Google’s new Clips camera takes short looping videos of your kids and your pets, and it does it all using AI. Sure, that sounds like some weird technophobic nightmare—Google, one of the most data-thirsty companies on the planet, pointing a camera at your kids? But the way the company designed the Clips keeps all of your visual memories private until you decide to share them, if you decide to share them at all. Mike and Arielle talk about how Google’s innovative approach to computer vision in consumer products could lead to other types of digital cameras that are as private as a Polaroid.
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Whether you’re Zooming it in or not sitting down on the job, here’s how to do it right.
Videoconference Like a Boss
Acing a group video call is harder than it sounds. “It doesn’t take that much tech savviness to click a link, but you’d be surprised by how many people do it and it’s just a mess,” says media coach Ruth Sherman, who trains celebrities and executives on how to conduct themselves professionally in a digital environment. Follow her tips to appear composed, prepared, and confident. You’ll deliver a perfect onscreen performance, even while wearing your pajama bottoms.
1. Set the Scene Position your face by dividing the frame into horizontal thirds, then aligning your eyes with the upper third without cutting off your forehead. Clear your backdrop of clutter, which Sherman calls “noise.”
2. Light It Right Don’t sit with your back to a light or a window—it will turn you into a silhouette. Natural daylight from the front is the most flattering. If that’s not possible, put a lamp behind your screen. “It wouldn’t kill you to go out and buy some lights,” Sherman says.
3. Look the Part Dress for the camera: Solid colors present better than patterns. Don’t move as much as you might during an in-person meeting, and stay within the camera frame. And you know this, but look into the lens, not at the screen. That’s where the people are, and that is how you make eye contact. This requires a surprising amount of practice.
4. Manage the Audio Make sure your sound equipment is connected and working before the meeting starts. In groups of less than five, it’s safe to assume you can keep your microphone on. In larger conferences, mute your mic as soon as you join the meeting.
5. Be Present Don’t try to get away with multitasking. “We can see you not paying attention,” Sherman says. Also, don’t cut the video feed without explanation—it’s like walking out of the room without excusing yourself. Rude! Need a break? Explain that you’ll be right back.
Do the Upright Thing
A standing desk is not an automatic ticket to better health. As Joan Vernikos, author of Sitting Kills and a former NASA Life Sciences director, discovered in her research on the stresses imposed by microgravity environments, uninterrupted standing can be as bad as sitting. Ideally, you’d switch between the two, but at least if you’re standing you’re more apt to lean forward or backward, or switch legs. To ensure a healthy day at the (standing) desk, incorporate these posture changes.
Work Your Legs The simplest thing you can do is place a footrest under your desk where you can prop one leg while you stand. Vernikos recommends switching legs often, because “the body needs stimulation through a change signal.”
Practice Movement Vernikos suggests walking in place or squatting every half-hour or hour. It takes 20 to 30 minutes for your body to feel the benefits of these movements, so dose them out. “If you do a whole bunch in 20 minutes, that doesn’t count.”
Take a Knee Kneeling exercises are great for getting the blood flowing, Vernikos says. Try swiftly alternating between kneeling and standing five times. Keep it brisk to get the burst of energy you need to bang out those last three Keynote slides.
February is the cruelest month, as the poem goes. Oh, no, wait. That’s April. February is a great month to be born in if you want to become famous, but the rest of us might find the cold, gray days to be a bit of a bummer. In sum, this is a great time of year to curl up with a hot cocoa in front of a new smart TV. We’ve rounded up the best weekend deals with the help of our friends at TechBargains.
Grab One of the Best 15-Inch Laptops Around
Dell’s 10 percent off deals are still going strong. The Dell XPS 15 is the slightly larger sibling of one of our favorite laptops of 2017, the Dell XPS 13. Simply put, it’s one of the best 15-inch laptops money can buy–only with this deal, you’ll be spending a lot less of it.
We are blown away by this deal. This is an amazing price for a Sony television that already manage to pack in a lot of high-end features in an affordable package. It displays with HDR and SDR content spectacularly and has tons of connection options. It even has cord management built right into the stand.
If you were looking for a beautiful new LED TV, Samsung’s offerings are a good place to start looking. Unfortunately, they’re usually pretty pricey. With a $150 Dell gift card, though, you have a chance to buy one of the MU7000 series for under a grand.
individuals at Moog Music aren’t content simply making ridiculously fun synthesizers, iPad apps, and effects boxes for creative artists. The organization now’s dipping into percussion—it’s latest item, announced today, is a drum device called the Drummer From Another mom.
Well, wait. It’s not exactly a drum machine. It’s really a monophonic, semi-modular, analog percussion synthesizer. That is clearly a lot to unpack, but what you ought to understand is whenever you turn on the DFAM and commence twisting the knobs, it makes great synthetic drum and percussion sounds—deep throbs, hypersonic plinks, and every thing in between.
The DFAM is monophonic, so automatically, it could only output one sound at any given time. Meaning, it is possible to arrange it to try out a kick drum pattern, or a snare drum pattern, or a tom-tom pattern, not all three at once (unless you utilize the area cables, but I’ll enter into that in somewhat). Most drum devices are polyphonic; they may be able reproduce the noises a peoples drummer would make sitting behind a drum kit. The DFAM, being monophonic, is more restricted. But as any musician will inform you, with restrictions come greater possibilities for experimentation.
I’ve spent some time using the DFAM before couple of weeks (Moog Music offered it being a DIY kit at its Moogfest meeting, and I also had been invited to solder one together in a workshop) and another of the great joys of the machine is the fact that you don’t really should know any single thing about drum development to begin getting some interesting tones from it. That’s mostly as it doesn’t look or work such a thing such as a regular drum device. It’s knobs and spot bays in which most drum machines might have tap-pads and LCD screens. Anybody also somewhat knowledgeable about steps to make a synth go “bleep” will feel at home.
After you get a quick lay of land, it is possible to quickly start building patterns. Dial in good starting sound, then run it through DFAM’s sequencer—it’s eight actions, and every action features its own velocity and pitch controls. As your selected sound bounces through the steps, you could make it go up and down in pitch, or grow louder or get softer. For the synth with the capacity of creating only 1 sound at a time, it’s an expressive and dynamic palette.
“I don’t call it a drum machine,” says Moog musical senior equipment engineer Steve Dunnington, the DFAM’s lead designer. “it generally does not actually say ‘drum’ anywhere about it.” Dunnington began sketching out ideas the DFAM at the conclusion of 2016, then had several prototypes before bringing the DIY version to Moogfest in-may 2017. Afterwards hobby-style kit went over well with seminar attendees, Dunnington and his team start creating a version of the DFAM for the customer market. Now, you can buy one for $599.
Towards funny title. If you are a Moog fan, you then find out about the Mother 32. It is a semi-modular synth similar in function toward Drummer From Another Mother, and the two machines are the same form and size—hence the motherly love within the naming. They could be connected together via their matching cable area bays so that they sync up and run at the exact same tempo. A typical usage instance is to write a bass line regarding mom, then sync up a DFAM (or three) to perform your robotic rhythm part. The DFAM also has inputs, in order to plug an additional tool, synth, or sampler and use that to trigger your drum sounds. There are always a ton of options, no right or incorrect solution to utilize them.
“I don’t always think about these exact things as being dogmatic,” Dunnington claims. “you need to explore.”
All good stuff arrive at a finish. In 2010, we viewed as a few of well known gadgets found a new house in a casket filled up with the technology of yesteryear. Fill a cup and obtain willing to pour one out for the tech casualties of 2017.
On December 15, AOL Instant Messenger posted its final away message. Its times of being the hip method to remain in touch along with your college buddies are over, but AIM is where an entire generation forged their on the web identities. Now, all those embarrassing display names are six foot under combined with the rest of the old web.
iPod Nano and Shuffle
Apple finally offered its flagship music player the boot this season by killing off the iPods Nano and Shuffle. Certain, you’ve streaming your entire tunes with Spotify or Apple musical right now, but that does not suggest we won’t skip the iPod. It sparked the present day landscape for music, therefore’s in which most of us develop the playlists that defined our youth.
Prior to the lauded Pivot to Video, there was clearly Vine. It had dogs jammin’ from the cowbell, raps about Liam Neeson, siblings ruining vape tricks, and mystifying tricks of trash cans turning out to be whiteboard drawings. Twitter provided it the axe late a year ago, but kept it on life help until January. Along with its departure goes another experimental platform where individuals could possibly be somewhat weirder with their creations. Damn, Daniel.
It probably didn’t come being a shock when Microsoft dropped Paint from the set of supported features, but it’ll be missed. Paint ended up being the birthplace of poorly drawn memes, and also if its tools weren’t the most robust, and on occasion even that good, it made for some very nice laughs.
The 140 Character Limit
Like tweets weren’t already bad sufficient, in 2010 Twitter decided among the network’s biggest problems wasn’t harassment or rogue workers, it was that tweets just weren’t long sufficient. So, while threats of nuclear war and hate speech ran rampant, Twitter’s Big enhancement on platform this year ended up being doubling its character limit to 280. At least now we are able to upload more Smash Mouth lyrics, right?
While Twitter futzed around along with its algorithms and provided us longer tweets, its remote available source cousin, App.net, shut its doorways. It promised to be an ad-free microblogging platform, a model that proved unsuccessful in the end. While it never ever hit the conventional, it is another reminder that it’sn’t altruism, but a constantly changing group of unsolicited features features that victories within the social game.
Online hate mob got somewhat less ludicrous this present year whenever Twitter axed the notorious Profile Egg for accounts that never uploaded a profile image. In its wake hatched a fresh mask of privacy: a plain ol’ profile of an ambiguous human anatomy. It didn’t cut back on harassment, nonetheless it’s better to be mad at a individual than it is an egg.
It’s difficult to maintain each of Google’s messaging apps: Allo, Google+, Hangouts, Duo. (Does anybody utilize this material?) Talk ended up being among the originals. Now, it is been changed by Hangouts, that’ll eventually be changed by another bonkers messaging app Google dishes out.
The mp3 sparked a change in the way we listened to music. It why don’t we throw our favorite tracks onto iPods and its own knockoffs, but the majority people most likely snagged our tunes from Limewire. If perhaps you were happy, you might have also been bamboozled into downloading a spoof of Bill Clinton suggesting to hit up a sketchy web site. The mp3’s permit went out this present year, and its creators are pressing the AAC format to just take its place — but AAC player just doesn’t have a similar band to it, huh?
There’s long been claims of mobile computing merging with desktop computing. Microsoft’s Continuum promised to turn one device, such as a phone, into all your products having simple dock and some peripherals. Chromebooks can now run Android apps so that you’ve got all of the software you need anywhere you are at. Meanwhile, Remix OS had been a fork of Android os that may be installed on any PC to bring all of your favorite apps on big screen. It worked great, nonetheless it ended up being never ever going to ensure it is on big leagues.
Windows Movie Maker
Its not all movie requires Adobe Premiere or Final Cut professional X to produce its way to YouTube or your loved ones’s giant screen. From 2012 to its demise this present year, Windows film Maker gave aspiring creatives and proud parents the capacity to make barebones videos or holiday slideshows in a pinch, therefore ways totally free! The title had beenn’t fancy sufficient for today’s hip gadget enthusiasts, so Microsoft gave it the boot and replaced it with Story Remix, which does a lot of the exact same things with a fresh layer of paint.
College students across the net wept as Yik Yak, the anonymous social network app in which confessions flowed throughout campuses, ended up being shut down. Throughout its life, young ones tried it to confess sets from stealing their roommate’s Cheetos to showing up to class drunk.
In the event that you had a question in the early days regarding the internet, you almost certainly went to About.com for the answers. It had how-to’s and explainers aplenty, but unfortuitously it didn’t know a great deal on how to match the ever-changing landscape of today’s internet.
Microsoft’s motion-tracking hardware’s final motion to your world was a revolution goodbye. The Kinect had beenn’t the game-changing peripheral Microsoft desired that it is, and for numerous gamers it just ended up beingn’t well worth the price.
Nintendo made waves this year with all the Switch, certainly one of the most popular gadgets of 2017. But to make a killer console, the business had to kill a few of its darlings. MiiVerse, Nintendo’s oddly charming social network in which fans shared their finest (and worst) drawings, became the target and closed its doors in November.
Club Penguin had been a myspace and facebook where children could masquerade as penguins clad in wizard gear or an apple costume. (do not ask united states to spell out.) Mostly, however, it had been known the memes it sparked when trolls began trying to get banned for kicks. Disney turn off the network early in the day this year—the ultimate ban.
Netflix’s Celebrity Rating system
Your favorite shows most likely felt somewhat less love this year when Netflix nixed its five-star score system for a simpler, less informative thumbs up/down metric. The brand new system coincides having percentage match that’ll tell you exactly how certain Netflix usually you’ll such as for instance a offered show or movie, but unfortuitously there’s no chance to provide Netflix’s choices a thumbs down if you’re not a fan.
Microsoft Groove Music
The songs streaming company is rough. Microsoft killed its Spotify-competitor previously this present year after failing woefully to take on the streaming giants, providing it similar fate as the Microsoft Zune.