New FCC filing suggests Nintendo is working on improved Switch Joy-Cons

Despite its enormous success since its launch last year, the Nintendo Switch has been unable to shake one particular connectivity issue with its left Joy-Con controller, which keeps disconnecting for many people.

After several early attempts to fix the issue via firmware updates, Nintendo eventually narrowed the problem down to a hardware issue, advising its customers to avoid placing their Switch consoles "within three to four feet of another wireless device, such as a wireless speaker or a wireless access point." 

The company has also suggested that Switch owners keep their consoles away from aquariums and microwaves and other devices which may provide interference.

Nintendo also came up with another, somewhat unorthodox fix involving the application of conductive foam above the controller’s antenna, which supposedly shields it from RF interference. However, customers were required to send their controllers back to Nintendo for this particular fix to be applied.

Joy-Con division

Thankfully, it appears that Nintendo is finally planning to release updated Joy-Cons, with a new filing to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) suggesting that the gaming giant has found a fix to its disconnecting controller woes.

The filing includes photos of a device that's shaped exactly like one of the Switch's current Joy-Cons, albeit opened up and showing the circuit board that lies within. 

Nintendo has yet to comment on its upcoming Joy-Con plans, though if this filing is anything to go by, we can probably expect some new and improved controllers to hit the market in the not-too-distant future.

from TechRadar – All the latest technology news http://www.techradar.com/news/new-fcc-filing-suggests-nintendo-is-working-on-improved-switch-joy-cons

Chinese PUBG hack developers have been arrested and fined $5 million

Developers of the popular battle royale game, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) have released a statement updating players on the status of their anti-cheating efforts in the game.

The update was posted on PC-gaming platform Steam and details the arrest by Chinese authorities of 15 individuals that were suspected of developing and selling hack programs for PUBG. As a result of the arrests, the suspects have been fined over $5 million.

According to the statement from Chinese authorities, some of the programs included Trojan Horse viruses, which “developers used to control users’ PCs, scan their data, and extract information illegally”.

Of the 15 suspects, there were only five that were explicitly mentioned by name: “OMG”, “FL”, “火狐”, “须弥” and “炎黄”.

Ongoing efforts

Cheating in PUBG is a major issue that the game's developers take “extremely seriously”. This much is clear from the anti-cheating software that they've employed, BattlEye, which has banned over 1 million players in January 2018 alone.

Aside from the rising threat of Chinese hackers and cheaters, there are also growing concerns over mouse and keyboard players using emulations to dominate the mobile version of the game.

“We’ll continue to crack down on hacking/cheating programs (and their creators)”, promises the PUBG Corp team, “until our players are free to battle it out in a totally fair environment”.

from TechRadar – All the latest technology news http://www.techradar.com/news/chinese-pubg-hack-developers-have-been-arrested-and-fined-dollar5-million

Nikon confirms new mirrorless camera will be added to its lineup in 2019

Rumors of a new Nikon mirrorless system have been hotting up lately, but now we’ve got confirmation that the latest camera to join the Japanese company’s lineup will arrive around March or April 2019.

Nikon Imaging Japan executive Kimito Uemura spilled the beans at this year's Camera & Photo Imaging Show (better known as CP+) during a televised interview aired on Japan’s NKH network. 

When asked about the company’s plans on launching a new mirrorless camera, he said, “Unfortunately, we weren't able to bring out a mirrorless model for this year's event. But development is underway, and we expect to bring one to market by spring next year.”

A time for reflection

While this news is exciting, it is as yet unclear what kind of mirrorless system Nikon will reveal next year. 

There is no indication whether the camera will be aimed at professionals or will be an entry-level offering. 

Nikoneye, the first to report on the announcement, speculates that the camera could be an entry-level full-frame mirrorless featuring a new mount compatible with existing F-mount lenses. Predictions also point to a 30MP sensor with phase-detection autofocus.

Only time will tell what exactly Nikon is up to, but there’s a strong possibility that we’ll also find out more about mirrorless cameras from Canon, Sony and Olympus around the same time.

from TechRadar – All the latest technology news http://www.techradar.com/news/nikon-confirms-a-new-mirrorless-system-will-be-added-to-its-camera-lineup-in-2019

Es oficial: AMD dará el salto a los 7 nanómetros en CPUs y GPUs en 2019 con la arquitectura ‘Zen 2’

Amd Ryzen Vega

Mientras Intel sigue sufriendo, y mucho, por llegar a los 10 nanómetros, tanto así que lo ha vuelto a retrasar este 2018, AMD sigue a un ritmo imparable con anuncios que caen muy bien a los consumidores y seguramente no muy bien en Intel. La Dra. Lisa Su, CEO de AMD, confirmó a sus inversores que las pruebas de la arquitectura ‘Zen 2’ bajo 7 nanómetros han iniciado y su lanzamiento será en 2019.

Ahora con esto, podemos dar como oficial el salto de AMD a los 7nm sin siquiera pasar por los 10nm, que se le resisten a Intel. Pero eso no es todo, ya que también confirmaron que están probando una nueva tarjeta Radeon, también de 7nm, que sorpresivamente sería fabricada por TSMC y no Global Foundries, como sucede con los Ryzen. Continue reading “Es oficial: AMD dará el salto a los 7 nanómetros en CPUs y GPUs en 2019 con la arquitectura ‘Zen 2’”

5G sounds amazing – but Sprint and T-Mobile’s merger won’t provide any instant miracles

5G MWC

  • T-Mobile and Sprint announced their plans to merge, with the biggest selling point being a faster deployment of 5G on a nationwide scale.
  • 5G offers an exciting prospect, as it’s supposedly faster and more reliable than the current 4G LTE network standard.
  • However, it’s likely that carriers will face the same problems with deploying 5G as they have now with 4G LTE, largely because of the way that carrier infrastructure is handled in the US.
  •  It’s different in China, where telecoms companies face far fewer regulatory constraints to build out a network. 

 

The American public is in desperate need of 5G, the next generation wireless networks that promise blazing speeds and rock-solid connections.

That’s the urgent appeal being sounded by T-Mobile and Sprint as they push to get approval for their $146 billion mega-merger. 

Neither Sprint or T-Mobile can create a nationwide 5G network on their own, T-Mobile COO Mike Sievert told Business Insider in an interview on Monday. 

“Standalone T-Mobile hasn’t been shy that we can create a broad 5G layer, but we don’t have the resources to go really deep. Sprint can go deep with its 2.5GHz spectrum, but they can’t go broad,” Sievert said.

In other words, let the two phone giants combine, and the miracle of 5G will soon be yours.

If you’re not familiar with 5G, here’s why it’s a big deal:

5G is the next generation of wireless network that will supposedly deliver far faster speeds with much less latency than 4G LTE (the current standard) to anything that connects to the internet, whether it be smartphones, computers, and even self-driving cars. It’s also said take care of the current problems with 4G LTE networks where they can become overburdened and slow to a crawl during the busy hours in a populated area. 

But while Sprint and T-Mobile’s promise to accelerate the dawn of the 5G era sound great, the reality of the wireless landscape provides plenty of reason for caution.

So much for the LTE-A miracle

On paper, a 5G network from a merged T-Mobile and Sprint seems like it could be better than Verizon’s and AT&T 5G networks. That’s largely because T-Mobile could combine their incipient 5G networks to deliver 5G coverage in both urban and rural areas, whereas Verizon and AT&T’s 5G networks will only really feature in densely populated cities at first. 

john legere t-mobile

Yet, 5G isn’t the first network standard that promised to be better than 4G LTE. If you own a recent high-end smartphone – and depending on what carrier you use – you may have been using the 4G LTE Advanced (LTE-A) standard (Verizon calls it LTE+). LTE-A uses carrier aggregation, which essentially transmits data to your device over several bands and towers, and even from different carriers to your own. Carriers that deliver LTE-A tout similar benefits as 5G, like fast speeds and better performance in densely populated areas during busy times. 

But if 5G will roll out in the same way that LTE-A rolled out, we shouldn’t expect 5G to be the standard that will finally drench the nation in fast, high performance internet.

Verizon’s coverage map says I should get LTE-A access pretty much everywhere I go. But that’s not the case at all.

I commute into Manhattan on a major train corridor used by more than 300,000 people every day. But while I can get LTE-A speeds in the city, it’s nowhere to be found during the 35-mile commute. Even though carriers began rolling LTE-A out two years ago, there’s been little incentive to deliver LTE-A outside of major metropolitan areas.

And there’s little indication that carriers will be able to deliver 5G any better, according to Gartner principal research analyst Bill Menezes. 5G networks will be great in areas where it is delivered, but you’ll likely face the same performance issues wherever – and whenever – you had problems before, whether it’s low signal strength or slow data speeds. 

cell tower

The solution sounds simple enough. “If [the carriers] don’t have coverage to [a problem area] to any great extent now, they’re going to have to do more buildup. That means acquiring right of way, getting radios out there,” Menezes said. But that’s a process and a cost that carriers are clearly struggling with. If they weren’t struggling, your streaming song or video would never skip or need to buffer, which is an experience I believe many can relate to. 

A tricky landscape that’s not likely to change

Much of the struggle comes from the way carrier infrastructure is handled in the US, according to Menezes. 

In the US, “every local zoning authority has a say over antenna placement.” That includes where carriers can place antennas and how much local authorities charge carriers. “The carriers and the infrastructure providers are on the warpath about this. They’re trying to get the FCC to intervene and say ‘we’ve got to have a national standard for what you’re allowed to do, how much you’re allowed to charge, what the process has to be. Otherwise we’re never going to get this deployed as well as we believe it should be in terms of the national interest.'” 

verizon cell tower protest

These kinds of regulatory constraints aren’t a problem in China, which is leading the “race to 5G” ahead of the US. If the Chinese government wants to accelerate the deployment of 5G, it can decide the regulatory constraints and make it much easier for Chinese telecom companies to build out their networks, Menezes said.

If LTE-A didn’t really solve any of your issues – including mine during my commute to New York City – the outlook for 5G isn’t that much better. 

No matter how great the Sprint and T-Mobile sales pitch sounds, you’ll probably be waiting a while before you see 5G. 

SEE ALSO: IT’S OFFICIAL: T-Mobile and Sprint are coming together to form a $146 billion new company to take on Verizon and AT&T

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Teens would rather break their bones than lose their phones

Billionaires, costume designers and beer: I spent a day at the Space Symposium and learned about how the tech elite will conquer the final frontier

Elon Musk

  • The 34th annual Space Symposium recently took place in Colorado.
  • It was full of excitement, ranging from a visit from Vice President Pence to the rockets being built by tech billionaires like SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

There were four themes that were obvious at this year’s Space Symposium conference in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

1) The rising influence of tech billionaires like Bezos, SpaceX’s Elon Musk and Virgin Group’s Richard Branson;

2) The fact that between trade shows and the space industry, augmented reality and virtual reality have found their business use case — especially both, together.

3) Everyone is working on putting humans on Mars;

4) Space-based businesses are booming, with billions of dollars of venture funding pouring in annually.

Here’s a look at my trip to the Space Symposium, and what I learned:

SEE ALSO: Jeff Bezos says a secretive company in the Texas desert is his ‘most important work’ — and it has nothing to do with Amazon

The annual Space Symposium took place earlier this month in Colorado Springs, CO,

Colorado Springs is the home of the Air Force Academy and the Cheyenne Mountain NORAD Complex, an underground nuclear bunker.

While Colorado is famous for its high country (in more ways than one), it has also become the nation’s second largest space economy after California. Colorado is home to more than 400 aerospace companies who employ 25,000 private aerospace workers, according to the Colorado Space Coalition.

The industry group the Colorado Space Coalition has the cute tagline: one mile closer to space. 

In fact, a small airport in Colorado is expected to achieve FAA approval in August to become a space launch port. There are only 10 other space ports in the nation.

Virgin Galactic, the space company owned by billionaire Richard Branson, is expected to use it as a launch point. 

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The best noise-cancelling headphones 2018

Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones Buying Guide: Welcome to TechRadar's round-up of the best noise-cancelling headphones you can buy in 2018.

Traveling, by all accounts, is one of life's great rewards. To travel, to see the world, whether for work or for pleasure, is not only an admirable venture but one of its best pursuits, too. Augustine of Hippo, a theologian from around the year 400 A.D. put it best, “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” 

While we whole-heartedly agree with Augustine, one thing has changed since then, and that's the way in which we travel. We've gone from horse and chariot to jet-engine and Boeing 737, and the world has never been the same.

To that end, just as the nature of travel has changed, so too has the technology that we use to make the journey more comfortable. Take, for example, wireless noise-cancelling headphones. Put them on, and all the outside noise fades away. 

So what makes a pair of truly excellent noise-cancelling headphones? Hi-Res Audio is a good start, batteries that offer several days of use, comfort and the best, most advanced noise cancelling algorithms to keep outside noise far away.

To help you pick out a pair of headphones that deliver all of the above in spades, we've put together a list of the top 10 noise-cancelling headphones, listed below and ranked by their price-to-performance ratio.

The Sony WH-1000XM2 are an excellent revision of an already great pair of headphones: They sound great, deftly wield noise cancellation technology and cost just as much as a pair of Bose QC35s. They might have a slightly shorter battery life than Bose’s flagship over-ear headphones, but Sony’s WH-1000XM2 outclass the QC35 in terms of performance and feature-set.  

You’d want to pick these Sony headphones over the Bose because not only do they provide the same level of awesome noise-cancellation, but they have three neat tricks that Bose just doesn't have on its headphones: One is an ambient noise mode that only lets in mid-to-high frequency tones (announcements over a loudspeaker, for instance) and another being Quick Attention mode that allows you to let in all outside noise without taking off the headphones. (The latter is perfect when giving a drink order on a plane or speaking to a coworker for a brief moment before diving back into your work.) The last trick Sony has up its sleeve is the LDAC codec. Alongside the widely adopted aptX HD standard, LDAC enables Hi-Res Audio playback using the 1000XM2.

Great-sounding, feature-packed and just as affordable as the competition? The Sony WH-1000XM2 are our all-around pick for best noise-cancelling cans.

Read the full review: Sony WH-1000XM2

Philips Fidelio NC1

Philips presents a more elegant noise-cancelling solution with its NC1. These on-ear headphones aren't wireless like our top pick, but that's hardly a reason to knock them. Coming in at $299/£195, the NC1 are a compact set that's high on comfort and battery life.

You get a lot for the money here. In the box comes the headphones, a hard case for storage and the headphones rock a rechargeable battery that provides noise cancellation for close to 30 hours. But best of all, the sound performance is extremely well balanced and warm.

(A quite note for our Australian readers: Philips sadly no longer sells the NC1's down under, so you'll need to import a pair if you're keen.)

Read the full review: Philips Fidelio NC1

Coming in at the number three spot is the Bose QuietComfort 35 II – a nearly identical product to the already-excellent Bose QuietComfort 35 but updated for 2018 with Google Assistant. This means you still get the class-leading noise cancellation Bose is known for, good sound quality and incredible comfort, plus a convenient assistant to answer any inquiries you might have while traveling.  

Taken as a whole, the Bose QC35 II NC is an excellent headphone for travelers and commuters. Bose has found a good balance of features that will satisfy most mainstream listeners. While we don't love them as much as the better-sounding Sony WH-1000XM2, they're still top of the class for noise cancellation.

Read the full review: Bose QuietComfort 35 II

Bose QuietComfort 25

A few years ago, the Bose QuietComfort 25 are the best noise-cancelling headphones we've ever used. The lows, mids and highs came through clear as day, never stepping over each other. Music of all sorts sounded predictably incredible. With the noise-cancellation turned on, we never felt further immersed and concentrated than when we let the QC25 engulf our ears.

But that was a few years ago and time has moved on since. Bose has released not just one sequel to these headphones, but two: the QC35 and QC35 II with Google Assistant built in, both of which we'd recommend above the QC25.

But, it's not all bad. If you don't mind using the older, wired headphones, the QC25s are a finely-tuned set of cans that provide over 35 hours of very good noise-cancelling performance with one AAA battery. 

Read the full review: Bose QuietComfort 25

Bowers and Wilkins are a little late to the noise-cancellation game, but their first foray impresses. 

The PX Wireless aren't just a great sounding pair of headphones, they've also got a number of other interesting tricks up their sleeve. They'll turn on and off automatically depending on whether you're wearing them or not, and they also feature the future-proof USB-C charging standard. 

In our opinion their only downside is the sound quality, which we felt lacks the depth of the flagship headphones from Bose and Sony. 

That said, if you've been a fan of the look of B&W's headphones in the past then the PX Wireless are certainly worth a listen. 

Read the full review: Bowers and Wilkins PX Wireless

If you prefer on-ear noise-cancellation, then the AKG N60NC Wireless are a great pair of headphones. 

At their mid-range price point the headphones offer fantastic value for money, with great sound quality and a level of noise-cancellation performance that's on a level with the much more premium entries on this list. 

These are a fantastically compact pair of headphones, and offer a very complete package for the price. 

Read the full review: AKG N60NC Wireless

With noise-cancelling tech just as effective as that in headphones from rival Bose, and with a more musical sonic ability, the Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC are a definite contender for the noise-cancelling crown. More affordable and easy to travel with, these lightweight headphones are a great value all-rounder, whether for flights, commuter trains or busy offices. 

Design-wise, the Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNCs seem a more slimmed-down, lighter and more focused effort than the bulky and expensive alternatives from Bose and Sony; and crucially, the HD 4.50 BTNCs are just as good with audio, and almost as good on noise-canceling. Whether you're after noise canceling for long-haul ravel, for the commute, or just to stay more productive in a noisy office, the Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNCs are worth considering. 

Read the full review: Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC

With the second generation Plantronics BackBeat Pro, Plantronics went back to the drawing board to fix many of the issues owners complained about the original. The BackBeat Pro 2, therefore, manage to keep all the great things about the original and improved upon its shortcomings, like its bulk and weight. 

In terms of value, the BackBeat Pro 2 are basically a steal. With the BackBeat Pro 2, you’re getting a travel headphone with incredible battery life, supreme comfort, the ability to pair two device as once and, most importantly, good sound quality for the cost. If you don’t want to drop $350 (£290, AU$500) on the Bose QuietComfort 35 or $400 (£330 or AU$700) on Sony’s flagship MDR-1000X, the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 should be on the top of your shopping list. 

Read the full review: Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2

The PXC 550's greatest strength is their sound. Other wireless noise-cancelling headphones might offer a better user interface or better noise-cancellation technology, but ultimately none of the above match up to the sound quality of these Sennheisers. 

However, that said, there are a couple of irritations that prevent us from being able to fully and unreservedly recommend them, such as unresponsive touch controls  These annoyances aren't quite deal-breakers, but there are definitely other noise-cancelling headphones out there that don't suffer from the same issues.

Read the full review: Sennheiser PXC 550

Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones

The Samsung Level On Pro Wireless are one of the few headphones we've tested that feel like they're meant as a package deal for another device. Yes they'll work with every Bluetooth and 3.5mm jack-equipped handset on the market, but you're better off sticking to a Samsung device in order to squeeze every ounce of aural goodness from the Ultra High Quality (UHQ) audio codec.

It's one of the comfiest pair of cans on the market, and they're also much cheaper than a lot of the competition. If it had a better sound quality for the vast majority of cell phone users it would be an easy recommendation but, as it stands, really makes the most sense at checkout when purchased alongside Samsung's Next Big Thing.

Read the full review: Samsung Level On Pro Wireless Headphones

Can't decide which headphones to buy? Check out our guide video below.

We're constantly reviewing new noise-cancelling headphones, but let us know on Twitter if there is a set that you'd like us to take a look at.

from TechRadar – All the latest technology news http://www.techradar.com/news/audio/portable-audio/best-noise-cancelling-headphones-1280490