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LG Announces First 88-inch 8K OLED Display Ahead of CES 2018

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After more than a decade of research and development, OLEDs have finally begun tiptoeing towards the mass market. While OLED TVs remain significantly more expensive than their LCD counterparts, their vibrant colors, low lag, and perfect blacks are appealing to videophiles and gamers alike. LG has just announced its bringing a new OLED display to CES 2018, and the new panel is a doozy.

Some of you may remember when Sony launched the first 11-inch OLED TV, the XEL-1. That tiny display ran $2,500 despite its chunky base, early technology, and limited resolution (960×540). This 88-inch LG panel is a sort-of cousin to the XEL-1, in much the same way that a Chihuahua is technically related to a Great Dane. With a resolution of 7680×4320, it packs 4x more pixels than a 4K display, and 16x more pixels than a 1080p panel.

LG says OLED panels are ideal for high-resolution displays because shrinking aperture ratios, which impact how much light from an LCD backlight ultimately makes it out of the display, makes OLEDs superior to LCDs as resolutions increase. This may be true, but the cost improvements clearly aren’t all that large — LG’s 77-inch 4K OLED TV, which you can currently purchase, is $20,000. An 8K panel that’s even larger isn’t going to sell for cheap.

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If you have to sit closer to the TV than the TV is wide, how much of a benefit is this?

The problem for 8K TVs is simple: There’s no proof that 8K, in and of itself, will ever improve the viewing experience for anyone not possessed of top-notch eyesight. If we round up to 90 inches, the only TV viewing distances that show a benefit between 4K and 8K are those that are less than six feet. That means you’re literally sitting closer to the TV than the TV’s own diagonal width. Most people don’t like having to literally turn their heads to watch TV; the number of people who sit less than six feet away from a 90-inch TV is likely to be very small.

Nonetheless, showing off an 8K TV is a great way to boost branding, which is why a number of electronics companies bring these sets to CES each year. But the practical benefits of 8K broadcasts will be small to nonexistent for consumers. Features like HDR and the quality of OLED panels themselves are more likely to drive the next round of upgrades, and there’s no timeline for any kind of 8K introduction in the US. Right now, the first 8K broadcasts are expected to be timed to the 2020 Olympics in Japan.

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LG G7 ThinQ Is Now Available In the US for $750

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LG waited longer than normal to announce its big 2018 flagship phone, but it finally took the wraps off the LG G7 ThinQ a few weeks ago. Today, the phone is available for purchase on most US carriers. While LG has had trouble competing with the likes of Samsung, it’s still targeting the same premium space. Although, it’s got an iPhone-style screen notch now. That’s what consumers want, right?

The LG G7 ThinQ is the epitome of all things 2018 in smartphone design. It has a glass back, dual cameras, and a display notch that isn’t done particularly well. The missing bit of screen provides a place for the camera, earpiece, and some other sensors. It does seem a little excessively large for how compact these components are, though. In addition, the G7 has a “chin” at the bottom with a larger bezel than the top and bottom. This asymmetric look isn’t as striking as the iPhone X it imitates. The 6.1-inch 1440p display is also an OLED, which lacks the vibrancy of modern OLED panels.

Inside, this phone has all the current flagship hardware you’d expect with a Snapdragon 845, 64GB of storage, and 4GB of RAM. Unlike many other current smartphones, the company has opted to keep the headphone jack for the G7 ThinQ. LG also touts the G7’s unique speaker design that uses the entire chassis as a resonator to boost sound output.

You may be wondering about the name — specifically the “ThinQ” bit. Well, that’s LG’s expanded brand for all its AI technologies. What that means for the G7 is that there’s an AI mode in the camera that looks for objects it can identify and offers possible filters. It’s not very accurate or useful, but LG didn’t even develop any AI software or hardware for this phone. It just licensed a machine vision library from a third-party.

The LG G7 ThinQ is available from all major carriers in the US except AT&T. Apparently, AT&T chose to sell the LG V35 instead of the G7. This marks the third variant of the V30 that LG has sold since it debuted last year. At other carriers, the G7 ThinQ will run you $750, give or take a few dollars. Carriers offer payment plans to split the cost over two years. It will launch on Google’s Project Fi soon, as well. If you don’t want to go through carriers, the phone is also available from Amazon.

 

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Google Doodle honors ‘Prince of Mathematicians’ Johann Carl Friedrich Gauss

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Maths is the latest to receive the Google Doodle homage.

Johann Carl Friedrich Gauss, otherwise known as “The Prince of Mathematicians”, made instrumental contributions to number theory, algebra, geophysics, mechanics and statistics.

Gauss was born on April 30 in 1777 in Brunswick, a city in the north of Germany, near Wolfsburg. Despite poor working-class parents and an illiterate mother, Gauss was a child prodigy, believed to have been able to add up every number from 1 to 100 at 8-years-old.

One of his first major equations was working out his date of birth, which his mother hadn’t recorded. He used the only information she had: that it was a Wednesday, eight days before an Easter holiday.

At university when he was 19, Gauss discovered a heptadecagon, or a 17-sided polygon. He requested that a regular heptadecagon be inscribed on his tombstone, but it was too difficult for the stonemason, who said it would just look like a circle.

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 A heptadecagon.

 


László Németh/Wikipedia

And remember your prime numbers? That year Gauss was involved with proving the prime number theorem, helping understand how prime numbers are distributed among the integers, or whole numbers.

Again the same year, a productive one for Gauss, he discovered the quadratic reciprocity law, which allows mathematicians to determine the solvability of any quadratic equation in modular arithmetic.

At 24, Gauss’ work on number theory, which he completed when he was 21, was published as a textbook. Not only did it involve his original work, but it reconciled that of other mathematicians. It would be considered his magnum opus and had an extraordinary impact on the field.

Oh, and add to those achievements a discovery in astronomy — in the same year, 1801, Gauss calculated the orbit of an asteroid called Ceres.

After a much-accomplished life, Gauss died aged 77 on Feb. 23, 1855.

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