Sony Unveils the PlayStation 4 Pro, Apple Attacks Headphone Jackers. Tech News

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Sony unveils two new games consoles, Apple gets defensive over headphone jack accusations, Twitter lets you see who’s ignoring you, the Raspberry Pi (CA) hits 10 million units sold, and some rather important lightsaber safety tips.

Sony Reveals the PS4 Pro and PS4 Slim

Sony has unveiled two new PlayStation games consoles, the PlayStation 4 Slim and the PlayStation 4 Pro (UK). Unfortunately, neither has been received particularly well, with the former just a smaller, lighter version of the existing console, and the latter being a disappointing leap in terms of technical achievements.

The PlayStation 4 Slim (priced at $299), which is essentially just the new standard PS4, takes up 30 percent less room, is lighter by 16 percent, and consumes 28 percent less power. However, these changes are purely aesthetic, and this model is not capable of doing anything new and exciting, and won’t make games look any better.

The PlayStation 4 Pro (priced at $399/£349) is a premium version of the PS4, and it is capable of making games look better thanks to support for 4K resolution, HDR (High Dynamic Range), and smoother frame rates. Existing games will receive patches to make them look better, while future titles will have these enhancements built in from day one.

Reaction to both new PlayStation consoles has been muted to say the least. The Slim is nice for people who haven’t yet bought a PS4, but no use to existing owners. And the Pro feels rather underwhelming when you consider what Sony could have done with what is effectively a PlayStation 4.5. In other words, it’s good, it’s just not good enough.

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Apple Denies a Headphone Jack Conspiracy

Unless you’ve been living in a hole for the past week you’ll know that Apple has finally unveiled the iPhone 7. It’s a very nice phone, available in two shades of black, because everyone likes black. However, in its infinite wisdom Apple decided to ditch the headphone jack, annoying legions of its loyal fans in the process. Oops.

It’s patently obvious why Apple has ditched the headphone jack at this stage… Doing so forces everyone to use Lightning headphones, which means Apple can sell its millions of fans some of those fugly AirPods or some crappy Beats by Dre. Not that Apple will admit to such underhanded tactics, of course.

In a fascinating article looking at the development of the iPhone 7, BuzzFeed asked Phil Schiller, Apple’s VP of Marketing, and the man who called this decision courageous, how the company responds to people who claim this is a “user-hostile” move. To which Schiller responded:

“The idea that there’s some ulterior motive behind this move, or that it will usher in some new form of content management, it simply isn’t true. We are removing the audio jack because we have developed a better way to deliver audio. It has nothing to do with content management or DRM — that’s pure, paranoid conspiracy theory.”

So there you have it, Apple fans. If you’re one of the many people to have figured out the cynical reasons behind Apple’s decision to ditch the headphone jack Phil Schiller thinks you’re a paranoid conspiracy theorist. And if you haven’t figured out why Apple has made this change then I think you’re a little bit naive and possibly dumb. So, take your pick!

Twitter Adds Read Receipts to DMs

Twitter has added a trio of improvements to its Direct Messages, all of which introduce elements you’ll already be familiar with from other messaging apps. From now on you’ll be able to see when someone has read your message (thanks to read receipts), see when someone is writing a reply (thanks to typing indicators), and glance at shared content (thanks to web link previews).

This is a big change for Twitter, which hasn’t really made the most of its capacity as a messaging app. However, these changes haven’t pleased everybody, with some complaining that opting people into read receipts by default makes it easier than ever for trolls to ply their trade. Thankfully, you can disable read receipts without breaking a sweat.

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The Raspberry Pi Hits 10 Million Units Sold

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has now sold more than 10 million of its tiny single board computers. The British Company announced the milestone in a blog post briefly explaining how the project started. It was only in February 2015 when the Raspberry Pi Foundation announced it had sold its 5 millionth mini computer, meaning it has doubled that figure in just 18 months.

To celebrate having sold 10 million Raspberry Pi devices, the Foundation is offering what it calls “the perfect bundle”. This is the Raspberry Pi Starter Kit, which comprises of a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B (CA/UK), an 8GB SD card (CA, UK), a case, a power supply, an HDMI cable, an optical mouse and keyboard, and a copy of Adventures In Raspberry Pi (CA/UK). And all that for £99+VAT. Bargain.

How to Use a Lightsaber Safely

And finally, you’ll probably never own a real lightsaber like the ones used in Star Wars, because science suggests it’s an impossible piece of technology. However, just imagine for a minute that lightsabers are real, and that we all own one. Would you know how to handle this deadly weapon without injuring yourself and/or others around you?

Were guessing not, which is why we’re posting this video. After all, it introduces us all to some solid and sensible safety tips for using a lightsaber. And fortunately, for those of us not blessed with lightsaber skills, there is an alternative means of defense… Use the Force, Larry. Good, good, now KILL HIM! [H/T: CNET]

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Your Views on Today’s Tech News

What do you think of the PlayStation 4 Pro and PlayStation 4 Slim? What do you believe Apple’s motives are for removing the headphone jack from the iPhone 7? What do you do if you see someone has read a message but doesn’t reply? Have you bought a Raspberry Pi yet? Could you be trusted with a real lightsaber?

Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome. Tech News Digest is a daily column paring the technology news of the day down into bite-sized chunks that are easy to read and perfect for sharing.

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