AMD puts two GPUs and 32GB of RAM on its latest Radeon Pro Duo graphics card

A little over a year after launching the last Radeon Pro Duo graphics card, AMD is back with an all-new version that has the same name but makes a whole bunch of changes. The new Radeon Pro Duo mashes two separate 14nm Polaris GPUs with 2,304 stream processors, 128 texture units, 32 ROPs, and 16GB of graphics RAM apiece (for a total of 32GB) into a single card. As the name implies, the card is being aimed primarily at professional users rather than gamers. It’s based on the Radeon Pro WX 7100 workstation GPU, which uses one GPU with most of the same specs as the Radeon Pro Duo but with 8GB of RAM instead of 16GB.

You can find the full spec list for the card here, which will launch at “the end of May” for $999.

The card is quite different from last year’s Radeon Pro Duo—that card launched at $1,499 and featured a pair of 28nm Fiji GPUs with 4,096 stream processors and 4GB of RAM each; it was also a power-hungry monster, requiring its own closed-loop liquid cooler, three external PCIe power plugs, and as much as 350W of power. The new card only needs two power plugs, uses an air blower typical of most GPUs, and has a rated TBP (typical board power) of 250W.

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Samsung develops emoji-based chat app for people with language disorders

YouTube, Samsung Italia

You may know someone who sends messages with more emojis than words, but chances are they don’t need those symbols to communicate. For some with language disorders such as aphasia, which can make it difficult to read, talk, or write, emojis can be an ideal way to communicate with others around them. Samsung Electronics Italia, the company’s Italian subsidiary, just came out with a new app called Wemogee that helps those with language disorders talk to others by using emoji-based messages.

Wemogee focuses on “bringing all users together again” regardless of their language abilities. Samsung worked with Italian speech therapist Francesca Polini to translate over 140 sentence units from text into emoji strings, sequences of emojis that accurately convey the meaning of sentences. For example, “How are you?” turns into a smiley face, an “ok” hand gesture, and a question mark on a single line.

The app has two modes, visual and textual, and users can choose which mode they prefer. In visual mode, users send an emoji-based message and the receiver will get it either as an emoji sequence if they’re in visual mode as well, or as a text message if they’re in textual mode. On the flip side, those in textual mode can send text messages that show up as emojis for those in visual mode. The app can also be used to assist face-to-face interactions for quicker and more accurate communication. Wemogee’s promotional video shows a screen in the app with a message written in words and emojis, allowing both users to understand the conversation regardless of language capacity.

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Intel Optane Memory: How to make revolutionary technology totally boring

3D XPoint (pronounced “crosspoint,” not “ex-point”) is a promising form of non-volatile memory jointly developed by Intel and Micron. Intel claims that the memory, which it’s branding Optane for commercial products, provides a compelling mix of properties putting it somewhere between DRAM and NAND flash.

The first Optane products are almost here. For certain enterprise workloads, there’s the Intel Optane SSD DC P4800X, a 375GB PCIe card that offers substantially lower latency than comparable flash drives and can boast high numbers of I/O operations per second (IOPS) over a much wider range of workloads than flash. Intel isn’t letting reviewers actually use the P4800X, however; the first testing of the hardware, published earlier this week, was performed remotely using hardware on Intel’s premises.

For the consumer, there’s Intel Optane Memory. It’s an M.2 PCIe stick with a capacity of 16GB ($44) or 32GB ($77), and it should be on sale today. Unlike the P4800X, Intel is letting reviewers get hold of Optane Memory or at least something close to it: the part we received was branded “engineering sample,” with no retail branding or packaging. The astute reader will note that 16 or 32GB isn’t a whole lot of storage. Although the sticks can be used as conventional, if tiny, NVMe SSDs, Intel is positioning them as caches for spinning disks. Pair Optane Memory with a large cheap hard disk, and the promise is that you’ll get SSD-like performance—some of the time, at least—with HDD-like capacity.

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Samsung Galaxy S8 to get software patch for “red tint” issue

Samsung’s newest Android flagship, the Galaxy S8, launched last week. As the device trickled out to users, some customers complained about a “red tint” to the screen. It was most noticeable on a white screen, but basically, the whole color balance of the display was off. Now, just a weekend later, Samsung says it will issue a software patch to fix the red-tint complaints.

The red tint isn’t a universal issue (Ars’ review unit is fine, though it was probably hand-picked), but judging from side-by-side pictures online, it does seem like some Galaxy S8 screens are redder than others. The advice for any day-one defect like this is usually “return it,” but Samsung says it will be able to fix the problem via software. The Galaxy S8 already has a “Color Balance” setting that lets you adjust the red, green, and blue values of the display, and in a statement e-mailed to the Wall Street Journal, Samsung said the update would add “a further enhanced ability to adjust the color setting to their preference.”

As far as recent Samsung defects go, this is a small one. The Galaxy S8 is Samsung’s first flagship phone since the launch of the Galaxy Note 7, which will probably go down in history as one of the biggest product launch catastrophes ever. The Galaxy Note 7 shipped with a defective battery that could explode or catch fire, and after two recalls, Samsung ended up pulling the phone off the market. After dealing with that situation for six months, a small patch to fix the screen color balance is nothing.

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Doctor Who review: Bill and the Timelord must grin and bear it in Smile

This is a post-UK broadcast review of Doctor Who: Smile. River Song always warned the Doctor against spoilers, so be sure to watch the episode first. Doctor Who broadcasts on Saturdays at 7:20pm UK time on BBC One, and 9pm EDT on BBC America.

Emojis aren’t only the future of language for us doomed Earthlings, but we’re also the only poor saps throughout the universe who use them. This is one of many things that the Doctor’s ace new companion Bill Potts learns from her intergalactic tutor in Smile, the second installment of series 10 of Doctor Who.

While Nardole (Matt Lucas) is left back at base grumpily guarding the mysterious vault in the bowels of the university and making a brew (NB: for our American readers, that’s a cup of tea), Bill (Pearl Mackie) tells the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) that she wants to travel to the future. “Why?” he asks. “I wanna see if it’s happy,” she says.

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Fenix 5S reviewed: Exactly what you’d expect from a $600 Garmin sport watch

Video shot/edited by Jennifer Hahn. (video link)

Not many companies try to do what Garmin does with the Fenix line of fitness watches. While Apple and Google have their own general-purpose smartwatches priced around $300 (neither of which comes close to the Fenix’s tracking abilities), Garmin and a handful of other companies make super-expensive fitness watches that are meant for the most active among us.

The new $599 Fenix 5S is one of the models in the new Fenix 5 line that promises premium design and style. It also has the most advanced tracking abilities—with onboard GPS, GLONASS, barometer, altimeter, heart rate monitor, and other sensors—and it delivers a full smartwatch experience with Garmin’s own UI, widgets, notifications, and app store. No matter how you look at it, $600 is a lot to spend on a fitness tracker. But if money is no object and you need the most capable tracker you can get, the 5S may be for you.

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Galaxy S8 review: Gorgeous new hardware, same Samsung gimmicks

Ron Amadeo

The past few months have been a humbling time for Samsung. The Galaxy Note 7’s explosive debut and double recall eventually led to an unprecedented cancellation of Samsung’s flagship device. The recall process and resulting investigation kept the company’s name in the mud for months and months. Memes were created across the Internet, property was damaged, and everyone visiting an airport was constantly reminded that Samsung produced a faulty device. To top it all off, the head of Samsung Group and several other Samsung executives were indicted on corruption allegations, with at least one person resigning as a result.

Now Samsung is ready to move on from those dark times with the launch of a new flagship, the Galaxy S8. It has a lot riding on the S8’s success, and the company seems ready to rise to the occasion. The S8 is one of Samsung’s strongest flagship offerings ever, with an all-new design, slim bezels, and the debut of a speedy new processor. Since this is a Samsung flagship, it will also be backed by dump trucks full of marketing dollars ensuring it will be featured in every commercial break, be on every billboard, and have prime real estate at every electronics store.

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Apple wants to stop mining and start making everything from recycled materials

Today Apple released its Environmental Responsibility Report (PDF) for the 2016 fiscal year, detailing the progress of the company’s environmental initiatives and laying out some of its goals for the future. Apple remains committed to reducing its carbon footprint (down 23 percent from 2015), pushing its suppliers to use renewable energy (96 percent of Apple’s own global facilities are renewable energy-powered), investing in wind and solar power, and in reducing the energy used to create its products and the energy the products themselves use. The report also talks at length about Apple Park (née spaceship), which it calls “the greenest corporate headquarters on the planet.”

The most interesting of Apple’s goals for the future is a stated desire to manufacture 100 percent of its devices out of recycled materials rather than mining new materials and throwing out used materials. Apple calls this a “closed loop supply chain.”

The day that aspiration becomes reality may yet be far in the future, though. Apple has started some pilot projects, including using aluminum reclaimed from old iPhone 6 models to make Mac Minis for iPhone assembly lines, and using 100 percent recycled tin in logic boards for the iPhone 6S. Scale is the primary challenge. Apple’s “Liam” robots, used to dismantle phones and sort their components to increase the number and quality of components that can be reclaimed, are currently capable of dismantling 2.4 million phones a year, a number far, far lower than what Apple sells. For aluminum in particular (probably Apple’s single most-used material across all its product lines), the company says it’s important that Apple’s own high-quality aluminum not be mixed in with lower-quality scrap aluminum during the recycling process, as is currently common practice at recycling facilities.

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