Author: bgr

Apple’s upcoming iPad might support the Apple Pencil despite being cheap

At a special event scheduled to take place in Chicago next week, Apple will reportedly introduce a more wallet-friendly 9.7-inch iPad in an effort to curry favor with educators who often make computing purchasing decisions based on economic considerations. Alongside a more affordable iPad, there are also rumblings that Apple next week will introduce some new pieces of software geared towards classroom use.

As to what features Apple’s forthcoming budget iPad might come with, it stands to reason that we won’t see Face ID or the inclusion of a next-gen processor. Remember, Apple reportedly wants its education-based tablet to compete on price, which is to say that some of the company’s more advanced technologies will likely not be included.

That said, a new research note from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (via MacRumors) raises the possibility that Apple’s forthcoming iPad may include support for the Apple Pencil, all in an effort to better differentiate it from a selection of competing Android tablets in the same price range.

On a related note, Kuo is also of the mind that Apple Pencil sales could very well double this year, jumping from approximately 4.5 million in unit sales last year to upwards of 10 million in sales this year.

For what it’s worth, the invitation Apple sent out for its upcoming special event features an Apple logo that was seemingly created using the Apple Pencil.

As a final point, it’s worth mentioning that rumors of a low-cost iPad aren’t exactly new. This past December, a report emerged claiming that Apple was working on a 9.7-inch iPad priced at $300 or less. As it stands now, the cheapest iPad model Apple currently sells retails for $329.

That massive garbage patch in the ocean is bigger and grosser than ever

The Great Pacific garbage patch is now bigger than it’s ever been, covering an area that spans 1.6 million square kilometers. That’s up to 16 times larger than previous estimates had suggested, and its growth shows no signs of slowing. The patch, which is littered with tens of thousands of tons of floating garbage, is perhaps the most obvious reminder that mankind has truly messed up this planet.

The newest survey, which was conducted by The Ocean Cleanup Foundation, was authored by over a dozen international scientists and aided by countless volunteers and researchers attempting to capture the full scope of the crisis. It is now estimated that as many as 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic make up the patch, which is a colossal cleanup task that most nations seem satisfied to ignore.

The patch was first discovered back in the mid 1980s when chunks of free-floating chemical sludge, plastics, and other debris was found to be congregating in one particular area of the Pacific. Today, scientists know that the patch is the result of a combination of ocean currents that corral tons of manmade trash into a vortex of sorts. It covers and absolutely huge area, comparable to three times the size of France, or twice the size of Texas.

Contrary to what many believe, the patch isn’t a garbage island, but rather a massive area of the Pacific that has an incredibly high plastic density. Plastic trash which has broken up over time turns into smaller chunks that now fill the patch. Discarded fishing nets, bottles, and buckets, and countless unidentifiable plastic chunks have been pushed into this one area, and it’s a death sentence for many marine animals and aquatic birds.

According to the researchers, up to 46% of the trash is the byproduct of the fishing industry, with many nets and crates littering the patch and breaking down into smaller chunks over time. Eventually, all the larger pieces of plastic will become microplastics which are deadly to fish and other marine life. And it’s not just about protecting the ocean ecosystem, as many contaminated fish are often caught and end up on dinner tables. Unless you like your fish sandwich with a side of invisible plastic particles, this is something we all need to be paying attention to.

$44 and 15 minutes is all it takes to convert any car to LED headlights

The best thing about the new crop of LED headlights on cars is that they increase visibility so much compared to standard halogen headlight bulbs. The worst thing about them is that they’re typically found on either expensive luxury cars, or they’re an expensive option on regular cars. But why buy a $1,500 package that includes LED headlights when you can buy the CougarMotor LED Headlight Bulbs All-in-One Conversion Kit for just $44? It comes in every bulb size so it works in any car, and it only takes about 15 minutes to install even if you have no experience working on cars.

Here are the bullet points from the product page:

  • HIGH POWER: Top CREE LED chips with 60W per pair. Cool White 6000K. High luminous efficacy Flux Up to 7200LM per pair. 200% brighter than your stock Halogen headlights.The latest technology to ensure a perfect beam pattern without any dark spots or foggy light.
  • HEAT KILLS: Whole aluminum housing 10,000 RPM Powerful TurboCool fan to ensures your LED Headlight bulbs Over 50,000 hrs of brilliant continuous light.
  • EASY INSTALLATION: Can be installed in 20 mins. plug and play. These bulbs are CanBUS-Ready and will work with most vehicle’s computer system without error. If you are not sure whether the right, please contact us before purchase.
  • LONGER LIFE: Last more than 50,000 Hours. Works underwater! Rainproof driver, housing, and fan works even in extreme situations.
  • WARRANTY: Buy with confidence.We offer 3 year warranty and lifetime support.

Cinema subscription service MoviePass is somehow getting even cheaper

MoviePass, the Netflix of cinemas that lets you watch a different movie in a theater every day for a monthly fee that’s cheaper than a single ticket, is now even cheaper.

Only about a month ago MoviePass dropped the monthly fee to $7.95, and now that price is $1 lower. Originally priced at $9.95, the MoviePass subscription now costs $6.95, which sounds like it’s way too good to be true. How are they even making any money?

We have no idea how profitable MoviePass really is, but it sure looks like Helios and Matheson Analytics (HMNY), the majority stakeholder, is interested in signing up as many users as possible for the time being.

“MoviePass has gained momentum in diversifying its revenue streams due to a series of marketing agreements with studios and distributors, as well as partnerships with a number of theater exhibitors,” the company said in a press release, without providing any actual details about its revenues. “This recent success in forming relationships with studios, exhibitors, and marketing partners has encouraged MoviePass to offer an even more attractive deal to consumers.”

The company did say that it currently has more than two million subscribers, which is an impressive number given that the service only launched late last year. MoviePass subscribers “contributed during recent opening weekends 17% of box office to Paramount Picture’s Annihilation, 10% of box office to Orion Picture’s Every Day, and 9% of box office to Fox Studio’s Love, Simon,” the company said.

Because MoviePass is so affordable, don’t be surprised if HMNY will want to use your data to make extra cash in the future. The company had to deal with its own user privacy mini-scandal just a few weeks ago when it creepily suggested it’ll track you before and after you go to the cinema. Also, that Analytics particle in HMNY’s name doesn’t sound too good given Facebook’s recent Cambridge Analytica problems.

That said, the deal is still a great one. After all, you can always choose not to continue your subscription with MoviePass, if you’re not happy with what the service entails.

The $6.95 subscription price is available for a limited time, but we have no idea what that means, so better act quickly.

See the upcoming, smaller ‘PUBG’ map in action for the first time

Earlier this month, PUBG creator Brendan Greene shared a roadmap for the ultra-popular battle royale game in 2018. Along with a new emote system, new game modes and new vehicles, Greene revealed that the team is working on a 4x4km island map which will feature higher player density and shorter matches so that players will have the ability to participate in “a much more intense and faster paced Battle Royale experience.”

Greene promised players that they would have a chance to get their hands on the new map (which will be the game’s third map overall) earlier than they did the desert map in order to give them more time to provide input to developers. Then on Friday at GDC 2018, Greene shared the first in-game footage of the map in action.

In a one year anniversary video shared on YouTube today, PUBG Corporation announced that public testing for the 4×4 map will begin in early April. Now that the game has been officially launched on PC and early access testing is underway on Xbox One, the team wants to get back to working on new features for PUBG again. You can skip to around 1:40 in the video below to see what the map will actually look like when it arrives next month:

One of the biggest differences between Fortnite and PUBG is the size of the maps. PUBG’s maps are both enormous, necessitating vehicles to get from one side of the map to the other. Fortnite’s map is much smaller, which means that fights break out more often and getting to the circle isn’t a major concern. The idea of combining the chaos of Fortnite with the gameplay of PUBG is sure to be appealing to a ton of players, and could even give PUBG an edge.