We’re still poking around the innards of the new Samsung Galaxy S8 smartphone after yesterday’s big reveal. Couple of things to note: the S8 is packing Bluetooth 5, which is a huge improvement over Bluetooth 4 LE, with at least double the range, the ability to stream to two pairs of headphones at the same time, and with its higher data rate, the ability to stream compressed video as well. Also, indoor range is now over 100 feet.
Additionally, the S8 can make the most of the LTE cellular system, with T-Mobile showing the phone can achieve nearly gigabit speeds under, shall we say, laboratory conditions. Out in the real world, speeds will likely be lower, but also much faster than what were used to right now. Impressive. Oh, and T-Mobile also rehashed their “underwater unboxing” stunt they started with the S7, but with a somewhat frightening twist: lots and lots of sharks.
Do not use your feet to steer, please
Some Tesla news: Model S and X owners will be able to drive a little less now that the Version 8.1 software update has arrived. The latest version includes updates to the autonomous driving suite that lifts the maximum speed to 80 miles an hour from 55, and improves other aspects of performance.
However, it also adds a safety aspect in that drivers must put their hands on the wheel now and then to let the car know they haven’t dozed off or are, uh, busy in the back seat as the car blasts down the highway. If no hands show up on the wheel, the car will slow down and eventually stop. Also, the big center touch screen has a scratch pad feature, and Elon Musk tweeted out some artwork he made while we can only assume his car was doing the driving.
Tesla says the update is another step towards full autonomous driving, which it says the latest versions of the Model S and X can essentially do right now, but the legal system is still a bit behind the curve, so for the moment, keep those hands at 10 and 2… at least now and then.
Doesn’t look like any fun at all
Remember that little sci-fi movie Luc Besson made back in the 1990s? What was it? Oh yeah: The Fifth Element.
Heralded at the time as either a future classic or a waste of popcorn, it remains a fun ride to this day. Now, Besson is back with his latest eye-candy extravaganza, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (or just Valerian for short), based on the popular graphic novel. A new trailer just dropped and it looks like another Besson visual mind-bender, with bits of Fifth Element, Star Wars, Avatar, Guardians of the Galaxy and more all stirred in together.
We’ve got more news on our Facebook page and YouTube channel, and be sure to tune in to this week’s DT podcasts: Close to the Metal (computers and such) on Tuesday, Trends with Benefits (general tech shenanigans) on Thursdays, and Between the Streams (movie and TV topics) every Friday.
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- Toyota rolls out an updated autonomous car prototype for CES 2019