After a 30-year hiatus Sony resumed production of vinyl records

Vinyl records are again at the peak of their popularity. Their sales continue to grow steadily throughout the world and in 2017 reached a peak since the late 80’s. Retro is attractive not only for its aesthetics, but also for the unique sound that audiophiles so highly appreciate. Yes, and feel in the hands of a vinyl record much nicer than listening to music purchased in a cloud service like iTunes. All this pushes the biggest manufacturers to reconsider their policy regarding vinyl. The Japanese corporation Sony, for example, decided to resume the production of records after a nearly 30-year hiatus.

Production of vinyl records will be launched in March 2018 at the factory division of Sony Music Entertainment in the Japanese prefecture of Shizuoka. The last record produced by Sony came off the assembly line in 1989. This happened, which is not surprising, against the backdrop of strengthening market positions of a new format of data carriers CD. CDs were developed and released with the direct involvement of Sony, and first went on sale in 1982. Even then, many experts understood that the century of vinyl is gradually coming to an end. But, as time showed, this is not so.

Increasing popularity of vinyl records has led to the fact that electronics manufacturers rushed to release modern turntable players. And what extravagant devices can be found today in the market, right up to those where the plate levitates over the player’s case. Or a compact player that can be thrown into a backpack and taken with you wherever you go. Sales of vinyl records in Japan over the past seven years have grown almost eight times to 799,000 copies per year. In the US, this figure is 17.2 million copies. What is noteworthy, last year in the UK, more records were sold than digital albums.

# CES 2018 | Sony introduced a mobile projector the size of a smartphone

In addition to the updated model of the charming robotic dog Aibo , during the CES 2018 exhibition the Japanese company Sony introduced a lot of interesting electronic devices and gadgets. Among other things, the line of projectors was especially prominent. Along with the incredibly expensive 4K projector for $ 30,000, which can project the image onto the wall, standing straight against it, Japanese engineers also presented a surprisingly tiny model of the projector. With a size slightly larger than a modern smartphone, it is capable of projecting onto a wall an image with a diagonal of up to 3 meters.

Projector Sony MP-CD1 weighs only 280 grams and has dimensions of 8 x 14 x 1.6 cm, which really makes it slightly larger than a smartphone. The aluminum casing of the projector is firmly attached to a comfortable stand, which can be adjusted so that the image, for example, is displayed on the ceiling above your bed. Representatives of Sony admitted that the main problem in creating the projector was the need to remove a lot of heat. At the same time, they also feared that the built-in cooler would create unnecessary noise, which hindered viewing. As a result, Japanese engineers still managed to cope with both problems.

The projector needs a distance of only 3.5 meters in order to bring to the flat surface a screen diagonal of 3 meters (120 inches). The truth is that the resolution of the picture is only 854 by 480 pixels. But the projector is able in real time to improve the saturation and brightness of the image. If the surface on which the picture is projected is inclined, the special algorithm automatically adjusts the aspect ratio so that it looks right. With a brightness of 105 ANSI-lumens, the projector is able to run two hours from one charge of the built-in battery. As a bonus, the projector can be used as a power bank to recharge your mobile devices.

You can connect an external video source or images via the HDMI port. You can even connect a game console like PlayStation 4 to the projector and play on the giant screen in your favorite games. An external sound source can be connected using a standard 3.5 mm port. The projector starts working after the lamp has been warmed up, which takes only 5 seconds. The device will be available for sale in spring at a price of $ 400.

In Japan, the last cassette recorder will come off the assembly line

This is extremely difficult to believe, but some people still use VHS cassette recorders for watching movies. Despite the transition of humanity to formats like DVD, Blu-Ray and other “figures”, especially hardened individuals continue to use their usual cassette devices. But all good things come to an end sooner or later, and in August the last video recorder will come off the Japanese conveyor.

The last company in Japan, which is still producing video recorders, is Funai Electric. According to the authoritative edition of Nikkei, the manufacturer plans to stop its production lines in August 2016. The reasons for this decision, as you already know, are quite obvious. The market of video recorders is negligible, and some components necessary for the production of this electronics are incredibly difficult to acquire today.

Other Japanese electronic giants left this business for quite some time. Sony stopped producing Betamax film cassettes about a year ago, although the last such VCR went off the assembly line in 2002. But Funai did not give up until the last. The company produced tape recorders for Sanyo, and it, in turn, sold them around the world, including the US. Funai released its first video recorder in 1983 and sold an average of 15 million devices a year until recently. Sales for the past year amounted to only 750 000 boxes, it was this sad statistics that led to the cessation of the production of VCRs.

Camera Kinect arranged for work in a supermarket

Modern stores are fashionable and important. Not so long ago, Amazon opened a retail store without vendors, cashiers and other anachronisms, and now one more high-tech store with augmented reality has arrived. Professor Carlo Ratti developed the concept of the store so that people, according to him, could not just go in and buy the first thing that came their hands on, and get a good idea of ​​the assortment, learn more about the product, find out how useful it is, and then and take it to the cashier.

To do this, all products are arranged according to the ingredients. The grapes, for example, lie next to the wine and raisins, and next to the canned vegetables lie fresh. Over all counters there are long displays. It is enough to bring to them the product of interest to you, like the motion sensors and the Microsoft Kinect sensor, it will be immediately recognized, and then will provide the necessary information about the product, show nutritional value, indicate the presence of allergens, if any, show how it is produced and inform on the use of pesticides.

Care for health and self-education is important, even if you are currently shopping, and not reading a book on gardening. However, there is another point: Kinect is a device from 2011, and while you are happy to read about the production of mozzarella, you may come up with the idea of ​​buying something else. Science is a science, but this is business – nothing personal.

In Singapore, a dispatching service for the management of drones is created

Unmanned aerial vehicles continue to gain popularity, which means that in densely populated areas they can pose a threat to people, animals and property. The need to control aircraft was long overdue not only in Singapore, but it was there that they began to study the problem, after which they decided to create a dispatching service that controls the movement of drones.

The development of the software and hardware control system for unmanned aerial vehicles was assigned to specialists of the Nanyang Technological University and the Singapore Civil Aviation Administration. Together they will develop the rules for flying drones and create a single flight management base that should help with the laying of safe routes, the designation of geosones and the creation of flight corridors.

To monitor the movement of drones in the country will build dispatching stations that will begin to monitor the movement of UAVs, the speed of their flights and ensure the safety of the movement of aircraft. In order to work out various scenarios, engineers plan to use the computer simulated flight program.

In addition to creating a dispatch service, the Singapore authorities are going to finalize the legislation and develop common standards, altitude, and range of flights. They are going to take into account other important points in the preparation of the project, which, according to preliminary calculations, will take at least four years.

Cota – amazing wireless charging for mobile devices

Mankind has long dreamed of getting rid of the annoying wired charge for its gadgets. Scientists offer various technologies for implementing this idea, but so far there are very few proposals on the market that are truly attractive to consumers. The Cota charging station, developed by Ossia’s engineers, is one such device. The first news about it appeared in the summer of last year, but now the manufacturer assures us that it should finally go on sale in early 2017. And while this does not happen, we suggest you watch a video explaining the principle of the unusual wireless charging.

Cota consists of a transmitter and a receiver. At the moment the receiver is made in the form of a cover for your smartphone, but in the future receivers can be built directly into the gadget enclosures, there would be a desire on the part of the manufacturers. In addition, you will have to install on the smartphone an official application Ossia, which allows you to monitor the settings of the wireless system and always be aware of how the recharging of each individual device.

The transmitter looks like a small turret like the Apple Mac Pro, inside of which hundreds of unidirectional antennas are hidden from our eyes. The system monitors the surrounding area for signals from the mobile device (and it emits short signals to facilitate detection) and, as soon as it finds it, starts sending radio waves to it at a frequency of 100 times per second. You can walk around the room with your smartphone in your hand, and it will still be recharged. The charging process operates at a distance of up to 9 meters from the transmitter. The walls can become a serious obstacle to charging.

The Cota charging station is capable of simultaneously recharging up to 32 different devices simultaneously. This includes not only tablets and smartphones, but also remote controls, cameras that will use special batteries, also developed by Ossia’s engineers. Batteries these without any problems are recharged through the air right inside your gadgets. In the sale of miracle-charging will be received in the first quarter of 2017. The cost of her and additional accessories is not yet reported.

At the airport in Tokyo, passengers will be serviced by robots

Passengers of the Japanese international airport Narita, located in Tokyo, will soon begin to help robots-assistants Hospi (R) from Panasonic. New assistants began to be tested on the territory of the airport and in the adjoining ANA Crowne Plaza hotel.

These robots in Panasonic were developed a couple of years ago, and now they are gradually improving their design and software, adapting to various tasks. Due to the fact that they are completely independent, they are perfectly oriented with the help of built-in sensors and thanks to the maps loaded into memory, they do not make noise, but they do their work smartly, they are already used in four Japanese hospitals – there they help doctors and orderlies to bring medicines and various other items . Electronic assistants are able to work both in semiautomatic and offline modes.

Soon the robots will begin to feel at the airport and the hotel, where they will clean the tables, and while they warm up in the hotel’s lounges, where they deliver cold water for visitors, simultaneously telling them the schedule of buses going to the airport. These cute guys know Chinese, Japanese and English and can communicate using text messages displayed on the display.

Testing will not last very long, only a few days, and will end on January 27 this year.

How to build an IP video surveillance system

When it comes to video surveillance, many start to get scared, presenting huge server-side, complexity of installation and the final cost of this system. Therefore, customers begin to save, which undoubtedly affects the quality and functionality of video surveillance. On how to save money, but at the same time get a full-fledged monitoring system, we will tell you today.

The segment of IP-video surveillance has been developing for several years, and by this year the technologies have reached serious heights, and the prices for IP-cameras have decreased several times. In general, IP cameras are computers in miniature, with a processor, RAM and operating system. They transmit the signal digitally, so they do not have the limitations inherent in other formats. But do not be mistaken and say that IP-video surveillance is an expensive pleasure. Often, installers of such systems save and install the customer free software that comes with IP cameras. Naturally, all this limits the capabilities of the system and calls into question its reliability.

But analog systems, which have been used for many years, can easily be replaced with IP, without going beyond the budget, and at the same time to get a more functional system. For example – good cameras cost 5-6 thousand rubles, eight-channel video recorder – another 23 thousand rubles. The cost of such a system with seven cameras will be 60 thousand rubles. But if you replace six cameras with three with a higher resolution and a wider viewing angle, use a four-channel IP-DVR and a PoE switch – the cost will be the same, but the system will be better, besides saving on cable and installation work.

The company-developer of Macroscop offers software for IP-cameras, as well as NVRs – ready-made software and hardware solutions for the simple construction of a professional video system. The software allows you to build a system from one to an infinite number of any IP cameras. Everything is easily designed, configured and maintained, there are even customers for iOS, Android and Windows Phone.

The advantage of Macroscop is that the program works with almost any IP camera – you can choose the favorite brand and model and use it. But most importantly – Macroscop has a simple and intuitive interface with great functionality.

We decided to try, as things stand, by testing the software ourselves. To do this, we got acquainted with the Macros web client and installed a full complex on Windows. The demo version of the program allows you to use intelligent modules (face detection, object interception, interactive search and inter-camera tracking, heat map, PTZ control, tracking and visitor counting) and watch the archive synchronously across all channels. The only restrictions are that the reception of video streams is suspended after 1 hour after the program is started (restart is required), the maximum archive size is 4 gigabytes, maximum up to 400 IP cameras can be configured in the system.

While a demo version is installed on the computer, you can familiarize yourself with the interface in the web client and view the archive on one channel on the cameras from the server Macroscop.

The menu for managing the program is located on the left side of the screen. In the “Settings” section we open the service program – “Configurator”. In it you can see the list of cameras, change settings or configure a new camera. In the section “Servers” it is possible to connect servers to the system, configure the path of the archive, allow viewing from mobile devices and so on.

The “Users and groups” section is used to administer the system, and in the “Views” menu you can select the grid, channels, and configure the automatic grid change. For example, if you have 20 cameras, or first you need to monitor the cameras at the entrance, and only then in the building.

Once the configurator is sorted out, you can proceed to the observation. Access to the archive is conveniently implemented – it is possible to view it in real time, without removing from the screen the image from other IP-cameras. There are also viewing reports and a lot of individual settings that will help to make everything for a specific user. For example, display the main cameras. Using the Macroscop software is really convenient!

Macroscop is still developing intelligent modules: for example, inter-camera tracking and interactive search by signs, a heat map of traffic intensity and visitor counting. Also the company implements the modules for recognition of car numbers and persons. With the help of additional intelligent modules it is possible to build an intelligent and functional system.

On the developer’s site, you can make a request for your project – you will need only a brief description, and then specialists will calculate the required server capacity and the final cost. The products of Macroscop are used by such companies as Sberbank, Lukoil, KIA and others, but the company also helps to ensure security in small and medium-sized businesses. You can try this link .

Developed molecular fire extinguishers for smartphone batteries

After the story with numerous spontaneous flares Samsung Galaxy Note 7 and their subsequent recall from the market, many smartphone manufacturers have reflected: how would we protect our users and themselves from similar situations in the future? The answer to this question was found by scientists from Stanford University. They proposed to initially supply the lithium-ion battery with an integrated system capable of instantly extinguishing the ignition that had started and avoiding a possible explosion.

Researchers looked at many options for realizing their idea. The introduction of flame-retardant substances into Li-Ion would inevitably reduce the conductive capacities of electrochemical cells, so this approach had to be abandoned at once. Then scientists came up with a brilliant idea: if you isolate flame-retardant substances from the contents of cells, deterioration of the characteristics of the battery can be avoided. In all, it is necessary to enclose molecules of matter in polymer capsules, the shell of which is destroyed only at high temperature.

As soon as the battery is close to the explosion, the shell of the capsules will be destroyed, and the flame-retardant contained in them will extinguish the fire. In the studies, scientists used as a “fire extinguisher” triphenyl phosphate, coated with a polymer PVDF-HFP. From the moment of the artificially created battery overheating to a full stop of ignition, no more than a second passed. At the same time, the performance of the battery has not decreased. But before scientists there is one more serious problem: the longevity of flame-retarding capsules leaves much to be desired. After 360 cycles of recharging, the polymer shell of some capsules is destroyed and reduces the efficiency of the battery.

The US Army began field trials of cargo drones

Delivering ammunition, food and other necessary items on the battlefield or in an ambush is a difficult and expensive task. You can drop cargo from a helicopter or an airplane, but it’s easier to entrust this matter to robots or drones, which is why the US Army has joined the development of the JTARV air cargo platform. Her creation began on Kickstarter, but the startup quickly concluded the necessary contracts with the army and the US Marine Corps, after which things went much faster. Military engineers have joined the project, and the funds necessary to bring everything to mind, began to flow more often.

The Joint Tactical Aerial Resupply Vehicle (JTARV) is still rather boring – the test version is similar to the usual, but large quadrocopter. But Tim Wong, deputy head of the military research lab, explained that with the help of a prototype in the army, the US hopes to create a serial cargo drones capable of delivering various cargoes to the places of deployment of soldiers. A kind of “Amazon on the battlefield,” as he called it Wong. In addition, judging by the dimensions, the platform will allow creating hoverbikes on its basis.

The device can be used in a variety of conditions, it is assumed that after this prototype is tested, the aircraft will be finalized so that it can fly at distances of up to 200 kilometers with a payload of up to 350 kilograms on board. Later, it is planned to equip the drones with tracking, navigation and route planning systems, this will help expand the scope of such devices and use them for more dynamic and complex missions.