Categories
Technology

Google’s new Pixel Buds Pro will arrive with Noise cancellation and long battery life

After several attempts at producing wireless earbuds, Google today unveiled the Pixel Buds Pro, its most expensive offering to date. The Pixel Buds Pro are a direct competitor to Apple’s AirPods Pro, including active noise cancelling, transparency mode, multipoint Bluetooth connectivity, and IPX4 water resistance, among other features. They’ll be available for preorder starting July 21st, alongside the Pixel 6A smartphone, and in stores a week later on July 28th.

Both the earphones and the carrying case appear almost identical to the 2020 Pixel Buds, and the Pro earbuds will be available in black, blue, green, or red. You’ll notice more microphone inlets around the exterior of these than prior Pixel Buds, and they’re designed to sit deeper in your ear canal than previous Pixel Buds.

Some people dislike the feeling of silicone tips in their ears, but it appears that Google has worked hard to make them as comfortable as possible for everyone. Sensors in the Pixel Buds Pro “measure the pressure in your ear canal so the earbuds can actively relieve it and stay comfortable.” Micro-vent systems are used in other high-end earphones for similar objectives, but I don’t recall ever seeing genuine sensors dedicated to this function. Three sizes of ear tips will be included in the package, as is customary, but Google claims that its “Silent Seal” software algorithms can “adapt to your ear, maximizing the amount of noise that’s canceled.”

Google claims that the Pixel Buds Pro’s hardware is entirely unique, from the six-core processor to the drivers to the algorithms that run on the earphones. Rick Osterloh, Google’s senior vice president of devices and services, described them as “the best mobile audio hardware we’ve ever designed” during a recent media conference. Fast Pair will be available, as well as a new trick called Volume EQ, which allows the earbuds to automatically tune audio across the frequency range to ensure full, rich sound at any volume.

The Pixel Buds Pro, like the AirPods Pro, are meant to transition between your most frequently used Android devices without forcing you to access any Bluetooth settings menus. On iOS, this “feature” is unreliable and annoying, so we’ll have to wait and see how Google’s version operates in July.

But, in addition to this “intelligent” audio switching, the Pixel Buds also feature Bluetooth multipoint, allowing you to connect to two audio sources at once. Multipoint is a common function on many wireless headphones, but in the world of earbuds, the handy trick was previously reserved for Jabra products. As wireless audio chips have advanced in recent years, providing multipoint to more devices, this has begun to change.

According to Google, the Pixel Buds Pro will have a long battery life. The business claims that with active noise cancellation turned on, they can listen for up to seven hours and 11 hours, respectively.

Spatial audio head tracking is one feature of the AirPods Pro for which Google has yet to respond, but it is on the way. The startup expects to release its own head tracking technology later this year. Regular spatial audio music playback is supported by all earbuds and headphones, including the Pixel Buds Pro, but the experience does not vary when you move your head around.

The Pixel Buds Pro will allow hands-free Google Assistant voice commands, and the company claims that noise suppression of background distractions such as wind and traffic improves call quality. The earbuds themselves are water resistant to IPX4, making them excellent for exercise, while the casing is water resistant to IPX2.

Google’s Pixel Buds Pro offer a lot of capabilities for a low price, undercutting Apple’s AirPods Pro by $50. There won’t be many people switching between the two: as with AirPods and the iPhone, Android users will get the best experience with the Pixel Buds Pro. These earphones are compatible with Apple products, however there is no Pixel Buds app to alter settings or EQ, for example. For earbud ecosystem supremacy in the Android universe, Google is truly squaring off against Samsung’s Galaxy Buds portfolio.

So far, Google’s track record with the Pixel Buds has been uneven. The 2020 earbuds had a lot of signal cuts and other issues. Later software updates addressed some (but not all) of those concerns. In terms of reliability, the newer, more economical Pixel Buds A-Series have performed better. Hopefully, the “Pro” earphones deliver on their promise of reliable performance.

Categories
Sports

MLB will play regular-season games in London in 2023, 2024, and 2026

As part of a long-term strategic partnership with the city, Major League Baseball will play regular-season games in London in 2023, 2024, and 2026.

MLB and London Mayor Sadiq Khan announced on Monday that the league has agreed to stage “major events” in the UK city over the next five years.

“I want to continue attracting world-class sport to our city as part of my mission to make London the sporting capital of the world,” Khan said in a statement. “These games will be a fantastic opportunity to once again showcase the London Stadium as a multi-use venue and a fantastic asset for the capital.”

In June 2019, MLB had their first game in London. The league earlier announced that it would begin a global Home Run Derby in July, with stops in London, Seoul, and Mexico City.

“All aspects of the inaugural MLB games in London were an overwhelming success,” said Commissioner Rob Manfred. “We are confident in making a long-term commitment to London.”

Categories
Entertainment

Brett Weitz step down TNT, TBS, and truTV as General Manager

Brett Weitz, the General Manager of TNT, TBS, and truTV, is stepping down. In the next 30 days, he will be transitioning out of his role, with his last day marking his 14th anniversary with the TNets.

Weitz’s retirement comes just weeks after the Discovery-WarnerMedia merger, as his post was dissolved as part of a reshuffle of the US Networks Group Division under Discovery’s Kathleen Finch, who added TNets to her portfolio.

“These past 14 years have been the most fulfilling of my career,” Weitz said. “I’ve had the great fortune to create and launch Emmy-winning fan-favorite entertainment, to be a part of powerful life-changing initiatives, and most importantly to have had the privilege to lead the most talented, dedicated, altruistic, and innovative team at the TNets. We made huge profits for shareholders and brilliant content for fans while having the most fun and being better partners with talent than any team I’ve ever been a part of. I will for sure continue to root for you all.”

In October 2019, Weitz, a well-liked senior TV executive, was named General Manager of TNT, TBS, and truTV. He oversaw all three networks in his job, assisting TNT and TBS in maintaining their positions as the #1 and #2 primetime networks among all cable entertainment networks, respectively, and truTV among the youngest and wealthiest. Weitz’s recent achievements include the development and launch of the scripted hits Snowpiercer and Chad; the 300th episode of American Dad; the successful revival of reality series Wipeout; and the growth of two unscripted/sports franchises – AEW, which he expanded into three series across two networks, and Impractical Jokers, which launched multiple series and a major motion picture.

Weitz was instrumental in revitalising TBS’ comedy brand with The Last O.G., which recently wrapped after four seasons, and late-Full night’s Frontal with Samantha Bee in his prior post as EVP Programming. Weitz formerly worked at TBS and TNT as SVP Scripted Development, where he created blockbuster shows like The Last Ship, Rizzoli & Isles, and Dallas.

Weitz also created distinct brand identities for the three TNets – TBS is always up for a good time, TNT is always up for a thrill ride, and truTV is always up for a good laugh – which each year generated six of the top ten comedies, two of the top dramas, and eight of the top ten performing movies. Weitz also championed the MORE project, a complex campaign that highlights material that honours all cultures and features a varied range of perspectives and stories.

TNT and TBS began moving away from original scripted content quickly after the merger was completed, with Warner Bros. Discovery’s leadership making their first major cost-cutting actions at the TNets by dramatically modifying its programming makeup.

Kill the Orange-Faced Bear, a new comedy series starring Damon Wayans Jr., was cancelled a week before it was set to begin production, and new creative development was halted. TBS had ordered Obliterated, a new series from Cobra Kai creators Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg, and Josh Heald, however it was just switched to Netflix. In addition, after more than two decades, TNT and TBS have discontinued the SAG Awards.

Weitz had already started the transformation process for the three linear networks. Over the last year and a half, the TNets have reduced their scripted pilot and series orders as they have increased their unscripted entertainment and sports programmes while continuing to rely on purchased content. Despite this, Weitz, a well-known development executive who had worked at Columbia Tri-Star Television, 20th Century Fox Television, and fox21 before joining Turner, remained devoted to written content.

Warner Bros. Discovery has selected WarnerMedia’s linear basic cable networks as top cost-cutting targets, with further departures and layoffs predicted.

Categories
Sports

MLB postpones Guardians-White Sox game because of positive Covid-19 tests in Cleveland organisation

The game between the Cleveland Indians and the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday afternoon has been postponed, according to Major League Baseball authorities, because to multiple positive Covid-19 testing inside the Guardians organisation.

It’s the season’s first Covid-19-related postponement.

According to the Guardians’ website, Cleveland manager Terry Francona, bench coach DeMarlo Hale, and “other uniformed personnel” have all tested positive for the virus that causes Covid-19.

A source told that, in addition to Francona, much of the Guardians coaching staff tested positive and was symptomatic.

While other teams have had many positive Covid-19 cases this season, the source claimed it was not viable for a team to play without a management and coaching staff on Wednesday because the positive test results came just before the start of an afternoon game.

The game was supposed to start at 2:10 p.m. ET, but it was postponed less than an hour before it did.

Players, employees, and people who come into direct contact with players are subject to daily health exams, according to MLB’s 2022 Covid-19 procedures, which CNN acquired a copy of. If someone reports symptoms, they should be evaluated, according to the protocols.

If a positive test is obtained, the player must isolate for up to 10 days before returning after being cleared by the team physician and MLB’s joint committee, which consists of two doctors and two non-medical members.

In addition to clearance from the doctor and joint committee, the individual must have two test results within defined parameters and improved or resolved symptoms.

There has been no announcement of a make-up date for the game, which was to be the third and final game of a three-game series between the two teams at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago.

The Guardians’ next game comes on Friday in Minneapolis against the Minnesota Twins.

Before publishing a team statement, a Guardians representative stated the club needed a few hours to establish logistics and travel coordination.

Categories
Health

Which Is Better: A Mediterranean vs. Vegan Diet?

Two popular eating plans are the Mediterranean diet and the vegan diet. Both have been thoroughly researched for their numerous health benefits.

The Mediterranean diet is based on the traditional eating habits of Mediterranean people in countries such as Greece, Spain, and Italy. It’s known for supporting a wide range of flavorful and healthful foods.

Meanwhile, the vegan diet promotes a wide variety of plant-based foods and has been linked to improved health and environmental outcomes.

While these two diet plans have some obvious similarities, you may be wondering how they compare.

This article compares and contrasts the Mediterranean and vegan diets to help you decide which is best for you.

How they compare-

Fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes are all included in both the Mediterranean and vegan diets as nutrient-dense plant foods.

Animal goods, such as poultry, eggs, dairy, and shellfish, are allowed in moderation on the Mediterranean diet. Although red meat and processed meat products such as bacon and ham are not forbidden, they should only be ingested on rare occasions.

Vegan diets, on the other hand, exclude all of these foods as well as additional animal products such as honey, gelatin, and butter. Foods cooked in animal fat or containing animal-derived compounds, such as food colours and flavourings, should also be avoided.

Though there are no hard regulations in the Mediterranean diet about which foods are allowed and which are not, it is typically recommended to limit processed foods, refined grains, and added sugars.

All of these foods are vegan-friendly as long as they don’t contain any animal ingredients.

There are also a few more aspects of the Mediterranean diet that aren’t stressed in vegan diets. These include drinking red wine in moderation, eating a variety of heart-healthy fats, and, wherever possible, sharing meals with people.

Weight loss effectiveness-

Weight loss has been linked to both the Mediterranean and vegan eating patterns. According to some research comparing the two eating habits, the vegan diet may be more successful.

A study of 62 overweight persons found that those who followed a low-fat vegan diet for 16 weeks dropped an average of 13.2 pounds (6 kg), whereas those who followed the Mediterranean diet maintained their weight.

Remember that any form of low-fat diet is likely to be low in calories, resulting in weight reduction.

Another small study discovered that those who followed a vegan diet for four weeks lost more weight than those who followed a Mediterranean diet for the same period of time.

One study found that the Mediterranean and vegetarian diets were equally efficient at improving levels of specific hormones that affect energy balance and hunger after three months.

Vegan diets are frequently more restrictive than Mediterranean diets, so keep that in mind. As a result, they may be more difficult to maintain over time, potentially negating any long-term weight loss benefits.

In the end, additional research is needed to see how these two diets compare in terms of weight loss success.

Other health impacts:

Aside from weight loss, Mediterranean and vegan diets have been linked to a variety of additional health benefits. Improved heart health, brain function, and blood sugar control are among them.

Heart health

The Mediterranean diet’s capacity to improve heart health and protect against heart disease and stroke has been thoroughly researched.

Vegan and vegetarian diets have been demonstrated to be beneficial to heart health. They could, for example, be connected to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, which are both risk factors for heart disease.

The effects of Mediterranean and vegan diets on heart health were examined in one study. The vegan diet reduced total and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels more effectively, while the Mediterranean diet reduced blood pressure levels more effectively.

Another tiny study found that the vegan diet lowers total cholesterol levels while the Mediterranean diet improves the function of the heart’s small blood arteries, suggesting that it may lower the risk of heart disease.

Finally, both diets appear to have significant benefits for heart health and disease prevention.

Brain activity

The Mediterranean diet has been linked to increased brain function in numerous studies. It has even been suggested that it may help prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Similarly, some research suggests that eating a plant-based diet promotes brain health. This action is thought to result in a better composition of beneficial bacteria in your gut.

While there is a lot of study on the Mediterranean diet’s brain-boosting benefits, there isn’t much on the vegan diet’s effects on brain health.

Blood sugar control

Both the Mediterranean and vegan diets promote a wide variety of nutrient-dense, fiber-rich foods that can help maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

Both diets have been linked to better blood sugar management.

A study of 15 research, for example, linked a vegan diet to a decreased incidence of type 2 diabetes. In those with this illness, it was also linked to better blood sugar control.

According to other studies, the Mediterranean diet is linked to better blood sugar control and a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.

In fact, a big study linked the Mediterranean diet to a 19% lower risk of acquiring type 2 diabetes.

More research is needed to directly compare the two diets and see which one promotes blood sugar control better.

Which option should you take?

The Mediterranean diet and the vegan diet, as previously mentioned, have both been linked to a variety of health benefits, including weight loss, heart health, and blood sugar control.

As a result, when determining which is best for you, consider your aims and preferences.

The vegan diet is more stringent than the Mediterranean diet, focusing on which foods to avoid rather than which meals to eat.

As a result, following a vegan diet may feel more restrictive and difficult. It’s also linked to an increased risk of nutritional deficiencies, such as vitamin B12 and iron, especially if you don’t plan beforehand.

The Mediterranean diet, on the other hand, promotes the consumption of a wide range of nutrient-dense foods such as heart-healthy fats, fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, and whole grains.

This can make it much easier to keep to over time while also ensuring that you obtain the vitamins and minerals you require as part of a well-balanced diet.

Other habits that might contribute to overall wellness, such as sharing meals with family or friends, are also stressed in the Mediterranean diet.

Finally, it’s worth noting that many people choose a vegan diet for ethical or environmental reasons rather than for personal health reasons.

At end

Vegan and Mediterranean diets are both healthful and linked to a number of potential health benefits.

They both place a strong emphasis on nutrient-dense plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.

Vegan diets are often more restrictive, and careful planning is required to ensure that your nutritional needs are met. In comparison to the Mediterranean diet, several features of the vegan diet, such as its impact on brain function, have received less research.

To assess whether a vegan or Mediterranean diet is best for you — or if you should explore beyond these two alternatives – think about your objectives, tastes, and priorities.

Categories
Technology

Google’s new ad targeting will be blocked by DuckDuckGo’s Chrome extension

DuckDuckGo, a privacy-focused browser, has updated its Chrome extension to disable two new Google Privacy Sandbox ad targeting approaches. Users can prevent Google Topics and FLEDGE using DuckDuckGo’s extension, or simply disable Chrome’s “Privacy Sandbox” setting, according to a blog post. Regulators and privacy campaigners have questioned Google’s Privacy Sandbox programme, which is an alternative means of tracking and targeting consumers for online ads that Google claims is more privacy-focused. DuckDuckGo has joined the chorus of critics of Google’s new ad technology, which is now being tested on a small number of customers.

“While some suggest that Topics is a less invasive way of ad targeting, we don’t agree. Why not? Fundamentally it’s because, by default, Google Chrome will still be automatically surveilling your online activity and sharing information about you with advertisers and other parties so they can behaviorally target you without your consent,” said DuckDuckGo’s product director Peter Dolanjski in the post.

Google’s FLEDGE (First Locally-Executed Decision over Groups Experiment), a new type of ad retargeting, was likewise criticised (otherwise known as those obnoxious ads that follow users wherever they go on the web). Unlike previous systems, Google asserts that FLEDGE enables remarketing without relying on a user’s personal identification. FLEDGE will also be directly embedded in Google’s Chrome browser, rather than relying on third-party cookies for ad retargeting.

“When you visit a website where the advertiser may want to later follow you with an ad, the advertiser can tell your Chrome browser to put you into an interest group. Then, when you visit another website which displays ads, your Chrome browser will run an ad auction based on your interest groups and target specific ads at you. So much for your browser working for you!,” Dolanjski wrote.

While it’s possible that this is just lip service, Google has stated that it would continue to take comments from privacy groups and regulators while it tests Privacy Sandbox. Privacy Sandbox received a cautious approval from the UK’s competition watchdog early this year. Google took longer than expected to phase out third-party cookies. Google’s Privacy Sandbox schedule is revised on a regular basis, and the latest estimate is that third-party cookies will be phased out during a three-month period in late 2023.

Categories
Entertainment

Fornite’s ‘Short Nite’ film festival is returning this week

Later this week, the fourth edition of Fornite’s “Short Nite” film festival will begin. The event, which will feature a range of short animated flicks screened in-game, will take place on May 12th, according to Epic Games. There are ten films in all, three of which are world premieres, and Epic will be selling a popcorn-eating emote for a truly immersive virtual viewing experience.

Short Nite’s first version took place on Fortnite’s party royale island, but it has steadily grown in scale, especially with last year’s Halloween-themed edition. 

This year, players can switch between nine distinct custom-built virtual theatres made in the game’s Creative mode via the explore page. You’ll be able to join up to seven people in a group, and the festival will feature picture-in-picture, so you can watch while playing battle royale or other game modes.

Previous festivals have featured a surprising variety of short films, so it’s a nice chance to catch up on some fascinating animation you might otherwise miss. Short Nite will air from May 12th to 16th at 2 p.m. ET.

Categories
Sports

FIFA and EA Sports will stop their video game partnership; the game will be renamed

After failing to reach a new licencing agreement, Electronic Arts will discontinue producing its immensely successful FIFA video game under its present brand, signalling the end of one of soccer’s most successful and lucrative partnerships.

Instead, EA Sports FC will be available starting in 2023, once the company completes the final game in collaboration with FIFA later this year.

The game’s licencing rights bring in around $150 million a year, making it the single biggest commercial earner in FIFA’s projected $7 billion overall revenue from 2019 through 2022, however the organisation sounded defiant in a statement released hours after the news broke.

FIFA has promised a “number of new non-simulation games (that) are already under production” that will be released in time for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, which begins in November.

FIFA stated that it intends to build a “new gaming model,” citing the debut of its streaming service FIFA+ as an example.

“I can assure you that the only authentic, real game that has the FIFA name will be the best one available for gamers and football fans,” FIFA president Gianni Infantino said in a statement.

For nearly 30 years, EA has produced a FIFA game, and its strong association with tens of millions of gamers around the world helped the Zurich-based company’s reputation recover after a wave of arrests of soccer officials in 2015.

FIFA has become a video game rather than a sporting institution for generations of young people.

Despite the fact that EA Sports FC will be unable to feature FIFA content such as the World Cup, it will continue to have licencing agreements with major soccer leagues such as the English Premier League and the UEFA-organized Champions League.

With warm comments from executives from the Premier League, UEFA, and Spain’s La Liga, the EA Sports FC announcement demonstrated the strength of those partnerships, while a coordinated release of tweets from dozens of soccer clubs used the slogan “We’re In The Club” to align with the EA Sports FC brand.

“We’re thankful for our many years of great partnership with FIFA,” EA CEO Andrew Wilson said. “The future of global football is very bright, and fandom around the world has never been stronger.”

While Wilson promised “even more innovative and authentic experiences to the growing football audience,” FIFA promised “new, interactive experiences to fans across the globe.”

“The interactive gaming and e-sports sector is on a path of unrivaled growth and diversification,” Infantino said. “FIFA’s strategy is to ensure we can make the most of all future options and ensure a wide range of products and opportunities for gamers, fans, member associations and partners.”

Categories
Technology

YouTube’s subscription gifting feature will begin on Wednesday, although it will be in beta at first

YouTube is testing gifting memberships, which will be accessible for a limited number of channels starting Wednesday. YouTube memberships are similar to Twitch subscriptions in that they allow viewers to express financial support for producers while also gaining access to perks such as personalised emoji. For a long time, Twitch users have been able to purchase gift subscriptions, but you haven’t been able to purchase gift memberships for other YouTube channel viewers.

According to YouTube, the membership giving beta will be available to a “small group of creators” at first, before being expanded to more “over the next several months.” Channels interested in experimenting with the functionality can do so by filling out this Google Form, albeit you must first be eligible to enable memberships, which has its own set of prerequisites. To begin, gifting will only be available to viewers using a desktop browser window; purchasing gift memberships on mobile will be available after the feature is fully launched.

Viewers will also need to opt-in in order to acquire free channel memberships (which could be a way to prevent harassment, like the changes YouTube made to its version of raids). Gifted memberships will show up in the chat, and you’ll have to click a link and then a toggle to accept them. This screenshot, obtained from a YouTube GIF, gives you a sense of what the experience is like:

“With Memberships Gifting, your channel members can buy a set number of channel memberships [5, 10, 20] in a single purchase, that YouTube will ‘gift’ out to other viewers in your live stream,” YouTube says. “Viewers who receive a gift membership get 1 month of access to your channel membership perks like loyalty badges, custom emoji and more. Viewers who receive gift memberships do not pay any charges and as the creator, you receive your usual revenue share from each transaction.”

Gifted subscriptions are the newest YouTube versions of significant Twitch features, which were added to better compete with Amazon’s popular streaming service. But YouTube hasn’t only competed on features; it’s also lured some big Twitch stars to stream exclusively on its platform, including DrLupo, TimTheTatman, Ludwig, and, in a contract announced just last week, Sykkuno.

Categories
Technology

Facebook is removing some location-tracking service because of ‘low usage’

According to report, Facebook is suspending numerous features that tracked your real-time location, including Nearby Friends, weather warnings, location history, and background location. Facebook says it will stop collecting data linked with these features on May 31st and will destroy all saved data on August 1st, according to a notification given to those who have previously used the service.

The Verge received confirmation from Facebook parent company Meta. “While we’re deprecating some location-based features on Facebook due to low usage, people can still use Location Services to manage how their location information is collected and used,” spokesperson Emil Vazquez said in an emailed statement.

However, this does not imply that Facebook will stop collecting location data entirely. According to Facebook’s statement to users, it will “continue collecting location information for other experiences” in order to offer relevant advertising and location check-ins in accordance with its data policy. Within the Settings and Privacy menu, you can see, download, or erase any location data the platform has saved. Otherwise, on August 1st, Facebook will immediately delete all data relating to its deceased services.

So think many of us will be disappointed to see these things disappear. (It doesn’t appear that many people rely on Facebook for weather updates these days.) Nearby Friends, introduced by Facebook in 2014, allows you to share your real-time location with your friends — and vice versa — with the goal of arranging in-person hangouts with folks in your immediate vicinity. Its popularity waned over time as rival applications such as Snapchat’s Snap Map and Apple’s Find My Friends gained traction.

Given Facebook’s track record when it comes to protecting users’ data, the removal of these location-based services is actually a relief. Following a report that revealed Facebook recorded users’ movements if they made a “credible” threat, Facebook began allowing Android users to turn off background location tracking in 2019. (Apple currently allows users to disable location tracking for certain apps.)

You can read Facebook’s full message to users here:

Because you’ve previously used Nearby Friends, Weather alerts, Location History or Background Location, we’re letting you know that these products and features will no longer be available after May 31, 2022. Information you shared that was used for these experiences, including Location History and Background Location, will stop being collected after May 31, 2022, even if you have previously enabled them. Facebook will otherwise continue collecting location information for other experiences as described in our Data Policy.

Update your settings

You can update your current Location History and Background Location settings in the Facebook App until May 31, 2022. After this date, the settings will be disabled.

Accessing your Location History

If you want to view or delete your existing Location History, you can access your information and download your information before Aug 1, 2022. After this date, if you do nothing, your existing Location History information will be automatically deleted.