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Day: October 3, 2017

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Former Intel CEO Paul Otellini passes away

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Paul Otellini, who presided over Intel during some of its most prosperous years, passed away today at the age of 66. The company announced the news in a press release.

Otellini joined the company in 1974, eventually rising to the position of CEO in 2005. Those were the salad days of standalone processors, when home PCs were in an endless megahertz race and Intel traded blows with arch-rival AMD.

Intel under Otellini was fabulously successful: Intel points out that it had more revenue during Otellini’s 8-year tenure than in its previous 45 years put together. He retired in 2013 to a quieter life of philanthropy and mentoring.

The company’s advances under his leadership helped build the industry we all take part in today. Best wishes to Otellini’s family.

Featured Image: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

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Honda’s new robot prototype could help mitigate future disasters

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Honda has a new bipedal robot, which isn’t perhaps as charismatic as Asimo, but which could be a lot more useful. The robot is a disaster relief model, dubbed E2-DR (very Star Wars) which has flexible, articulating joints, a waterproof design and a 2km/h walking rate. The robot can climb ladders, crawl over debris, work in extreme temperatures and has a range of sensors that let it see in almost any lighting conditions – including through depth sensing cameras embedded into its hands.

E2-DR is also designed to work with wireless accessories that can give it various additional capabilities based on the needs of the situation – these could include dexterous appendages for gripping objects or manipulating controls, for instance. The robot stands at 5’5″ and weighs only 187 lbs, a relatively light weight for a bot this size. Plus, it’s only 9.8-inches thick at its thickest point, which allows it to crawl into tight spaces.

The robot also has a 1,000 Wh battery on board which can allow it to operate for up to an hour and a half, which should give it an edge when dealing with more complex scenarios. And its able to bend at the knees, and at the waist, giving it crouch capabilities and a four-legged walking stance when it needs to tackle particularly tricky terrain.

This is still very much a prototype, so it won’t be rescuing anyone anytime soon. But it’s a start, and it’s a working prototype with a lot of potential for future commercial applications.

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Galaxy Note 8 ties iPhone 8 Plus in camera tests

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The iPhone 8 Plus’s reign as “the best smartphone camera” was a mighty short one. DxOMark, the testing outfit many look to for fair evaluations of cameras from DSLRs to phones, gave Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 a 94, tying the iPhone and in some ways exceeding it.

While its video is merely great and its background-blur algorithms unreliable, the Samsung gained on its competition with its outstanding detail and color in everyday settings and super-fast autofocus. Its zoom also outperformed the iPhone’s.

Low-light photos also showed less noise and more detail than its rivals, though HDR mode tended to clip highlights and highly backlit subjects didn’t turn out well. But we all know better than to shoot in a dark room against a bright window, right?

Of course, a lot depends on what you want the camera for, whether you need this or that mode, and, most importantly, whether you’d ever switch from iOS to Android, or vice versa.

But with a class-leading camera and display, the Note 8 is certainly a good bet if you’re deep into the mobile photography game. But with the Pixel 2 right around the corner, you might want to hold onto your wallet for just a little longer.

Featured Image: Darrell Etherington

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