Putting six speakers inside a tablet cover is smarter than it sounds

Asus is a company you can depend on. Every year at this time, the Taiwanese electronics maker kicks off Computex — the foremost local showcase of future technology — with a mass of new devices that mix practicality with small flourishes of eccentricity.

In the case of the upcoming ZenPad 8, the practical appeal is embodied by the tablet itself, which is a rather modest 8-inch Android slate with a 1280 x 800 IPS LCD, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, and a 5-megapixel camera. The ZenPad 8 runs on Intel’s quad-core SoFIA chip, which is intended for the low-cost smartphone market — and its eventual price is sure to be strikingly low, if Asus’ history is anything to go by. But this tablet does have that extra flourish too, coming in the shape of…

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Author: Vlad Savov

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Solar Impulse 2 forced to land during record-breaking attempt

Solar Impulse 2 has been forced to land in Japan due to poor weather conditions, 36 hours into what was supposed to be a record-breaking flight across the Pacific Ocean. The solar-powered plane took off early Sunday from Nanjing, China to begin a 120-hour trip to Hawaii that would have smashed the world record for longest duration of a solo aircraft flight. (It currently stands at 67 hours and 1 minute.) The aircraft and its lone pilot, André Borschberg, completed one overnight leg before Solar Impulse’s meteorologists decided to make an unexpected stopover in Nagoya, Japan this morning as conditions worsened.

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Author: Amar Toor

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Windows 10 to launch on July 29th

Microsoft promised to launch Windows 10 in the summer, and now the company is revealing an exact date: July 29th. The official date comes weeks after AMD CEO Lisa Su revealed that Microsoft would launch Windows 10 in late July. Microsoft’s aggressive timing for late July means that the company will be looking to finalize its features for Windows 10 very soon. Recent preview builds of the operating system continue to include many changes to features, and a number of issues and bugs.

Microsoft now has less than two months to fix all these issues and bugs before it launches Windows 10 to the world. That’s slightly concerning given the state of the operating system right now, but recent preview builds have started to look and feel more…

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Author: Tom Warren

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How long until you lose the world's smallest 128GB USB drive?

How tiny is SanDisk’s new 128GB flash drive? Well, to our eyes it simply looks like a USB connector with a plastic end-cap — there doesn’t seem to be any storage there at all. Regardless of how it looks though, SanDisk says this upgrade to their Ultra Fit series is capable of storing up to 16 hours of full HD video in a form factor “smaller than a dime,” while offering transfer speeds of up to 130MB/s.

Better for adding extra capacity than transferring files

Although you might think this is the perfect solution for toting your files around, SanDisk says the drive’s low-profile is actually better suited for adding extra storage capacity to your laptops and tablets. You can simply plug the drive into your device and then forget about it…

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Author: James Vincent

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Asus announces ZenWatch 2, bringing a digital crown and a choice of sizes to Android Wear

The only way for Computex, Asia’s foremost tech exhibition, to get going is with a deluge of announcements from local powerhouse Asus, and this year’s show is no different. The headline new device from Asus is the ZenWatch 2, its second Android Wear smartwatch, which appears to borrow a great deal from the Apple Watch, both in its form and new functionality.

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Author: Vlad Savov

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The Patriot Act's broadest surveillance powers will expire at midnight tonight

Central portions of the Patriot Act are set to expire at midnight tonight, after a late-night Senate vote failed to extend the provisions. Those portions include Section 215, which applies to business records requests and has been used to justify the bulk collection of American phone and internet records.

Tonight’s session was a second chance for the Senate, after the chamber failed to pass the USA Freedom Act last Friday, putting portions of the legal basis for US surveillance in jeopardy. The Freedom Act passed cloture with 77 votes, and is likely to pass through the Senate later this week, but an ongoing filibuster from Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) meant the Senate was unable to pass the bill before the scheduled sunset of Patriot Act…

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Author: Russell Brandom

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Nvidia's new flagship GTX 980 Ti card is all about 4K and VR gaming

Taiwan’s annual Computex convention kicks off this week, and that means that Nvidia has some new goodies to show off. Nvidia’s latest flagship GPU is here, and it’s called the GeForce GTX 980 Ti. As you can tell from the name, it’s supposed to be a beefier version of the prior flagship, the GTX 980. But the specs suggest it might be a nice way to enjoy some of the Titan X’s massive power without paying up for that flagship.

This time around, it looks like Nvidia is pumping up the 4K performance of its latest and greatest. According to the company’s own benchmarks, the Maxwell-based GPU can run games like Battlefield 4 and Shadow of Mordor in 4K at max settings while keeping framerates well over 30FPS. GTA V at “very high” settings came…

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Author: Dante D’Orazio

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US police have killed hundreds this year, but the FBI still doesn’t keep count

In the first five months of 2015, US police forces fatally shot at least 385 people, The Washington Post reports. That’s more than two people per day, and more than double the amount of police killings on record for the last decade. But this doesn’t necessarily mean police are killing more people than they ever have, rather it’s indicative of the FBI’s known failure to keep a reliable, comprehensive database of police killings nationwide.

Jim Bueermann, a former police chief and president of the Police Foundation told the Post that police killings in the US are “grossly underreported.” “We are never going to reduce the number of police shootings if we don’t begin to accurately track this information,” he said.

Police killings are…

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Author: Lizzie Plaugic

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