LG’s Latest Monitor Supports HDR and Ultra-wide 5K With A Single Thunderbolt 3 Cable

LG’s latest monitors make the most of Thunderbolt 3 technology, using the USB Type-C based port to its fullest. Neither the LG 34WK95U nor the 32UK950 require a separate adapter cable, instead being able to draw both power and input signal through Thunderbolt 3.
The LG 34WK95U is a 34-inch, 5K resolution monitor that offers High Dynamic Range and designed for those looking for a single monitor solution. The panel features a resolution of 5,120 x 2,160 pixels, 21:9 aspect ratio and a refresh rate of 60Hz for smooth and sharp images. Meanwhile the LG 32UK950 is a 32-inch monitor that supports ‘only’ 4K, but it comes with nano IPS technology that promises a little bit more accurate and intense colours than others in the market. It also supports up to 98 percent of the DCI-P3 colour space, making it a great addition for video colour graders to use in their workflow. LG is looking to promote this monitor to Thunderbolt 3 equipped laptops, which can support 4K daisy chaining.
While the monitors are not fully bezel-less, the two models here have slim bezels that makes you think the display goes from edge to edge. No prices from LG as of yet, and no availability as well. We expect these monitors to arrive on the global market place sometime early next year though.
(Source: LG Newsroom)
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PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds 1.0 Feels Like a New Game

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is out of early access today with the release of the 1.0 update, and it brings with it a slew of improvements to the already very successful game. Naturally, we spent some time playing with the updated game, and we have to say: it’s an amazing change.
For one, there is very, very noticeable improvement in performance; this is especially noticeable on older machines. Textures render much quicker, frame rate is more consistent now, and Battlegrounds 1.0 just feels very responsive in general; even picking up items feels faster. If you can’t run the game well previously, it may be worth another shot.

The user interface (both in-game and the menu) has been overhauled as well, and it makes more sense. There are nice little touches here and there in the menu – like how the player model will actually “step up” when you click ready – and it is actually pleasant to look at now.
In-game, the health bar now explicitly shows how much you can heal with bandages and first aid kits, which makes it easier to gauge how many bandages you need to heal up before using boost items. Your teammates are numbered now too, and the kill feed has been moved to the top right side, leaving space for the health bar of team members at the bottom left.

And then we have the highly anticipated vaulting mechanic, and it is wonderful. More advanced players used to “crouch jump” to jump out of windows in the past, but with Battlegrounds 1.0, even new players can do the same by simply using the spacebar to vault out. However, it seems to be somewhat inconsistent still: some windows may look like it can be vaulted over, but it’s actually not possible.

There are lot of other changes the 1.0 update brings to PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, and if the game can succeed at its buggy, pre-release state, we imagine it will be even more successful now that it is finally out of early access. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds can now be purchased on the Steam store for RM74.99: the price remains unchanged, of course.
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Zotac Showcases AMP Box And AMP Box Mini External Thunderbolt 3 Enclosures

Zotac has unveiled two brand new products in the form of external Thunderbolt 3 enclosures. These are the AMP Box and AMP Box Mini; both of which are made to “supercharge” one’s Thunderbolt 3-compatible systems in terms of graphics horsepower and are also compatible with NVMe PCIe SSDs as well (AMP Box).
In terms of looks, Zotac has gone with the “minimalistic” approach in designing its Thunderbolt 3 enclosures. The Zotac AMP Box Mini for example, looks somewhat like a “normal” black box with holes for air to pass through. The larger AMP Box, on the other hand, comes in a black and white casing and it features a small window on its side for consumers to see their beastly graphics card operating inside.

When it comes to specifications, Zotac has mentioned that both the AMP Box and AMP Box Mini enclosures are compatible with two-slot thick graphics cards. The AMP Box, being the larger of the two, can be equipped with a GTX 1080 Ti graphics card, while the smaller AMP Box Mini is compatible with a GTX 1060. As mentioned earlier, NVMe PCIe SSDs are also supported on the AMP Box.
Dimensions-wise, the AMP Box Mini measures in at 7.2 x 9 x 3.9 inches and it weighs around 850 grams. Oddly, measurements and weight of the AMP Box was not given, but it’s probably safe to assume that it’s slightly larger and weighs a bit more. Local pricing and date of availability was not mentioned at the time of writing.
(Source: Zotac)
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Samsung’s Bixby Now Speaks Mandarin In Malaysia

Samsung Malaysia has announced that its AI assistant Bixby has picked up the ability to converse in Mandarin Chinese. The update to Bixby is aimed at those who are more comfortable speaking Chinese, and shows how much progress Samsung has made in catching up with other AI assistants.
Bixby is integrated into Samsung’s native apps, particularly functions like Bixby Home, Reminder, and Vision. It also allows voice commands for select third party apps.
Rolling out Mandarin support on Bixby this quickly is a massive change from the initial launch of the AI assistant. The company had originally delayed the global release due to problems with getting AI to speak English. A rapid re-organisation saw the problems ironed out; but only after Bixby missed the launch of the Galaxy S8 by two months.

At the moment, Bixby lags behind competitors like Google Assistant and Siri; speaking only English, Korean, and Mandarin. Adding Mandarin as the third language makes sense as China is a huge market for every smartphone maker; not to mention that the Chinese dialect has a very large number of speakers across the globe.
Bixby will also be learning other regional dialects of Chinese. This may take a longer time to decipher, but Samsung is confident that that the “natural language-understanding ability” of Bixby will allow the AI to train itself over time.
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Report: Apple Looking into Combining iOS and macOS Apps Next Year

Wish you could run your iOS apps on your Mac, and vice versa? It looks like it could happen as soon as next year. According to reports, Apple is looking into combining iOS and macOS apps, allowing users to run a single app on the iPhone, iPad and Mac devices.
According to Bloomberg, the apps would be designed so that they would work on a touchscreen for mobile devices, and with a keyboard, mouse and trackpad for Macs. This could be launched as soon as next year with iOS 12 and macOS 10.14, which should be announced at the next WWDC event in June 2018.

But of course, this is still a rumour for now, and things could change at anytime. Afterall, this is a major change that could presumably involve a lot of work on Apple’s end. An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment on that matter to Bloomberg.
If this works out, it could make life easier for developers. Right now, developers must design two different apps for iOS and macOS, and update them individually. With a single app that could run on both platforms, the work gets cut into half. In addition to that, Apple users have always complained that Mac apps do not get updated as frequently as iOS apps, which means that if this rumour is true, Mac apps will not be as neglected.
Check out Bloomberg to find out more.
(Source: Bloomberg via: 9to5Mac)
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Moto G5 Plus Back at Its Lowest Price

If you’re looking for a dependable mid-range smartphone, good news: the Moto G5 Plus is back at its lowest price. Originally retailing at RM1,299, the mid-ranger can be purchased for less than RM800 now.
We came across this deal on DirectD’s Facebook page: the retailer is currently offering the G5 Plus for only RM798. According to DirectD, this promotional price is a part of the company’s Mega Sale, which is ending on 2 January 2018.

Of course, we did some digging on Lazada as well, and we found a slightly more expensive listing for the G5 Plus: Wow Phone is offering the phone for RM799. However, the retailer is bundling RM99 worth of accessories also, which include an original casing and screen protector.

Needless to say, a sub-RM800 price tag for the Moto G5 Plus is a really good deal, especially for the phone’s overall feature set. If you’d like to learn more about Motorola’s mid-range phone, you can read our comprehensive review of the G5 Plus.
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PSA: Microsoft Surface Pro “Buy And Try” Promotion Ends On 24 December

Microsoft Malaysia has apparently been running a Surface Pro trial programme for the last two weeks; without telling too many people about it. This isn’t quite the same as the try-before-you-buy campaigns held in western markets; but it functions in a more or less similar manner.
To qualify, a customer must buy a Microsoft Surface Pro (note the lack of numbers behind that name) from a participating retailer. Once these two conditions have been met, the customer is then free to return the product at any time between 31 and 90 days; no questions asked.

The promotion ends on 24 December, although the return period extends well past this date. More importantly, the returns page on 6 January 2018. Meaning that there is at least a couple of weeks before any return claims can be made. More detailed information can be found on the Microsoft Buy and Try site.
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Colorful Unveils iGame GTX 1080 Ti and GTX 1060 Ti RNG Edition Graphics Cards

Colorful has introduced two brand new and rather special custom graphics cards called the GTX 1080 Ti iGame RNG Edition and GTX 1060 iGame RNG Edition. Both graphics cards were made by Colorful in collaboration with the RNG eSports team. Also announced alongside these graphics cards is Colorful’s upcoming esports tournament (Colorful Game Union) which will be held in the coming weeks at Wuhan, China.
That aside, let’s first take a look at the design of both the Colorful GTX 1080 Ti iGame RNG Edition and GTX 1060 iGame RNG Edition. Interestingly, both of these graphics cards come with almost similar designs. Their cooler shrouds are coloured in peach and black and come with three open-air cooling fans.
Image: VideoCardz
One design difference between the two would be the “art” that is displayed on their respective backplates. When it comes to specifications, the Colorful GTX 1060 iGame RNG Edition features clock speeds of 1620MHz (base) and 1847MHz (boost), while the more powerful GTX 1080 Ti iGame RNG Edition has base and boost frequency speeds of 1620MHz and 1733MHz respectively.
Unfortunately, aside from giving specific details of both the GTX 1080 Ti iGame RNG Edition and GTX 1060 iGame RNG Edition, Colorful made no mention of the pricing and release dates of its newest graphics cards. Moreover, it’s also not known whether the company will bring these graphics card into Malaysia.
(Source: TechPowerUp, VideoCardz)
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Magic Leap Introduces Lightwear AR Headset

Magic Leap, the relatively quiet augment reality company, has announced a new AR headset. Dubbed Lightwear, this standalone headset has a somewhat different design that what we’ve come to expect; and is powered by a hockey puck-sized computer called the Lightpack.
The Lightpack, which acts as the brain of the system, is said to have comparable performance to “a Mac Book Pro or Alienware PC” according to the Magic Leap founder and CEO Rony Abovitz. There is also a buddy compute unit in the Lightwear itself, to supplement to the Lightpack unit.

Accompanying the Lightwear and Lightpack is a touch-sensitive controller. It features a touchpad on the top, and 6-degrees of movement recognition to sense any gestures that will be translated in the AR world.
Of course, Magic Leap is not just pushing its AR creation for games. On its website Magic leap says that the system will be great for day-to-day computing. Among the features the company is looking towards are virtual screens, 3D web browsing and sandbox applications.
Magic Leap will be shipping the first iteration of the Lightwear, called Magic Leap One, sometime in 2018. As for how it will fair against the Microsoft Hololens and Google Glass, we will just have to wait until the first unit ships to early users.
(Source: Magic Leap via Polygon)
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TNB To Acquire The Company Behind 1Gbps Broadband Plan

Earlier this month, Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) has announced that it will be acquiring Setia Haruman Technology (SHTech) which is the subsidiary of Setia Haruman, the master developer of Cyberjaya. If the name didn’t ring able, you might heard of SHTech before as the ISP that offers 1Gbps consumer plan in Cyberjaya.
According to the document that TNB has provided to Bursa Malaysia, the national power company will be paying RM 28 million to acquire SHTech from its previous owner. The deal is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2018 and will turn SHTech into a wholly-owned subsidiary of TNB.

It might seemed rather odd that a power company has decided to purchase an area-limited ISP but according to the document, the acquisition is meant to help TNB pursue potential growth in complementary services. In the case of SHTech, among such services include Smart Meters, Smart Homes, Smart Building, Smart Industries, and Smart Cities.
Since SHTech operates in Cyberjaya which is already on its way to turning itself into Smart City, the purchase seems rather justify. In a bigger picture though, we wonder if the acquisition would help strengthening TNB’s position as the possible Tier-1 fiber provider for the Nationwide Fiberization Plan 2017-2019.
(Source: TNB – pdf, Bursa Malaysia)
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