The Morning After: How new hard drives are using microwaves and lasers

Mat Smith, Richard Lawler and Engadget
·5-min read

Sony’s slow march to making 360 Reality Audio mainstream has picked up the pace. Well, a little. After two years of showcasing the technology at trade shows (and putting it into non-Sony speakers), the company is finally ready to unveil pricing and availability for a pair of speakers, having laid out all of the specs back in January. The SRS-RA3000 is $300, while the more robust SRS-RA5000 is $700, with both speakers set to ship on March 29th.

The company says its spatial audio technology — combined with 360 Reality Audio content from streaming services like Amazon Music HD — allows both of these speakers to beam music both horizontally and vertically. Sony believes this helps to create a soundscape unlike your existing audio setup. I briefly tested it out when it was first announced at CES 2019, and it’s technically impressive — even for an audio dilettante.

Sony
Sony

 

The larger SRS-RA5000 packs in seven total drivers: three up-firing, three side-firing and a single subwoofer. Meanwhile, the SRS-RA3000 uses a full-range speaker and a diffuser to spread the sound around the room, combining two overlapping beam tweeters and a dual passive radiator. Sony decided to make the RA3000 humidity resistant, so you can take it into the kitchen or bathroom without worrying about damp air — it’s the slightly more portable option.

Until now, Sony only offered 360 Reality Audio support on some headphone models. The total number of compatible tracks is still pretty lacking, too: 4,000 at last count. It’s been a slow start for 360 Reality Audio, and now the real work begins.

-Mat Smith

Android apps like Gmail are crashing and 'WebView' is to blame

Grab the latest updates to get your phone working properly again.

This afternoon, a number of Android users (including some Engadget editors) suddenly saw notifications pop up on their devices saying that apps had stopped running. Many of these apps suddenly can't be opened, and included important ones like Gmail, a number of banking apps and Google Pay.

Later in the evening Google confirmed the issue with WebView, and overnight it released an update to fix it. If you’re still seeing crashes on your device, open the Play Store to make sure you have the latest update for System WebView and Google Chrome.
Continue reading.

Upscaled: Hard drives are about to get supercharged

HAMR and MAMR will use lasers and microwaves to pack as much as 60TB into a drive.

Upscaled
Upscaled

Flash storage has become so cheap and ubiquitous that outside of backup systems and NAS, SSDs and flash memory now hold the data on most of our devices. Hard drive shipments peaked in 2015, and fewer are sold every year, but in terms of terabytes sold, hard drives are more important than ever. Chris Schodt takes Upscaled to the future of supercharged hard drives.
Continue reading.

Dyson's new air purifier shows how much formaldehyde it's trying to destroy

With a new formaldehyde sensor.

Dyson
Dyson

It's been almost a year and a half since Dyson launched its formaldehyde-busting Pure Cryptomic air purifiers, and now, the company is back with an upgrade. The new Dyson Purifier Formaldehyde models — Hot+Cool (HP09) and Cool (TP09) — look almost identical to their predecessors, and they even feature the same Cryptomelane catalytic filters which break formaldehyde down into water and carbon dioxide.

Dyson’s latest devices are now able to specifically monitor this carcinogenic gas constantly released from the likes of furniture, carpets, paint and flooring. Dyson has avoided using gel-based formaldehyde sensors often found in competitors' devices, which dry up after about three years. Instead, the company developed a solid-state formaldehyde sensor which, much like the catalytic filters, allegedly lasts for the air purifiers' lifetime.
Continue reading.

Microsoft might buy Discord for more than $10 billion

Discord might go public instead of selling.

Discord
Discord

Discord, the chat/communications platform popular with gamers and many other groups, is going through a sales process that could fetch more than $10 billion. Bloomberg cites anonymous sources saying that Microsoft could be willing to buy the chat platform.

The report doesn't suggest that a deal is even close to completion, and at least one source claimed Discord is more likely to go public than sell. It could offer Microsoft a potent tool against Slack, even if the company already has its own Microsoft Teams tools. It's been almost a decade since Microsoft bought Yammer to enhance its enterprise social networking efforts and five years or so since it bought LinkedIn. Outside of Microsoft’s usual business acquisitions, it could be a smart purchase.
Continue reading.

Jeep's all-electric Wrangler concept has a six-speed manual transmission

EVs aren’t all crossovers and sedans.

The Jeep Wrangler Magneto concept is a fully capable BEV that is stealthy, quiet, quick and an unmistakable rock-climbing force. Jeep brand engineers and designers have created a zero-emission vehicle with Jeep 4x4 capability that provides new levels of efficiency, environmental responsibility, and performance on- and off-road.
The Jeep Wrangler Magneto concept is a fully capable BEV that is stealthy, quiet, quick and an unmistakable rock-climbing force. Jeep brand engineers and designers have created a zero-emission vehicle with Jeep 4x4 capability that provides new levels of efficiency, environmental responsibility, and performance on- and off-road.

The Wrangler Magneto looks like a regular gas-powered Wrangler Rubicon model, but it's powered by a battery and a highly unusual electric drivetrain that might appeal to off-road enthusiasts.

As Autoblog points out, in order to make electrification work in a regular Wrangler body, Jeep couldn't place the electric motors directly on the axles. Rather, it put the motor (an axial flux model) under the hood to power an upgraded Wrangler drivetrain including a two-speed transfer case and six-speed manual transmission.

They matched the electric motor and torque to the Wrangler's regular Pentastar V6 engine, so it delivers roughly the same 285 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. However, the full torque comes in much more quickly, allowing for acceleration from 0 to 60 MPH in 6.8 seconds.
Continue reading.

But wait, there’s more...

Jack Dorsey's 'first tweet' NFT sells for $2.9 million

Nintendo's upgraded OLED Switch will reportedly use DLSS to hit 4K

President Biden will nominate antitrust scholar Lina Khan to the FTC

Roku will stream every episode of 'This Old House' for free

Nintendo and Niantic are teaming up again for an AR 'Pikmin' game

What's on TV this week: 'Dota: Dragon's Blood' and 'Invincible'

Apple pulls more iMac models ahead of possible M1 refresh

Samsung latest high-res monitors go all-in on HDR

HP's new Envy laptops feature larger, 4K displays

Lego unveils a Space Shuttle Discovery and Hubble Telescope set

'The Falcon and the Winter Soldier' is the show MCU diehards have been waiting for

Samsung's Galaxy S21 Ultra drops to a new low price of $900

Yup, Apple Arcade is still worth five bucks a month

Now everyone can send Steam Remote Play Together links

Netflix is adapting a Keanu Reeves comic into a live-action film and anime series