Japan’s Sony on Tuesday reported an 18.4 percent increase in first-quarter operating profit, beating market expectations thanks to a strong performance in the image sensor business. The electronics firm posted an operating profit of JPY 230.93 billion ($2.1 billion) for the April-June quarter, up from JPY 195.01 billion a year prior. That was above a consensus estimate of 173.61 billion yen from 8 analysts polled by Refinitiv. The company maintained its profit forecast for the year ending March at 810 billion yen.

Sony its earnings report also noted that it had sold 3.2 million PlayStation 4 consoles in the second quarter. Adding that to the total consoles sold at the end of Q1, 96.8 million, we see Sony has passed the 100 million console units sold milestone for the PlayStation 4.

After two years of record profits, Sony is now facing headwinds in the games business, central to the company’s recent revival. The gaming business is expecting larger costs to develop a next-generation console that analysts say will come in 2020, as the five-year old PlayStation 4 nears the end of its life.

But bigger profits at the image sensor business, driven by demand for large-size image sensors and multiple-lens camera systems for smartphones, offset the weakness in the gaming business.

The semiconductor business, which includes image sensors, posted a profit of JPY 49.5 billion, up from JPY 29.1 billion a year earlier.

The gaming business posted a profit of JPY 73.8 billion, down from JPY 83.5 billion a year earlier.

For the latest quarter, sales from the company’s movie division Sony Pictures Entertainment benefited from the higher theatrical revenue from Men in Black: International and Spider-Man: Far From Home. Its video game business benefited from better sales in its PlayStation 4 game console, it said.

Sony’s music unit also improved from the previous year because of the absence of equity losses for EMI Music Publishing recorded the previous year and higher sales, including streaming revenue.

Gains from Spotify have lifted Sony’s bottom line in recent months.

Written with agency inputs


The LEGO Group has this week announced the first ever product collaboration with Netflix, helping to create the LEGO Stranger Things: The Upside Down set. A special launch took place in the Leicester Square LEGO Store in London and The LEGO Store, Flat Iron District, New York City this week. The Stranger Things LEGO set allows fans to build the Byers’ house and the supernatural world of The Upside Down.

Stranger Things LEGO

The Stranger Things LEGO set also includes minifigures of Chief Hopper, Joyce Byers, Eleven, Mike, Lucas and Dustin together with a minifigure version of the Demogorgon. This Stranger Things collectible consists of 2,287 pieces including Hopper’s coffee cup, Eleven’s waffle and Mike’s flashlight. The Stranger Things LEGO set will soon be available to purchase directly from LEGO stores worldwide will be priced at US $199.99 – CA $269.99 – DE €199.99 – UK £179.99

Stranger Things LEGO

“The set is full of authentic details from the award-winning Netflix original show, including the alphabet wall complete with a light-up function, a buildable version of Chief Hopper’s police cruiser and the phone in the Byers’ living room, Step into Will’s bedroom with a buildable bed and stickered elements of the posters decorating Will’s room. There are small Easter eggs to be discovered throughout the house including a ‘Will the Wise drawing’ and a picture of the iconic Mind Flayer hidden in the attic.”

Stranger Things LEGO

– The Byers’ house features a front porch with furniture, living room, dining room and Will’s bedroom.
– The living room features authentic details from the series, like the alphabet wall with a light-up function, couch, coffee table, telephone, axe, ‘have you seen me?’ flyer stickered element and a bear trap to catch the Demogorgon.
– Will’s bedroom plays a central role in the series, which this model faithfully replicates, including details like Will’s boombox, bed, desk, desk lamp, drawings and movie posters.
– The dining room includes an armchair, boxes that store Christmas lights, fantasy game rule book stickered element and a potted plant.
– The attic space includes a Mind Flayer drawing stickered element and a wizard hat for ‘Will the Wise’.
– The Upside Down set captures the look and feel from the Netflix original series, including creepy vines, dark coloring and a dilapidated look.
– Chief Jim Hopper’s police truck includes a removable roof for easy access to the interior and a pumpkin element as a reminder of Season 2.
– Accessory elements include Lucas’ slingshot and flashlight, Dustin’s walkie-talkie and compass, Mike’s flashlight and walkie-talkie, Hopper’s coffee mug, Joyce’s flashlight and drawing of ‘Will the Wise’, and Eleven’s waffle.
– This Stranger Things collectible includes over 2,200 pieces and comes in 11 bags, so the real world and The Upside Down can be built at the same time for a shared building experience.
– Measures over 12” (32cm) tall, 17” (44cm) wide and 8” (21cm) deep.

Stranger Things LEGO

Source: LNR

Enermax has this week announced the availability of its new PC liquid cooling system in the form of the Liqtech II which has been certified by motherboard manufacturers such as ASRock, ASUS, Gigabyte, and MSI. Watch the promotional video below to learn more about the latest systems which are available with two or three cooling fans depending on your reservoir size.

The Liqtech II system is capable of supporting the latest addressable RGB lighting synchronisation technology incorporated into advanced motherboards, offering addressable RGB headers to create dynamic visual effects.

“LIQTECH II, a universal Intel and AMD CPU cooler series, is engineered for high-end desktop processors. With extremely high cooling capacity of TDP 500+ watts, the advanced AIO water cooler can deliver superior, reliable cooling performance, even in extreme overclocking conditions. Furthermore, certified by main motherboard makers (ASRock, ASUS, Gigabyte, and MSI), LIQTECH II supports the addressable RGB lighting synchronization with advanced motherboards featuring addressable RGB headers (pin assignment: 5V/D/-/G) to create stunning lighting effects. LIQTECH II is undoubtedly a perfect AIO cooling solution for overclocked systems, image editing workstations, and high-end gaming machines.”

More details jump over to the official product page by following the link below. All systems will be available from authorised resellers worldwide later this month.

Source: TPU

EPFL startup Flybotix has developed a dual propeller drone which offers a flight time which is twice as long as that of a standard quadcopter. Samir Bouabdallah  has come up with an inventive propulsion system modeled after those used by helicopters, and has over 20 years of experience developing drone technology at EPFL and ETH Zurich.

The new drone features just two propellers as well as using an algorithm that offsets the two rotating forces and serves the same function as a helicopter’s transmission system for stabilisation. Enabling the dual propeller drone to be flown as easily as a quadcopter, using a conventional remote-control.

Dual propeller drone

Bouabdallah’s dual propeller drone Alsop has a unique transmission system and a foam outer enabling it to bounce up obstacles without breaking. One such application for the small drone is inspecting hard-to-reach parts of industrial facilities such as ducts, explain the development team and the first application that Flybotix will target is inspecting dangerous or hard-to-reach areas.

The new drone was showcased in China last month and receive plenty of positive feedback, which will hopefully help the team launch their new drones in the Chinese market.

“The main drawback of small drones is their limited flight time, which results from their heavy batteries and relatively inefficient propellers. So for longer missions, a small drone’s battery has to be regularly recharged or replaced. While engineers are working on new designs to address this problem, no real solution has been found – until now. Samir Bouabdallah, who has over 20 years of experience developing drone technology at EPFL and ETH Zurich, has come up with an inventive propulsion system modeled after those used by helicopters. His design, marketed through his startup Flybotix, uses just two propellers and an algorithm-based stabilization mechanism, giving his drones “the aerodynamic performance of a helicopter and the mechanical stability of a quadcopter.” Recently in China for the CES Asia conference and the Venture Leaders China program, Bouabdallah has decided to explore opportunities in this promising market.”

Source: EPFL

Black Shark 2 Pro has now been launched in China. The phone is powered by the newly launched Snapdragon 855 Plus SoC, packs 12GB of RAM, and offers UFS 3.0 storage. The Black Shark 2 Pro comes with an upgrade in design, as the back panel is touted to offer an improved grip and there are two more RGB LED lights on either side of the Black Shark logo. It also is equipped with upgraded DC Dimming 2.0 and Liquid Cooling 3.0 + technology. The company says that there is slight improvement in display touch response as well.

Black Shark 2 Pro price, availability

Black Shark 2 Pro has been launched in China in two variants. The 12GB RAM + 128GB storage option is priced in China at CNY 2,999 (roughly Rs. 30,000) and the 12GB RAM + 256GB storage option is priced at CNY 3,499 (roughly Rs. 35,000). It has been made available in Electric Black and Ice Ash colour options. The phone is up for reservation, and will go on sale on August 2.

If the company were to follow tradition, this phone should arrive in India a few months later just like the Black Shark 2 phone.

Black Shark 2 specifications, features

The Black Shark 2 Pro is a slightly upgraded variant of the Black Shark 2 phone launched earlier this year. It sports a proprietary Liquid Cool 3.0+ technology that is designed to manage heat dissipation, and DC Dimming 2.0 support is also integrated. The dual-SIM (Nano) Black Shark 2 Pro features a 6.39-inch full-HD+ (1080×2340 pixels) AMOLED display along with TrueView Display support, 19.5:9 aspect ratio, and 430ppi of pixel density and 240Hz refresh rate. It is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus SoC, paired with Adreno 640 GPU and 12GB RAM. Internal UFS 3.0 storage options include 128GB and 256GB.

In terms of optics, the Black Shark 2 Pro also sports a dual rear camera setup that comprises a 48-megapixel primary sensor with an f/1.75 lens and a 12-megapixel secondary sensor with an f/2.2 lens. The rear camera setup supports 2x optical zoom. Also, the phone comes with a 20-megapixel selfie camera at the front that has an f/2.0 lens on top.

The Black Shark 2 Pro packs a 4,000mAh battery with 27W fast charging support. On the connectivity front, the phone comes with 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth v5.0, GPS/ A-GPS, and USB Type-C port. Sensors onboard include an accelerometer, ambient light, and a gyroscope. The phone has an in-display fingerprint sensor, measures 163.61×75.01×8.77mm, and weighs 250 grams.

Solving Rubik’s cube is a great accomplishment. But how would you feel solving a Rubik’s cube size of a skyscraper? Well a computer program has been built by a YouTuber that is capable of solving huge rubic cube. Check out the video to see the computer solve a massive 65,536×65,536 cube or 6,442,450,944 tiles in 2706.16 hours. Don’t worry the video has been sped upper your viewing pleasure.

The solver is a single threaded 64 bit application written in c++. The source code has been posted to GitHub allowing you to tweak and use for your own projects.

“If anyone is interested in a challenge, the application is capable of solving up to a 65,536 layered cube but I predict it will take around 2 years to complete and require just over 24gb of ram. The app is capable of saving its state every few hours in case a reboot is necessary. I’m fairly certain it’s not possible to make this app multi-threaded since there is no reasonable way to break the problem into sub problems that can be distributed; imagine 2 people trying to solve a cube at the same time.

The algorithm I used is explained in more detail the GitHub readme. In short, it solves centers then corners then edges and uses a very efficient commutator that can move many tiles at once. The edges and corners are brute force solved (there is a lot of room for improvement there).

I ran this simulation on an 8700k @ 5ghz and it took a total of 2706.16 hours to complete and generated over 500gb of image data. I set it to export a set of images for each face about every 150,000 moves. Unfortunately there aren’t enough pixels in a 4k video to show every tile on the cube so I had the app export 4-megapixel images for each face and frame of the animation (each face actually contains exactly 1 gigapixel). Those 6 image sequences were used to texture a cube for the final render. In addition the app exports some statistics to a log file which was used to generate the stats in the final video.”

Source: Github : Adafruit : Motherboard

Inno3D has this week unveiled its new iChill Frostbite GeForce RTX 20 series water cooling solution for PC systems designed around NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX series 2080 Ti, 2080 and 2070 graphics cards. The new PC water cooling system has been designed to provide users with “nothing short of excellent cooling for these powerhouse of graphics cards” says Inno3D.

“INNO3D decided it was the right time to bring back water cooling and add this to the iCHILL arsenal, befitting to the power of the new RTX series and its need for the best cooling technology. The iCHILL Frostbite is built with top quality components for supreme functionality whilst catering to the aesthetic demands with its magnificent RGB lighting. The iCHILL Frostbite is built with pure copper and is nickel plated which completely seals the heatsink protecting it. Increased cooling performance is enabled with thin thermal pads and close proximity with radiator and component. It also has ultra-thin cooling fins at 0.6 mm thick that stand 0.6 mm between each other resulting in maximum possible cooling performance.”

For more details jump over to the official Inno3D website.

Source: TPU

A new smart bicycle light system has been created for the “modern cyclist” in the form of LUCIA. The smart bike lighting system includes night detection and advanced triaxial technology to accurately trigger a stoplight when breaking. The rear bicycle taillight has been created by Tempo, a French design team based in Paris. Watch the demonstration video below to learn more about the LUCIA smart bicycle taillight which is already blasted past its required pledge goal thanks to over 400 backers with still 39 days remaining on its campaign.

Early bird pledges are available from €34 or roughly £31 and worldwide delivery is expected to take place during November 2019. Features of the LUCIA include :

– Aerodynamic fitting seat rail, by a custom designed mount.
– Equipped with an advanced triaxial accelerate sensor to accurately trigger a stop light when breaking.
– Integrated light sensor auto-adjusts brightness to your environment
– 180 degree field of view, with visibility up to 1km
– Smart On/Off movement detection, LUCIA turns itself off if no movement is detected & turns instantly on when you start pedaling..
– With an illuminance sensor to automatically turn on when a cyclist rides on dark roads.
– Waterproof: IPX4 to cycle under all weather conditions
– With a LightWeight of 39g
– USB rechargeable Li-Ion battery offers up to 24hr of run time in eco mode

For more information and a complete list of all available page options jump over to the official Kickstarter campaign page by following the link below.

Source: Kickstarter

Google’s latest version of Android — codenamed Q — is all set to arrive in a few months and with it, we can expect a whole bunch of phones to receive the update early-on, other than the Pixel phones. Back in May, Huawei announced a bunch of its phones that are scheduled to get the Q update. This also included some Honor smartphones but there weren’t many of them. Now, Honor India has confirmed that the Honor 8X and the Honor 10 will be getting the Android Q update, whenever it arrives.

Huawei’s initial list of phones, confirmed to get the Android Q update, included the Mate 20, Mate 20 Pro, Mate 20X, Mate 20RS Porsche Design, P30, P30 Pro, Honor V20 and Honor Magic 2. Then, last month, Honor confirmed that the 20 series will also be compatible with the Android Q update but users were curious about support for some of the older models. Replying to a user query on Twitter, Honor India confirmed that the 8X will be compatible with the next version of Android, along with the Honor 10.

Huawei will launch Android Q with its next instalment of EMUI, which will be version 10. According to the latest news, the company is said to introduce this next month during annual developer conference in China. Here, we might catch a glimpse at some of the new features coming to this custom Android skin.

Meanwhile, we’re still seeing some of the older phones being updated to EMUI 9.1. Recently, the Honor 20i (Review) and Honor 10 Lite (Review) got the update, which added features like GPU Turbo 3.0, the ability to set up video ringtones for select contacts, and the ability to trigger the voice assistant by long pressing the power button.

Wired has this week published a new video featuring artist Jeremy Mayer who creates sculptures using the parts from broken and old typewriters. Creating a fantastic variety of different sculptures of insects, birds and human figures, watch the video below to learn more about the process of building the amazing sculptures.

“Artist Jeremy Mayer has dedicated himself to transforming mechanical typewriter parts, and only typewriter parts, into detailed sculptures of birds, insects and human figures.”

For more information on the creations of artist Jeremy Mayer jump over to his official website by following the link below.

Source: JMAdafruit

Image Credit  :  Jeremy Mayer