Categories
Computing

BMW shipping cars sans advertised Apple and Google features

The global chip shortage continues to cause problems for automakers to the point where some are shipping vehicles without all of their advertised features.

BMW, for example, is shipping some of its new cars without support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, according to a recent report by Automotive News.

In an email to affected customers, the German auto giant confirmed that some vehicles built between January and April of this year contain chips that require updated software in order to be able to offer Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The necessary update will be rolled out “by the end of June at the latest,” the automaker said.

The issue is reportedly the result of BMW changing chip supplier in a bid to deal with the shortage in the most efficient way possible. In other words, changing supplier prevented it from halting shipments while it waited for the chips to come in. Instead, it’s been able to add the new supplier’s chips and then ship the cars, the only challenge being that it needs to roll out updated software to activate certain features.

It’s not clear how many customers and vehicle models are impacted by BMW’s decision to ship vehicles without CarPlay and Android Auto, but Automotive News’ own research suggests the situation involves the automaker’s American, British, French, Italian, and Spanish markets.

While the issue may be an unwelcome annoyance for customers, it shouldn’t prove to be too much trouble provided BMW delivers on its promise to resolve the problem by the end of next month. It’s certainly better than the automaker holding on to the vehicle until the functionality can be added.

Digital Trends has reached out to BMW for more information on the situation and we will update this article when we hear back.

BMW’s decision to ship vehicles without all of the advertised features is similar to moves made by other car companies in recent months. Ford, for example, also cited the global chip shortage for its decision to ship some of its Explorer SUVs without particular features, though it promised to add them when the chips become available.

In Ford’s case, it meant shipping some of its Explorers without functionality for rear seat controls that operate heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, though they are controllable from the driver’s seat.

Caused by pandemic-related supply chain problems and other factors, the chip shortage isn’t expected to end anytime soon, with Intel’s chief saying last month that it could take several more years for his company to get on top of the situation.

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Categories
Game

Analogue’s Pocket handheld starts shipping on December 13th

After , the Analogue Pocket finally has an exact release date. In an the company sent to those who pre-ordered the handheld console, Analogue said it would start shipping the device on December 13th. It expects to deliver most pre-orders by the end of the year.

If you expect you won’t be at home to receive your shipment during that time, Analogue recommends you email it about holding your order. In that case, your Pocket will ship sometime around January 3rd. Lastly, if you want to make any last-minute tweaks to your order, the final day to do so is November 28th.

Getting the Pocket to market has been something of a journey for Analogue. When the company first announced the , with its ability to play Game Boy, Game Gear, Neo Geo Pocket Color and Atari Lynx games, it promised to deliver it sometime in 2020. But that was before the pandemic, and like with many other electronics, supply chain issues forced Analogue to adapt.

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Categories
Computing

Some Retailers Shipping Alder Lake CPUs, and They’re Cheap

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Intel has promised that its 12th-gen Alder Lake platform is arriving in 2021, but the company has yet to announce an official release date. It seems some retailers are getting antsy, and have even shipped processors to customers weeks ahead of the rumored launch date.

Reddit user u/Seby9123 apparently received two Intel Core i9-12900K processors, two weeks ahead of the rumored release date. We always recommend handling random Reddit posts with skepticism, but the images of the processor and its box are hard to argue with. The user posted images of the Core i9-12900K — there’s no arguing with that.

You can see a few of the images above detailing the intricacies of the packaging and the processor itself. The box lines up with a leaked render, which showed the Core i9-12900K sandwiched between a replica of a golden wafer slice.

Even more interesting than the box is the price. The original poster said they paid only $610 for each processor before tax. That’s $60 more than last-gen’s Core i9-11900K, but still $190 less than AMD’s competing Ryzen 9 5950X. If leaked benchmarks are true, Intel could be going for an aggressive price/performance target.

The price runs counter to earlier rumors, which showed the flagship chip selling for as much as $1,000. Going into this generation, price is going to play a big role as AMD continues to assert its lead in desktop processors.

We went to some popular retailer websites and, unsurprisingly, didn’t find any 12th-gen processors available. It seems this order slipped through the cracks somehow, so the original poster was able to snag a couple of chips early. They weren’t, however, able to track down a 600-series chipset motherboard to take the processors out for a spin.

Although Intel hasn’t confirmed the release date of Alder Lake, the chips should be arriving soon. Rumors point to the chips launching on November 4, though we’ve also seen rumors suggesting a November 19 launch. Regardless, we should know more soon.

Intel is set to begin its Innovation event on October 27, where we anticipate an announcement for the Alder Lake release date. The company has confirmed time and again that the chips are arriving in 2021, so we should know the specifics soon.

Editors’ Choice




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Categories
Tech News

Amazon’s weird Alexa sticky note printer will start shipping this summer

If you were one of the people who pledged to buy the Smart Sticky Note Printer introduced as one of Amazon’s Day 1 Edition concepts, good news: the device will start shipping later this summer. As expected, the tiny portable printer can be used to print out reminders on-demand using Alexa voice commands, as well as puzzles, recipes, and similar things.

Amazon Day 1 Edition products are essentially unique concepts that may one day become something you can purchase, assuming there’s enough interest. Earlier this year, Amazon introduced its Smart Sticky Note Printer concept, a small device that resembles a label maker or receipt printer — but that can be used with your smart speaker to organize your life.

Users can, for example, tell Alexa to print a note about an upcoming event or task, then retrieve it from the printer and stick it wherever they’re likely to see it. For those times you’re bored, the printer can also produce a small puzzle to keep you entertained, as well as reminders, to-do lists, shopping lists, and similar things.

The Alexa printer proved popular and received enough order pledges to head into production. You can no longer order the device, but those who did buy one can expect the shipping to start at some point between July and September, according to Amazon.

It’s unclear whether Amazon plans to make the printer available to order as a regular Alexa product. Though the printer was a success, not all concepts reach their goals. Examples of recent failed Day 1 Edition products include the Smart Cuckoo Clock, which looks like a minimalist wall clock with Alexa support, as well as the Alexa-powered Smart Nutrition Scale.

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Categories
AI

Bearing.ai emerges from stealth to power recommendations for shipping boat captains

Bearing.ai emerged from stealth today to launch AI-powered software that provides predictions to the maritime shipping industry and tanker boat captains. The idea is to optimize shipping route navigation based on fuel efficiency, profit, and safety. Since the company was founded in 2019, Bearing.ai has raised $3 million from the AI Fund, a $175 million endeavor led by former Google Brain cofounder Andrew Ng, as well as Japanese shipping company Mitsui and Co.

Bearing.ai CEO Dylan Kiel told VentureBeat the startup was able to train its first models with historical data provided by investor Mitsui and Co. and 2,500 ships. As part of the arrangement, Bearing.ai announced deals to provide services to 300 K Line vessels, as well as shipping companies MOL and ZeroNorth. Fuel consumption is Bearing.ai’s primary focus, Kiel said, because it’s the biggest single driver of operating costs for shipping companies. When making predictions, Bearing.ai takes in sensor data and considers factors like ship dimensions, location, and weather conditions like wind speed and wave size.

“Weather is one of the single biggest drivers of the variance that occurs with fuel consumption for a given voyage. I can have the same ship going on the same route, let’s say Tokyo to San Diego, and [carrying] the same cargo. And the consumption I have from voyage A to voyage B could be different by 30-40% based upon the weather,” Kiel said.

Bearing.ai claims its models are capable of predicting the fuel consumption of a container or hull ship with 98% accuracy, a feat made possible by fuel sensors and speed sensors collecting data on a minute-by-minute basis.

Container ships enable a vast amount of global trade but saw a sharp decline in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Like other industries,  shipping faces pressure to automate, and Kiel said Bearing.ai wants to help companies consider a range of options to save money.

“It’s not just choosing the right route for one ship. If you choose that right route for that ship that impacts what the other ships need to do and that impacts what you’re going to do with your contract and when you’re going to clean that ship and so on … there’s a lot of decision points that ultimately are all interconnected if you’re trying to optimize the whole system,” he said. “Pretty much every decision you can make as a decision company — whether it’s fuel to use, the ship to use, the route to take, how you position your fleet — all of that impacts your ultimate operational efficiency.”

Other examples of automation startups entering the maritime space include Sea Machines, which is working on autonomous shipping navigation, and Orca AI, which makes systems to help ships avoid collisions. Also of note is recent work by AI researchers to create amphibious robots capable of movement on sea and land.

Bearing.ai was founded in June 2019 and is based in Palo Alto, California. The company has 10 employees.

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Categories
Computing

Intel Tiger Lake laptops will begin shipping in October

Laptops and notebook PCs using Intel’s first Tiger Lake chips will begin shipping in October, an Intel representative confirmed on Thursday.

Up to now Intel has been cagey, stating that the first laptops using its new Tiger Lake chips would be available this fall in time for the holiday season. Its presentation Thursday also clarified a fact that was left out of its press release: Two of the nine new Tiger Lake chips, the Core i3-1125G4 and Core i3-1120G4, won’t be available until 2021. Some observers grumbled that Intel should have waited to launch Tiger Lake until PC makers were ready to ship.

On Thursday, though, Intel somewhat nailed down the initial shipping date to October. That means that we have about a month to wait before reviewers and consumers begin putting Intel’s boatload of benchmark claims to the test, and determining whether they should buy a notebook with an Intel 11th-gen Core (Tiger Lake) or an AMD Ryzen Mobile chip inside.

Read more about Tiger Lake:

MSI was among the first to reflect the new shipping date, by confirming that its Stealth 15M gaming laptop will ship in October, complete with a blazing-fast PCIe 4.0 SSD. That’s important, because Tiger Lake is Intel’s first notebook platform—and, in fact, the world’s first—to use PCI Express 4.0 as part of the infrastructure. That’s important, because Nvidia and Microsoft are working to eliminate SSD compression latencies by routing them directly from the GPU to the CPU via PCIe. (While Intel’s quite proud of its Xe GPU architecture inside Tiger Lake, gaming laptops will use discrete graphics from either AMD or Nvidia.)

Hand in hand with the Tiger Lake launch, Intel has introduced Evo, the rebranding of its Project Athena laptop design initiative. Many of the new Tiger Lake laptops will be Evo graduates as well, including Acer’s Swift 3 and Swift 5 laptops—the latter, Acer says, is the first verified member of Intel’s Evo family. In all, twenty Evo designs are expected by the end of the year, Intel executives said, including the Lenovo Yoga 9i, the Asus Zenbook Flip S, and the Samsung Galaxy Book Flex 5G, among others.

In total, more than 150 designs based on the new 11th-gen Tiger Lake Intel Core processors are expected from partners including Acer, Asus (which announced new ZenBook and ExpertBook laptops), Dell, Dynabook, HP, Lenovo, LG, MSI, Razer, Samsung and others, Intel said Wednesday. Now, we’ll know a bit more about when you can buy them.

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