Computers

Dell launches SafeShutter webcam for convenience, privacy

No more sticky notes for webcam privacy

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With video conferencing becoming a staple in everyday work lives, Dell has announced SafeShutter — an automatic webcam shutter that knows when to open or close by syncing with users’ video conferencing applications, enabling them to work securely and confidently from anywhere.

Many remote workers today have resorted to permanently affixing a sticky note to computer cameras to ensure webcam privacy while working. It doesn’t need to be this way.

SafeShutter was created with remote working scenarios in mind — to strike the right balance between the convenience of seamlessly joining video calls and the privacy and the safety of knowing the camera is secure.

Human error is inevitable when it comes to video conferencing, be it speaking while still on mute or thinking the camera is turned off when it isn’t. SafeShutter creates an audible “click” that lets users know the camera has closed. The webcam also comes with a privacy LED light that turns on when the camera is in use. Paired with the keyboard indicator lights that denote if the camera and audio are on or off, users can rest assured they are in full control of their audio and video settings. No sticky note needed!

SafeShutter also factors in the need for added security aimed at limiting malicious surveillance and hacking. The security-hardened, hardware-controlled circuit allows users to control their privacy with camera disable (F9) and mic mute (F4) keys to override software settings. This provides extra assurance at the hardware level and ensures users can regain control with just a simple touch of a key, should the unexpected occur.

SafeShutter is available on the industry’s most secure commercial PCs and the new Latitude 9420 and 9520 devices. Combined with AI-based features that provide intelligent background noise-cancelling, auto-mute and smart connectivity features (like ExpressConnect, that prioritises bandwidth to your conferencing apps to prevent dropped calls), the Latitude 9420 and 9520 devices offer one of the best video conferencing experiences on a PC.

Pricing and availability

  • Dell Latitude 9420 — April 2021 — Pricing TBD
  • Dell Latitude 9520 — Available now — SG$ 2,629

All products are available for purchase online at dell.com.sg and the Dell exclusive stores in Funan Mall, NEX and Plaza Singapura.


This is a press release from Dell Singapore.

Computers

Early build of next-gen Windows leaked to the public

Might end up as Windows 11

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next-gen Windows

It seems like that the next generation of Windows can’t come soon enough. Just recently, an early build of the OS leaked to the public, containing many UI and under-the-hood changes that have been speculated for months.

A lot of publications covering this next-gen Windows have already published their hands-on with the leaked build. The most apparent changes to the next-gen Windows are the ones people will see every day. The taskbar, for a start, is now centered by default, although it can be set to align left in the settings. It also includes new icons for the Start button, search button, and Task View.

The Start menu is radically different too, and it is the same one found on the cancelled Windows 10X. There’s a new button that sits on the taskbar by the way. This toggles the widget panel which is also new for the next-gen Windows. Meanwhile, the Task View gets a revamp. Along with this revamp comes a new window snapping experience — users can now snap according to different configurations.

Overall, the leaked build feature a lot of rounded corners. Microsoft is really gunning for a modern look with their next-gen Windows. Also, gone are the days of straight corners in context menus and buttons. It is worth noting that since this is an early build, some UI elements are still inconsistent with the overall design refresh. The bundled apps, for example, seem to be unchanged though the File Explorer has newer file icons.

There’s a lot more changes coming to the next-gen Windows, though. The out-of-the-box setup experience, for example, is new. And apparently, there’s a new start-up sound to boot too.

Windows 11 is here

One of the biggest things to come out of the build, however, is a direct confirmation that the next-gen Windows will simply be called Windows 11. The teasers for the next-gen Windows posted by Microsoft first hinted about this. Now, the builds directly confirm that indeed, Windows 11 is that next-gen Windows.

To make matters more interesting, Microsoft seemed to acknowledge the leaked build, teasing that there’s more to come:

There’s definitely more to come with the next-gen Windows, and it is definitely interesting what it will look like when Microsoft announces it on June 24. That said, ordinary users shouldn’t wait too long to see the evolution of the beloved OS that has been around for more than a decade.

Source: The Verge, Windows Central

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Computers

AMD unveils new Radeon PRO workstation GPUs

Based on the same architecture as the next-gen consoles

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PRO W6000

AMD may be facing some shortages in their chips for the remainder of this year, but it’s not stopping them just yet. Within their GPU lineup, Team Red looks to launch a more powerful AMD Radeon PRO W6000 series of workstation graphics. This time around, they’ve integrated a familiar and powerful type of RDNA architecture to boost your workstation’s graphical performance.

See, AMD designed the new Radeon PRO W6000 series of workstation GPUs for heavier, more complex workloads. From demanding architectural design to 4K video rendering, these new GPUs will ideally handle all of these with ease. One of the big reasons behind this is that these GPUs are built using the RDNA 2 architecture. Yes, it’s the same architecture behind the GPUs of the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X|S!

Apart from graphical performance boosts, the Radeon PRO W6000 series also offers realtime ray-tracing for faster renders. Essentially, the GPU has more enhanced compute units that boost design renders by up to 46 percent compared to previous generations. Along with AMD’s Smart Access Memory, you can even unlock higher performance for supported AMD Ryzen CPUs.

AMD will roll out their Radeon PRO W6000 series of GPUs in this fashion, along with their SRPs:

  • Now Available: AMD Radeon PRO W6800 (US$ 2,249)
  • Starting July 2021: AMD Radeon PRO W6600M (in select countries and mobile workstations)
  • Q3 2021: AMD Radeon PRO W6600 (US$ 649)
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Apps

SmartThings by Samsung unveils new interface

Better, more optimized

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A new generation for SmartThings is about to release. A revamped version of its mobile and Windows desktop app. The new design, which is part of SmartThings’ continued effort to simplifying the connected home experience. Additionally, it provides a simpler, more robust user journey and faster load times with a whole new interface.

The new interface makes it easier to identify connected home experiences while also maintaining a smooth transition from the previous version of SmartThings. The design that was improved for SmartThings divides the app into five sections: Favorites, Devices, Life, Automations, and Menu.

Favorites are the new home screen within SmartThings and gather the devices, scenes, and services used most for quicker access.

Devices let users monitor all devices, connecting TVs, light bulbs, appliances, and many more.

Life is a part where customers discover new services. As a matter of fact, this transforms physical objects into meaningful user experiences as they explore the expanding world of linked life. Users may learn about new features that will better their entire living experience, such as SmartThings Cooking. It is an all-in-one service that will offer seamless kitchen and meal preparation experiences.

Automations link devices, allowing them to collaborate and respond to certain situations in the home, such as a door opening and a light switching on.

Additional functions, such as Labs, Notifications, History, and Settings, will be housed in the Menu.

SmartThings

Availability

The new interface is available for Android devices starting today, and iOS will follow. This update follows SmartThings’ recent announcement of its Windows application, which offers a similar experience right from a Galaxy Book and any other Windows PC.

Samsung continues to invest in enhancing its technology, they also announced the incorporation of the Matter protocol into its ecosystem. SmartThings claims to be in the leading spot as the platform with the most flexible ways to connect devices. This includes Wi-Fi, Z-Wave, Zigbee, and Matter. 

Finally, you can see more information about SmartThings here.

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