Fujifilm has proven again that it's not afraid to build unusual cameras by unveiling the XF10, a premium fixed-lens compact that will be the successor to the X70 compact. It's got a wide-angle 18.5mm f/2.8 fixed lens (equivalent to 27.8mm in full-frame terms) and a 24.2-megapixel APS-C (not X-Trans) sensor that has significantly higher resolution than the last model. It's very compact, weighing just 280 grams, or about the same as Sony's new RX100 VI, which has a smaller 1-inch sensor. However, there's no EVF on it, so you'll need to rely on the 3-inch touchscreen to compose and replay your photos and video.
The XF10 is essentially a 1080p 60fps camera, as it does shoot 4K but at a rather useless 15 fps. The ISO ranges from 200 to 12,800, expandable from ISO 100 - 51,200, and it supports Bluetooth 4.1 for smartphone transfers. There's a digital zoom available (essentially a sensor crop) that lets you shoot at 35mm and 50mm equivalent levels. As you'd expect, Fujifilm offers a number of filters, including monochrome and "rich and fine" for vivid color and a mild vignette effect. It's also touting the "square mode" that lets you switch to a 1:1, Instax-like format with a press of the touchscreen.
It's unusual that Fujifilm has fixed-lens APS-C cameras, as it also sells the X100F, though that model is over double the price. The XF10 seems to have the same guts as Fujifilm's entry level X-T100 mirrorless, including the 24.2-megapixel sensor and wonky 15fps 4K shooting speed. It might have been more interesting to bolt a zoom lens on the XF10 to make it more accessible for travel photography and give Canon's G1 X Mark III a run for its money.
That said, the XF10 is pretty inexpensive for a premium compact, making it ideal for street photography on the cheap. It costs $500 in the US and $650 in Canada, and arrives in North America in black or champagne gold in August 2018.
Terrafugia's Transition flying car has been in development purgatory for years, but it's finally here... almost. The company has announced that the first production models of the Transition will go on sale sometime in 2019. While that does sound like a long way off, it does provide a more concrete release window than you've had in the past. And if it's any consolation, the finished machine will have some useful improvements in return for the extra months of waiting.
For one, the Transition now drives in hybrid mode with a combination of a conventional gas-powered motor and a safer-than-usual lithium-ion phosphate battery. The throttle now includes a boost option for a brief burst of extra power. Partners Dynon and BRS are providing avionics and a parachute system, while the interior is getting improved seats, an "attractive and intuitive" interface, more luggage space and improved safety that includes better seat belts and airbags.
There are still some mysteries left, including that all-important price. However, the news suggests that Volvo parent Geely's acquisition of Terrafugia might be paying off. The firm now has the kind of material support and connections that it wouldn't have had before, not to mention an extra motivation to bring its flying car to market.
Faraday Future hasn't given up on the FF 91 despite going through a financial crisis and losing executives along the way. Now, a few months after a Hong Kong investor reportedly threw the startup a $1.5 billion lifeline, it has dropped a new video showing the tests it recently conducted to validate the luxury EV's battery, thermal and powertrain controls. The company's engineers staged what they call the "Autobahn drive cycle" and "Operation 120 mph" tests, which are critical to the FF 91's engineering process. Chou Yeh, Faraday's Senior Manager of Powertrain and Thermal Controls, said the tests will help "eliminate issues before they arise and [continue] to add value to the vehicle during the final stages of verification."
While the engineers call the first trial the Autobahn test, they didn't actually conduct it in a German expressway. Instead, the FF 91 sped down the test track in Ohio at 155 mph for 3 minutes, followed by 75 mph for 2 minutes. The driver repeated the cycle thrice for a total of 15 minutes. After that, they subjected the EV to a 55-minute test drive at a constant speed of 120 mph, monitoring the batteries' thermal temperature and making sure the motors and inverters are getting adequate cooling from start to finish.
The company said it's pleased with the tests' results and that the initial data "looked really promising." Its engineers believe they could go even further -- if they want to release the car later this year, we'll likely see more videos like these in the near future.
Earlier this year a similar law forcing renters to register took effect in San Francisco and half of Airbnb's listings disappeared. According to the city council, short-term rental listings reduce the amount of affordable housing available and drive up rents for residents. Airbnb could sue to try and stop the bill from being signed into law, opposing it on the grounds of privacy for hosts. The company also claims that despite what council members have said about landlords using the sites instead of taking on long-term tenants, it benefits regular people who use listings to help pay their bills.
During a recent congressional hearing, Facebook showed that its policies could use a bit of work when it comes to addressing posts threatening violence. Now, the tech giant has finally taken steps to combat that particular issue, announcing a policy change that will allow it to take down fake news posts that incite violence and physical harm. A spokesperson told CNBC that it will begin implementing the new rule, which will cover both text and image posts, "during the coming months."
According to The New York Times, the new policy is largely a response to the role Facebook played in the violent attacks on Muslims that took place in Sri Lanka, Myanmar and India. In Sri Lanka, for instance, riots broke out after rumors went around on the platform, accusing Muslims of poisoning food given or sold to Buddhists. Facebook was also accused of helping promote violence against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar by allowing misinformation to circulate on its website.
The company will reportedly use its image recognition tech to spot status updates that violate the new rule. CNBC says it will also work with local and international organizations to help it spot and verify fake news. See, while it plans to take down posts that encourage harm, it will only de-emphasize fake news that don't incite violence in people's Feeds. That's where those partner groups come in.
As for what kind of posts don't deserve to be banned, Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg gave Holocaust denial as an example in his interview with Recode. That obviously caused an uproar, prompting him to clarify that while he "personally find[s] Holocaust denial deeply offensive," Facebook's goal is "not to prevent anyone from saying something untrue -- but to stop fake news and misinformation spreading across [its] services."