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Jony Ive speaking at DC’s Hirshorn Museum, free first-come-first-served places

Apple’s chief design officer Jony Ive will be speaking on ‘the future of design’ at the Hirshorn Museum in Washington, DC, later this month – and free places are available on a first-come, first-served basis …

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Vivaldi Web Browser 1.13 for Power Users Gains New Multi-Tab Management Features
Vivaldi web browser, the spiritual successor to Opera 12, released version 1.13 on Wednesday, introducing an easier way of managing multiple tabs, as well as new file download features and other improvements.


In line with the Norwegian-based team's aim to make Vivaldi the most feature-rich and customizable browser available to power users, the developers have created the new Window Panel. This opens a tree-style view of tabs to the side of the browser window, offering an easy overview of all open tabs as a list.

From there, users can conveniently manage tabs by dragging them to change their order, grouping tabs by topic to save space, tiling Tab Stacks to compare several web pages side by side, and hibernating unused tabs or Tab Stacks for better performance.

Within the new Panel, it's also possible to mute sound in specific tabs and pin tabs to ensure they always stay open. The Vivaldi team says it is planning to bring even more functionality to this feature in the near future.


The latest release of the Vivaldi browser also brings a number of improvements to file downloading, based on community feedback. Users now get a warning dialog when closing the browser before a download is complete. It's also now possible to pause and resume downloads, while a download speed indicator has been added to the progress bar.

Elsewhere, Vivaldi's window handling code has been rewritten, providing performance benefits that are especially noticeable on older, slower hardware.

Vivaldi browser is a free download for Mac available directly from the Vivaldi website.


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Apple Shares Research into Self-Driving Car Software That Improves Obstacle Detection
Apple computer scientists working on autonomous vehicle technology have posted a research paper online describing how self-driving cars can spot cyclists and pedestrians using fewer sensors (via Reuters).

The paper by Yin Zhou and Oncel Tuzel was submitted to online independent journal arXiv on November 17, in what appears to be Apple's first publicly disclosed research on autonomous vehicle technology.


The paper is titled "End-to-End Learning for Point Cloud Based 3D Object Detection", and describes how new software developed by Apple scientists improves the ability of LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) systems to recognize objects including pedestrians and cyclists from a distance.

Self-driving cars typically use a combination of standard cameras and depth-sensing LiDAR units to receive information about the world around them.

Apple's research team said they were able to get "highly encouraging results" using LiDAR data alone to spot cyclists and pedestrians, and wrote that they were also able to beat other approaches for detecting 3D objects that rely solely on LiDAR tech. The experiments were limited to computer simulations and did not advance to road tests.

Apple famously has a secretive research policy and has kept its work under wraps for many years, but over the last 12 months, the company has shared some of its research advancements with other researchers and the wider public, particularly in the area of machine learning.

In December 2016, Apple said that it would start allowing its AI and machine learning researchers to publish and share their work in papers, with the first paper appearing just a few weeks following the announcement.

Additionally, in July of this year, Apple researchers initiated the "Apple Machine Learning Journal", a blog detailing their work on machine learning, AI, and other related topics.

This new policy of openness could help Apple retain employees who do not want to keep their progress a secret, but the latest research into autonomous vehicle technology also lets regulators see that the company is making progress in this area. Last December, Apple told federal regulators it was excited about the technology and asked them not to restrict testing. In April, the company also filed a self-driving car testing plan with California regulators.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has called autonomy "the mother of all AI projects". During an August 2017 earnings call, Cook re-emphasized Apple's deep interest in the technology, and even hinted Apple's work on autonomy could be used for more than vehicles.

Apple has presumably been working on an autonomous driving system since 2014, when rumors of its efforts to create an electric vehicle first surfaced. Apple has now moved away from creating a full vehicle and is said to be focusing on self-driving technology instead.


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Apple research paper details LiDAR-based 3D object recognition for autonomous vehicle navigation
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Apple researchers are pushing forward with efforts to bring autonomous vehicle systems to public roads, and last week published an academic paper outlining a method of detecting objects in 3D point clouds using trainable neural networks. While still in its early stages, the technology could mature to improve accuracy in LiDAR navigation solutions.
Hands-on: Akitio Thunder3 Quad X – a four bay drive enclosure with classic Mac Pro-inspired design [Video]

When it comes to Thunderbolt 3 support, there are a handful of companies that immediately come to mind. Akitio, a California-based innovator, is definitely one of those companies.

One of its first big Thunderbolt 3-equipped products, the Akitio Node, made headlines for its inclusion of a macOS-compatible Thunderbolt 3 chipset. Since then, it has released a variety of products that support the high-bandwidth interface.

The latest such release is the Akitio Thunder3 Quad X. Featuring a similar naming convention as earlier releases, the Thunder3 Quad X is notable for a design that pays homage to the classic Mac Pro “cheese grater” design.

Similar to the Thunder3 Quad Mini, the Quad X supports up to four drives, and can harness software RAID to achieve impressive data transfer rates. Should those in need of a direct attached storage solution consider the Akitio Thunder3 Quad X? Watch our hands-on video walkthrough for the details. more…

2018 iPhones to Feature Upgraded Antenna Design to Boost LTE Transmission Speeds
Apple's upcoming 2018 iPhones will feature upgraded liquid crystal polymer (LCP) antenna modules that will contribute to faster LTE transmission speeds, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said tonight in a note that was sent out to investors.

Kuo says new iPhone models will use at least two LCP LTE antenna modules, much like the iPhone X, but with improvements to support 4x4 MIMO standards.

Antenna design upgrade a key factor in anticipated boost to LTE transmission speed in new 2H18F iPhone models. As a LTE antenna FPCB material, LCP is superior to PI in properties related to high-frequency, thermal performance and moisture resistance. We predict 2H18 new iPhones will be equipped with two LCP LTE antenna modules same as iPhone X or more, but with higher specs to support 4x4 MIMO standards.
Last week, Kuo said Apple is expected to use Intel XMM 7560 and Qualcomm Snapdragon X20 modems in its next-generation iOS devices, enabling faster LTE transmission speeds. Both of those chips support the previously mentioned 4x4 MIMO technology, compared to 2x2 MIMO in the current iPhone models.

4x4 MIMO, or Multiple-Input Multiple-Output has the potential to significantly improve LTE transmission speeds by increasing the number of data paths between a cellular tower and an iOS device to four.

In previous notes, Kuo has said Apple is working on a total of three iPhones for 2018, including a 5.8-inch OLED model that's similar to the current iPhone X, a 6.5-inch OLED model that can be thought of as a sort of "iPhone X Plus," and a new 6.1-inch LCD model, designed to sell at a lower price point. All three, says Kuo, will include edge-to-edge iPhone X-style displays and Face ID support.

Kuo believes Apple will ship an estimated 100 to 120 million iPhone units in the second half of 2018, something he has previously said will fuel an upgrade "supercycle" during the year.

Related Roundup: iPhone X
Buyer's Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)

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KGI again says 2018 iPhones will feature gigabit LTE technology

Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities is out with what he refers to as “part two” of his analysis into Apple’s work on creating a 5G iPhone and what the near future holds.

This investors note says that Apple may adopt faster antenna modules in all of its 2018 iPhones, and offers more information about suppliers for next year’s iPhone antenna modules. Much of the report reiterates a note from KGI last week.

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2018 iPhone models to boast enhanced LTE transmission, support 4x4 MIMO
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Apple's next-generation iPhone lineup, due for debut in 2018, will build on LTE antenna technology introduced with iPhone X to support ultra-fast transmissions speeds designated by 4x4 MIMO (multiple input, multiple output) standards.
New paper from Apple research scientists dives deeper into work on autonomous systems

Tim Cook has publicly commented on Apple’s work in autonomous systems before, and a new research paper from two Apple research scientists dives deeper into the company’s efforts. The paper explains how Apple is using a combination of LiDAR with other technologies for 3D object detection that represents the future.

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Apple acquires AR startup Vrvana for $30M as it continues work on its own AR headset

According to a new report from TechCrunch, Apple recently acquired a virtual/augmented reality startup out of Montreal, Canada called Vrvana. The deal was worth radon $30 million, the report says.

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