Categories
Computing

The GPD Win Max 2 gets handheld gaming right

If Valve and Nintendo thought they were the only kids on the handheld gaming block, they’re in for a surprise. Shenzhen GPD just revealed the Win Max 2, a handheld gaming laptop packed with power.

The keyword here is “laptop.” The GPD Win Max 2 is different from all other handheld gaming devices thanks to its classic clamshell laptop design. Only this laptop fits easily in two hands for gaming.

image from Shenzhen GPD

The mini laptop features a full QWERTY keyboard, as well as two thumb sticks, a direction pad, and four command keys, much like an Xbox or PlayStation controller. The mouse pad sits above the keyboard, between the thumb sticks. While this approach is unconventional, it actually works. The Win 2 Max is small enough and, let’s be honest, the mouse pad won’t get much use on this machine.

In any case, there’s enough functionality packed into this tiny design to set it above your standard Steam Deck or Onexplayer device. You could even take a break from gaming to punch out a quick email or post to Twitter on the GPD Win Max 2.

The 10.1-inch screen seems to pop out of the device thanks to its ultra-narrow bezels, giving it over 90% screen real estate. It can reach resolutions of up to 2560 x 1600 at 299 ppi. Corning Gorilla Glass protects it against cracks and drops. Best of all, it’s a touchscreen display and you can use most styluses with it.

But a gaming machine is nothing without power, and the GPD Win Max 2 comes packed with AMD’s latest eight-core Ryzen 7 6800U processor and Radeon 680M graphics. That will get you 60 frames per second on most games. You can choose between 16 GB and 32 GB of RAM, and from 1 TB to 2 TB of SSD storage.

There’s also an Intel version of the Win Max 2, packing a 12th gen 12-core i7 processor and Intel Iris XE graphics. Although the Iris XE isn’t as power-efficient as the Radeon 680M, it performs well and handles 4K games somewhat better. The choice comes down to which chipmaker you prefer.

The GPD Win Max 2 uses a large PC-grade turbo fan for cooling and draws heat away from the processors with a dual=pipe system. GPD claims it has an intelligent heat monitoring system on board to control fan noise, but that is yet to be seen under real-world loads.

Add on Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, four super-linear surround-sound speakers, dual vibration motor, a backlit keyboard, and a 2-million-pixel ultrawide web cam, and you’ve got yourself one heck of a powerful little machine. A 67 watt-hour battery powers the entire thing for up to five hours.

All of this comes packed inside an all-metal body, which GPD calls “Apple-style.” It is made with aluminum-magnesium alloys and the bottom half has comfortable resin grips for your hands. There are also plenty of ports, including SD and micro-SD slots for photographers, and USB-C slots.

The GPD Win Max 2 isn’t on sale everywhere yet. GPD is currently crowdfunding the production of the Win Max 2 on Indiegogo. It’s hoping to reach $20,000.

In the meantime, if you’re looking for handheld gaming power now, check out our review of the Valve Steam Deck or the mini Playdate.

Editors’ Choice




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Categories
AI

DeepMind reportedly lost a yearslong bid to win more independence from Google

Tensions between Google and its AI brain trust DeepMind have always been fascinating. To put the relationship in crude terms: DeepMind, founded in 2010, is home to some the best AI researchers in the world who output a steady stream of insightful academic papers and Nature front covers. Google, meanwhile, bought DeepMind in 2014 and bankrolls its large losses, and it really, really wants to squeeze some money out of all those juicy brains.

That’s why a recent story on the two companies from The Wall Street Journal is so interesting. In it, Parmy Olson reports that Google has ended yearslong negotiations between the two firms, ultimately rejecting a plea from DeepMind for more independence.

According to Olson, DeepMind told staff the talks were over “late last month.” One suggestion from DeepMind’s founders was apparently for the company to have the same legal structure as a nonprofit, “reasoning that the powerful artificial intelligence they were researching shouldn’t be controlled by a single corporate entity, according to people familiar with those plans.” But Google wasn’t on board with this, telling DeepMind it didn’t make sense considering how much money the company has poured into DeepMind.

This conflict isn’t surprising. Google execs have said repeatedly the company’s future lies in AI, and numerous news stories suggest the mothership has been pressuring DeepMind into commercializing its work. This has led to projects from DeepMind using its research to improve battery life on Android and reduce energy costs in its data centers, but the financial benefits of these efforts are unclear. Meanwhile, the UK firm’s losses keep rising — hitting a high of £477 million (around $660 million) in its most recent public filings for 2019. If Google wants its money’s worth, it can’t give DeepMind anything like nonprofit status.

Alongside financial pressures, another bone of contention between the two companies seems to be ethical oversight. A much-trumpeted element in Google’s acquisition of DeepMind was a promise that Google would set up an ethics board to ensure its technology was always deployed fairly. The exact nature and scope of this board, though, including who sits on it, has always been unclear. A 2019 report from The Economist said the board even held ownership over any artificial general intelligence created by DeepMind — a term that refers to AI that meets or exceeds human capacity across a broad range of tasks.

The status of this board is not mentioned in the WSJ’s report, but Olson notes that DeepMind’s future work will now be overseen by a separate ethics board “staffed mostly by senior Google executives.” Olson noted in a tweet that this is the Advanced Technology Review Council, or ATRC. This is reportedly Google’s “highest review board.”

In a statement given to The Verge, a spokesperson for DeepMind said: “Over the years, of course we’ve discussed and explored different structures within the Alphabet group to find the optimal way to support our long term research mission to solve intelligence. We could not be prouder to be delivering on this incredible mission, while continuing to have both operational autonomy and Alphabet’s full support.”

Update, May 21st, 11:04AM ET: Story has been updated to note that the ethics board mentioned in the WSJ’s report is the ATRC.

Update, May 24th, 04:55AM ET: Story has been updated with statement from DeepMind.



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Categories
Game

Omaze’s latest sweepstakes offers the chance to win $20,000 towards a gaming PC

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.

If you missed Omaze’s last PC giveaway, you have another opportunity to enter a new one now. The company is holding a sweepstakes through September 18 in which you can enter to win $20,000 towards a gaming PC — or any PC you want, really.

Enter to win at Omaze

As with most Omaze sweepstakes, this one is free to enter but you can choose to buy additional entries and those proceeds will go to charity. Funds from this giveaway go to Schools on Wheels, which provides free tutoring and mentoring services to children experiencing homelessness across Southern California. You can also use the code RADNESS150 at checkout to get 150 bonus entries through July 2.

If you’re unfamiliar with Omaze, it’s a site that raises money for charities through giveaways and experiences. Although you don’t have to spend money to enter giveaways like this, you’ll increase your chances of winning if you spend a few bucks on extra entries. You can read more about how the allocation of funds works by reading the “Fundraising Transparency” section at the bottom of the giveaway page.

Pricing and availability is subject to change. No donation or payment necessary to enter or win this sweepstakes. See official rules on Omaze.

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Categories
Game

Forza Horizon 5, Zelda Win Big at E3 Awards Ceremony

E3 held a dedicated awards show for all the games that were shown during this year’s convention. It closed out night four of the all-digital expo and handed out awards to a select few games from the show.

E3 gave out awards for the most anticipated games from Microsoft and Nintendo and handed out a trophy for the best overall presentation. Here are the winners from last night’s ceremony.

Most Anticipated Game Overall: Forza Horizon 5

Forza Horizon 5 raced through this year’s E3 and stole the hearts of many. With its beautiful graphics and exquisitely detailed rendering of Mexico, it should not be surprising that many people are talking about this game. It just goes to show you that an extensive trailer with a dedication to detail can go a long way.

Best Presentation: Xbox and Bethesda

Xbox and Bethesda came into E3 with strong presentation fundamentals. It had a plethora of trailers for games to come, highlighting much-anticipated games like Starfield and Halo Infinite. It sweetened the pot further by showing off several titles that would be available on day one via Xbox Game Pass. Finally, it had the perfect “one more thing” reveal with Redfall. This was everything one could want out of an E3 conference.

Most Anticipated Microsoft and Bethesda Game: Halo Infinite

Speaking of Xbox, the E3 Awards show gave Halo Infinite the award for the most anticipated Xbox and Bethesda game. This year we got a closer look at what will be in store for the multiplayer experience as well as a new trailer for the campaign.

Most Anticipated Nintendo Game: Breath of the Wild 2

Nintendo was one of the last major presentations at this year’s show and it went out with a bang with its final reveal, a new trailer for Breath of the Wild 2. The trailer gave us a better look at Hyrule, which now has an aerial component, and some of the enemies that Link will face. It also gave fans new details to dissect, like Link’s new arm attachment that apparently doubles as a flamethrower. It was a perfect trailer to keep fans theorizing until the game launches in 2022.

Here’s the full list of winners from last night’s show.

  • Ubisoft Most Anticipated Game: Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope
  • Gearbox Most Anticipated Game: Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands
  • Xbox/Bethesda Most Anticipated Game: Halo Infinite
  • Square Enix Most Anticipated Game: Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy
  • PC Gaming Show Most Anticipated Game: Songs of Conquest
  • Future Games Show Most Anticipated Game: Immortality
  • Intellivision Most Anticipated Game: Dolphin Quest
  • Most Anticipated Indie Game: Falling Frontier
  • Freedom Games Most Anticipated Game: Airborne Kingdom
  • Capcom Most Anticipated Game: The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles
  • Nintendo Most Anticipated Game: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sequel
  • Yooreka Most Anticipated Game: Loopmancer
  • Best Presentation: Xbox and Bethesda Showcase
  • Most Anticipated Game Overall: Forza Horizon 5

Editors’ Choice




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Categories
Tech News

This Apple Mac prize bundle is worth over $5,700 — and you can win it for free.

TLDR: The Apple Mac Bundle Giveaway gives you a chance to win an Apple prize collection featuring a new Mac, MacBook Pro, iPad Pro, and more, just for entering the drawing.

Whether it’s feats of technical innovation and brilliance, remarkable marketing prowess, or a sophisticated combination of both, it’s pretty miraculous to step back and look at what Apple has achieved over the last 50 years.

From the Mac to the iPod to the iPhone to the iPad, Apple has not only carved out a legacy of forward-thinking products, but an almost cult-like devotion to its practices that virtually unduplicated across the rest of the tech landscape.

So if you’re going to worship at the Apple altar, you may as well be rewarded like a true believer with the riches waiting to be won in this killer Apple Mac Bundle Giveaway that’s available now.

The terms to enter this free drawing are about as simple as they come — just fill out the form with some basic information, hit submit, then cross your fingers that yours is the lucky name drawn to win an overwhelming arsenal of Apple products worth over $5,700 if you bought them yourself.

The prize list is like a murderer’s row of Apple’s all-star creations. The headliner is a beautiful 24-inch iMac, powered by an Apple M1 processor with a dazzling 4.5K Retina display monitor. Since you can’t always be locked down to a desk, there’s also a 13-inch MacBook Pro laptop. And for even more mobile adventures, there is a tricked-out 12.9-inch iPad Pro too.

You’ll need stuff to enjoy on all those devices, so this package also includes a 5-year subscription to Apple One, which gathers up six of Apple’s premium online services including Apple TV, Apple Music, iCloud, and more. And to make sure you hear it all the way Steve Jobs intended, the winner also gets a cool pair of AirPods Pro earbuds to round out this collection.

One free entry gets you in the running for this awesome package, but to give yourself a real chance, we highly recommend donating to one of our favorite organizations, the fantastic Playing for Change Foundation. This 501(c)3 non-profit group is bringing the arts to all corners of the globe, building grass roots, community-based music programs for over 2,000 kids from 10 underprivileged countries around the world.

Since that’s already an organization deserving of your financial support, donate $10 to Playing for Change now and we add 100 extra entries in your name into the drawing. It’s no guarantee you’ll win, but it certainly doesn’t hurt your chances, all while giving to a very worthy cause. Your generosity only helps your odds, with escalating entries for $25 (250 entries)$50 (1,000)$75 (1,500)$100 (2,500), and $150 (4,500) donations.

Get in on the drawing now with your donations. Everything needs to be in when the contest closes and the winner is selected by Sept. 18. Help us help you help kids love music.

Prices are subject to change.

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Categories
Game

Pokemon GO Xerneas raid counters, and how you’ll win

This week it’s time to head out and fight Shiny* Xereas in Pokemon GO, just so long as it’s not Cloudy!
If you’re battling Xereas as a raid boss in Pokemon GO, you’ll need either 3+ players at level 30 or higher, or between 2 and 3 players who are level 40. If you have anything less… you’re in for a bit of a disappointing journey.

The approximate CP for this Pokemon is 2160 in normal weather and 2701 with a Cloudy weather boost. That’s AFTER you’ve beaten Xereas and captured it – and good luck to you on that! You’ll likely be fighting this Pokemon as a raid boss with around 45899 CP right out the gate.

If you’re looking for the absolute best Pokemon to beat Xerneas in a raid battle in Pokemon GO, get yourself a Shadow Metagross. You’ll want to roll with Bullet PUnch and Meteor Mash, and you’ll likely get knocked out around 18 times before it’s all over.

After that, you’ll do well with Mega Gengar with Lick and Sludge Bomb. Metagross (non-Shadow) is also a good bet, so long as it also has Bullet Punch and Meteor Mash. Mega Beedrill with Poison Jab and Sludge Bomb is a strong contender here, followed by Dialga with Metal Claw and Iron Head.

If you have a Shadow Scizor or Shadow Mewtwo, drop them in your team. Scizor is best here with Bullet Punch and Iron Head, Mewtwo is best with Confusion and Psystrike. Genesect with Metal Claw and Magnet Bomb is high powered in this equation, as is Excadrill with Metal Claw and Iron Head.

A few shocking members of the Xerneas battle club include Roserade, Jirachi, and Shadow Victreebel. So long as Roserade has Poison Jab and Sludge Bomb, Victreebel has Acid and Sludge Bomb, and Jirachi has Charge Beam and Doom Desire – you’re good!

Xerneas will be available in standard and *Shiny Pokemon iterations as a raid boss starting on May 4, 2021, 10AM local time, ending on May 17, 2021 at 8PM local time.

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Categories
Tech News

Quantum computers will win the next world war

What would happen if an AI gained control of the US military’s nuclear stash and decided to preemptively win World War 3 before any perceived enemy nations could react?

Fans of cinema from the 1980s may recognize that query as the plot to the classic science-fiction film “Wargames” starring a young Matthew Broderick. It was a great but terribly silly movie that paired nicely with popcorn and suspended disbelief. Nevertheless, the question it asked remains valid.

[Note: Spoilers ahead because the movie is more than 30 years old]

In the film, the AI is eventually stymied by Boolean logic after attempting to “win” against itself at Tic-Tac-Toe. Those who understand how AI actually works might find the entire plot of the movie preposterous, but the ending is especially chuckle-worthy. At least it used to be.

Today’s computers use binary logic so, in essence, everything’s a yes or no question to an AI running classic algorithms. Even when researchers design AI that “rates” things, they usually just break the degrees between ratings down into yes-or-no questions for the AI to answer in increments.

But tomorrow’s AI won’t be stuck in the mire of classical physics. Useful quantum computers are just around the corner – they should be here sometime between next Tuesday and the year 2121.

With quantum computers, our military systems won’t be constrained to yes-or-no questions and they certainly won’t have to run boring old binary simulations to determine the confidence factor for a given operation.

Prasanth Shyamsundar, a researcher at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, a Department of Energy research lab for the US government, recently published a fascinating paper describing two new types of algorithms that could revolutionize quantum computing and, potentially, lead to a quantum brain for military AI systems.

A press release from Fermi describes what the algorithms do by invoking the image of an AI sorting through a stack of 100 assorted vinyl records to find the sole jazz album. Under the normal AI paradigm, a deep learning system would be trained on what jazz sounds like and then it would parse each record individually until one of them meets a pass/fail threshold for jazz.

The first of the algorithms Shyamsundar proposes would, essentially, allow that same AI to sort through the entire stack of albums at the same time.

Quantum AI isn’t smarter, it’s just fast and takes advantage of “superposition.” Where classical AI works in a black box, quantum AI could exploit superposition to operate in many black boxes at once. 

Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean it comes up with the right answer. When it’s a yes-or-no question, the odds are good. But when it’s a question that requires non-Boolean logic, such as rating 100 albums for their jazzyness on a scale of 1-10, even a quantum computer needs a different kind of algorithm.

And that’s what the second algorithm does, according to Shyamsundar.

Per a press release from the Fermi lab:

A second algorithm introduced in the paper, dubbed the quantum mean estimation algorithm, allows scientists to estimate the average rating of all the records. In other words, it can assess how “jazzy” the stack is as a whole.

Both algorithms do away with having to reduce scenarios into computations with only two types of output, and instead allow for a range of outputs to more accurately characterize information with a quantum speedup over classical computing methods.

To be clear, Shyamsundar’s work has nothing to do with military operations and the Fermi lab, as mentioned, belongs to the DoE (not the DoD). Their paper represents the groundwork towards basic functioning quantum algorithms.

But what is a military AI technology if not an innocuous, basic algorithm persisting?

The problem with today’s military logic systems – and the one in the movie “Wargames” – is that they’re all based on binary thinking.

You can run a million simulations on advanced military software using cutting-edge AI, but eventually the limitations of “pass/fail” thinking will reduce almost any conflict into an arms race that ends in either stalemate or mutually-assured destruction.

But, what if the confidence factor for a given military operation didn’t rely on binary simulations? The same quantum algorithms that can determine which album in a given stack is a jazz album 10 times faster than a binary system, and how jazzy a given album is, could easily determine which combination of feasible operational strategies would result in the highest overall confidence factor for a military campaign.

In other words, where Sun Tzu was said to be able to envision an entire battle unfolding in front of his eyes before it happened, and modern software such as CMANO can simulate entire operations, a quantum system running simple non-Boolean algorithm solutions should be able to surface strong predictions for the outcome of a multi-step war campaign.

Published April 7, 2021 — 18:39 UTC



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Categories
Tech News

Giveaway: Win a brand-new iPhone 11 Pro Max and a copy of AnyTrans

Want an iPhone 11 Pro Max? Starting today, we’re teaming up with AnyTrans—the iPhone manager that helps users transfer, manage, and back up their iPhone content from one place—to give away a free 64GB space gray iPhone 11 Pro Max to one lucky Macworld reader, along with a lifetime license of AnyTrans.

To sign up to win, simply enter your name and contact information through the form below. You can get additional chances to win if you follow us on Twitter, YouTube, or Facebook, and you’ll also get two additional chances to win if you retweet this tweet.

For loyal Macworld podcast listeners, we’ve got a special treat that you’ll see in the widget below. Answer the question, and you’ll get an extra chance at winning.

The contest begins today and runs through Tuesday, October 15 at 11:59 p.m. PT We’ll announce the winner on the Macworld Podcast at 10 a.m. Pacific on Wednesday, October 16, live on the Macworld Twitter feed.

When you get your new phone, you’ll also get a free copy of iMobie’s AnyTrans service to migrate photos, contacts, messages, music, videos, ringtones, and more to the iPhone 11 Pro Max with a simple tap. iMobie recently released AnyTrans 8, which gets updated to its 8th generation with a whole new UI, many useful new features, and data transferring and loading speed improved. AnyTrans 8.0’s new “Phone Switcher” feature helps users make a seamless and flexible transition to new iPhone 11 (Pro or Pro Max), whether from an old iPhone or Android Phone.

Only legal residents of the 50 United States, including the District of Columbia, or Canada (except Quebec) are eligible to win. You must be 18 years of age or older.

iPhone 11 Pro Max giveaway

Note: When you purchase something after clicking links in our articles, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate link policy for more details.

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Tech News

Want $10,000 in Bitcoin and Ethereum? Just give back and enter for your chance to win

TLDR: The winner of The Complete Bitcoin Investment Giveaway takes home $10,000 in crypto-seed money with the training to grow that nest egg, all for the cost of an entry.

What’s better than winning $10,000 in cryptocurrency as the uber winner of The Complete Bitcoin (BTC) Investment Giveaway Contest? Well, the fact that those winnings also come with the means to turn that $10,000 into $15,000, or $20,000, or even more. Talk about the gift that keeps on giving…

To get involved, you only have to enter the free and simple drawing. Just enter your name and if you’re the lucky selection, you’re the immediate winner of $8,000 worth of Bitcoin, the most popular cryptocurrency in the world; as well as another $2,000 worth of its closest rival Etherium, all managed through trusted cryptocurrency platform Coinbase.

The prize package also includes a home for your crypto in a Ledger Nano X Hardware Wallet. Plus, learn everything there is to know about cryptocurrencies and investing with a collection of 22 different courses filled with more than 80 hours of digital currency investment training and advice.

Of course, if just a one-in-a-million shot isn’t good enough odds for you, you can put your thumb on the scale a bit. You can goose your chances by getting up to thousands of additional entries by making a donation to the Playing for Change Foundation.

With just a $10 donation to the foundation, we give you 100 total entries into the contest. Those entries keep rising as your giving rises, with extra chances to win for $25 (250 entries), $50 (1,000), $75 (1,500), $100 (2,500) and $150 (4,500) donations to Playing for Change.

In case you’re been under a rock for a while, Playing for Change is an internationally known 501(c)3 non-profit organization with a noble pursuit: bringing music and music education to marginalized and at-risk kids in under-developed regions around the world.

So even if you don’t win the contest, your donation goes to offer music courses and other music training to kids in countries like Bangladesh, Ghana, Morocco, Argentina and Thailand, all taught by local instructors to enrich their personal growth and be a catalyst for social change.

Whether you want to enter the contest for free or increase your chances with a donation, you have to have your entry (or entries) in by May 31

Terms and eligibility listed on the giveaway page.  

Read next:

How to automatically delete your embarrassing tweets for free

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Tech News

How China could win 2021’s space race and take Mars as its prize

Looking at its achievements over the past decade, nobody would doubt China is aiming to win the new space race. Not only has it been the only country to land on the Moon in about 40 years, and the first to soft-land on its far side, it has also planted a flag on lunar soil and brought samples back to Earth.

The race between several nations and private companies, however, is far from over. China is now approaching Mars with its Tianwen-1 mission, due to arrive on February 10. A successful insertion into orbit – the rover won’t land until May — will mark another crucial milestone for more than one reason.

Mars may be close to Earth, but it is a challenging target. Nothing demonstrates this better than the figures. Out of 49 missions up to December 2020, only about 20 have been successful. Not all these failures were attempts by newbies or early endeavors. In 2016, The European Space Agency’s Schiaparelli Mars Explorer crashed on the surface. Also, ongoing technical issues have forced ESA and its Russian partner Roscosmos to postpone its next mission, ExoMars, until 2022.

China is not the only country nearing Mars. On February 9, a UAE probe, Hope, will attempt the same insertion maneuver. It is not a direct competitor to the Chinese mission (the probe will just orbit the planet to study the martian weather), but (NASA’s Perseverance rover), set to arrive a week later, definitively is.

To further raise the stakes for China, among the handful of countries that have managed the notoriously tricky insertion maneuver into orbit, there is one Asian country there already: India, China’s direct competitor in space but on Earth as well.