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Jul
7

In a sport where championships can be won or lost by fractions of a second, the need for speed outranks everything.

Away from the track, all of today’s Formula 1 teams have extensive partnerships with top technology firms as they look to gain the extra advantage that could make the difference between glory and defeat.

TechRadar Pro headed to McLaren’s space-age Surrey headquarters to hear more on how one of the most famous teams in Formula 1 works with Dell Technologies in its push for victory. 

Located just outside the sleepy town of Woking, McLaren’s HQ wouldn’t look too out of place in a James Bond movie. The approach curves smoothly around a large lake which houses the water to cool the team’s multi-million pound wind tunnel, giving an all-round view of the streamlined building.

The reception is home to many of the team’s title-winning cars across its 52-year Formula 1 history, with a glittering trophy cabinet filled with reminders of the team’s victories acting as motivation to employees heading to the building’s cavernous cafeteria.

But the facility is also a buzzing hive of industry, home to engineers working 363 days a year in order to keep pace with the continually-evolving and improving sport.

With such a keen pace of innovation then, it’s vital that McLaren has a reliable and stable technology partner to handle the mountains of data it generates from testing on a daily basis.

"We're very fortunate to have a great partnership with Dell,” Karen McElhatton, McLaren Group CIO told TechRadar Pro at a media event ahead of this weekend’s British Grand Prix.

“Dell has really helped us transform our business...on the IT side, underpinning all the data, all of the simulations and analytics that fuel our business is the power of Dell.”

With teams limited on the amount of processing power they case use in testing and development, the need for efficient yet powerful hardware is paramount - and the reason McLaren values its partnership with Dell so highly.

"This company is very quick - pace is in its DNA,” McElhatton says, “so from an IT provider in this environment, you need to be faster."

"The faster we can design, the faster we can engineer, the more competitive we hope to be on the track."

"Our racing heritage includes an absolute love for data - data drives everything that we do (and) Dell has been an amazing partner...we've been able to work with Dell to really improve some of the capabilities that we are delivering.”

Although no Dell Technologies staff are present at a racing weekend, the company’s technology is an integral part of every Grand Prix. McElhatton notes that working with Dell has allowed McLaren to bring hyperconverged infrastructure to every race, greatly simplifying the technical setup process when travelling to remote locations all around the world, noting that this means that IT, “doesn’t become a distraction, it becomes an enabler.”

Each car ultimately generates around 1TB of data over the course of a full race weekend, both via the myriad of sensors attached to the vehicle, but and also through HD video of the cars in action during practices sessions. Thanks to Dell’s hardware (including the newly released PowerMax servers) this video can be transmitted quickly back to the engineering teams at McLaren HQ for real-time analysis, allowing for quick decisions that could make all the difference during a race.

McElhatton highlights how important video data has become to Formula 1 teams in recent years, noting "video is growing ridiculously...we're far more visual than we were five or ten years ago."

McLaren’s relationship with Dell stretches across the entire McLaren Group, which alongside Formula 1 activity also includes the company’s road vehicle and Applied Technologies arms.

The latter looks to take learnings from Formula 1 to apply to other real-world situations, spreading the knowledge gained from the sport to slightly more pedestrian areas. McElhatton mentions utilising data to allow aircraft to move more smoothly, optimising logistics transportation and even healthcare recovery as varied examples of where McLaren’s knowledge has moved from the race track to the real world.

There has been much debate recently over whether Formula 1 has become too technical, if the drivers and races have become too robotic, but McElhatton disagrees.

"What Formula 1 wants to do is create an exciting race for the fans,” she says, "one of the best ways to innovate is when you're under constraint...if you look at Formula 1 over the past years, that's what has happened."

Overall, although McLaren’s Formula 1 season may not be resulting in trophies just yet, the company is certainly one of the leading lights when it comes to technical development and innovation.

"Dell's partnership with us is absolutely critical to our business," McElhatton says, "Dell is helping us pick the right things - the smart choices to solve the problems we have."


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Jul
7
Microsoft fans are really keen on seeing a Surface Phone device
Posted by David Nield on 07 July 2018 09:30 AM

How eager are you to see a Surface-branded phone make its way to the market? Eager enough to sign a petition? A group of Microsoft fans want to put pressure on the tech giant to bring out a Surface that fits in your pocket, so much so that they've created an online petition to collect names.

With 3,000 signatures and rising at the time of writing, the petition seems to be attracting a fair amount of interest, though whether it's enough to turn heads and change engineering plans at Microsoft remains to be seen. It probably can't hurt.

"I myself wouldn't mind paying between $799-$999 for this phone if it happened and looked like the pictures that we have seen from those leaks," says petition starter Zachary Hinski, saying that "money is power" and Microsoft will be "forced into action" if the petition manages to get gather enough momentum online.

The long history of the Surface Phone

Of course rumors about a Surface Phone have been floating around the tech world for years now, but we still don't know if it's actually a real device. We've seen hints in the code for Windows 10, concept images mocked up on the web, and patents filed by Microsoft pointing to the existence of such a device.

The decline and fall of Windows Phone seemed to have put paid to the chances of getting a Microsoft-made smartphone, but then the company started bringing out a rather nice line of Surface hardware so it seemed like a mobile might be back on the cards.

Most recently, we've heard rumors that Microsoft wants to build something that's half smartphone, half tablet computer, powered by a new operating system in development called Andromeda. It would certainly round out Microsoft's family of Surface devices – but whether or not a petition will sway MIcrosoft one way or another remains to be seen.

Via The Next Web


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Jul
7
Huawei clearly wants to make 'smartwatches' for your ears work
Posted by James Peckham on 07 July 2018 09:00 AM

Little is known so far about the Huawei Watch 3 or what other fitness trackers the company will bring out this year, but in the last seven days we've heard of two separate Huawei rumors that relate to both wristwear and things that plug into your ears.

On Monday this week, we saw a patent that showed how the company is attempting to work out how to include a pair of Bluetooth earbuds within an upcoming Huawei smartwatch.

The patent suggests it would probably involve a little capsule that sits between the strap and the watch body on either side of the device. The earbuds would then slot into this section of the watch.

An alternate design shows the earbuds held in a container on the underside of the watch strap, but whichever design Huawei went with it's clear from the diagrams below that one of the biggest problems the company will face is including them without making the watch unwieldy.

Then later in the week, we saw often-correct Twitter leaker Evan Blass posting an image of the Huawei TalkBand B5, which based on the date on its display may be launching on Monday, 9 July. 

We've seen three TalkBand devices from Huawei already - the company seems to have skipped straight to 'B5' as the number four is unlucky in China - and they've been some of the oddest wearables on the market.

It's essentially a fitness tracker that at first looks to have a similar design to other products in the space - it even looks similar to the Huawei Band 2 Pro when on your wrist. 

If you push the main body of the tracker, it then pops out of the casing and reveals a Bluetooth headset.

When you've done that, it'll stay connected to your phone through Bluetooth and you can use it to make phone calls without using your hands, like an earpiece from the early noughties.

It looks like the TalkBand B5 will do exactly the same as the last few generations - the first image we've seen of the device at the top of this page shows that it will look very similar to the TalkBand B3.

There are sure to be improvements of some sort, but this is clearly a quirk of Huawei where it thinks the combination of Bluetooth headsets and headphones with wearable devices work well together.

There's nothing else on the market like the TalkBand, but it's clear the company has seen some sort of success with its odd product as it has made four generations of it in as many years.

From wrist to ear

As for the Huawei Watch patent with integrated Bluetooth headphones, this may just be an unusual idea that the company had at one stage and will never actually be on sale.

The vast majority of patent applications from large companies never end up being released as products, with the often strange and innovative ideas that come to light through them remaining as just that - ideas.

For example, we've seen one Apple Watch patent that includes a blood pressure monitor within the band. This includes a new strap that inflates on your wrist, much like the blood pressure machine at your local doctors.

This is all within a normal sized Apple Watch band. It's a thought-provoking idea, but it's likely to be an idea that never makes it to market as it is so different to anything else on sale.

It's clear some part of Huawei is interested in combining audio with fitness trackers and smartwatches, but it's an odd space to inhabit when no other large manufacturers seem anywhere near as interested.

Perhaps the closest thing to it is the Sony Xperia Ear Duo hearable, but that's purely headphones and doesn't include any specific fitness features.

Expect to hear more about the Huawei TalkBand B5 in the coming weeks, but we don't think you'll be able to take your headphones out of any smartwatch's strap for quite some time yet.

Main image credit: Evan Blass


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Jul
7

We all know that home advantage can provide a boost to a World Cup campaign, but who really saw Russia still being around at the quarter-final stage? Well here they are, with Croatia now seeking to do what Spain couldn't in the last round and knock the hosts off their perch at Russia 2018. 

Russian goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev was the hero of the hour thanks to two crucial penalty saves in the triumphant shoot-out against Spain, and given Croatia's attacking qualities, Russia will need their stopper to be on top form once again to give them a fighting chance. 

Croatia also needed a shoot-out to get past Denmark in the previous round after a performance that failed to hit the heights of their group stage showing. But with Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic calling the shots in midfield, the Croats should have the lion's share of possession and the platform to damage Russia. 

Can the Russians pull off another shock to play the winner of the Sweden and England quarter-final? Don't miss a second of this tasty quarter-final clash – scroll down to see how you can watch a Russia vs Croatia live stream for free, wherever you are in the world. And don't forget our World Cup watching guide either, providing you with all the key viewing and streaming info for this World Cup. 

Use a VPN to watch the World Cup 2018 from anywhere for FREE

You don't have to miss a single minute of World Cup soccer - even if the country where you are isn't broadcasting certain games. Because every second of action is being shown somewhere (the UK, for example, is televising every game for free - see below), you can simply use a VPN to login to a region that is broadcasting the game. And it's really easy to do:

How to stream Russia vs Croatia live in the UK 

How to watch Russia vs Croatia: US live stream 

How to watch Russia vs Croatia: Canada live stream 

How to watch Croatia vs Russia: Australia live stream 

How to watch Croatia vs Russia: New Zealand live stream 

Exclusive World Cup competition with VyprVPN


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Jul
7

No need to worry now, Lewis. Just when you were feeling like the F1 Drivers' World Championship might be running away from you and Sebastian Vettel was getting on top, along comes the British Grand Prix - one of your favorite races!

Yep, Lewis Hamilton has rather dominated at Silverstone in the last few years, winning the British Grand Prix four times in a row. After a crushingly disappointing Austrian GP last weekend, Hamilton will be desperate to make it five in a row to try to return to the top of the standings in his ding-dong battle with Vettel - and he got the best possible start, with a fantastic couple of Friday practices.

The German driver, on the other hand, will be attempting to record his first Grand Prix victory on British soil (or should that be tarmac?) for almost a decade. His only win at Silverstone came during is breakout season in 2009.

Watching the British Grand Prix from the comfort of your own TV is thankfully really straightforward, and on pretty much any device. And the best thing about it...you can do so absolutely free of charge, regardless of where on earth you are! Read on to find out how to stream F1 live.

How to watch the British Grand Prix for free anywhere in the world

If you don't have easy access to watch the British Grand Prix online in your country, the best way to watch it for free is to download and install a VPN service, which effectively tricks your computer into thinking that it's in another country. It's really easy to do, and works for loads of sporting events where live streams may not be readily available where you are:

How to stream F1 live in the UK for free:

How to watch British Grand Prix in the US for free:

How to stream the British Grand Prix in Australia

Photos courtesy of Formula1.com


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Jul
7

Le Tour est ici! And there aren't many sporting events more evocative and iconic than the Tour De France. Even for non-cycling nuts, Le Tour is one of those transcendent sporting events (a bit like Wimbledon) that captures the hearts of general sports enthusiasts around the world. That's why we're here to tell you how you can watch all of this year's Tour de France via a free live stream.

With exhilarating races that weave through stunning terrain, from the coast to the mountains and beyond, sporting spectacles don't get much better than Le Tour. 

Predicting who will triumph over the epic three weeks of racing is never easy, but defending champion Chris Froome could well be the main man to beat now that it looks like he'll definitely be in the staring field. Coming off the back of three straight Tour de France wins and that epic Giro d'Italia finale, he and team Sky will be confident he can make it five wins in the space of six years.

It may not be the longest, but the route for the the 2018 Tour looks to be one of the most testing in years, with tight, cobbled roads and coastal winds set to severely test the riders before they even get to the gruelling stages of the Pyrenees and the Alps.

Don't miss out on the drama of the Tour de France 2018 – scroll down to see where you can find a live stream of the race for free, wherever you are in the world.

Use a VPN to live stream the Tour de France 2018 from anywhere for FREE

If you don't have easy access to watch the Tour de France in your country but want to catch the coverage, the best way to watch it for free is to download and install a VPN. That way you can log in to a region that is broadcasting the tour. For those seeking English coverage, your best bet is to connect to UK servers and stream ITV4 via the ITV Hub. And it's really easy to do: 

How to live stream the Tour de France 2018 in the UK for free

How to watch the Tour de France 2018: live stream in the US

How to watch Tour de France cycling: Australia stream

The best way to stream Tour de France 2018 in Canada

The best ways to stream the Tour de France 2018 live in New Zealand for free

Main image courtesy of letour.fr


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