kobo Clara HD

Kobo’s new Clara HD ereader is more than capable of giving its direct competition – Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite – a run for its money. Priced $40 cheaper than its Kindle counterpart, the Clara HD manages to outperform Amazon’s most popular ereader in almost every area that matters.

Key among those is the screen. The Clara HD’s 6-inch front-lit display matches the Kindle for sharpness (both are 300ppi) but integrates a blue-light filter which uses your timezone to automatically change screen brightness at night to reduce your exposure to sleep-disrupting blue light. It fits that display into a compact body that’s lighter than the Paperwhite, making it easier to slip into just about any bag.

Cover art and text are rendered at a higher DPI (dots per inch) on the Clara HD than other older Kobo ereaders, making them appear significantly sharper in comparison. The Clara HD also introduces a new ‘rapid page turn’ engine which allows you to quickly move forward in an ebook by holding down the bottom left corner of the screen. The slight caveat is that this feature only works with KEPUB ebooks, ie the ones bought directly from Kobo.

The responsiveness of the new E-Ink screen was also much faster and more precise than we’re used to seeing on either Kindle of Kobo ereaders, which makes things like text selection for dictionary lookup (or highlighting and note-taking) much less hit-and-miss than before. It also has wireless Overdrive functionality, so you can browse and borrow from your local library’s ebook collection directly on the device.

With battery life that lasts a couple of weeks, the Clara HD is a feature-packed device with a display that’s the best-in-class for an ereader at this price point.

Read our full Kobo Clara HD review

Kobo Aura H2O Edition 2 (2017)

Kobo beat Amazon in the race to launch a waterproof ebook reader by releasing the first iteration of the Aura H2O way back in 2014. It wasn’t just splashproof, it had complete waterproofing, in case you dropped it in the bath or in the pool.

The Kobo Aura H2O Edition 2 adds to the revolutionary features of the original model, for the same price of $239, to become a rather formidable competitor in the ebook reader market.

Continuing the waterproofing trend, the Aura H2O Edition 2 comes with IPX8 waterproofing, beating most smartphones in the market today, despite the charging port not being covered (like in its predecessor).

The addition of ComfortLight PRO means the e-reader’s backlight will change colour as the day progressing – daytime reading’s blue light exposure will gradually reduce, changing to a warmer yellow hue.

Kobo has retained the previous Aura H2O’s solid build in the second iteration, although it is still thicker than the Aura One at 8.9mm. It boasts a screen resolution of 1440 x 1080, making words appear clear and sharp, even at maximum font size.

Battery life is also rather good and should last an entire week, although charging it back up to full capacity does take a while.

And, like the outgoing model, the Aura H20 Edition 2 is easily customisable in terms of fonts, margin widths and justification, adding to a great user experience.

Read our Kobo Aura H2O (2017) review

All-new Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (2018)

Amazon may have discontinued the waterproof Kindle Voyage, but the tech giant has taken everything that’s good in the Oasis and produced an affordable all-new Kindle Paperwhite that’s not waterproof as well.

The Paperwhite has always been Amazon’s most popular Kindle offering, and the new version also comes in at the same price point as the predecessor. However, there is a 32GB version as well, for those who need plenty to read and then some.

While the new Paperwhite might feel plasticky in the hand, it’s comfortable to hold but can get a tad grubby with fingerprints on the rear. The bezel sit flush with the screen and resembles the new discontinued Kindle Voyage.

It shares the same display as the original Paperwhite – a 6-inch screen with 300 pixels per inch resolution. The brightness, however, has been improved, but not enough for anyone familiar with the older model to notice too much.

The biggest improvement on the new Paperwhite is audiobook integration. You can now listen to your Audible titles on the ereader by using a set of Bluetooth headphones or a wireless speaker. If you happen to have the ebook version in your library, you can seamlessly switch from one to the other without losing your place.

What all Kindles lack is support for library-lending in Australia, or the ability to read ebook files beyond Amazon’s own formats (mobi and azw3) and PDF. That does limit the third-party stores you can buy ebooks from, which generally use the ePub format.

Still, at $199 the Wi-Fi version is a reasonable deal – although we’d steer clear of the $369 Wi-Fi+4G model. At that price, you might as well spend the extra $20 and get the better Kindle Oasis instead.

Read our Amazon Kindle Paperwhite review

Kobo Aura One

The Kobo Aura One might cost a whopping $350 but it is undeniably one of the best ereaders money can buy, with Kobo doing more than just improving its older basic models.

Compared to the 6-inch standard, the Aura One gives you a spacier 7.8-inch display that’s also at a higher 300dpi resolution (or 1,872 x 1,404 pixels), rendering text nice and crisp right down to the tiniest of font sizes.

You also get ample storage space (8GB), plus waterproofing, so you can safely read by the pool or in the tub. The inbuilt backlight has been improved with an orange-hue option that’s less disruptive to sleep.

The One is also more enjoyable to hold and use, thanks to its more modern design language. And despite its size, it’s a tad thinner and lighter than the H2O, and all the corners are now comfortably rounded.

Combined with a textured rubber back, it’s easier to grip and hold up for prolonged reading.

On the software side of things, not a lot has changed from the H2O. There are still lots of options to customise font types and sizes, as well as margins, and all the exclusive features we love – like the ability to sync with Pocket (so you can easily read saved web articles in more comfort, whenever you like) and support for the OverDrive ebook lending platform (which is widely used by Australian libraries) – are still in place.

If the One has a main flaw, it’s that it doesn’t feel as robust or well-built as last year’s Aura H2O – which is frankly a bit of a tank – or most current Kindles for that matter.

On top of that, the bigger screen and new backlight seemingly team up to drain the battery more quickly than before. That said, we think that’s a fair trade off for the added screen size and general reading comfort.

Unfortunately the Aura One isn’t widely available any more – you will have to get it straight from Kobo online – but if you are going to spend that kind of money on a premium ereader, you’re better off waiting for the Kobo Forma.

Read our Kobo Aura One review

Interested in getting a new ereader? Compare the latest prices of ebook readers in Australia on our sister site Getprice.

Best FaceTime alternatives for video calls – CNET

An embarrassing bug that compromised the privacy of FaceTime calls on iOS and Mac has surprised many Apple users. The problem occurred when you tried to place a call, but before the call connected, you could hear the audio of the person on the other end.

An embarrassing bug that compromised the privacy of FaceTime calls on iOS and Mac has surprised many Apple users. The problem occurred when you tried to place a call, but before the call connected, you could hear the audio of the person on the other end. Apple took over a week to respond to the flaw, which has prompted an investigation from the New York attorney general’s office.

If you’re in need of a video call app replacement for FaceTime or simply want to try another option, these are the apps to start with.

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Skype

With Skype (download for iOS or Android), placing an HD video call is free and easy. The app supports up to 24 people on a call. It’s perfect for school projects, chats with big families or work conferences.

Simply create an account and add your friends to your contacts list. Most recently, Skype added the ability on mobile and desktop to record, save and share your video calls. Last year, Microsoft upgraded the app to include captions and subtitles.

Facebook Messenger

Facebook’s Messenger app (download for iOS or Android) is a video call platform widely used because of its association to the social media network. Even though it split from Facebook in 2014, Messenger has more than 1 billion users.

You can make a video call from almost anywhere and it’s free over Wi-Fi. Messenger has fun Snapchat-style filters, supports group chats and has easy-to-navigate controls. It’s quick to navigate from the standalone app or through your Facebook dashboard.

WhatsApp

WhatsApp (download for iOS or Android) landed the No. 1 spot as the world’s most downloaded app in 2018. It’s a popular alternative to Skype or Messenger and its presence has grown globally.

To crack down on the spread of false information, the app only lets you chat with 10 people and forward a message to five people at a time.

WhatsApp is also working on a fingerprint lock and recently launched picture-in-picture video playback.

Google Duo

After axing Google Hangouts, the tech giant has revamped Google Duo (download for iOS or Android) for video calls.

Google updated its two-way video chat app with more streamlined tools for easier video and audio recording for when the recipient is offline. Of course, the app has live video and audio chats too.

Google Duo probably isn’t the best app for group video chats. The app could add conference calling capabilities soon, however. Users may still want to operate with Skype for now.

Viber

Viber (download for iOS or Android) lets you message, video chat and exchange files for free on an encrypted platform. You can also make audio calls to landlines for a small fee.

While you’re messaging, you can send gifs, stickers, emojis and join or create chat rooms centered around your favorite bands or businesses. When you’re on a call or chat, you can play games in Viber with your contacts.

IMO

With the IMO app (download for iOS or Android) you can make free video calls or chat with family and friends for free.

The app has a more simple interface. IMO supports group calls and fast photo and video sharing with hundreds of stickers to spice up the message. WhatsApp might’ve robbed IMO of most of its popularity, but some users still rely on the app for quality calls.

Read more
Apple turns off Group FaceTime after discovery of eavesdropping bug
Apple’s FaceTime bug was discovered by a teen playing Fortnite
How to disable FaceTime (so no one can eavesdrop on your iPhone or Mac)
Apple’s FaceTime bug comes at an awkward time
Apple turns off Group FaceTime after discovery of eavesdropping bug
Apple FaceTime bug prompts investigation from NY attorney generalFacebook’s Messenger Kids: Child advocates call for shutdown of appApple gets egg all over its FaceTime (ZDNet)

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Huawei shows its 5G arsenal with the multi-mode Balong 5000 chipset

Huawei has officially launched its 5G multi-mode chipset Balong 5000 in China last week that supports a broad range of 5G products such as smartphones, home broadband devices, vehicle-mounted devices, and 5G modules.

Huawei has officially launched its 5G multi-mode chipset Balong 5000 in China last week that supports a broad range of 5G products such as smartphones, home broadband devices, vehicle-mounted devices, and 5G modules. Huawei also revealed its first commercial 5G device, the Huawei 5G CPE Pro hotspot device.

“The Balong 5000 will open up a whole new world to consumers,” said the CEO of Huawei’s Consumer Business Group, Richard Yu. “Powered by the Balong 5000, the Huawei 5G CPE Pro enables consumers to access networks more freely and enjoy an incredibly fast connected experience. Huawei has an integrated set of capabilities across chips, devices, cloud services, and networks. Building on these strengths, as the leader of the 5G era, we will bring an inspired, intelligent experience to global consumers in every aspect of their lives.”

Balong 5000: Ushering in the 5G era

With a small form factor and high degree of integration, Balong 5000 supports 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G on a single chip. It effectively reduces latency and power consumption when exchanging data between different modes, and will significantly enhance user experience in the early stages of commercial 5G deployment.

At Sub-6 GHz (low-frequency bands, the main spectrum used for 5G), Balong 5000 can achieve download speeds up to 4.6 Gbps. On mmWave spectrum (high-frequency bands used as extended spectrum for 5G), Balong 5000 can achieve download speeds up to 6.5 Gbps – 10 times faster than top 4G LTE speeds on the market today.

Balong 5000 is also the world’s first chipset that supports both standalone (SA) and non-standalone (NSA) network architectures for 5G. With non-standalone, 5G network architecture is built on top of legacy 4G LTE networks, whereas standalone 5G, as the name implies, will have its own independent architecture.

And finally, Balong 5000 is the world’s first multi-mode chipset that supports Vehicle to Everything (V2X) communications, providing low-latency and highly reliable solutions for connected vehicles. Huawei’s 5G smartphones powered by Balong 5000 will be showcased at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Huawei 5G CPE Pro: Changing user experiences in home broadband networks

Powered by Balong 5000, the Huawei 5G CPE Pro supports both 4G and 5G wireless connections. On a 5G network, a 1-GB HD video clip can be downloaded within three seconds, and 8K video can be streamed smoothly without lag. This sets a new benchmark for home CPEs. In addition to homes, the Huawei 5G CPE Pro can also be used by small and medium-sized enterprises for super-fast broadband access.

Adopting new Wi-Fi 6 technology, the Huawei 5G CPE Pro delivers speeds of up to 4.8 Gbps. It is the first 5G CPE that supports HUAWEI HiLink protocols, bringing smart homes into the 5G era.

We’re excited to learn more about the future of 5G, especially in smartphones. Huawei will be hosting a conference at the upcoming Mobile World Congress show and has promised to reveal a handful of handsets that support 5G connectivity.