Google’s I/O party focuses on the future of all things Alphabet

Tech from A to Z

Google’s big annual show-and tell-festival, I/O, kicks off today in Silicon Valley. Being at the forefront of many tech frontiers including artificial intelligence, self-driving cars, VR, AR and so on, Google has a lot to talk about, and we’re listening to every word.

Team DT is in Mountain View to get the latest on the upcoming “O” version of Android, what’s next for Google Home, and more details on the big Project Daydream VR undertaking.

We also have links to watch I/O live online and we’ll be sending news your way throughout the conference, so stay tuned.

So close, yet so far

One of the most competitive segments in PC tech right now centers on GPUs, those computers-inside-a-computer that let you blast your way through video games at 60 frames a second (hopefully), and are also becoming a valuable R&D tool in A-I and other fields.

AMD and Nvidia are currently battling it out for GPU supremacy, with AMD pulling the wraps off its first long-awaited graphics card based on their new “Vega” architecture. And now it’s here – with a big asterisk. Quaintly called the “Radeon Vega Frontier Edition,” the first hot-rod Vega card isn’t for gaming. Instead, AMD says it’s for “AI, creatives, and science pioneers.” But there’s going to be a gaming one soon, right? Well, we certainly hope so.

In the meantime, the RVFE GPU’s specs are impressive: 13 trillion operations per second, 64 compute units, 16 gigs of memory cash, and the latest memory tech capable of shoving 480 gigabytes of data around every second. Damn, that sounds awesome… for gaming. But for now, it’s going to be awesome for people doing CAD work, machine learning research, and other not-gaming types of things. The card comes out next month, and the very steep price is still TBD.

We’re gonna need a new record book

Hey drone fans, and that certainly includes us: we know what you’re thinking every time you fly: just how big would a drone have to be to lift you up and fly you around? YouTuber Casey Neistat sort of answered that question last year in this video, which featured a custom-built drone that was able to lift and his snowboard, and now some folks in Latvia have built another human-lifting flying machine, which they used to perform the first parachute jump from a drone.

Just to be safe, skydiver Ingus Augstkalns got a lift from the custom-built drone from atop a platform, so he could pull his chute if things went wrong. But they didn’t, and after the drone lifted him up to about a 1,000 feet, Ingus hit the silk for a safe landing and a spot in the record books.

The team who built the drone says it can lift 200 kilos, or 440 pounds, and you can bet it’s now game on in the human-lifting drone space.

Aside from Casey’s antics and this parachute stunt, such a drone could be a fantastic tool for search and rescue, disaster relief or even on the battlefield. But, yeah, we know: we just want to fly around with one too.

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.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robo sidekicks, AC for your bed, and more

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the Web this week. You can't buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Computing

Nvidia introduces its eighth-generation ‘Turing’ design, but not in gaming cards

Nvidia revealed its new graphics chip design called “Turing” during SIGGRAPH 2018. Rumored to be the foundation of Nvidia’s next family of GeForce cards, the company instead showcased Turing in Quadro RTX-branded cards for pros.
Computing

Turn your desk into a command center with the best ultrawide monitors

Top of the line ultrawide monitors have the deepest curves, the sharpest colors, and the biggest screens on the market today. You’re going to want one, sooner or later. So why not sooner? These are the best ultrawide monitors you can buy…
Computing

From hot rods to budget sleepers, our favorite desktops can handle anything

Are laptops overrated? Experience the power offered by the best desktop computer on the market today, whether you're in need of a budget solution or a fire-breathing, $4,000 premium gaming rig. These are the best desktop computers you can…
DT Daily

The sound of silence? Jaguar gives iPace electric car a Jetsons buzz

Jaguar gives their new electric car a bit of a buzz, Apple plans on blocking new way law enforcement accesses locked iPhones, Sony has its hands full of complains about Fortnite access on the Nintendo Switch.
DT Daily

Be the king of Kong again as the iconic game lands on the Nintendo Switch

Rescue the princess and find true (retro) love as Donkey Kong comes to the Nintendo Switch, Grayshift says they can beat Apple's new security move, foldable Samsung phone may be just months away.
DT Daily

Apple iOS 12 update will include precise location data if you call 911

Apple says tech from RapidSOS will pinpoint your location in a 911 call, Microsoft snaps up student video maker company FlipGrid, we bring the bump and new audio tech to a DT staffer's mature car.
DT Daily

Call the Beastie Boys, Elon says there’s sabotage going on at Tesla

Apple fined millions by Australia for 2016 'Error 53' debacle, Elon says everyone is out to get Tesla including a disgruntled worker, Google's Messenger gets a long-awaited Apple-ish feature.
DT Daily

Not another notch: Oppo’s Find X smartphone camera pops up for pix

Honda's Insight hybrid grows up and turns 20, Microsoft plugs their new News app into an AI, Oppo Find X smartphone camera plays hide and seek.
DT Daily

IGTV video app rolls out right as Instagram tops a billion monthly users

Now you can start losing your digital car keys as well, Instagram (and by extension, Facebook) takes aim at YouTube with the new IGTV app, and Apple wrestles with their complicated wireless charging technology.
DT Daily

Latest LCD Apple iPhone rumors point to cost-cutting design, lower price?

New clues to a possibly less-spendy iPhone X variant emerge, The Glitch Mob takes EDM into VR and on the road "live", Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom opens tonight and we have a review.
DT Daily

Why are some monitor makers using 4K panels in lower resolution models?

German site claims some monitor makers are down-rezzing 4K monitor panels, Apple may debut upgraded AirPods, we have some design idea changes for the next iPhones.