in Tech NewsMarch 21, 2018
If you want a phone with secure 3D facial recognition, Apple's iPhone X is your best choice. And it may stay this way for a while. Apple's facial recognition technology, embodied by Face ID on the iPhone X, is estimated to have a two-year lead on the Android competition, according to "three major parts producers" who talked to Reuters. This means you may have to wait until 2019 before you can buy an Android phone with facial recognition abilities as advanced as Apple's Face ID. What makes the iPhone X's Face ID so special? The answer lies in its 3D sensors. When the iPhone X was announced, Apple placed a lot of emphasis on its TrueDepth camera system, which sits next to the front-facing camera and shoots out thousands of tiny infrared dots to create a virtual 3D model of your face. With this model it can use advanced AR features, such as animoji, or secure facial recognition like Face ID. Other phones just don't have the hardware to keep up. The brand new Samsung Galaxy S9, for example, uses 2D cameras to do its version of facial recognition called Intelligent Scan. Samsung's solution isn't as accurate and therefore not as secure. So much so that Samsung won't allow you to use it to verify mobile payments. Android phone manufacturers are struggling to acquire the same tech that Apple already has, according to Reuters. One of the key components in the 3D facial recognition equation is vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs). VCSELs are a relatively new technology that few manufacturers have access to, but thanks to Apple's big R&D budget and tight control of its supply chain, it was able to get its hands on a large amount of these parts. In December Apple signed a $390 million dollar deal to secure parts from VCSEL manufacturer Finstar. This has created a bottleneck for Android makers hoping to acquire the same parts. Android makers will have to wait until more companies are producing VCSELs. As a result Android phones might not get 3D facial recognition until next year. This coincides with an earlier report that Samsung may be working to secure 3D camera tech for its Galaxy S10 phone. Meanwhile, Apple is rumored to be bringing Face ID to more devices. Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst who regularly comments on Apple stories, says that three new iPhones released in 2018 could come with Face ID, as well as the next iPad Pro. Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The actress Cynthia Nixon officially jumped into the race for governor of New York on Monday, setting off what promises to be a tumultuous six months as she challenges Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in this year’s Democratic primary. Ms. Nixon, 51, has never before run for elected office and has chosen a huge undertaking for her first bid: seeking to unseat a two-term incumbent (and son of a three-term governor) who is sitting atop more than $30 million in campaign cash.
March 19, 2018
Miley Cyrus and fiancé Liam Hemsworth are truly in love. A source tells ET that the "Wrecking Ball" singer and the Hunger Games star are more committed to each other than ever and are at a place in their lives where a beautiful wedding could be in the cards. "They have been in love for almost nine years but the timing has never been right until now," the source says. "Their massive careers, their ages and their families' input has kept them from getting married." Apparently, the stars' families have also been a factor in when or even if the two decide to exchange vows. "While Miley's parents have always adored Liam, Liam's parents were not sold on Miley and her outrageous behavior," the source says. "Miley has been very open about her drug and alcohol use, and that didn’t bode well with his family's far more conservative lifestyle." However, the 25-year-old pop superstar seems to have moved away from her wild and raunchy Bangerz days with her most recent album, Younger Now, and she's even admitted that she quit smoking weed. As a result, she's won over the members of her boyfriend's family who were hesitant at first, and now everyone is throwing their support behind the couple. "Miley had to get through a phase of discovering herself before she was able to commit. And now that she has turned her life around and stopped partying, she is clear minded and knows what she wants," the source says. "Liam's mother [Leonie] is finally over the moon to have her as a daughter-in-law." According to the source, it was Chris Hemsworth's wife, Elsa Pataky, who played a hand in winning the Hemsworth matriarch over in favor of the singer. "Elsa and Miley have always been very close and Elsa really went to bat for Miley," the source says. "She has tried to impress on her in-laws all the big changes Miley has made to turn her life around and build a future with Liam." Even Cyrus family has become more supportive of the relationship than before, according to the source, who says her parents, Tish and Billy Ray Cyrus, "couldn't be more proud of her." While the cute couple have been sparking marriage rumors for months due to the pair rocking some shiny hardware on their ring fingers, the source explains that those are actually a sign of their commitment to each other. "She had been sporting her ring and wanted him to show his love and commitment in the same way," the source says. "Their friends refer to their rings as 'promise rings' and Liam and Miley are both good with that." The two may be rocking rings already, and have their parent's support, but that doesn't mean fans should expect to see the couple tying the knot sometime soon. The source explains that Cyrus is operating on her own time table. "Miley has come up with all sorts of different wedding plans. She is always creative and thinking of new ideas that will make her experience different," the source said, adding that the singer recently decided that she's going to go for something simple, and that she would have to have a "ranch wedding" because she wants to honor her country roots. She's also keeping a tight lid on when and where the wedding is going to be, to keep it an intimate affair. "She hasn't announced anything because she is being very secretive so only their friends will know and at the very last minute," the source says. "This time they are doing everything their own way." One of the couple's biggest concerns is feeling pressured to get married, which is why they are taking their time with wedding planning. "The first time they announced their engagement in 2012, they felt such pressure to make it the most spectacular wedding in the world but that was the downfall of their relationship and lead to their break up," the source says. Cyrus and Hemsworth split and officially called off their engagement in 2013 before reconciling and reconnecting in January 2016. The pair later confirmed that their engagement was back on. "This has been such a long drawn out process that they joke about the idea that when they finally get married people won't believe it's real!" the source says. On Saturday, the stars celebrated St. Patrick's Day with some colorful costumes and wild decorations which they shared to Instagram. The festive celebration comes just two weeks after the pair looked flawlessly elegant on the red carpet at the Vanity Fair Oscars Party. Check out the video below for more on the cute couple.
March 15, 2018
Hailee Steinfeld couldn't stop fan-girling over Kelly Clarkson! She had the chance to work with the newest Voice coach as a guest mentor this season, a situation that younger Hailee would've never seen coming. “I was so excited when she invited me to advise her team, because what she didn’t know was that she was a huge influence on me when I was younger," Steinfeld told Billboard. "When Kelly was on American Idol my parents surprised me and my brother with tickets to the show. I just remember looking at my dad and having him tell me that one day I would be on that stage too. It was one of those moments that reinforced my dream of pursuing music.” Steinfeld's time with Clarkson wasn't just a dream come true, though. As the "Most Girls" singer continues to work on her debut album, the 21-year-old took a few pointers from the 35-year-old superstar too. “One of the main things I learned from Kelly is to determine when and where to add embellishments in a song," Steinfeld explained. "She knows how to choose the right moment to give you that extra wow factor without it feeling like too much. A lot of times singing is based on feelings, but you also need to be able to make smart choices and pick the moments of greatest impact. She’s someone I truly admire."