Google Pixel 3a vs OnePlus 6T: Google’s affordable flagship against the mid-range heavyweight

The OnePlus 6T currently reigns as champion of the affordable flagship market, a position it’s held for several months – but Google wants a piece of the action, and with the Google Pixel 3a it now has a serious challenger.

The Pixel 3a sees Google distilling the best parts of the Google Pixel 3 phone into a more-budget alternative, so it’s got many features which you can find in the high-end phone. But the OnePlus 6T has a few tricks up its sleeve as well.

So can the Pixel 3a dethrone the OnePlus 6T? We’ve put the two phones head-to-head to find out.

Google Pixel 3a vs OnePlus 6T: Price

If you’ve not got much to spend on your new phone, you’re best off sticking with the Google Pixel 3a – at $399 / £399 (around AU$570) it’s straddling the line between low-end and mid-range in terms of price. 

However, for that amount you’re getting a device with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage, which some may feel is a little on the low side.

The OnePlus 6T will set you back a fair amount more, but you also get more bang for [...]  read more

Waymo and Lyft partner to scale self-driving robotaxi service in Phoenix

Waymo is partnering with Lyft to bring self-driving vehicles onto the ride-hailing network in Phoenix as the company ramps up its commercial robotaxi service.

Waymo will add 10 of its self-driving vehicles onto Lyft platform over the next few months, according to CEO John Krafcik. Once Waymo vehicles are on the platform, Lyft users in the area will have the option to select a Waymo directly from the Lyft app for eligible rides.

“This first step in our partnership will allow us to introduce the Waymo Driver to Lyft users, enabling them to take what for many will be their first ride in a self-driving vehicle,” Krafcik said in a blog posted Tuesday.

The companies didn’t provide further details about the partnership, but it appears to be similar to Lyft’s relationship with Aptiv, the U.S. auto supplier and self-driving software company. Under that partnership, Aptiv’s self-driving vehicles operate on Lyft’s ride-hailing platform in Las Vegas. As of April 2019, the vehicles had provided more than 40,000 paid autonomous rides in Las Vegas via the Lyft app. Waymo has been ramping up its autonomous ride-hailing network in Phoenix for months now. In April, the company made its ride-hailing service, and accompanying app, Waymo One more widely available by putting it on the Google Play store. The company, which spun out to become a business under Alphabet, launched Waymo One in the Phoenix area in December. The Waymo One self-driving car service, and accompanying app, was only available to Phoenix residents who were part of its early rider program, which aimed to bring vetted regular folks into its self-driving minivans.

social experiment by Livio Acerbo #greengroundit #techcrunch

China’s Scientists Are the New Kids on the Arctic Block

For nearly a century, the Arctic has been a scientific playground for American, Canadian, and European researchers studying everything from magnetic fields to krill populations, as well as documenting rising temperatures and a changing climate. But with China increasingly expressing an interest in all things Arctic, a geopolitical storm is brewing. Traditional boundaries between science, commerce, and the military are melting as fast as the region’s sea ice.

On Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo scolded China for using civilian polar research to further its military and commercial goals, including opening up a new “Polar Silk Road” for trade and shipping. “China’s words and actions raise doubts about its intentions,” Pompeo said in Rovaniemi, Finland, where the eight members of the Arctic Council are meeting this week. “Beijing claims to be a near-Arctic state. Yet the shortest distance between China and the Arctic is 900 miles.”

Pompeo said the US welcomes [...]  read more

Lyft lost $1.14B in Q1 2019 on $776M in revenue

In its first-ever earnings report as a public company, Lyft (NASDAQ: LYFT) failed to display progress toward profitability.

The ride-hailing business, which raised $2 billion in a March initial public offering, posted first-quarter revenues of $776 million on losses of $1.14 billion, including $894 million of stock-based compensation and related payroll tax expenses. The company’s earnings surpassed Wall Street estimates of $740 million in revenue on $274.1 million, or $3.77 a share, in losses.

Lyft began rising in after-hours trading as a result.

“The first quarter was a strong start to an important year, our first as a public company,” Lyft co-founder and chief executive officer Logan Green said in a statement.  “Our performance was driven by the increased demand for our network and multi-modal platform, as [...]  read more

Dropbox launches cold storage

It turns out that after uploading files to cloud storage for backup purposes, users rarely access them which is why Dropbox has created a new layer of storage on its platform called cold storage.

After shifting its workloads away from AWS to its own data centers several years ago, the company developed a storage architecture called Magic Pocket to give it more control over how files were stored and accessed.

Dropbox’s engineers realized over time that most users move files to its service primarily for backup purposes and rarely access them again. However, it doesn’t make sense to store regularly accessed files and those that are rarely accessed using the same methods.

This is why Dropbox has now created two levels of storage, warm storage (previously Magic Pocket) and a new level of long term storage called Cold Storage that allows the company to store files less expensively.

Cold Storage

Dropbox customers won’t be able to tell which level of storage is being used to store their files [...]  read more

IGN owner J2 Global snaps up major VPN brands

Online digital firm J2 Global has acquired VPN and privacy IP assets from infrastructure provider Stackpath.  The deal was confirmed by an editor’s note on news site PC Mag (published by J2-owned Ziff Davis) within VPN-related content as a disclaimer to allay fears of potential conflict of interest. The note states that IPVanish and StrongVPN …

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