Apple’s Project Titan to become a self-driving campus shuttle?

Project Titan a couple of years ago was Apple’s ambitious plan to build a self-driving car. They hired plenty of veterans in the industry but the entire project never panned out. Now Apple has solely focused on self-driving technology while clearly saying that they are not going into the car making business. In an interview with Bloomberg, Tim Cook mentioned that Apple’s focus is autonomous systems.
In a report by the New York Times, Apple these days are looking at trying to create a self-driving shuttle that will ferry their employees between their current HQ at Infinite Loop to the new spaceship looking campus. No details are available about the shuttle but it will be likely a commercial vehicle. Having a test bed is great because it will allow Apple to test their autonomous system on a vehicle which is constantly required to ferry employees between locations on a daily basis. Employees can also assist by providing feedback and report any bugs or issues.
The codename for the project is called PAIL which stands for Palo Alto to Infinite Loop. No news of when the deployment of these campus shuttle has been revealed yet. Looking at the size of the entire new campus in which Apple is currently building, I am not surprised that they require a campus shuttle to ferry employees around.
According to AppleInsider, it was an internal strife which was what caused the initial grandiose plans of Project Titan to falter. Various groups had different visions for Project Titan which led to it ending prematurely. Still, with new leadership, Apple is now focusing on the technology as well as the support systems for autonomous vehicles.
[Source: AppleInsider & The New York Times]

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Lamborghini Announces New Alpha-One Luxury Smartphone

Lamborghini recently announced a new luxury Android smartphone called the Alpha-One. As expected, it is a premium device that is made with the finest materials, giving it a price tag that no ordinary person can afford – it retails at US$2,450, that’s about RM10,500.
There’s no diamond or gold like Vertu luxury smartphones though. The Alpha-One is made using “Italian handmade black leather”, and comes with a matching Italian leather phone case. There is however, liquid-metal frame that is stronger than titanium alloy. The Lamborghini logo sits at the back of the device, and can be found on the leather phone case as well.

Specifications wise, the Alpha-One is pretty decent. It has a 5.5” WQHD display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440. On the inside, it is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 SoC paired with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of expandable storage; it supports microSD cards of up to 128GB. Other specs include 20MP rear camera, 8MP selfie camera, 3250mAh battery, dual-SIM support, fingerprint scanner, and runs on Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box.
According to Lamborghini, the Alpha-One is the “perfect fusion of Italian design & the most luxurious technology”. This is not the first smartphone by the Italian supercar maker. Back in 2014, the company launched the Tonino Lamborghini 88 Tauri, a high-end smartphone back then.

The Alpha-One goes on sale starting today in UK and UAE. It is also available online with global shipping. Do note that for US$2,450, you only get the Alpha-One smartphone, a matching Italian leather sleeve phone case, and a charger cable; no adapter included. Check out Lamborghini now for more information about its latest Alpha-One smartphone.
(Source: The Verge)
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Xiaomi Opening Another Physical Store in Malaysia; This Time in Kuala Lumpur

Back in April this year, Xiaomi opened its first-ever physical store in Penang. Since then, many consumers were hoping for the Chinese company to open another store in other parts of Malaysia. Well, it appears Xiaomi is indeed opening a second store here, and it’s in Kuala Lumpur this time around.
First spotted by SoyaCincau, Xiaomi’s next physical store is currently under construction in Suria KLCC; Xiaomi Malaysia itself also confirmed the store’s existence. According to Xiaomi, the store is expected to be up and running sometime in October 2017; that’s only in a couple of months’ time.

Chances are, the Xiaomi Store in Suria KLCC will be quite similar to the one in Penang. Aside from the usual suite of Xiaomi smartphones and accessories, we can expect the yet to be opened store to carry Xiaomi’s range of other smart products too. Perhaps even items not found on Xiaomi’s online store.

It’s great to see Xiaomi opening up more physical stores in Malaysia. These retail outlets may not be like Xiaomi’s very own Mi Home stores, but it does show that the company is focusing quite a bit on the Malaysian market. We expect to hear more from Xiaomi as we approach the store’s opening month in October.
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ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Lite To Be Available In Malaysia This Sept For RM 899

As you might know from last week’s launch event, ASUS will be releasing its ZenFone 4 Selfie and ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro into Malaysia later this week. Interestingly, the company actually has one more Selfie device that it didn’t announce at the launch event which is called the ZenFone 4 Selfie Lite.
Being the entry-level model of the series, there are plenty of differences between Selfie Lite and its two higher-end brothers. For example, the phone is equipped with single 16MP f/2.0 front camera as opposed to two cameras although it still accompanied by an LED flash. At the same time, there is also another 16MP f/2.0 camera on its back.
The specs sheet for ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Lite.
Powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 processor, it also features 3GB of RAM and 32GB internal storage. Not to forget, the ZenFone 4 Selfie Lite is equipped with a 5.2-inch HD display – smaller than ZenFone 4 Selfie and ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro which carries 5.5-inch display.
Meanwhile, the phone somehow has the largest battery capacity among all ZenFone 4 Selfie smartphones at 4,120mAh which is a rather intriguing decision by ASUS. Priced at RM 899, expect the new ZenFone 4 Selfie Lite to arrive in our market sometime in early September – likely around the same time as ZenFone 4.
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Western Digital Unveils Insanely Massive 20TB Desktop Storage System

Western Digital has announced a 20TB variant of its My Book Duo storage system to ensure that you will not run out of space when storing “important” files. The company’s My Book Duo is essentially a storage solution that’s made for casual folks who find configuring NAS-based devices a bit daunting.
This means that Western Digital’s My Book Duo does not come with any networking features and ports like NAS devices do. One simply has to plug the storage system on their PC or laptop via a standard USB (Type-C and Type-A) port. According to Western Digital, the My Book Duo is equipped with the company’s “Red” hard drives, which delivers blazing fast transfer speeds.

By blazing fast, we mean up to 360MBps for sequential reads; write speeds were oddly not mentioned. When it comes to design, the My Book Duo comes with somewhat similar aesthetics as Western Digital’s My Passport portable hard drives, albeit being significantly larger in size, of course.
Whilst casual consumers like me may find owning a 20TB storage system a little too “excessive” folks who are engaging in video editing, content creation, and etc may actually benefit from owning the My Book Duo – because of its insanely large storage capacity. Not to mention the fact that this storage solution is also equipped with 256-bit AES hardware encryption for extra security.

Nonetheless, when it comes to pricing, the new 20TB version of the My Book Duo comes with an eye opening price tag of US$800 (about RM3,426). That said, the “smallest” option that one could go for is the 4TB variant, which is modestly priced at US$300 (around RM1,284).
(Source: Western Digital)
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Dragon Ball FighterZ Launches February 2018; More Characters & Story Mode Teased

Initially unveiled back at E3 2017, Bandai Namco recently released a new trailer for Dragon Ball FighterZ at Gamescom 2017. Aside from showcasing several new characters, the trailer also revealed the game’s launch date and story mode.
Joining Dragon Ball FighterZ’s growing character roster are the Androids; namely Android 16 and Android 18. These two Androids are their own characters, and unfortunately enough, Android 17 is merely like a partner to Android 18. We imagine fans of Android 17 won’t be too thrilled about this.

Also shown off in the new trailer is Dragon Ball FighterZ story mode. Although there’s only a short glimpse of the story campaign, it does seem rather promising with what appears to be a pretty in-depth storyline. Hopefully, the single player experience of FighterZ is comparable to Arc System Works’ other title like BlazBlue.
Set to be available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC in February 2018, Dragon Ball FighterZ may just be one of the best Dragon Ball games yet. Closed beta application of the game is also open now, but note that it’s not technically available to Malaysians. If you’d like to learn more about Dragon Ball FighterZ, you can check out our hands on of it back at E3 2017.
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New Google Chromebook Pixel and Smaller Google Home Incoming

October will be the month of Google announcements, as the world is expecting the unveiling of the Google Pixel 2. At the same time, reports are also saying that Google will be announcing new Chromebook Pixel and a smaller Google Home at the same launch event.
After the launch of Oreo, the company is set to shift into gear with its hardware announcements. We know the Pixel 2 is coming, but the company is also said to be readying more devices at the same time.
The Google Chromebook Pixel is the company’s flagship Chromebook device, but it is getting to be a bit long in the tooth. Rumours tell us to expect an announcement to be made during the Pixel launch event in October. Although, we believed this same rumour last year.
We may also see a new and smaller Google Home on the launch stage. This version is expected to be smaller and cheaper than the current version that is available for sale. Functionality wise it should still behave the same as the larger Google Home. Although it may lose some features due to being smaller.
No other information has been shared, apart from that the Chromebook Pixel may retail at around US$ 799 (or about RM 3,400). We will share more information once more is available.
(Source: PhoneArena)
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LG V30+ Model Revealed?

LG is announcing its LG V30 at IFA 2017, but that might not be the only thing the company has in store for us. The LG V30+ branding has been leaked by none other than @evleaks; although he doesn’t have much more than a logo to show thins time.
The LG V30+ is expected to look similar to the LG V30 that we saw earlier. More storage can also be expected if LG sticks to the naming scheme from the LG G6 and G6+. That’s not a given, but we wouldn’t be surprised if it turns out that way. Rumours also indicate that the V30+ will have a better Digital-to-Analogue Converter (DAC) built-in.
Some of the features should include an 18:9 ratio screen, dual-camera at the rear (16MP/13MP wide angle combo), possible MIL-STD-810G mil-spec rating carried over from the V20, USB Type-C connector, a 3.5mm audio jack and a fingerprint scanner.
As previously reported, LG’s UX 6.0+ will be the skin of choice for the phone, and the Floating Bar will replace the secondary display from the V20. Other goodies include Face Recognition, Voice Recognition and an updated Always-on Display.

We probably won’t be seeing this phone arrive in Malaysia any time soon. LG has proven that this country is not a major market, especially considering we saw the LG V20 enter Malaysia a month ago. However, we will be following the launch event which is slated for 31 August; we will bring more news on the new LG V30 and V30+ once available.
(Source: PhoneArena , EvLeaks )
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AMD Details Existence Of Multiple Vega 10 GPU Variants

One week ago, we published an article regarding the discovery of the different build and finish quality of AMD’s Vega 10 GPU. This time round, folks at Tom’s Hardware have apparently obtained confirmation directly from folks working with AMD regarding the existence of multiple Vega 10 GPU variants.
Most of us may know of the fact that both the Radeon RX Vega 64 and RX Vega 56 are equipped with AMD’s Vega 10 GPU. Their apparent – and expected – differences range from Compute Unit count, TDP rating, and etc. What isn’t “normal” is how the same Vega 10 GPU comes in multiple types of finishes.

According to Tom’s Hardware “special” presentation slides were sent out by AMD to its AIB partners, which contain details about two different Vega 10 GPU packages. The first Vega 10 variant is described as the “un-moulded package” and its has an area of 0.78 inch². The other Vega 10 GPU is called the “molded package” and it has a larger surface area of 1.26 inch².
What these descriptions basically mean is that one variant of the Vega 10 GPU comes with a “molding” which consists of epoxy-like material to cover gaps between the GPU and HBM2 memory controller; this ensures that both the GPU and memory controller are at the same height. That said, the other Vega 10 GPU package comes with no molding, which means that the GPU is slightly “taller” compared to the HBM2 memory.

As mentioned in our previous article, the discrepancies between AMD’s Vega 10 GPU are most likely caused by the company employing more than one manufacturer to assemble Vega GPUs. It’s believed that Vega 10 GPUs are currently being manufactured in Taiwan (TSMC?) and South Korea (SK Hynix?).
While this may not necessarily be a problem for reference Radeon Vega graphics cards, AMD’s custom AIB partners may face difficulties in designing a cooling system for custom RX Vega graphics cards. One has to remember that slight differences in height of both the GPU package and VRMs may cause inefficient cooling for a graphics card.
Regardless, it’ll be interesting to see how manufacturers like Asus, Gigabyte, MSI, and etc will come up with a solution for this so-called “GPU problem.”
(Source: Tom’s Hardware)
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Final Fantasy XV Goes Chibi For A Mobile Port

Final Fantasy XV is making the transition to mobile; and it’s taking a rather peculiar route. The game will do away with the more realistic style CGI of the console version in favour of heavily stylised chibi animation. This is both good and bad.
Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition hopes to retell the entire game for a mobile generation. For those who haven’t played it on a console, and are unwilling to wait for the upcoming PC port. That said, the title is being broken up in a series of 10 episodes. Since most smartphones and tablets can’t handle a full sized Final Fantasy game.
The new art style is likely to be the biggest attention grabber for FFVX Pocket Edition. It’s oddly endearing seeing Noctis and gang reduced to what are effectively animated bobble heads. That said, some character faces could have used a little more time on the drawing board.

Curiously, the Pocket Edition lists Windows 10 as one of the platforms (in addition to Android and iOS). This presumably means that it will also be appearing on the Windows Store. Which could translate into PC getting two versions of FFXV? It’s difficult to say at this point.
The first episode of FFXV will be released for free in the Fall of 2017; which isn’t too far off. The remaining nine episodes will then follow, although players will have to pay for each in order to find out how this version of the story ends.
[Source: Polygon]
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