Author Archive for Stefan Etienne

Founded tech site LaptopMemo. 18-years-old, loves tea, tennis, reading, tech, gaming, + more.

Apple Books September 9th As Media Event For New iPhones

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Tagged in the invite, “Hey Siri, give us a hint.”, there is no doubt that that time of year is approaching: a day of new iPhones. along with animated wallpapers, 4K capabilities, and speed improvements, the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus event is pegged at 10AM PT, at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco.

Coincidentally, September 9th is my first day of college — don’t worry though, I’ll still keep everything up-to-date, even if it’s just through Twitter.

Facebook Is Building An AI Assistant, Named “M”

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Google has Google Now, Apple has Siri, Microsoft has Cortana — and Facebook has M. According to FB’s own David Marcus, M can do things that the aforementioned AI assistants can’t:

“Today we’re beginning to test a new service called M. M is a personal digital assistant inside of Messenger that completes tasks and finds information on your behalf. It’s powered by artificial intelligence that’s trained and supervised by people.

Unlike other AI-based services in the market, M can actually complete tasks on your behalf. It can purchase items, get gifts delivered to your loved ones, book restaurants, travel arrangements, appointments and way more.

This is early in the journey to build M into an at-scale service. But it’s an exciting step towards enabling people on Messenger to get things done across a variety of things, so they can get more time to focus on what’s important in their lives.”

Essentially, M can do things for you, on your behalf, including purchases (!). By tapping the icon inside of Messenger, the AI or a real person can pick up the task (the human comes in where the AI might not cope) and stay in touch with you to notify progress — like a real assistant, for instance.

Currently, M is available for a select few SF testers of Messenger, but the future roll out of the technology could prove to be very interesting, granted that it works as well as FB claims it can.

Via: Facebook

VAIO Returns To The U.S. This October, Starting With Canvas Z

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Earlier this year, Sony spun off its VAIO PC brand, remember?

Starting at $2199 in the U.S. — the equivalent of $500 more in Japan — the Vaio Z is a 13.3-inch ultrabook with Windows 10, up to 16GB onboard memory, a 256GB SSD and a top-notch Core i7 CPU.

The laptop/tablet hybrid will go on sale in Microsoft’s stores and online via VAIO’s new US website on October 5th.

Preorders debut in September, however it is worth noting that while VAIO is now its own brand, no one has ever really used a VAIO PC long-term, so it should be interesting to see how they fair in the real-world.

 

Android 6.0’s “M” Stands For Marshmallow

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Ah, yes Android 6.0 is creeping closer to release and with that, an official dessert name to accompany the letter assigned to the software version. Succeeding L for Lollipop is M for marshmallow, whose statue was unveiled at the Google campus per tradition.

For a quick recap of Android M’s features, know that a simpler approach to permissions is offers, Android Pay as the default mobile wallet platform, USB-C support, and general software tweaks, enhancements and bug fixes.

Rumor has it Google has two Nexus devices in the works to feature Android M first, but only time (and a few more leaks) will confirm that one.

Via: Android M Statue 

Monster SuperStar Backfloat Speaker: It’s Loud And It Floats, Simple

20150814_142353There is an endless river of gear and gadgets that make it seem rather difficult to get the point. In other words, a product that does one thing (or two) and does it well. Of course, such an approach is difficult to realize with say, a phone or a laptop, but a speaker? Well, that’s very to-the-point.

An IP6 waterproofed, float Bluetooth speaker? Now that’s nearing the bulls-eye.

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 5 And S6 Edge Plus Are The New Top Phablets

note5-s6edgeplusPhablets are getting renewed this year, and the iPhone 6 Plus isn’t the only one: the Galaxy Note 5 has been announced, here in New York City, alongside its edged partner, the S6 Edge Plus. Both devices have 5.7-inch 2560×1440 displays at 518 pixels-per-inch, an 64-bit Exynos chipset including an octa core 2.1GHz quad plus 1.5GHz quad-core processor setup, 4GB of RAM, 32 or 64GB sotrage options, 3,000mAh batteries, 16 megapixel back-facing cameras and 5 megapixel front-facing (both at at f/1.9 aperture).

Software-wise Android 5.1 Lollipop comes along with Samsung’s best (and cleanest) Touchwiz user interface layer to-date. Truly, the greatest difference between these two phones are their weights: the S6 Edge Plus weighs in at 153 grams and the Note 5 at 171 grams. Oh, and that the Note 5 comes with the S Pen, which can be stored inside the phablet.

Both are available in the United States on August 21, with preorders beginning today at 3PM Eastern.

Via: Businesswire

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Review: Trade Ergonomics For Elegance

20150804_140758Sometimes “edgy” is the best way to go. But when ergonomics are sacrificed to do so, is it really worth it?

The Galaxy S6 Edge is an attempt at answering that question. The S6 which I reviewed earlier this summer has great ergonomics, with metal that’s shaved and finished to help with holding the device. The Edge is a totally different beast in that respect: Samsung wanted a device that not only would get looks (which I can tell you, it does) but also offers some software functionality with the design — more on that later.

Onward!

Google, Now With CEO Sundar Pichai, Is Owned By Alphabet, Its New Parent

alphabetHere’s how it works: Google’s founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin have started “a collection of companies”. They have dubbed that collection “Alphabet”, and within it, the letter “G” stands for Google.

In other words, there’s a company bigger than Google, as of today.

Management positions include the appointment of a new Google CEO — none other than Sundar Pichai. Page will take the CEO spot of Alphabet, while Brin becomes its President.

Alphabet’s birth comes as a result from the creation and acquisition of companies that don’t truly make sense under the generic moniker of Google, including health-focused efforts Calico and the Life Sciences.

“This newer Google is a bit slimmed down, with the companies that are pretty far afield of our main internet products contained in Alphabet instead,” Page writes.

The new operating structure of Google means that each letter or company will receive a CEO of its own, with compensation determined by none other than Brin and Page.

Time to see where the Alphabet goes — which is revealed, after the break.

Via: Alphabet, Official Google Blog