ICYMI: this week’s top seven tech headlines, ranging from new MacBook Pros to The Beatles

ICYMI: this week’s top seven tech headlines, ranging from new MacBook Pros to The Beatles
Did you miss the major tech news this week? The firmware update is here.

This week, Apple held its ‘Scary Fast’ event, getting uncharacteristically into the Halloween spirit. While the price tags were the most horrifying aspect of the event, Apple did offer some computer treats.

We got three M3 processors, new MacBooks, and an updated iMac, as you can see here, to lure us into bankruptcy before Christmas. On the other end of the affordability spectrum, Netflix enhanced its most affordable, ad-supported subscription plan with a useful new downloading feature. However, that wasn’t the only significant tech news we witnessed this week.

The Beatles’ surprise appearance for one last song, “Now and then,” made feasible by AI-assisted “demixing” software, was even more unexpected than the Apple event. The Nextbase iQ’s introduction to the dash cam market, a much less culturally prominent group, was also helped by AI intelligence.

Hence, don’t worry if you missed this week’s tech news—all of it is available for download into your antiquated grey matter in a concise five-minute summary.

Dash cams’ intelligence was enhanced by the Nextbase IQ.

This week marks the official launch of the Nextbase iQ, which has been in development for years and is expected to bring forth a new era of “smart” dash cams. The always-connected iQ is a dual-camera device because it has a 4G connection and is powered by the OBD II plug in your car. It features an ultra-wide cabin camera, a front-facing camera with 1K, 2K, or 4K resolution, and an extra back camera option.

Although the iQ’s expensive hardware is outstanding, its AI-powered smart features and subscription-based services with exciting new features like “Guardian mode” may be the device’s biggest selling points. In summary, the Nextbase iQ is an impressive on-board camera that handles difficult circumstances for you. Our review delves deeper into it, and it appears that it will be included to our list of the top dash cams.

Unexpectedly, Netflix’s lowest tier saw an increase.

Although Netflix’s most affordable ad-supported plan, which only $6.99 / £4.99 a month, is an alluring offer, up until now it hasn’t allowed you to download films or TV series. This week, Netflix revealed that, similar to its more expensive ad-free tiers, its ad-supported membership now permits downloads on compatible devices.

Better yet, there won’t be any advertisements in those downloads. Therefore, if you don’t mind not having 4K or being able to add more non-living roommates to your account, the ad-supported plan might be ideal for you if you watch Netflix most of the time during your commute.

Given that it can make money from the advertisements, Netflix is undoubtedly pleased to see more users subscribe to that plan. However, it also means that it’s getting harder and harder to tell streaming TV apart from cable TV.

Thanks to AI, the final Beatles song has been released.

A Drake and The Weeknd song—or rather, a copy of it—went viral on TikTok earlier this year thanks to artificial intelligence. However, this week’s somewhat less contentious application of machine learning technology gifted us with a sad yet moving farewell song from The Beatles.

For the fifty years that had passed since John Lennon recorded a demo of Now and Then in the 1970s, the song had gathered dust. But Lennon’s vocals were split and blended in stereo and Dolby Atmos with some newly recorded instrumentation, all made possible by the “demixing” technology that director Peter Jackson and his colleagues employed on the Disney Plus documentary series Get Back.

The music above is currently available for listen on your preferred streaming provider. However, true aficionados will also purchase the double A-side on vinyl and watch the short documentary that goes with it.

With LG’s TV-on-wheels, our lives resumed as usual.

LG provided some much-needed respite this week with the introduction of the StanbyME, a 27-inch Full HD TV on a rolling stand, in the UK. The StanbyME arrived on November 29 and has since been operating in various regions, including the US, but we were happy to see it return to our lives.

The StanbyME is a fun and quirky TV that can be easily moved around on wheels, making it perfect for folks who simply can’t miss any sport (even for a toilet break) or for professional workplaces with its screen mirroring function for video chats. The StanbyME looks like a great idea, with webOS integrated for all your apps, including Netflix, and compatibility for HDR10.

However, at £1,199 at launch retail in the UK (or $999 in the US), the StanbyME is more of a novelty item for the wealthy than your next necessary TV buy.

After much waiting, the iMac received an update.

This was a great week if you enjoy all-in-one laptops, especially the Apple variety. Apple recently refreshed its renowned iMac range after a long hiatus.

The new Apple Silicon SoC basic M3 was given to the incredibly thin and vibrant collection. The new CPU, a major upgrade from the first-generation Apple Silicon M1, would deliver quicker general performance and greater gaming capabilities, although the designs seem basically same.

We mean it when we state that Apple made minimal additional changes to the all-in-one system. Everything remains the same, including the 4.5K Retina display, the large chin directly beneath it, and the Magic Keyboard and Trackpad that charge via a lightning connector.

Still, this was a good-looking system in 2021, and it still looks good in 2023. What’s more, it’s powered by a SoC that seems to be considerably faster and more intelligent. As usual, we’ll hold off on making a decision until we’ve examined Apple’s most recent iMac. However, this might be a victory.

Apple created three piping-hot M3 chips.

With some significant performance improvements and more simplified specifications, the new Apple M3 processor, along with its brothers the Apple M3 Pro and Apple M3 Max, is significantly upending the Mac and MacBook lineups.

The enhanced graphical capabilities of the Apple SoCs are perhaps the largest difference between these most recent chips and the Apple M2-series. These chips are the first from Apple that can enable mesh shading and hardware-accelerated ray tracing. While the latter enhances the chip’s capacity to realistically shade an entire 3D rendered object quickly, enabling more complex scenery in games and other real-time rendered content, the former greatly improves the realism of 3D rendered scenes by modelling the way light actually moves through an environment.

This, along with a revised method for handling the graphics engine’s memory requirements, would undoubtedly make the Apple M3-series CPUs an even more alluring platform for running the greatest PC games, such as Baldur’s Gate 3.

The MacBook Pro received an M3 redesign.

Instead of reinventing the MacBook Pro lineup during its odd “Scary Fast” event, Apple offered it a big brain transplant with three brand-new M3 Apple Silicon SoCs.

The new MacBook Pro 14-inch and MacBook Pro 16-inch (Apple discontinued the 13-inch variant) house the new M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max. With features like dynamic caching, which is a first for the industry, the MacBook Pro is intended to become a top-tier workhorse portable. In addition to in-hardware ray tracing and mesh shading, this frees up additional unified system memory to accommodate the most demanding creative and video tasks.

These new MacBook Pros may be capable gaming devices in addition to other things when these additional capabilities are combined. Naturally, we won’t be able to say for sure until we try these new laptops in the near future.

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