DJI’s iOS-connected Mavic Air drone hits new price points, pushes portability

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With GoPro exiting the drone market entirely, the dominant name in aerial photography, DJI, unveiled its latest product on Tuesday: the Mavic Air. It’s a $ 799 foldable model that can fit inside of a jacket pocket. AppleInsider was on hand for the announcement and went hands-on with the new flying camera.
AppleInsider – Frontpage News

If We Want the Price of Renewables to Drop, We Need to Pay to Get Rid of Carbon

Smart Economics

A long awaited clean energy revolution may soon become reality as renewables are set to outprice fossil fuels by 2020, according to the latest report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

But as businesses show increasing interest in the promises of clean energy, governments need to step up too, says the agency in a separate analysis. Money is needed not only to deploy more solar panels, but also to facilitate the transition of communities that still rely on fossil fuels to low carbon sources. According to the World Economic Forum such a shift is likely to be painful, involving disruptions of the labor market as well as societal and geopolitical risks.

Adnan Amin, head of IRENA, believes that the change is already underway and looks at the bright side. At the agency’s annual summit in Abu Dhabi, he said that “turning to renewables for new power generation is not simply an environmentally conscious decision, it is now overwhelmingly a smart economic one.”

Renewable energy is already competing with fossil-fuels in many areas of the world, but for now it remains mostly reliant on government subsidies to stay afloat in the energy market. IRENA’s analysts agree that simply building more solar and wind farms is not going to solve the problem.

Mixed Response

One of the biggest setbacks to solar and wind energy is that we can only generate power intermittently, when the sun is shining or the wind is strong enough. In order to function, human communities need a steady and predictable flow of energy, which at the moment is not guaranteed by clean electricity, which cannot be stored for long periods.

IRENA’s analysis finds that a combination of more stable, low-emission sources, including hydropower, geothermal, solar thermal, or even nuclear power will be key to tomorrow’s energy mix. However, these sources come with challenges such as geographical limitations, cost, or issues with public perception, as for example in the case of nuclear power.

Extensive battery units could also help store energy at times of high output and low demand, for use when output is low and demand is high. Battery technology is certainly promising at this juncture, as Tesla’s recent installation in Australia has shown. But for now batteries remain expensive and deploying them at scale would no longer make renewables financially prudent.

Despite the current challenges, IRENA reports that global competition is not only helping in terms of prices, but also with best practices, reducing the risks normally associated with investments in young technologies. This feedback loop, the agency expects, will be key to making its predictions reality by 2020.

The post If We Want the Price of Renewables to Drop, We Need to Pay to Get Rid of Carbon appeared first on Futurism.


Amazon is raising the price of Prime monthly memberships by nearly 20 percent

From $ 10.99 to $ 12.99.

Amazon Prime memberships are getting more expensive for those customers who want the flexibility to pay for the speedy shipping and media streaming program on a monthly basis.

The company is announcing on Friday that the Amazon Prime monthly fee is increasing from $ 10.99 to $ 12.99 in the U.S., an increase of 18 percent. The new price works out to nearly $ 156 a year.

The increase comes less than two years after Amazon first introduced the monthly payment option as a way to attract new Prime members who either couldn’t afford the annual membership of $ 99 (which is not increasing), or didn’t want to commit to using the service continuously.

As I wrote this summer:

The monthly payment option was seen as a way to attract lower-income customers — the type of shopper who might otherwise prefer, say, Walmart — who could not cough up $ 99 at one time. Since then, Prime membership growth has been the strongest among households making less than $ 50,000 annually, an R.W. Baird study found.

Prime is the engine at the center of the Amazon commerce machine — Prime members buy from Amazon more frequently than non-Prime members and also spend more, hence why Amazon introduced the monthly option to lure new members. So, if the company is raising the fee, you can bet that it discovered that the current $ 10.99 was just not sustainable.

“Prime provides an unparalleled combination of shipping, shopping and entertainment benefits, and we continue to invest in making Prime even more valuable for our members,” the company said in a statement. “The number of items eligible for unlimited Free Two-Day Shipping increased in recent years from 20 million to more than 100 million items. We have expanded Prime Free Same-Day and Prime Free One-Day delivery to more than 8,000 cities and towns. We also continue to introduce new, popular and award-winning Prime Originals … Members also enjoy a growing list of unique benefits like Prime Music, Prime Reading, exclusive products and much more.”

Translation: This stuff is really expensive.

The price of Amazon’s monthly Prime program for students, which just launched this past fall, is also jumping 18 percent — from $ 5.49 to $ 6.49.

At the same time, the cost of a monthly Prime Video membership, which doesn’t include shipping benefits, will remain at $ 8.99; the monthly Prime membership option for customers on government assistance will also remain unchanged at $ 5.99.

Recode – All

Amazon increases monthly Prime membership price to $12.99

Amazon Tap packaging

Amazon is quietly raising the price of Prime.

Amazon today confirmed that it’s raising the price of a monthly Amazon Prime subscription. Previously a monthly Prime sub cost $ 10.99 per month, but it’s now priced at $ 12.99 per month.

The price for one year of Amazon Prime will remain at $ 99, while an annual Amazon Prime Student membership will remain at $ 49.

Amazon hasn’t said why it’s increasing the price of a monthly Amazon Prime membership. Paying for a year of Prime at the monthly rate is even more expensive than ponying up for an annual membership, though, at $ 155.88 vs $ 99. Some people may like the flexibility that a monthly Prime membership offers, but if you think that an Amazon Prime membership is something that you’ll get a lot of use out of, then shelling out for an annual membership seems like the smart thing to do. – Latest videos, reviews, articles, news and posts

iPhone X Plus Release Date, Price, and Features: A Glance at iPhone 11 Rumors

iPhone X Plus Release Date Rumors

Even though the dust on iPhone X has hardly settled, the rumors surrounding iPhone X Plus aka iPhone 11 have been doing the rounds for quite some time. Expectedly, many fans would love to keep an eye on certain things like iPhone X Plus release date, price, features, design, etc.

When we found the rumors and reports regarding 2018 iPhones steaming up, we thought it’s time to get close to the winds and tap on the things that are soon going to headline across the tech universe. And boy, this year seems to be even more exciting as there are plenty of things on the cards!

iPhone X Plus Release Date Rumors

iPhone 11/iPhone X Plus Release Date, Price and Features

Though the term “unpredictability” with regards to iPhones may have almost disappeared, even the biggest critics would admit that the excitement remains on the seventh heaven- untouched and unparalleled. You just need to take a glance at the Google’s most trending search terms ranking of 2017 to believe how wonderfully iPhone 8 and iPhone X rocked internet (iPhone 8 and iPhone X ranked 2nd and 3rd respectively just behind Hurricane Irma.)

iPhone 2018 Release Date

In recent years, Apple has consistently unveiled its new iPhones in September. Hence, we expect iPhone X Plus or iPhone 11 to be introduced in September 2018.

However, the tech giant was not able to launch all of its iPhones at the same time in 2017 due to manufacturing issues. The much-awaited iPhone X was launched around one month after iPhone 8/8 Plus. But this year, we expect the company to be pretty much on the target as it, most likely, won’t tweak the design of the smartphone.

And yes, the issue with the TrueDepth camera is also more or less settled. So, the tech giant just has to concentrate on minor tweaks and ramp up the production to meet the demand.

Noted KGI Securities’ analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes Apple won’t miss the September launch date in 2018. He states that the company’s focus in 2018 will be to ensure that all the new models are ready to meet the same shipping date.

Rumors are also doing the rounds for the release of iPhone SE 2. But we think it’s going to be introduced in Spring.

“Apple will release a new iPhone SE 2 in the first half of next year to storm emerging markets and ignite the first battle of next year’s “machine war” between Apple and non-Apple. It is understood that the iPhone SE 2 new machine by Wistron exclusive OEM, the trial production at the earliest this year, the first quarter of next year began heavy volume, stand firmly iPhone’s third largest assembly plant status.”Economic Daily News

Three New Models

2018 iPhone ModelsImage Source: KGI Securities

Apple is rumored to launch a trio of iPhone models in 2018. And that includes 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch models with OLED displays and a 6.1-inch model with an LCD display. The new TFT-LCD model is designed to for the low-end & midrange markets.

“Two new OLED models target high-end market; new TFT-LCD model aims at low-end & midrange markets: We believe the major hardware difference in the two new OLED models is size, in a bid to satisfy various needs of the high-end market. The new TFT-LCD model will differ significantly from the OLED models in hardware and design specs (for instance, the PPI will be lower). The primary selling points of the TFT-LCD model may be the innovative user experience of an integrated full-screen design and 3D sensing with a lower price tag.” – Ming-Chi Kuo

Citing “a source privy to the company’s product designs,” Nikkei has reported that the Cupertino-based company is likely to launch two new OLED models, in 6.3in and 5.8in sizes, and an LCD phone measuring 6.1in.

“Apple is likely to release another new iPhone with a liquid crystal display next year, according to a source privy to the company’s product designs. The source also said Apple is tentatively planning two new handsets equipped with organic light-emitting diode displays.”Nikkei

iPhone X Plus Colors

The OLED models will continue to be available in space gray and silver. However, 6.1-inch LCD model is said to sport a metal back just like older iPhones and available in several colors.

iPhone X Plus Price Prediction

As for price, we expect the price of OLED models will start at $ 999 and max out at around $ 1,150. The price of the LCD model may start at $ 649-749 and max out at approximately $ 850.

iPhone X Plus Features

As of now, there is not much clarity about the features that are going to arrive on iPhones 2018. The tech giant will not tinker with the design. There would be some minor spec bumps.

Some of the things that are being talked about are long-range wireless charging, in-screen Touch ID, Apple Pencil compatibility.

I’m very curious for the rear-facing 3D scanner (for AR)

Bloomberg reports that 2018’s iPhone 11 may come with a 3D scanner on its rear sensor array. “This is in addition to – and distinct from – the existing TrueDepth scanner on the front, which is used for Face ID, Animoji and similar features, and which “relies on a structured-light technique that projects a pattern of 30,000 laser dots onto a user’s face and measures the distortion”.

The arrival of 3D scanner would be yet another crown jewel for the iPhone and further bolster augmented reality experience.

When more news and rumors start surfacing regarding features, we will update this post. So stay tuned for more…

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