NVIDIA’s DLSS 3 promises higher frame rates for CPU-intensive games

NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 40 series GPUs won’t just rely on brute force to deliver high-performance visuals. The company has unveiled Deep Learning Super Sampling 3 (aka DLSS 3), a new version of its AI-based rendering accelerator. Rather than generating ‘only’ pixels, the third-gen technology can create entire new frames independently. It’s a bit like the frame interpolation you see (and sometimes despise) with TVs, although this is clearly more sophisticated — NVIDIA is improving performance, not just smoothing out video.

The technique relies on both fourth-gen Tensor Cores and an “Optical Flow Accelerator” that predicts movement in a scene by comparing two high-resolution frames and generating intermediate frames. As it doesn’t involve a computer’s main processor, the approach is particularly helpful for Microsoft Flight Simulator and other games that are typically CPU-limited. A new detail setting in Cyberpunk 2077 runs at 62FPS in 4K resolution using DLSS2 in NVIDIA’s tests, but jumps beyond 100FPS with DLSS 3.

Roughly 35 apps and games will offer DLSS 3 support early on. This includes Portal RTX, older titles like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and releases based on Unreal Engine 4 and 5.

It’s too soon to say how well DLSS 3 works in practice. NVIDIA is choosing games that make the most of DLSS, and the technology might not help as much with less constrained titles. Nonetheless, this might be useful for ensuring that more of your games are consistently smooth. Provided, of course, that you’re willing to spend the $899-plus GPU makers are currently asking for RTX 40-based video cards.

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‘Pokémon Go’ can now run on iOS at higher frame rates

Niantic has just rolled out updates for the Pokémon Go app, and one of the new features for iOS will let you run the game at higher frame rates. The Verge has discovered a new option that allows you “unlock your device’s native refresh rate for higher FPS.” It’s not explicitly stated in the app’s change log and probably falls under the “various quality-of-life improvements” the developer has listed. Also, the option is off by default, so you’ll have to find it in settings if you want to take advantage of your phone’s capabilities.

As the publication notes, Pokémon Go was previously capped at 30fps on iOS — players have had to employ workarounds to get their games to run at 60fps — but newer phones are capable of more frames per second than that. The iPhone 13 Pro, for instance, has a 120fps screen. The Verge says switching the feature on made a huge difference and made the game a lot more responsive. While Niantic may have been trying to cater to owners of the new iPhone, the option can also be accessed on its predecessors. It just may not work as well on hardware powered by older chips.

You can find the the feature in the game’s advanced settings, which will show “native refresh rate unlocked” when it’s switched on.

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Edge AI’s benefits bring ‘much higher’ security risks, says McAfee data scientist

All the sessions from Transform 2021 are available on-demand now. Watch now.

Edge AI is becoming increasingly important with the internet of things (IoT) boom, but the security challenges make it more difficult for companies to adopt edge computing. As the size of the IoT ecosystem has grown, so have the risks.

Edge AI has an advantage over cloud-based AI, McAfee chief data scientist Celeste Fralick told VentureBeat executive editor Fahmida Rashid during a session of VentureBeat’s Transform 2021 summit. Backhauling large amounts of data collected from various sensors up to the cloud, processing it, and then bringing it back down is both costly and time-consuming.

In the case of a farmer out in a field where there are no wireless networks, getting online to access cloud applications and process the data from the sensor is not going to work well. But edge AI runs locally, so the same farmer can access answers right from the field. Edge AI also avoids some of the privacy concerns associated with cloud — which is particularly important in fields like health care.

“The pros of the cloud, of course, are the cost, the reliability, the ability to merge a lot of information very quickly,” Fralick said. “But you also have the cons of cloud, where you have the issue of your data privacy and security not as perfect as you’d like it to be with some companies.”

There is a specific downside to edge AI, Fralick said, noting that IoT devices — specifically edge devices — tend to be brittle. If the devices have a security flaw, the manufacturer is the one that has to repair it.

“The risk at the edge is it’s much more brittle and much more complex than it would be in the cloud. So your security risk is much higher,” Fralick said.

Because of the nature of edge AI and the IoT, it makes sense to keep your routers secure. “If you’re a consumer, you always have to ensure that you’re updating your software,” Fralick said. “Certainly, if you’re an enterprise, business, you have to update your software constantly. That’s one of the most important things that we can do. And as a home consumer, ensuring that you have security on your router as well is very important.”

Data management and AI

People need to realize that there are different types of AI. “[You have] simple statistics and machine learning, you have deep learning, and you certainly have neural language processing,” Fralick said. At large conferences, Fralick often approached other booths to ask what kind of AI was being used in their product or how models were being trained and rarely received satisfactory answers. If someone at the booth tried to claim 100% accuracy, Fralick knew they did not really understand AI.

“Ensure you have monitors throughout your development process to get to as close to 100% accuracy as you can. But understanding why you have false positives and false negatives and understanding the root cause of why you have those are definitely the most important,” Fralick said.


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Tech News

Samsung Galaxy S10+ review: The phone that goes higher, further, faster

It’s something of a perfect coincidence that Samsung’s Galaxy S10+ goes on sale the same day Captain Marvel lands in theaters. Both were once the most powerful members of their respective universes. Both are struggling with an identity crisis spurred by a larger-than-life existential threat. And both have a gorgeous shimmer when the light hits them just right.

galaxy s10 captain marvelChristopher Hebert/IDH

The Galaxy S10+’s fantastic display is in rarefied air.

And in many ways, they’re both the last of a dying breed. The Galaxy S10+ may represent the culmination of 10 years of Samsung’s Android engineering, but it’s also the phone that doesn’t fold. Much like last year’s iPhone 8 Plus, which existed in the shadow of the button-less and OLED iPhone X, the Galaxy S10+ no longer represents the pinnacle of Samsung innovation. That honor now falls to the Galaxy Fold arriving April 26. (In yet another curious coincidence, that date just so happens to be the same as Captain Marvel’s intergalactic turn in Avengers Endgame.)

But even with the forces of change closing in all sides, the Galaxy S10+ more than holds its own. It might have a sky-high price tag at $1,000, but the S10+ is also a massive improvement over its predecessor, pushing the limits of conventional smartphone design just about as far as they can go. And just like Carol Danvers, it’s not about to fade into irrelevance without a fight.

An upgrade to the classic design

Even without straying too far from the Infinity Display formula that began with the S8, the Galaxy S10+ is a completely new device. Most notably, Samsung has trimmed its empty spaces even further, leaving slivers of black above and below the screen. That brings the size of the S10+ down to 157.6 x 74.1 x 7.8 mm, a touch smaller than the Note 9 despite sporting the same 6.4-inch display dimension.

galaxy s10 backChristopher Hebert/IDG

The back of the S10+ comes in all-new prism colors that beautifully reflect and refract light.

There’s not much to quibble with when it comes to the design. The return to chrome along the sides reflects a sophistication over the colorized aluminum of the S9, right down to the classic five-holed speaker grille along the bottom edge. The same chrome accent also lines the triple-camera array, which has been rotated to give your chosen color even more room to breathe. With so much glass, the S10+ tends to be a little slippery, but because Samsung’s new “prism” palette of iridescent hues is so gorgeous, you won’t want to cover it up. I suspect clear cases will be extra popular this time around.

The receiver has been pushed as high as it can go so it abuts the top edge rather than floating in the bezel, and as a result, it’s barely visible now. My only complaint is the power button, which is both shorter and higher than it is on the S9, making it that much more difficult to reach. The Bixby button is now in a much better spot, and it’ll get a lot more use this time, as Samsung is finally letting us remap it to launch an app or perform an action. And once again, the S10+ has a headphone jack, making it truly among the last of a dying breed.

No notch, but a hole in two

To achieve a near 90 percent screen-to-body ratio, Samsung had to push the front camera down into the display in the form of a hole in the right corner of the screen. Just like the controversial notches in its competitors’ screens, the hole in the Infinity O display wreaks havoc on the status bar, upsets full-screen images, and draws your eye in the worst way. Despite Samsung’s bold claim of “no notches, no distractions,” the hole is even more apparent on the S10+ because Samsung needed room for two front cameras.

galaxy s10 selfie Christopher Hebert/IDG

The selfie cam on the Galaxy S10+ is an eyesore when it isn’t obscured by darkness.

This is why all of the stock wallpapers Samsung created for the S10+ have a clever bit of black in the corner to cover up the hole. It’s the same trickery Apple uses to cover up the notch on the iPhone XS, and it speaks to the inherent compromises of so-called all-screen phones.

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Tech News

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2’s price is actually even higher than it looks

It’s no surprise that the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 is a very expensive device. But with 5G, a much bigger outside screen, a refined design, and an upgraded camera system, it’s a little surprising that it costs just $20 more than the original model. After all, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra added $200 to its price compared to the Note 10+.

But if you look a little harder you’ll see where Samsung cut corners to keep the price low: the box. Or rather, what’s not in it. With the original Fold, Samsung included two enticing extras to sweeten the $1,980 price tag: a pair of true wireless Galaxy Buds and a Slim Cover with Aramid Fiber. That’s roughly $150 in goodies that you’re not getting with the Galaxy Z Fold 2.

In fact, you won’t even get the USB-C AKG earbuds that come with the Galaxy Z Flip. Rather, if you want a pair of earbuds for your new $2,000 phone, you’ll need to either bring your own or call Samsung Customer Care to request a pair of wired ones just like with the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

While the loss of wired buds can be excused, ditching the wireless earbuds is less forgivable. Including the Galaxy Buds in the original Fold’s box made the phone feel like a premium device unlike any other and made the price tag much more palatable. Now you’re going to feel every one of the two thousand dollars you’re shelling out for the Z Fold 2.

Samsung is including its Z Premier Service with all Fold 2 purchases, which includes a one-time screen replacement for $149 and access to an exclusive 24/7 support line. You also get a membership to Founders Card, and access to a prepared meal from a Michelin star restaurant and a complimentary round of golf at a private country club program through ClubLife, as well as LinkedIn, GlamSquad, and Obe discounts and freebies. You know, the kind of perks people willing to drop $2,000 on a phone without earbuds need.

But if you’re not going to take advantage of a pricey meal or a round of golf, the Galaxy Z Fold 2’s box might seem a little empty. And the price a little steeper than it seems at first glance.

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