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Showing posts with the label New Releases

EVs: Ford Unveils All-Electric F-150 Pickup Truck

American automaker Ford has unveiled one of its most anticipated vehicles of all time, an all-electric model of its best-selling F-150 pickup truck. For months now, numerous hints had been given by Ford on the model but not a full unveiling as just done. The all-electric model named the F-150 Lightning is a major strategic play to convert the enthusiasm for Ford's top-selling ICE F-Series trucks into the electric market. It's a major attraction to existing Ford customers that'll switch to using electric vehicles while retaining one of their favorite car models. Notably, Ford's F-Series has been America's best-selling pickup truck lineup running back decades. In figures, Ford sold 787,422 F-Series trucks in 2020 alone. Shortly before Ford formally unveiled the F-150 Lightning, the truck was taken for a ride in a factory visit by US President Joe Biden, with him commenting "This sucker's quick". Specs and features The F-150 Lightning's specs and f

Samsung Updates Galaxy A Series With 3 New Phones

As expected regularly, Samsung has unveiled the latest addition of smartphones to its product lineup and this time to the Galaxy A series of mid-range premium smartphones. It's unveiled three new smartphones - Galaxy A52 , A52 5G , and A72 . Samsung unveiled the new Galaxy A phones at the Unpacked event usually held by the company, following an earlier one in January where it unveiled the Galaxy S21 Series . A52 and A52 5G The Galaxy A52 is a glossy smartphone with a 6.5-inch, Super AMOLED display and high-resolution cameras of 64MP at the rear and 32MP at the front. It sports a 4,500 mAh battery that Samsung says provides up to two days of battery life for the smartphone. Other features of the A52 include: 4/6/8GB RAM and 128/256GB internal memory versions Samsung's custom Octa-Core (Dual 2.3GHx + Hexa 1.8GHz) processor Support for MicroSD of up to 1TB Infinity-O (near bezel-less) visual display On-screen fingerprint authentication Water resistance Bluetooth connectivity as us

BMW Unveils First All-Electric Sedan, i4

In a move signaling its increasing commitment towards electrification, German luxury carmaker BMW has unveiled what's its first all-electric sedan, the BMW i4 , that's scheduled to hit the roads by the end of this very year. BMW first teased the all-electric i4 concept at the digital-only Geneva Motor Show last year and has now unveiled a production version that closely matches that concept. The i4 is an electric car that'll come in different versions with the highest having a range of around 300 miles and power of around 390kW (roughly 530 horsepower), BMW says. For now, though, BMW hasn't dished out many details on the all-electric i4 but says it'll do so 'over the next weeks.' However, the car's range and power output have been revealed as disclosed above, being two important pieces of information to note. Notably, BMW has said that it'll offer an M Performance model of the i4. Another notable piece of information is that the i4 will use the late

Electric Carmaker Canoo Unveils New Pickup Truck

Fresh off a public listing through a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC), electric car startup Canoo has unveiled what's its third vehicle, this time a bubbly-looking electric pickup truck. Canoo's newly-unveiled electric pickup truck sets the company as a contender in the American electric truck market which is one that's predicted for huge growth over time . Now, Canoo will be getting head-on with the likes of Tesla, Rivian, Ford, and Lordstown Motors to capture market share in the American pickup truck market as it's set to transition towards all-electric models over time. Canoo's new electric pickup truck is pictured above. It measures six feet and can extend to a fully enclosed eight feet to give way for more space, thanks to a pull-out bed extension that's demonstrated in the image below. At its front, Canoo's pickup truck features a cargo storage area that can hold tools or gear and also includes a fold-down worktable with electri

GM Unveils New Chevy Bolt EVs

The American automaker General Motors (GM) is surely stepping up its electric vehicle game on the backs of its plan to spend $27 billion on electric and autonomous vehicle development from 2020 through 2025. It's just unveiled two new additions to its growing electric car lineup, a usual hatchback and a new compact SUV from its popular Chevy Bolt brand. The new electric vehicles from GM are 2022 models, meaning they'll go into production later this year. With the lineup, GM dropped a surprise with a new Chevy Bolt electric utility vehicle (EUV), essentially a compact SUV. It's the first compact SUV to come from the Chevy Bolt brand and represents GM's bigger rush into the electric vehicle market, with plans to launch 30 new EVs by 2025. GM 2022 redesigned Bolt EV (left) and Bolt EUV (right). Chevy Bolt EUV The 2022 Chevy Bolt EUV is notably the first vehicle from the Chevrolet brand to feature GM's 'Super Cruise' driver assistance system. It's similar

Samsung Unveils Galaxy S21 Series

Samsung has unveiled the latest addition to its Galaxy smartphone lineup: the S21 series consisting of the basic S21, S21+, and S21 Ultra. Respectively, they're priced at $799, $999, and $1,199.  The S21 series will become available to purchase on the 29th of January. S21 Features and Specs of the basic S21 include; A 6.2-inch edge-to-edge display 5G connectivity 10MP front camera and 64MP triple rear cameras 8GB RAM with 128GB / 256GB internal storage 4000mAh battery Fast charging Support for 8K video footage 5nm 64-bit Octa-Core Processor S21+ The Galaxy S21+ is a step-up from the basic S21, with features including: A 6.7-inch edge-to-edge display 5G connectivity 10MP front camera and 64MP triple rear cameras 8GB RAM with 128GB / 256GB internal storage 4800mAh battery Fast charging Support for 8K video footage 5nm 64-bit Octa-Core Processor S21 Ultra The Galaxy S21 Ultra is the most premium version of the S21 series, costing $1,199. Its features include: A 6.8-inch edge-to-edge d

Microsoft Unveils New Surface Pro Tablet

Microsoft has unveiled the latest addition to its lineup of Surface Pro tablets; the Surface Pro 7+ . The new tablet is targeted at business and education customers and will be available in select markets later this month.  The Surface Pro 7+ features 11th Gen Intel Core Processors for high performance and has a battery life of up to 15 hours, Microsoft says.  Targeted at business and education customers and particularly in a time that's accelerated the need for remote work, the Surface Pro 7+ features front and rear-facing cameras with 1080p full HD video as well as Dolby Atmos speakers and dual far-field Studio Microphones for good audio. Other features of the Surface Pro 7+ include; Having both USB-A and USB-C ports Wi-Fi or LTE Advanced configuration Adaptability to dock into external displays 128GB SSD Lightweight, 23% lighter than its predecessor The Surface Pro 7+ tablet comes in four main options: Intel Core i3/8GB RAM/128 GB storage/WiFi, costing $900 Intel Core i5/8GB RAM

Apple Debuts 'AirPods Max' Headphones

The tech giant Apple has introduced yet another gadget, this time new wireless headphones named "AirPods Max" which it touts as bringing "the magic of AirPods to an over-ear design with high-fidelity sound". The new AirPods Max is one of the few headphones released under the Apple brand and is priced at $549. The AirPods Max packs features including noise cancellation; a "Transparency Mode" that lets users simultaneously listen to music while hearing the environment around them; voice commands via Siri; and the ability to sense and pause music once the headphones are removed or when the user simply lifts one ear cup. The AirPods Max is fitted with the powerful Apple-designed H1 chip. It provides battery life of up to 20 hours after a full charge, Apple says.  The AirPods Max have been made available for sale already, starting at $549. It's more than double the cost of AirPods Pro ($249) and nearly four-times the cost of the basic AirPods ($159).  The r

Varjo Unveils New VR/XR Headsets

The Finnish virtual reality startup Varjo has announced the launch of two new headsets, one a virtual reality headset named VR-3 , and the other an extended reality (a compromise between virtual and augmented reality) headset named XR-3 .  The new headsets are professional-grade and PC-tethered, made for use in industrial settings just like Varjo's previous headsets. The VR-3 and XR-3 headsets both have features including a 115° field of view, integrated eye and hand tracking, a refresh rate of 90 Hz, a 3-point precision fit headband, and 40% lighter weight compared to its predecessor. The XR-3 notably features Lidar sensors that makes it function as both a virtual and augmented reality headset, hence the XR name. The VR-3 and XR-3 headsets both have sharp screens, each using two panels for each eye: a small 1920 x 1920 display for center vision and a 2880 x 2720 for the rest of the screen. Notably, those are some of the sharpest screens that can be found in current VR and AR heads

Ford Unveils New Electric Van

  Photo credit: Ford American automaker Ford has unveiled a new all-electric version of its popular Transit cargo van, this time the E-Transit van that's priced at $45,000 and is set for release in late 2021. The E-Transit van will deliver an estimated range of 126 miles, according to Ford, and feature fast-charging that can deliver 45 miles of range in as low as 15 minutes. To keep intact the cargo capacity for the electric version of the Transit van, Ford has intuitively placed its battery underneath the vehicle's body, giving way for 487.3 cubic feet of internal cargo space. The automaker says it's targeting a maximum payload of up to 4,290 pounds for the E-Transit van, which is differentiated by three roof height and three body length versions that customers can pick from. Photo credit: Ford The unveiling of a new electric van falls under Ford's commitment to invest $11.5 billion in electrification through the year 2022. Before now, the company had unveiled electr

BMW Unveils iX Electric SUV

  Photo credit: BMW Automaker BMW has unveiled the BMW iX , an electric SUV that'll go into production in the second half of next year and come up for sale in early 2022. BMW says the new SUV will have a driving range of over 300 miles (480 km) and will be able to accelerate from o to 100km/h in under 5 seconds. Like many other electric vehicles, the BMW iX will feature fast-charging technology, whereas BMW says its battery should be able to go from 10% to 80% in under 40 minutes of charging. Photo credit: BMW The BMW iX feels similar to other BMW SUVs, with a length and width that's similar to the BMW X5, a height that's very close to the BMW X6, and wheels that are very similar to that of the BMW X7.  Inside, the BMW iX gives the usual luxurious ambience that's found in other BMW vehicles. It's spacious and features displays and controls that are stripped down to the essentials. The iX is the first true long-range electric vehicle to be produced by BMW given the a

Apple Debuts New Mac Mini

  Photo credit: Apple Apple has unveiled three new additions to its lineup of Mac computers, a new MacBook Air , MacBook Pro , and Mac Mini. The three new additions are notable for featuring the Apple M1 chip, which is the first chip built by Apple specifically for the Mac and is the company's most powerful chip ever. Thanks to the M1, the new Mac Mini packs very high performance in a compact design. Per Apple, the new Mac mini performs up to 3x faster and delivers graphics up to 6x faster than its predecessor. Apple says it runs machine learning workloads up to 15x faster than previous Mac Minis, giving way for applications that make use of machine learning to run much faster.  Per Apple, the new Mac Mini performs better than its predecessor in these ways; Compile code in Xcode up to 3x faster.  Play a graphics-intensive game with up to 4x higher frame rates.  Render a complex timeline in Final Cut Pro up to 6x faster.  Take music production to new levels by using up to 3x as many

Apple Debuts New MacBook Pro

  Photo credit: Apple On Wednesday, Apple unveiled its most powerful chip ever, the M1 chip that's designed specifically for the Mac. Packing 16 billion transistors, it's the first processor that Apple has built specifically for its Mac lineup of computers. As such, Apple has unveiled three new additions to the Mac lineup that feature the M1 chip; a new MacBook Air , a new Mac Mini, and a new MacBook Pro. The new MacBook Pro is the most powerful ever thanks to the M1 chip. Per Apple's words, it's up to 2.8x faster and delivers graphics of up to 5x faster than its predecessor. It does well in battery life, with up to 17 hours of wireless web browsing and 20 hours of video playback after a full-charge, per Apple. Per Apple, the new MacBook Pro performs better than the previous generation in these ways; Build code in Xcode up to 2.8x faster. Render a complex 3D title in Final Cut Pro up to 5.9x faster.  Fluidly design intricate game scenes in Unity Editor up to 3.5x faste

Apple Debuts New MacBook Air

  Photo credit: Apple Just a short while after debuting the iPhone 12 , Apple is back yet again with the debut of a new MacBook Air, this time a new MacBook Air that features the newly-unveiled Apple M1 chip. The M1 is the most powerful chip that Apple has ever created and is designed specifically for the Mac. It's made up of an astounding 16 billion transistors, the highest number of transistors Apple has ever put into a chip. The new MacBook Air does well in battery life, with up to 18 hours of video playback and 15 hours of wireless web browsing after a full charge, per Apple's statement. It features Apple's latest image signal processor on the M1 chip that caters to high-quality camera footage. Compared to its predecessor, the new MacBook Air performs up to 3.5x faster thanks to an 8-core CPU and delivers graphics up to 5x faster thanks to an 8-core GPU. On the new MacBook Air, machine learning workloads are up to 9x faster compared to its predecessor, giving way for a

DJI Debuts The Mini 2

  Photo credit: DJI Drone maker DJI has debuted the successor to the popular Mavic Mini drone, this time unveiling a drone with a maximum transmission range of 10km, a 150% increase compared to its predecessor, and up to 31 minutes of flight time, with the ability to withstand wind speeds of up to 24mph. The new Mini 2 as it's named features the iconic folding design that makes moving around with the drone fairly easy. The new Mini 2 is capable of recording 12-megapixel images and a maximum video resolution of 4K/30fps @100 Mbps. It's able to fly backward and upward and track subjects via its camera. Now, with the Mini 2, a cell phone can be connected directly to the drone without the need for a remote controller.   Photo credit: DJI  Like other DJI drones, the Mini 2 packs safety features such as geo-fencing to keep drones away from sensitive areas like airports and a 'Return to Home' option that can be activated to take the drone back to the originating position of

Apple Working On New AirPods: Report

Photo credit: Apple Apple is working on two new AirPods models; a third-generation entry-level version and the second version of the AirPods Pro earbuds, according to a report [paywalled] by Bloomberg . The entry-level AirPods as it name suggests is one that'll likely be cheaper compared to other AirPods but will assumedly not have higher-end features like others. Apple is working to make a new AirPods Pro that'll be more compact by getting rid of the short stem that currently sticks out of the bottom, Bloomberg reports. The design in testing is said to be that of a round shape that'll better stick to users' ears without the need of a supporting handle, a design that's currently adopted by the competing Samsung Galaxy Buds. Apple is said to be considering launching the new AirPods in the first half of next year. Apple has seen huge success from the AirPods since it launched the product in 2016. Although the company doesn't disclose revenue figures solely for th

GM Unveils The Hummer EV

Photo credit: GM American automaker General Motors (GM) has unveiled an all-electric make of its popular Hummer brand of rugged trucks, this time named the GMC Hummer EV . The new truck is the first fully electric addition to the GMC brand of vehicles and is one that'll be powered by the new 'Ultium' batteries made by General Motors and draw its power from the new 'Ultium Drive' electric motors. The new Hummer EV will provide an estimated 1,000 horsepower and 11,500 lb-ft of torque for driving. Among its notable features include an underbody armor consisting of sturdy steel plates that are strategically placed around the vehicle's battery pack; new front and rear underbody cameras that'll help drivers to navigate obstacles both on and off-road; a 4 wheel steer system; and an 800-volt DC public fast-charging system. Photo credit: GM Photo credit: GM The GMC Hummer EV will have a range of 350 miles on a full charge. Production of the new vehicle is scheduled

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Alert: Nikola Founder Trevor Milton Indicted On Fraud Charges

The founder of embattled electric car startup Nikola Corp. has been formally indicted on fraud charges by the US Justice Department months after resigning from the company. Trevor Milton by name, he's been accused of securities and wire fraud in connection with a scheme to defraud and mislead investors. Milton is accused of misleading investors by making false statements regarding Nikola's products and capabilities. Notably, most of the investors allegedly misled were on the retail side. The DOJ alleges that Milton made false claims regarding "nearly all aspects" of Nikola's business. Milton founded Nikola in 2014 and led it through a public listing via a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) last year. The DOJ threw an apparent jab at SPACs in his indictment, asserting that he made 'many' of his false and misleading claims  during a period where he would not have been allowed to do so under rules that govern traditional IPOs were he

Earnings: AMD Doubles Revenue, Triples Profit

In this earnings season, companies all over are dropping their latest quarterly results and we're here equally reporting on them. We've touched on social media companies Snap Inc and Twitter , electric carmaker Tesla , and iPhone maker Apple . Now, the next is chipmaker AMD Inc . AMD has dropped its earnings for the second quarter of 2021, showing strong prospects as revenue doubled year-over-year and net income more than tripled.   Details AMD posted $3.9bn in revenue in Q2, up 99% year-over-year and 12% from the preceding quarter. For the same period, the company's net income was $710mn , up 352% year-over-year and 28% from the preceding quarter. Doubling its revenue and nearly quadrupling net income indicates AMD has a strong yet fast-growing business. It's bound to grow even more as the company is set to complete its acquisition of rival chipmaker Xilinx . AMD makes money selling high-performance chipsets used in computers, consoles, data centers, and the likes

Antitrust: Amazon Fined $900M By EU For Privacy Violations

Tech behemoth Amazon is for the nth time in the crosshairs of the European Union (EU). The latest saga in that arena is that Amazon has been fined a record-breaking amount for alleged privacy violations, according to an SEC filing from the company. Amazon has been fined the sum of €746 million ($888mn) by the Luxembourg National Commission for Data Protection (CNPD) for not complying with data privacy laws. It's the largest fine imposed under Europe's data protection law.  The fine originates from the CNPD accusing Amazon of processing customers' personal data in violation of the EU's famous-cum-infamous General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) laws.  In June, it was reported ( WSJ )  that the Luxembourg data protection agency had sanctioned Amazon's privacy practices and proposed a fine topping $425mn to the EU's other two-dozen or so national data protection authorities. Now, it appears that the final fine is much larger than that.  Before now, the bigges

Deal: Qualtrics Buys CX Startup Clarabridge For $1.1B

Months after getting spun out of SAP into a separate public company, Qualtrics , a major provider of online survey software, has made a major acquisition. It's agreed to buy Clarabridge , a startup that does similar work to Qualtrics in the field fondly referred to as "customer experience (CX)". Qualtrics will pay $1.1bn all with shares to buy Clarabridge. The acquisition is a major strategic play for the company, pairing Qualtrics' customer survey business with Clarabridge's similar business of measuring customer sentiment from various sources like social media posts and customer support calls. Basically, Qualtrics is in the business of weighing customer surveys directly and Clarabridge in the business of doing so indirectly . Pairing both businesses represents a major strategic play for Qualtrics. In an investor presentation, Qualtrics said that Clarabridge has $100mn in annual revenue, implying an 11x multiple that it's paying to buy the company. That&#

Deal: Amgen Buys Biotech Startup Teneobio In $2.5B Deal

It appears that this Covid era has led to a boom for companies that work on  antibodies , which are protective proteins produced by the human immune system to tackle foreign substances, usually viruses. Antibodies are very useful in the research and treatment of viruses such as Covid. There are companies that specialize in antibodies and one of them, BioLegend , was recently bought for a whopping $5.3bn . Now, another such company, Teneobio , is getting bought for a big amount. Teneobio has agreed to be acquired by Amgen , an American biotech giant. Amgen is paying $900mn upfront for the company, then an additional $1.6bn in cash contingent on the company hitting certain milestones. It sums up to a $2.5bn deal . Teneobio is a clinical-stage biotech startup working on antibodies aimed at treating cancer, autoimmunity, and other infectious diseases. As it's still in the clinical trial stage with no viable product yet, it appears that Amgen is betting big on Teneobio's trials b

Antitrust: UK Probes Facebook's $1B Kustomer Acquisition

The UK's antitrust agency has launched a probe into Facebook's latest acquisition, that of chatbot platform Kustomer Inc , which Facebook agreed to buy last November for a reported $1bn. The UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) on Friday, the 30th of July, released a statement  indicating it had opened an inquiry into Facebook's purchase of Kustomer, regarding if it'll result in "a substantial lessening of competition" within the market Kustomer operates in. Such probes aren't out of the norm and are routine for big acquisitions. For Facebook, it speaks to the fact that antitrust agencies are watching the company's moves, especially regarding acquisitions. To note, two of Facebook Inc's biggest products outside the main Facebook platform, Instagram and WhatsApp , were acquisitions. In fact, it's primarily acquisitions that have propelled the company's growth. As with such probes, the UK will first seek comments from the public

Hollywood: Reese Witherspoon's Media Co. Sold In $900M Deal

A media company founded by superstar actress Reese Witherspoon has sold for a large amount to a company still in its infancy that hasn't even been named yet. That company is Hello Sunshine , a media company that produces content distributed across various platforms; movies, TV shows, podcasts, et al. Hello Sunshine has been sold to a newly-formed media venture t hat's backed by investment capital from Blackstone , the private equity giant.  The venture is led by ex Disney honchos Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs .  As it is, the Blackstone-funded venture is acquiring a majority stake in Hello Sunshine from a group of external investors while anchor shareholders like Witherspoon and her founding partners will roll over and retain their equity stakes in the newly-formed venture. Officially, the deal's financial terms weren't disclosed, but a report from The Wall Street Journal says it's a $900mn deal. According to the report, the Blackstone-funded venture will pay $500mn

Earnings: Shopify Beats Estimates, Reaches Major Milestone

In this season of earnings results and we at The Techee  reporting on them, we're here with a beat on Shopify , which has released its earnings statement for the second quarter (April-June) of this year. In Q2, Shopify beat revenue expectations from analysts and as well achieved a major financial milestone by crossing $1bn in quarterly revenue for the first time. Shopify had $1.1bn in revenue in the quarter, up 57% year-over-year. Net income for the same period was $897mn , most of which was due to a $778mn gain in equity investments, likely from Shopify's stake in Affirm , a major 'buy now, pay later' lender. As usual, most of Shopify's sales ( $785mn ) came from "Merchant Solutions", which groups additional services the company offers atop recurring subscriptions charged to online retailers. Sales from subscriptions came at $334mn in the quarter. Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV), representing the total worth of transactions made on the Shopify platform,

Alert: Square Buys Australia's Afterpay For $29B

It's a big day in the fintech world. There's been a major acquisition with a major American fintech company, Square , buying Australia's foremost fintech startup, Afterpay , a 'buy now, pay later' lender. Square has reached an agreement to buy Afterpay for a whopping $29bn , marking one of Australia's biggest buyouts. It's a big deal that a startup founded barely seven years ago is selling for $29bn.  Square will pay the $29bn all with shares. It means that shares of Afterpay, which are traded on the Australian Securities Exchange, will be exchanged for Square stock traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Afterpay is Australia's foremost 'buy now, pay later (BNPL)' lender in online retail. For the uninitiated, the 'buy now, pay later' business is a relatively young one providing alternatives to credit cards for consumers to shop online. It provides loans for consumers to shop online and then pay back in installments. Usually, credi

Markets: US SEC Takes Aim At Chinese IPOs

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has taken a swipe at Chinese initial public offerings (IPOs) after regulatory hiccups in China have affected many Chinese stocks listed on US markets and American stockholders holding them. The SEC has issued new guidance on Chinese companies seeking to list shares in the US, requiring them to make certain disclosures to investors or otherwise refrain from listing in the US markets. First of all, usually, Chinese companies listing in the US don't actually sell shares of the operating companies but that of shell companies with contractual relationships with the operating companies. These shell shares, known as American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) , are used to circumvent restrictions on foreign ownership of Chinese shares imposed by the country's government. Now, the SEC in a statement has made it clear that Chinese companies seeking to list in the US must provide clear descriptions of the shell operations involved in such listing