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The iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max have adaptive 120Hz screens | Engadget

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The iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max have adaptive 120Hz screens | Engadget


As we expected, Apple unveiled its new iPhone 13 series at its “California Streaming” event today, and they include a pair of more-premium Pro flagships. Tim Cook called the series the “most Pro iPhone ever,” and the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max have faster screens, smaller notches and new colors compared to the 12 Pro series.

Most significantly, Apple is bringing a new Super Retina XDR display with 1,000 nits of brightness for better outdoor reading. The company said this is the brightest screen on iPhone ever, and it’s 25 percent higher than before. It’s also the first time the company’s ProMotion is available on iPhone, bringing adaptive refresh rates of up to 120Hz to the Pro series. Most phones in the market with high refresh rates similarly adopt adaptive displays to increase speeds for smoother scrolling when you’re doing things that benefit from it more, like scrolling or playing games. When you’re just looking at static images, the refresh rates drop to as low as 10Hz.

Like the regular and mini iPhone 13s, the Pro series also use the company’s new A15 Bionic chipset that brings improved graphics and neural processing, as well as new video encoder and decoders. With the updated CPU, Apple also added camera features like a Cinematic Mode for video capture, which is powered by machine learning for intelligent focusing on the fly. The Pro models get an improved GPU with five cores, rather than the regular models’ four.

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The company also upgraded the Pro’s camera system, bringing better hardware like a new 77mm telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom, as well as a new ultrawide setup with autofocus and a larger f/1.8 aperture. This will yield a 92-percent improvement in low light, Apple said. As for the primary “wide” camera, it now features a f/1.5 aperture and 1.9-micron pixels, for what the company said is its largest sensor yet. 

Combined with improved image signal processing through the A15 Bionic chipset, the iPhone 13 Pro cameras can shoot at up to 6x optical zoom with macro photography support as well. For the first time, too, Apple’s ProRes for full-resolution editing will be supported on the iPhone on this year’s Pro models.

The iPhone 13 Pro series also features “the most pro design,” according to the company, and comes in four colors, including a new Sierra Blue hue. Its front has a 20-percent smaller camera system, and at the rear there’s a stainless steel trim that surrounds the three sapphire crystal lenses. It’s also rated IP68 for water and dust resistance, while the internals have been redesigned, like the regular iPhones.

The A15 Bionic chip is also supposed to bring better battery performance, and the company promised the iPhone 13 Pro Max will last 2.5 hours more than last year’s model, making it the longest-lasting iPhone ever. The iPhone 13 Pro is supposed to see a 1.5 hour boost compared to the iPhone 12 Pro. As for the specifics: the iPhone 13 Pro has a 6.1-inch screen while the Pro Max sports a 6.7-inch display, and they start at $999. The new phones will be available on September 24th, with pre-orders starting Friday the 17th.

Follow all of the news from Apple’s iPhone event right here.

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Ultra-white paint could reduce the need for air conditioning | Engadget

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Ultra-white paint could reduce the need for air conditioning | Engadget


White houses are often boring, but they might just save the planet. As USA Today reports, Purdue University researchers have developed an ultra-white paint (it just earned a Guinness World Record) that reflects 98.1 percent of solar radiation while outputting infrared heat. As this leaves the surface cooler than the environment (regular paint warms the surface), it could effectively replace air conditioning in some cases — it produces a cooling power of 10kW for a 1,000sq. ft. roof, or more than a typical house AC unit.

There are existing paints made to reflect heat, but they reflect no more than 90 percent of sunlight and don’t cool surfaces. The team didn’t have much breathing room, either — an even whiter paint might have compromised it.

The trick was to use a high ratio of barium sulfate, a compound you often see in cosmetics and photo paper, in varying particle sizes. The wider range of sizes helps scatter more of the light spectrum and thus reflect more sunlight.

It’s not clear how close this extremely white paint is to your local store, but the researchers are fully bent on commercializing their work. They’ve teamed with a company to mass-produce and sell the paint, and have already filed patents. If it lives up to the billing, though, it could play an important role in fighting climate change. It could reduce or eliminate the need for air conditioning in some homes, particularly in warm regions with ample sunlight. That could reduce emissions and power consumption, and might save you some money on hot summer days.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.



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NASA’s chief scientist will retire in 2022 | Engadget

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NASA’s chief scientist will retire in 2022 | Engadget


NASA is about to close an important chapter in its history. Chief Scientist Jim Green, who has worked at the agency for over 40 years, now plans to retire in early 2022. He started by developing NASA’s equivalent to the internet (the Space Physics Analysis Network) shortly after he arrived in 1980, but he’s best known for overseeing some of NASA’s biggest space exploration projects in the past 15 years — you’re likely very aware of his work.

Green directed NASA’s Planetary Science Division during the Curiosity landing in 2012, and played a key role in both promoting and explaining the Mars rover to the public. He further took leading roles during the Juno probe’s investigation of Jupiter, Messenger’s tour of Mercury, Dawn’s visit to Ceres and New Horizons’ historic flyby of Pluto. The scientist also greenlit plans for the Perseverance rover currently roaming Mars.

It’s not yet clear who will succeed Green, although he will assist with the search for his replacement. However, it’s safe to say he’ll have a healthy legacy. He both nurtured missions and made them more accessible to the public — he helped explain why Curiosity, New Horizons and other vehicles were exciting. If you’re pursuing a career in space science, Green’s work might well have served as an inspiration.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.



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US probe into Binance reportedly expands to investigate insider trading | Engadget

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US probe into Binance reportedly expands to investigate insider trading | Engadget


Binance is apparently facing more pressure from regulators over possible abuses at its cryptocurrency exchange. Bloomberg sources said US officials have expanded their probe of Binance to include possible insider trading and market manipulation. The company hasn’t been accused of wrongdoing, but Commodity Futures Trading Commission investigators have reportedly inquired with potential witnesses about issues like the location of Binance servers (and thus whether the US can pursue any cases).

The commission had previously launched an investigation into the sales of derivatives tied to cryptocurrencies. It’s reportedly looking for internal Binance data that might show sales of those derivatives to American customers, breaking regulations that forbid those sales without registrations. The Internal Revenue Service and Justice Department are also probing possible money laundering on the exchange.

There are no guarantees of action. The CFTC and Justice Department have supposedly been investigating Binance for months, and any decisions might take a while longer.

Not surprisingly, Binance said it was above-board. A spokesperson told Bloomberg the exchange had a “zero-tolerance” approach to insider trades as well as ethical codes and security guidelines to prevent those actions. The company added that it fires offenders at a bare minimum. The CFTC has declined to comment.

The heightened scrutiny of Binance, if accurate, would come as part of a larger US crackdown on cryptocurrencies. Officials are concerned the lack of consumer protections (including regulation) might hurt customers who sign up for services expecting the same safeguards they have with conventional money. In this case, the focus is on accountability — insider trading could wreck valuable investments and erode trust in Binance and other crypto exchanges.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.



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