Category Archives: Hardware

The Amazon Echo now doubles as a home intercom system

 Amazon will officially release the Show in a few days, but in the meantime, the company is introducing a long-awaited intercom feature for existing Echo devices. The addition uses Drop-In, a teleconferencing feature introduced on the Show that lets close friends and family members call into one another’s device with little warning. I really didn’t like the feature when I tested… Read More

The Echo Show is a small step for Echo, a big leap for Amazon

 The Echo Show isn’t a great piece of hardware. It’s beefy and clunky, and kind of looks like something that fell off the back of a RadioShack truck in the late-80s. The display isn’t great (there’s a reason the company’s not talking specs) and sure, the speaker gets loud, but if you’re looking for music playback, there are thousands of better Bluetooth… Read More

Anki’s Cozmo gets a free update aimed at helping kids learn to code

 You can’t throw a rock without hitting a coding toy these days. In just the last couple of weeks both Apple and Sony have announced new initiatives, and now Overdrive-maker Anki is getting in on the action with Code Lab, a simple and free programming language designed to teach kids to code with its Pixar-inspired robot, Cozmo. The move is no-brainer on Anki’s part. The hardware… Read More

Google Home arrives in Canada

 Google Home is now available to buy in Canada, making it the first of the major virtual assistant speaker devices to land in the country. The expansion follows pre-orders kicking off at Google and other retailers earlier this month, and beats Amazon’s Echo to the punch in America’s northern neighbor. Home’s launch in Canada comes with some caveats: Unlike in the U.S., only… Read More

Taking a ride in MIT’s self-driving wheelchair

 Over the past few months, CSAIL’s (MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory) self-driving wheelchair has become a familiar sight around the MIT halls. It’s a nice little rolling advertisement for the lab’s work — and more importantly, it’s a great opportunity to test the mobility device in a real world setting. As students wander by in groups,… Read More

Logitech’s Slim Combo for iPad Pro really boosts your portable productivity power

 Logitech has a long history of making keyboard accessories for iPad, and it has a new product out in time for the release of the latest iPad Pro 10.5 and 12.9 updates. The Slim Combo, which is available for either size device, includes a back cover case with an integrated Apple Pencil sleeve, and a keyboard that uses the iPad’s Smart Connector. The two piece approach results in a slim… Read More

IBM is working with the Air Force Research Lab on a TrueNorth 64-chip array

 IBM is working with the U.S. Air Force to improve its TrueNorth line of chips designed to optimize the performance of machine learning models at the hardware level. The new 64-chip array will consist of four boards, each with 16 chips. IBM’s chips are still too experimental to be used in mass production,  but they’ve shown promise in running a special type of neural network… Read More

Pebble founder Eric Migicovsky and Airbnb growth lead Gustaf Alstromer join Y Combinator

 Y Combinator is officially adding three new team members to its roster this morning. Gustaf Alstromer, formerly product leader of Airbnb’s growth team, is joining YC as a partner. Meanwhile Pebble founder Eric Migicovsky is taking a visiting partner role and Jocelyn Robancho is coming on board to assist with organizing YC’s startup batches. Though Alstromer and Migicovsky… Read More

AMD muscles in on Xeon’s turf as it unveils Epyc

AUSTIN—Today, AMD unveiled the first generation of Epyc, its new range of server processors built around its Zen architecture. Processors will range from the Epyc 7251—an eight-core, 16-thread chip running at 2.1 to 2.9GHz in a 120W power envelope—up to the Epyc 7601: a 32-core, 64-thread monster running at 2.2 to 3.2GHz, with a 180W design power.

AMD initially revealed its server chips, codenamed "Naples," earlier this year. Since then, we've known the basics of the new chips: they'll have 128 PCIe lanes and eight DDR4 memory controllers and will support one or two socket configurations. With today's announcement, we now know much more about how the processors are put together and what features they'll offer.

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Sony soft launches an educational robotics coding kit on Indiegogo

 Every tech and toy company, from Apple to Hasbro, has an educational coding offering these days. Sony’s Koov kit has been kicking around Japan for a while now, and should be pretty familiar to anyone who’s spent time with Lego’s educational initiatives — it’s a set of blocks, sensors, motors and actuators that pair with a mobile app. Now Sony is ready to bring the… Read More