Dying Light 2 has been delayed indefinitely – Blog – 10 minute

What just happened? Learning that Cyberpunk 2077 has been delayed until September was disappointing, but at least Dying Light 2 would be here to ease the pain in Spring. Sadly, that’s no longer the case. Publisher Techland has announced that the parkour/zombie game is being delayed indefinitely to allow “more development time to fulfill our vision.”
We’ve seen a few big-name titles delayed recently. In addition to Cyberpunk 2077, the Square Enix-published Marvel’s Avengers and the Final Fantasy 7 remake have also been pushed back, though they have been given new release dates.
Techland never gave a specific reason for the delay. On the Dying Light 2 Twitter account, a note from CEO Pawel Marchewka states: “Our priority is to deliver an experience that lives up to our own high standards and to the expectations of you, our fans.” No possible release date was given, with Marchewka only saying that the company “will have more details to share in the coming months.”

Hey Survivors!Here’s the Dying Light 2 Development Update. pic.twitter.com/CKMkAe2eD7
— Dying Light (@DyingLightGame) 20 January 2020

Dying Light 2 appears to be a massively complex title, with environments that change based on a player’s actions, so extensive testing and bug-fixing are to be expected.
The game is also coming out on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, which could explain the delay as the company focuses on developing for the new systems. It’s even possible that Dying Light 2 won’t arrive until after the next-gen consoles get here this holiday season.

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Second Northern Territory council to light up smart LEDs – Hardware- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Image by Bidgee [CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)]

The City of Palmerston recently became the second Northern Territory council to announce the winner of a smart public lighting tender.
The council will use Telensa’s PLANet intelligent street lighting system to control 4,700 wirelessly connected LEDs, which will be installed over the next 15 months.
The $3 million rollout will make Palmerston one of the largest “smart LED cities” in Australia, according to the council. 
City of Palmerston Mayor Athina Pascoe-Bell estimated the new lights would reduce electricity and maintenance costs by $650,000 a year. The upgrade should also improve lighting “quality” and reliability, which could improve safety, she said.
Telensa is also providing its smart lighting control system to the City of Darwin and Litchfield Council, following a joint procurement process.
Darwin will begin deploying 10,000 smart LED lights next month.
Northern Territory-based electrical company ESPEC will  install the infrastructure and Light Source Solutions, Orangetek and Philips will supply the LED luminaires.
In January 2018, the Northern Territory Government transferred ownership of street lights to local councils.

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Stanford researchers create miniaturized particle accelerator using infrared light – Blog – 10 minute

The big picture: Researchers at Stanford University have created a miniaturized version of a particle accelerator that fits on a silicon chip. It’s not nearly as powerful as its full-size counterpart in its current iteration, mind you, but researchers believe they can scale the design up to reach the requisite amount of power by the end of 2020.
Traditional particle accelerators utilize microwave bursts to help nudge electrons along. Microwaves measure four inches from peak to trough – far too long for their new accelerator. Instead, the team opted to use infrared light which has a wavelength of just one-tenth the width of a human hair. The reduced wavelength allows electrons to be accelerated in far shorter distances but also means that other aspects of the accelerator must be made to scale – 100,000 times smaller than the structures used in traditional accelerators.

To get there, Stanford engineers used inverse design algorithms which essentially allowed them to work backward, specifying how much light energy they wanted the chip to make. This, in turn, helped guide the researchers in building the correct nanoscale structures to bring the photons into proper contact with the electrons.
As it stands, the prototype accelerator is only able to provide a single stage of acceleration; to be useful for research or medical purposes, electrons need to be accelerated to 95 percent of the speed of light. To get there with the current setup, electrons would need to go through another 1,000 of these stages to reach that level.
That may sound daunting but because the accelerator is a fully integrated circuit, increasing its capabilities shouldn’t be all that difficult. In fact, they expect to get there by the end of the year with a chip that’s no bigger than one inch in size.

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The Polaroid Lab uses the light from your phone’s screen to turn digital photos into Polaroids – gpgmail


 

When all of us are carrying phones that can snap a thousand photos a minute and are connected to cloud systems that can store millions, there’s an undeniable charm to physical photos. The ones deemed worthy; the ones so special that they must be transformed from bit to atom.

While photo printers are nothing new, Polaroid is twisting up the concept (and rebooting an idea from a few years back) with the “Polaroid Lab”. It’s a $129 tower that uses the light from your phone’s screen, bounced off a series of mirrors, to make a proper Polaroid from the photos you’ve already taken.

Open your photo in Polaroid’s companion app, place your phone (any iPhone after the 6S, and ‘current models of Samsung, Huawei, Google Pixel, and One Plus’ Android handsets) on top of the tower, and push the red button. A few seconds later, out pops a grey Polaroid. Did it work? You’ll have to wait a few minutes for it to develop, just like the good (?) ol’ days.

Is using light and mirrors better than just sending a picture to a printer over Bluetooth or WiFi and blasting the ink out from a cartridge? Maybe not. But it’s neat! It’s physical and sciencey and fun — and, arguably, as close as you can get to having a “true” Polaroid picture of a moment that’s already happened.

The company says that the Polaroid Lab works with its existing I-Type and 600 series films… which, as any enthusiast could tell you, doesn’t come cheap. Expect each photo printed here to cost you a buck or two. That’s a bit steeper than many at-home printers and definitely pricier than just blasting out some 4x6s at Costco, but this thing will almost certainly still find its audience amongst those going for a certain look.

There’s also a way to “blow up” one photo across a bunch of Polaroids, if you’ve got the film to spare. Here’s a demo video of what that looks like:

If the whole concept seems familiar, you might be remembering the Impossible Instant Lab — a product of a veeeery similar vein that raised over half a million dollars on Kickstarter back in 2012. The Impossible Instant Lab was discontinued in July of 2017… just a few months after the team behind it acquired the rights to the Polaroid brand. This seems to be a reboot of the concept, now with the added weight and officialness of the Polaroid name thrown behind it.

The team behind the Polaroid Lab says it should hit the shelves by October 10th.


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What top enterprise VCs are thinking, using data effectively, ethics, Light, and Flipkart – gpgmail


Top VCs on the changing landscape for enterprise startups

gpgmail had our debut confab for enterprise types this week at Yerba Buena Center in SF, where we heard from Aaron Levie, CEO of Box, Apple VP Susan Prescott of Apple, and Microsoft Azure CTO Mark Russinovich. We were sold out, which perhaps isn’t all that surprising given the amount of interest in enterprise these days. Expect more events to come.

Our Silicon Valley editor Connie Loizos hosted a panel with leading enterprise VCs, and she selected the most interesting points from that conversation and from her calls with them for Extra Crunch members. Hear a bit from Jason Green of Emergence Capital, Rebecca Lynn of Canvas Ventures and Maha Ibrahim of Canaan Partners and what they are investing in these days.

And if you want to hear even more from Jason Green and yours truly, head over to gpgmail’s VC podcast Equity, where we shot live from Yerba Buena along with host Kate Clark with a special focus on enterprise startups.

Maha Ibrahim: I feel like people are focusing too much on metrics and not as much on [the total addressable market]. We make money [when a startup strikes on a] huge, huge market.

But there’s [also] so much correlation between consumer and enterprise startups in that we want customers that love the product. We want customers that come back and come back and come back to us, without us having to pay for them to come back. So the equivalent in a consumer company would be me having to spend advertising dollars to acquire that customer again, as opposed to that customer just coming back because he or she loves what I’m doing. The same goes for the enterprise.

How early-stage startups can use data effectively

Silicon Valley may be obsessed with using data to improve startup outcomes, but the reality is quite a bit more nuanced. Koen Bok, co-founder of interactive design tool Framer, has put together an extensive guide here on how to to use data — and when not to.


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Light Phone’s founders discuss life beyond the smartphone – gpgmail


For a seemingly tough pitch, Light has had little trouble getting noticed. The company has run two successful crowdfunding campaigns for a pair of minimalist phones designed to augment or replace the smartphone. Today the startup announced that it will be shipping the second version of the handset, which introduces a handful of features back into the product, like texting.

Ahead of the launch, we spoke to Light’s founders, Kaiwei Tang and Joe Hollier, about funding, feature glut and the future of the handset.

How it all began

Brian Heater: The project essentially started as an in-house at Google, is that correct?

Kaiwei Tang: We met in 2014 in Google’s incubator called 30 Weeks. That’s where we met and started talking about Light Phone eventually.

Joe Hollier: 30 Weeks program was an experiment that came out of the Google creative lab, and their hypothesis was that if given the right resources, guidance, designers might be able to create new creative startups, and that designers should be on the founding table of companies.

So their hypothesis was that we as designers would be able to imagine a new going to startup in the software application space, and then through designing the end product, which is how the Google creative lab works, we’d be able to inspire the engineers and make the funding investors that we would need to make the product a reality.

Brian: What did you see in the market that wasn’t being fulfilled by countless different smartphone companies?

Joe: People were feeling overwhelmed by their smartphone and craving some escape, and we didn’t really see an escape.


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Light Field Lab raises $28 million to rethink the 3D TV – gpgmail


3D TVs may have grabbed all of the headlines a decade ago at CES, but the tech never found a useful inroad into consumers homes. Not everyone has given up on them, though they look a bit different now.

Light Field Lab, a Bay Area startup that emerged from stealth two years ago, wants to build holographic screens that enable viewers to see “volumetric” 3D without wearing special glasses. You won’t only see depth in the images, you’ll be able to physically move around the display and see new perspectives of the action, giving you the sensation that the digital content is floating mid-air.

“Light field” technology has had a rough go finding its way to market. Lytro, which was developing light field capture cameras, was bought by Google for a pittance and Magic Leap was unable to crack the technology for its first augmented reality product even after raising billions.

Light Field Lab hopes that the tech advances they’ve made for light field displays will be enough to get consumers onboard eventually, though the company certainly has plenty of residual problems from the 3D TV era left that need new solutions thought up.

For now, Light Field Lab isn’t focused on at-home light field experience, rather they want to build a modular platform that lets entertainment venues stack together tons of their devices to create huge 3D video walls that deliver a very unique 3D experience.

It’s a bold prospect but the company now has millions of VC dollars to carry it out.

Light Field Lab announced today that it has scored a $28 million Series A from Bosch Venture Capital and Taiwania Capital with further investment from Khosla Ventures, Samsung Ventures, Verizon Ventures, and Comcast also investing, among others. Last year, the company raised $7 million from Khosla Ventures and Sherpa Capital.

Although Light Field Lab will initially target large format location-based entertainment venues, a version of its holographic technologies will ultimately be developed for the consumer market. “Although Light Field Lab will initially target large format location-based entertainment venues, a version of its holographic technologies will ultimately be developed for the consumer market,” a press release from the company reads.


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TESS Finds Potentially Habitable Super-Earth Just 31 Light Years Away


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NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has only been scanning the skies for about a year, but it has already identified several new candidate exoplanets. As astronomers were working to confirm one recent sighting, they happened upon something unexpected. That solar system, known as GJ 357, hosts not one but three exoplanets. What’s more, one of those planets is a super-Earth in the habitable region of the star. 

TESS uses the transit method to spot exoplanets with its array of cameras, similar to the dearly departed Kepler satellite. It can scan multiple stars at the same time, watching for the telltale dips in light that indicate an exoplanet has passed in front of its host star. That’s what TESS saw in GJ 357, which is only 31 light-years away. To confirm the existence of the exoplanet dubbed GJ 357 b, astronomers used ground-based telescopes to measure the star’s radial velocity. This alternative method looks for tiny changes in light caused when a star “wobbles” in response to the gravity of orbiting planets. 

The team confirmed GJ 357 b, but they also found two more exoplanets now known as GJ 357 c and GJ 357 d. GJ 357 is a small M-type dwarf star, which is 40 percent cooler than the sun. GJ 357 b orbits the star in just 3.9 days and is 22 percent larger than Earth. The surface equilibrium temperature (a measure of solar radiation only) is 490 degrees Fahrenheit (254 degrees Celsius), ruling out life as we know it. GJ 357 c is a bit farther out, but still too hot for life. It’s 3.4 times as massive as Earth and orbits ever 9.1 Earth days. The temperature here is 260 degrees F (127 degrees C).

Astronomers are most interested in GJ 357 d, which sits near the outer edge of the system’s habitable zone with a 55.7-day orbit around the star. It’s 6.1 times more massive than Earth, meaning it could be rocky or gaseous. If it’s a rocky planet, it would be about twice as large as Earth. 

According to the team, GJ 357 d has an equilibrium temperature of  -64 degrees F (-53 degrees C). That sounds too low to be even potentially habitable, but this is only a measure of solar radiation. Earth’s equilibrium temperature is -1 degree F (-18 degrees C), but the atmosphere increases the surface temperature. GJ 357 d gets about as much solar radiation as Mars, and a sufficiently dense atmosphere could allow liquid water to flow on its surface. Astronomers around the world plan to take a closer look at this nearby super-Earth over the coming years.

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Lyft pulls e-bikes in light of apparent battery fires – gpgmail


Lyft is pulling its e-bikes from the streets of San Francisco, as well as from those in the South Bay Area in light of two recently catching on fire. The first reported fire took place over the weekend, with the second one happening today, according to the San Francisco Examiner.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we are temporarily making the ebike fleet unavailable to riders while we investigate and update our battery technology,” a Lyft spokesperson told gpgmail. “Thanks to our riders for their patience and we look forward to making ebikes available again soon.”

The timing couldn’t be worse for Lyft, which recently obtained the right to deploy its dockless pedal-assist bikes in the city following a lawsuit against San Francisco. But with its bikes catching on fire, it surely does not help its argument that it should be the sole provider of bike-share services in the city.

“It is unfortunate that this incident occurred and we are currently monitoring the situation,” an SFMTA spokesperson told gpgmail. “We encourage Lyft to put customer safety first. We have an inquiry into Lyft as to the circumstances surrounding this incident as well as to how they intend to prevent any future fires and ensure the safety of customers and the ongoing operability of the bikesharing system.  Bikeshare is an important part of the SF transportation system.  The Agency is working to ensure that our residents can consistently rely on the safety and availability of bikes.”

This also isn’t the first time Lyft has experienced issues with its e-bikes. In April, Lyft paused its e-bike operations in New York and San Francisco due to injuries associated with overly responsive brakes. It wasn’t until June when Lyft deployed its newly-branded e-bikes in San Jose, Calif.

It’s worth noting that Lyft is not the only micromobility service to experience apparent battery issues. Both Skip and Lime have had to pull their electric scooters in light of the vehicles catching on fire.


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