Hear THX’s new Deep Note right here

The THX Deep Note is changing and it can be heard here first. The iconic audio track has long proceeded movies certified by THX and features the now-familiar crescendo that showcases the movie’s audio capability. This time around THX built the intro to feature 4K video as much as audio as it will be available to theaters that are THX Certified Cinema partners.
To make the trailer immersive online, THX utilized its THX Spatial Audio post-production mixing tools that enables online users to experience the multidimensional sound using headphones. It’s special. Don some headphones and turn up your volume before pressing play. THX says in a press release it “applied advanced objects and ambisonics-based engineering, essentially spherical harmonics, for full-sphere audio.” I’m not sure what that means, but the trailer sounds great.
The original THX Deep Note debuted at the premiere of Return of the Jedi in Los Angeles.
“Our aim with this


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Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+ is a compact yet powerful Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi Foundation just announced a brand new model. The Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+ is basically a flagship Raspberry Pi on a smaller printed circuit board, with a few compromises. It costs $25, or $10 less than the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+.
The lineup is getting slightly confusing, but bear with me for a second. If you want the best Raspberry Pi, you should get the 3 Model B+. It comes with a 1.4GHz ARMv8 quad-core processor, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Ethernet (max 300 Mbps), USB 2.0 and HDMI.
The new Pi 3 Model A+ is supposed to be a smaller model but with most of the advantages of the Model B+. It has similar specifications, except that you get 512MB of RAM instead of 1GB, there’s only one USB 2.0 port and the Ethernet port is gone.
But that’s about it. If you don’t need a ton of RAM or Ethernet,


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Kobo’s Forma e-reader takes on Kindle Oasis with an asymmetric design and premium price

Kobo’s latest e-reader is a complete about-face from its anonymous, cheap and highly practical Clara HD; the Forma is big, expensive and features a bold — not to say original — design. It’s clearly meant to take on the Kindle Oasis and e-reader fans for whom price is no object.
The $280 Forma joins a number of other e-readers in using a one-handed design, something which is, we might as well admit up front, isn’t for everyone. That said, I’ve found that my reading style on these devices has been able to adapt from one form factor to another — it’s not like they made it head-mountable or something. You still hold it like you would any other small device.
It uses an 8-inch E-Ink Carta display with 300 pixels per inch, which is more than enough for beautiful type. The frontlight — essentially a layer above the display that lights up


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Ibuki is the 10-year-old robot child that will haunt your dreams

Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro makes robots in Osaka. His latest robot, Ibuki, is one for the nightmare catalog: it’s a robotic 10-year-old boy that can move on little tank treads and has soft, rubbery face and hands.
The robot has complete vision routes that can scan for faces and it has a sort of half-track system for moving around. It has “involuntary” motions like blinking and little head bobs but is little more than a proof-of-concept right now, especially considering its weird robo-skull is transparent.
“An Intelligent Robot Infrastructure is an interaction-based infrastructure. By interacting with robots, people can establish nonverbal communications with the artificial systems. That is, the purpose of a robot is to exist as a partner and to have valuable interactions with people,” wrote Ishiguro. “Our objective is to develop technologies for the new generation information infrastructures based on Computer Vision, Robotics and Artificial Intelligence.”
Ishiguro is a roboticist who plays


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Kobo’s new entry-level Clara HD e-reader has a crisp, color-adjustable display

Kobo has announced a new e-reader, the Clara HD, which won’t set the world on fire but will be a perfectly good option for e-book readers who don’t want to spend a fortune. It basically revives the well-liked but discontinued Glo HD with a better frontlight and more memory.
The screen is 6 inches and 300 PPI, which is comparable to Amazon’s latest Kindles and high enough that you shouldn’t notice pixelation in the type. More importantly for some, it has the company’s improved frontlight, which can be dialed from the now-familiar cool LED tone to a much, much warmer one. There’s 8 GB of storage inside, more than enough for hundreds of books and comics — but no MicroSD card slot, which some do love to have.
I’ve been using the Clara HD as my daily reader for a week or so and I can vouch for the type quality and


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Comcast’s mesh Wi-Fi system, xFi Pods, launches nationwide

Comcast today is officially launching its own Wi-Fi extender devices called xFi Pods that help to address problems with weak Wi-Fi signals in parts of a customer’s home due to things like the use of building materials that disrupt signals, or even just the home’s design. The launch follows Comcast’s announcement last year that it was investing in the mesh router maker Plume, which offers plug-in “pods” that help extend Wi-Fi signals.
The company said that it would launch its own xFi pods that pair with Comcast’s gateways to its own customers as a result of that deal.
Those pods were initially available in select markets, including Boston, Chicago and Denver, ahead of today’s nationwide launch.
The pods themselves are hexagon-shopped devices that plug in to any electrical outlet in the home, and then pair with Comcast’s xFi Wireless Gateway or the xFi Advanced Gateway to help Wi-Fi signals extend to the hard-to-reach areas


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Sony shrinks its Digital Paper tablet down to a more manageable 10 inches

I had a great time last year with Sony’s catchily named DPT-RP1, an e-paper tablet that’s perfect for reading PDFs and other big documents, but one of my main issues was simply how big the thing is. Light and thin but 13 inches across, the tablet was just unwieldy. Heeding (I assume) my advice, Sony is putting out a smaller version and I can’t wait to try it out.
At the time, I was comparing the RP1 with the reMarkable, a crowdfunded rival that offers fantastic writing ability but isn’t without its flaws. Watch this great video I made:

The 10-inch DPT-CP1 has a couple small differences from its larger sibling. The screen has a slightly lower resolution but should be the same PPI — it’s more of a cutout of the original screen than a miniaturization. And it’s considerably lighter: 240 grams to the 13-inch version’s 350. Considering the latter already


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Amazon’s new ‘Alexa Blueprints’ let anyone create custom Alexa skills and responses

Amazon this morning is introducing “Alexa Blueprints,” a new way for any Alexa owner to create their own customized Alexa skills or responses, without needing to know how to code. The idea is to allow Alexa owners to create their own voice apps, like a trivia game or bedtime stories, or teach Alexa to respond to questions with answers they design – like “Who’s the best mom in the world?,” for example.
You could also create a skill that includes helpful information for the babysitter, which could be triggered by the command, “Alexa, open My Sitter,” Amazon suggests.
“Alexa Skill Blueprints is an entirely new way for you to teach Alexa personalized skills just for you and your family,” explained Steve Rabuchin, Vice President, Amazon Alexa, in a statement about the launch. “You don’t need experience building skills or coding to get started—my family created our own jokes skill in a matter


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Apple adds live news channels to TV app for iOS and Apple TV

 After teasing the feature back in September, Apple is adding support for live news in the TV app on the iPhone, iPad and Apple TV — 9to5mac first spotted the new section. For now, it’s quite limited as it only supports a handful of channels for American users. If you’re running the most recent versions of iOS and tvOS, the feature should now be live. I’m running iOS… Read More


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