Your tech news digest, by way of the DGiT Daily tech newsletter, for Friday, 9 October 2020.
1. New Google Nest Thermostat with Soli
Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman is usually hot on the heels of Apple news. Or, is busy talking about the Los Angles Lakers. But he had a Google scoop late yesterday: the company looks close to releasing a new, cheaper Nest Thermostat.
Now this isn’t A1 news because, you know, thermostats.
The original Nest Thermostats are a little bit special to me. I recommended them early on to some friends and colleagues, and each one raved about it more and more.
It became a challenge to find someone who didn’t absolutely love the improvement over old-style thermostats.
Being in Germany and stuck with incredibly terrible thermostats again, you come to appreciate what Nest created. Before Google stepped in and snapped them up, of course.
Cheaper refrigerators? Stronger hip implants? A better understanding of human disease? All of these could be possible and more, someday, thanks to an ambitious new project underway at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
NIST researchers are in the early stages of a massive undertaking to design and build a fleet of tiny ultra-sensitive thermometers. If they succeed, their system will be the first to make real-time measurements of temperature on the microscopic scale in an opaque 3D volume — which could include medical implants, refrigerators, and even the human body.
The project is called Thermal Magnetic Imaging and Control (Thermal MagIC), and the researchers say it could revolutionize temperature measurements in many fields: biology, medicine, chemical synthesis, refrigeration, the automotive industry, plastic production — “pretty much anywhere temperature plays a critical role,” said NIST physicist Cindi Dennis. “And that’s everywhere.”
Technology that helps to quickly extract and analyze genetic material could be used for cheap, accurate and mobile COVID-19 testing, including at airports and remote testing centers.
‘Dipstick’ technology, developed by the University of Queensland’s Professor Jimmy Botella and Dr. Michael Mason, allows genetic material to be extracted in as little as 30 seconds, with a full molecular diagnosis in 40 minutes.
“That process is currently achieved using large and expensive commercial set-ups that require multistep procedures and specialized laboratory equipment,” Professor Botella said.
“In contrast, our dipstick tech is incredibly cheap and can be used virtually anywhere, without the need for specialized equipment or a laboratory.
“Our tech enables the purification of DNA and RNA nucleic acids from patient samples—a critical step in COVID-19 diagnosis.
Although the Pixel 5 had been announced earlier this year when Google unveiled the low-cost Pixel 4a phone, consumers are now being given their first look at the device and its specs.
The new handset’s stand-out feature isn’t its 6″ screen or 90Hz OLED display, but its significantly reduced price tag – coming in at £599 ($699), well below the £669 ($799) that the last generation Pixel 4 retailed at.
Affordability seems to have been the key factor for Google when developing the new device, with 5G connectivity allowing users to connect to services off
The new Google Pixel phones were unveiled at Google’s ‘Launch Night In’ event, alongside a new Nest-branded smart speaker that replaces the Google Home, and a new Chromecast with 4K and HDR.
Google Launch Night In: what’s been announced
• A new Chromecast with Google TV – a 4K HDR media streamer with Android TV built in, and the new Google TV interface, which is much smoother, bringing what you watch together from all your streaming apps. $49/£59, released October 15th.
• Google Nest Audio is Google’s new smart home speaker with Google Assistant.
Steven DeSanctis of Jefferies told CNBC on Tuesday that many large technology stocks are getting “pricey” and investors should look for alternatives in other sectors.
“At nine times revenue, 10 times revenue, it gets a little pricey, and with that any bad news will actually be a huge detriment to these stocks,” the equity strategist said, referring to technology stocks.
He recommends investors buy stocks in industrials, consumer discretionary, and materials sectors as alternatives to technology.
Steven DeSanctis, Jefferies equity strategist, told CNBC on Tuesday that many large technology stocks are getting “pricey” and there are cheaper alternatives that investors can buy now.
“At some point you have to say what is too high,” DeSanctis said, referring to tech stock valuations. “At nine times revenue, 10 times revenue, it gets a little pricey, and with that any bad news will actually be a huge detriment to
Reducing—specifically halving—manufacturing costs of lithium-ion batteries was the overarching theme of the event. That reduction will enable a cheaper model—a “dream from the very beginning,” Musk said. Tesla aims to eventually produce 20 million of these fully autonomous vehicles per year, but he didn’t give a clear time frame for achieving this goal. The battery innovations include the following:
If you’re a helicopter parent to your dog or cat, you’ve probably thought about getting a pet camera so you can keep an eye on your fuzzy kids when you’re away from home. Pet cams are expensive, though; some cost as much as $200, which is too much to spend to watch your beagle nap on the couch all afternoon. Here’s a different angle: the brand-new Petcube is a $40 pet cam, and right now I’ve got an exclusive CNET deal for an additional 10% off. You can get the Petcube for just $36 when you use promo code 10CNETCAM at checkout.
I’ve been using the Petcube for a few weeks and it’s unlike most other indoor surveillance cameras — especially ones intended for keeping an eye on pets. For starters, it’s crazy small and lightweight, and super-easy to mount without drilling holes into anything. As the name suggests,
In July, there was a rumor about two cheap Xiaomi smartphones equipped with 64-megapixel and 108-megapixel cameras, but there has been no news since. Now, a well-known Weibo leaker has revealed the codenames of the two phones along with the model number of the 108-megapixel camera.
Last year, Xiaomi launched a trend for smartphone cameras with a high number of Megapixels. The first device, the Redmi Note 8 Pro, came with Samsung’s first 64-megapixel image sensor. A few months later, the company launched the Mi Note 10 with an impressive 108-megapixel camera. This huge sensor has already consolidated itself among the major manufacturers. And the 64-megapixel has even become common among mid-range devices.