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Exclusive: Insteon Is Back Thanks to a "Small Group of Passionate Users"

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Insteon Is Back Thanks to a "Small Group of Passionate Users"

#Insteon #quotSmall #Group #Passionate #Usersquot

Insteon

Insteon products mysteriously came back to life on June 6th, prompting users to ask if the company had been purchased by some nasty corporation (or even a malicious group). Now, former SmartLabs VP and General Manager Ken Fairbanks says he acquired the company with a “small group of passionate users.”

While details on this story (and the future of Insteon) are still unknown, Ken Fairbanks isn’t exactly a stranger to the Insteon brand. SmartLabs was the former owner of Insteon—before it went out of business last March, of course.

According to his Linkdin, Fairbanks oversaw Insteon development and marketing from 2004 to 2007. These were arguably the brand’s most ambitious years. With Fairbanks’ involvement, Insteon transitioned from the world of old-fashioned home controllers to modern wireless “smart” devices.

Journalists at The Orange County Register documented this transition in 2006. After visiting Fairbanks’ home, they were stunned by the idea of integrating “Insteon logic” into individual products like light bulbs, thermostats, and doorbells. (Home automation certainly existed in 2006, but only if you gutted and rewired your house. Basically, a home’s electrical system was the smart home controller. Such projects were prohibitively expensive, for obvious reasons.)

Unfortunately, we don’t know what Insteon’s new owners plan to do with the company. Fairbanks says that “responsibly re-building the Insteon business” is the goal, but we’ll have to wait for more details.

The new Insteon asks that customers keep an eye on their inbox for new information. Additionally, Insteon has expressed interest in a Reddit AMA, which could help clear things up a bit.

Here’s my concern; turning Insteon into something profitable is a huge undertaking. The company’s technology is effective and reliable, but it’s several years out of date. Plus, the Insteon brand has been stagnant for at least half a decade, and a large number of people only learned about Insteon because of its death spiral.

But customers seem optimistic. So, at least there’s that.

Source: Insteon

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Exclusive: London-based Vita Mojo, which makes restaurant software for digital ordering and kitchen management, has raised $30M led by Battery Ventures (Megha Paul/Tech.eu) – TalkOfNews.com

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London-based Vita Mojo, which makes restaurant software for digital ordering and kitchen management, has raised $30M led by Battery Ventures (Megha Paul/Tech.eu)

#Londonbased #Vita #Mojo #restaurant #software #digital #ordering #kitchen #management #raised #30M #led #Battery #Ventures #Megha #PaulTecheu


Megha Paul / Tech.eu:

London-based Vita Mojo, which makes restaurant software for digital ordering and kitchen management, has raised $30M led by Battery Ventures  —  UK-based platform enables digital ordering in restaurants and more efficient kitchen and delivery operations through its software


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Exclusive: Tell Us About Your Pop Culture Month: June 2022 Edition – TalkOfNews.com

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Tell Us About Your Pop Culture Month: June 2022 Edition

#Pop #Culture #Month #June #Edition

The main characters of Voltron: Legendary Defender.

Image: Netflix/Dreamworks Animation

*cracks knuckles*

Watched: Oh boy, I went through a bit of a tear with TV this month. Along with being taken in by Ms. Marvel and slowly catching up on Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, the biggest thing I watched, TV show wise, was Barry. After hearing so much about it on Twitter over the course of several weekends, I finally took the plunge and really enjoyed that first season. It’s incredibly breezy as hell, and really easy to just binge three or four episodes before walking away to let everything settle. I like how constantly out of his depth Barry is while simultaneously being the most dangerous person in every scene he inhabits; I like his weird, brief hypotheticals of the future he could have if he successfully gets out of The Life. I’ve stepped away from it for a few days, but am prepared to get into the next two seasons and then eagerly consume season four whenever that hits up in 2023.

Towards the end of the month, I got hit with a case of the rewatch and decided to turn my eye back to Voltron: Legendary Defender over on Netflix. And you know what, those first three seasons are about as strong as I remember them being. I respect a show that’s extremely committed to its own bullshit, in this case a guerrilla army of alien cat ninjas with transforming swords. In its best moments, that Legendary Defender managed to make its universe feel like a big, space opera romp while maintaining a tight focus. I remember some of this show’s future plot points, and remember being just passively mixed on the ending, so we’ll see how that goes as I continue down mecha-memory lane.

Barry: Season 1 – ‘It’s A Job’ | Official Trailer | HBO

Movie wise, there was Lightyear and Jurassic World Dominion. Lightyear was Fine, but ultimately doesn’t have anything going for it beyond Chris Evans having a surprisingly solid voice that would probably be good for Star Trek sometime in the near future, if he’s in the mood to do franchises again. As for Dominion…well, beyond just not giving nearly enough time to Omar Sy as a spy trying to take down a dinosaur smuggling ring, the biggest sin of the entire thing is that it’s just really dull. The first two World movies had a noticeable, joyous—and at times, controversial—bloodlust and meanness about them that Dominion very much lacks. If this is the last one, I can’t say that I brought flowers with me to the service.

Played: It finally happened. After shelling out for a wireless controller, last week I finally beat Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. I grinded some shrines, got enough hearts to pull out the Master Sword, and finally took Calamity Ganon down. I can’t tell you how I actually feel about the game because I’ve been playing it off and on for years—when I booted up my save last week, it said that last I played the game was in March of 2021—but what I remember of the game eventually grew on me, though not to beloved acclaim as anyone else.

Breath of the Wild may be a game that I restart and play properly instead of just playing once every couple of months, but that’ll come after I knock out some more 2022 games. I told myself earlier in the year that I’d play Stranger of Paradise over the summer, and it is indeed a perfect summer game in that it’s a good way to get out of the sun and just turn some podcasts on. Couldn’t tell you a lick about what the game’s plot is—not a real Final Fantasy player, though I do understand that this is intended to be a prequel of sorts to the original Final Fantasy—but the gameplay is satisfying enough that I don’t really care. It’s a fun throwback to those old PS3/360 co-op games you’d play on the couch with your childhood friend, and I just love how completely frickin’ stupid it is. I may end up paying for that DLC if I finish the base campaign proper in time.

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Very briefly, I also played some Citizen Sleeper, a narrative cyberpunk RPG inspired by tabletop games about you, a humanoid machine dubbed a “Sleeper,” having to work inside a space station while figuring out how to stay alive. A limited set of dice dictates what all you can do in any day, and as you become more embroiled in the lives of the station’s inhabitants, it can be stressful trying to figure out how to balance it all. But it’s the fun kind of stressful, one where the vibes are always easy going thanks to some moody music and a casts of characters who are light and friendly while no doubt having a darker edge to them. There’s just something absorbing about Citizen Sleeper right from the start, and I think that if you’ve got a PC that can run it—or Xbox Game Pass—you should play it if you’ve got yourself a love for the sci-fi.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge – Reveal trailer

Finally, there was Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge, a retro throwback to the 80s days of the TMNT. Beyond mashing the buttons of the arcade machine at my local Dairy Queen back in the day, I’ve never played a TMNT beat-’em-up before, but Shredder’s Revenge manages to feel like a fun nostalgia trip nonetheless. For me, the biggest issue is that the game feels too chaotic for its own good; in single player, some levels feel deliberately mean, like the early missions on the hoverboard. And in co-op, it quickly gets to be a mess if you’ve got more than three players. There’s fun to be had here, certainly, but the game having six-player co-op feel a bit misguided when even four players could become real unwieldy really fast.

But enough from me, go ahead and spill what all you did for the month of June in the comments below.


Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel and Star Wars releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about House of the Dragon and Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

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Exclusive: Xiaomi 12S Ultra uses a 1-inch Sony camera sensor. Here’s why it is a massive moment for smartphone photography – TalkOfNews.com

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Xiaomi 12S Ultra uses a 1-inch Sony camera sensor. Here’s why it is a massive moment for smartphone photography

#Xiaomi #12S #Ultra #1inch #Sony #camera #sensor #Heres #massive #moment #smartphone #photography

Sony has some of the best camera sensors in the market. That is the reason why most smartphone manufacturers use sensors from Sony in their smartphones. While Xiaomi’s upcoming flagship smartphone, the Xiaomi 12S Ultra has been developed in a collaboration with Leica, the smartphone manufacturer has decided to go for a camera sensor that was developed by Sony.

Xiaomi 12S Ultra will be using Sony IMX 989, the same sensor that Sony uses in their RX100 Mk 7 point-and-shoot cameras. The RX100 Mk 7 is one of the best point-and-shoot cameras in the market right now and is massively popular among budding YouTube celebrities and content creators.

Xiaomi’s decision to use a properly developed, large camera sensor for their upcoming flagship is a huge moment for smartphone photography, provided they calibrate the sensor properly. Here’s why.

More data to play with
Most smartphone camera sensors are barely half the size of a 1-inch sensor. It does not matter how many pixels a manufacturer shoves inside a sensor. Samsung’s 200MP camera sensor may sound impressive on paper, but had it not used some sort of pixel binning to group the individual pixels and make a larger pixel, images taken on the ISOCELL HP1 or HP3 sensors would have a lot of artefacts and noise, thus making the image grainy and ultimately unusable.

More than the number of pixels, it is the size of pixels that matter. A larger pixel will be able to capture more light and therefore more data. This means that a camera’s processor has more data to work with and will eventually be able to put out a better image.

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This is one of the reasons why, for a long time, smartphone cameras have been almost as good as proper full frame cameras, but also lacked some basic functionalities that professional photographers rely heavily on. If Xiaomi calibrates the sensor properly and uses quality glass elements for lenses, photos and videos taken in the dark should be phenomenal. This is where Xiaomi messed up with their Mi 11 ultra, which had a 1/1.2-inch camera sensor.

A better dynamic range
Another advantage of having a bigger sensor is that the camera has a naturally larger or better dynamic range. 

Dynamic range basically refers to the ratio between the maximum and minimum signal that is acquired by the sensor. At the upper limit, pixels appear to be white for every higher value of intensity (saturation), while pixels appear black at the lower limit and below. 

What this means is that in the same photo or video, the sensor is able to handle a varied level of brightness and darkness in such a manner that there is very little or preferably no distortion of the colours.

Xiaomi 12S Ultra uses a 1-inch Sony camera sensor. Here’s why it is a massive moment for smartphone photography

Better depth of field or bokeh
The most visible difference that a large sensor makes for amateur photographers is the bokeh or “blur” in a photo. Smartphone camera sensores have always been little, because of which no matter how wide an aperture you use, there simply isn’t enough space for background and foreground separation. That is why smartphone cameras have had to process their images and create a fake bokeh effect. This won’t be a problem with a larger sensor.

Having said all of this, it really depends on how Xiaomi and Leica have calibrated the Sony sensor. Also, it would be foolish for anyone to say that smartphone cameras have become better than proper, full frame or medium format cameras; they haven’t, and for the foreseeable future, they won’t at least for a couple of decades. What Sony and Samsung with their sensors have been able to do, is pushing smartphone manufacturers ever so close to the ultimate goal that they all have been aiming for, by some distance. 


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