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Universal Control lets you use Macs and iPads like they’re one machine

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In addition to unveiling a new version of iOS, watchOS and macOS, Apple also shared an intriguing new feature called Universal Control at WWDC 2021 today. In the latest macOS, called Monterey, you’ll be able to bring an iPad next to your MacBook and simply drag your cursor over from your laptop to the tablet. 

It’s not yet clear what versions of either device will support this feature, nor what technology is being used to connect the two. But it looks like the MacBook will detect the tablet fairly seamlessly and you can then use its keyboard and cursor to work on the iPad. This will let you do things like drag and drop files between the two machines or use your laptop’s keyboard to type out Spotlight searches on the tablet. This way, you won’t need to buy a separate keyboard case to get a physical mouse and keyboard for the iPad.

We’re still waiting on details around compatibility, but it does seem like the recent move to ARM-based systems help these devices play nicely together. As we learn more about what machines you can actually run macOS Monterey and Universal Control on, we’ll update this post, so stay tuned for those details.

This story is developing, please refresh for updates…

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Source: https://www.engadget.com/mac-os-monterey-universal-control-ipad-macbook-imac-184045949.html?src=rss_b2c

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EU opens antitrust probe into Google’s advertising tech

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The European Commission has opened an antitrust investigation into Google’s alleged violation of competition law through its ad tech policies. Regulators, who have spent the past two years informally consulting on the probe, will now assess whether Google is favoring its own services by restricting rivals’ access to user data for ad purposes. 

As part of the wide-reaching investigation, the Commission will look at Google’s display and video advertising on YouTube, Google’s ad management platform and inventory marketplace Ad Manager and AdX, along with the user data restrictions it places on third-parties including online ad rivals, publishers and general advertisers. Regulators will also examine Google’s decision to end individual user tracking on Chrome and Android as part of its Privacy Sandbox changes.

“Online advertising services are at the heart of how Google and publishers monetize their online services,” said Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s antitrust chief. “We are concerned that Google has made it harder for rival online advertising services to compete in the so-called ad tech stack.”

As the Commission notes, there is no legal deadline for concluding an antitrust case. That ultimately means that an investigation that has been informally gestating for two years could take just as long to reach its climax. If Google is found to have violated antitrust rules, it will be levied with fines and remedies. Though, not for the first time.

The EU has already fined Google for abusive ad practices on three occasions between 2015 and 2018. The web giant’s Privacy Sandbox is also under investigation in the UK.

Google said it would cooperate with the EC to illustrate the advantages of its ad products for businesses and the public. “Thousands of European businesses use our advertising products to reach new customers and fund their websites every single day,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement. “They choose them because they’re competitive and effective. We will continue to engage constructively with the European Commission to answer their questions and demonstrate the benefits of our products to European businesses and consumers.”

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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Source: https://www.engadget.com/eu-google-antitrust-probe-advertising-115010942.html?src=rss_b2c

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London’s Tube will offer full mobile coverage by the end of 2024

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London is expanding 4G mobile coverage across the entirety of the underground. The network, which will span every station and tunnel on the UK capital’s busy metro system, will be delivered by the end of 2024. Before then, some of the busiest sections of the tube will get 4G connectivity by the end of 2022, including Oxford Circus, Tottenham Court Road, Bank, Euston and Camden Town stations.

Transport for London has chosen infrastructure provider BAI Communications to build out the network as part of a 20-year concession. Tube tunnels will also be fitted with superfast fiber optic cables to bring full-fiber broadband to more parts of London. With 5G already sprouting in hundreds of towns and cities across the UK, the tube’s infrastructure is being built to allow a “seamless” upgrade in the future, Transport for London (TFL) announced. 

The latest step in TFL’s connectivity rollout is the culmination of a four-year process. An auction was held in 2017 and was followed by a 4G pilot at platforms and in tunnels on the eastern section of the Jubilee Line in 2020. The test saw the UK capital playing catch up with other major cities that already offered mobile connectivity on their metro systems, including New York, Paris and Berlin. London’s underground network already offers WiFi from carrier Virgin Media at over 260 stations.

TFL said that all of the upgrade work will be carried out outside of operational hours to avoid disturbing commuters. The project will see more than 2,000 kilometers of cables installed within tunnels and stations. Alongside the Jubilee Line, TFL has also begun work on the Victoria line as well as within the Northern Line Extension. 

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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Source: https://www.engadget.com/london-tube-full-mobile-coverage-104000309.html?src=rss_b2c

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Car hire start-up Virtuo adds Teslas to fleet in electrification push

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The Virtuo app can be used to unlock the Tesla.

LONDON — European car hire firm Virtuo is adding dozens of Teslas to its fleet as part of an effort to electrify more of its vehicles.

The company, which allows people to hire and unlock premium cars through an app, wants 50% of its vehicles to be electric by 2025, and 100% by 2030.

It plans to add around 50 Tesla Model 3 Long Range vehicles to its fleets in London and Paris, and they will be available for customers to book from June 22.

Karim Kaddoura, co-founder and CEO of Virtuo, told CNBC that there’s an “awe” associated with the Tesla brand, adding that customers have a say in what cars are added to the Virtuo fleet.

“It’s been very clear over the years, and in the last survey that we did, that Tesla Model 3 specifically was the model that everybody wanted to drive,” he said.

The Model 3 can do 0-60mph in 3.1 seconds and it has a range of 360 miles, according to Tesla.

Kaddoura is optimistic customers will opt to hire the Tesla. “It’s a different experience,” he said. “It’s undeniably packed with the latest features and innovations that are nothing like any other car.”

Virtuo customers will be able to pick up a Tesla Model 3 or have it delivered for an extra fee. Prices will vary depending on the length of the hire, but the company says they’ll start from around £69 ($96) per day.

The introduction of the Tesla Model 3 to Virtuo’s fleet comes after investors pumped $60 million into the five-year-old company last month, bringing total investment in the firm up to $96 million. It said it will use the money to accelerate the electrification of its fleet.

Virtuo CEO Karim Kaddoura

Kaddoura declined to comment on Virtuo’s revenues but said the company had 150,000 active customers and 4,000 vehicles for hire across France, the U.K., Spain and Italy.

The 125-person business has been talking about adding Tesla vehicles to its fleet for several years, but Kaddoura said he wanted to understand the additional operational challenges that electric cars present before introducing them.

Some of the main challenges that have held the company back include the lack of electric vehicle infrastructure and the range of the electric cars.

Virtuo added a number of Hyundai Kona Electric vehicles to its fleet in the first quarter so that it could learn what it takes to operate EV cars, said Kaddoura. “We didn’t want to get Tesla into the catalogue without having at least a bit of experience on that,” he said.

There are other companies, such as EV Hire, that already let customers rent a Tesla.

The renewed focus on electric vehicles comes as some of the world’s biggest car companies have pledged to ditch the internal combustion engine in favor of electric power over the next few years.

And countries are getting in on the act too. The U.K., for instance, will stop selling new diesel and petrol (gasoline) cars and vans from 2030 under plans announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson last year.

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Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/06/22/virtuo-adds-tesla-model-3-to-fleet-in-electrification-push.html

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Oculus loses one of its first in-app VR ad partners following backlash

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Barely a week has passed since Facebook started testing ads in Oculus apps and already the initiative has run into trouble. On Monday, one of the handful of developers involved in the initial ad experiment said it was pulling out of the test. Resolution Games tweeted that it had decided that in-app ads were not suitable for its multiplayer shooter game Blaston after “listening to player feedback.”

The developer had encouraged its user base to leave their thoughts on an ad feedback channel on its Discord server. As spotted by Upload VR, angry players had also review bombed Blaston on the Oculus Store and Steam shortly after its participation in the ad trial was announced.

Resolution Games’ decision marks a setback for Facebook’s burgeoning ad strategy for Oculus. After squeezing more ads into Instagram and its main platform, the company risked irking passionate gamers by bringing ads to VR. Unlike those other services, Oculus isn’t free: An Oculus Quest 2 headset alone starts from $299. While Blaston is also a paid game. 

Resolution Games indicated that ads weren’t completely off the table and that it was exploring whether its free title Bait! may be a better option for them — indicating that free-to-play game developers may have an easier time implementing ads within Oculus.

In a statement, Resolution Games CEO Tommy Palm suggested that VR ads may be unavoidable. “Our mission at Resolution Games has always been to work to help the industry as a whole move VR forward for the good of everyone involved. Sometimes that means being the first to test some things to see what works and what doesn’t,” he said.

“If ads in VR become inevitable as it has on other platforms, we want to ensure that while we have this chance to start over and do it right, we do just that. We welcome any and all your feedback along the way so we can have a constructive conversation around this and create the best path forward.”

Facebook has depicted the ad venture as beneficial for developers, giving them another avenue to generate revenue. Its eventual plan was to expand ads across the Oculus platform and the accompanying mobile app. The tech giant also tried to quell privacy concerns by promising not to use Oculus data, including movement and camera data, for targeted ads.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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Source: https://www.engadget.com/oculus-vr-ad-backlash-095514712.html?src=rss_b2c

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