iPhone X and a dSLR have more in common than we thought

i PHONE X.jpg

Source: CNET

We took the same portraits on a dSLR and an iPhone X to see if Apple can get close to the real thing with its digital bokeh effect.

The iPhone X is the latest phone with a dedicated portrait mode that emulates bokeh, that blurred background effect mostly associated with dSLR cameras. Apple introduced it with the iPhone 7 Plus, Google did it on the Pixel 2 and Samsung has a similar Live Focus feature on its Galaxy Note 8.

The iPhone X, or any phone for that matter, can't replace a dSLR. But we wanted to find out if the camera on Apple's newest phone can even come close to the real thing.

How they create that "portrait mode"

The photographer can manipulate focus, aperture and distance of the lens from the subject on a dSLR to control depth of field. A shallow depth of field makes the subject look sharp relative to the background. 

The iPhone uses a combination of software and hardware to achieve a similar effect. It makes a depth map with its dual cameras to separate the subject from the rest of the scene, then blurs out what it perceives as the background. This is why it doesn't always get it right and often blurs out parts of the foreground or keeps parts of the background in focus.

Now Playing: iPhone X or dSLR: Which do you like more?

2:22 

On a standalone camera, shooting with a wide aperture will generally create bokeh -- the out-of-focus areas in a photo beyond the depth of field. The size of the sensor and the type of lens are other important components that play into how bokeh is rendered. You might have seen photos of bokeh lights where the circles of lights in the background look round, bright and smooth. Cameras with smaller sensors (like point-and-shoots or phones) can have trouble rendering these highlights.

To the test

We took some portraits using the iPhone X and a Canon 5D Mark III dSLR with a 50mm f/1.8 lens, stopping down to an aperture similar to that on the iPhone's telephoto lens.

Take a look for yourself at the results. The photos displayed are compressed on our site, so are not an accurate reproduction of the actual files the cameras can produce.

Which is which?

To us, the differences between the two were obvious -- we took the shots after all. But for others, the difference wasn't as apparent. We showed the results to some of our CNET colleagues and didn't tell them which one was shot on which device.

Most had a hard time identifying which one was which in the examples above. The answer? The image on the left is from the dSLR and the image on the right is from the iPhone.

Here's an important caveat: the photos from the iPhone were taken using the default camera app using portrait mode. The phone processes the images, including sharpening and color corrections, before rendering the final JPEG. On the dSLR, we shot in raw on a neutral profile. Shooting in raw means you have the flexibility to process the image however you like and if you prefer punchier colors you can easily adjust them. (You can also shoot in raw on the iPhone with a third-party app.)

CLICK HERE TO VIEW PICTURES (CNET)

It wasn't until we increased the magnification of each shot that our colleagues spotted the identifying features. When you look closely, you'll notice that the blur around the edges of the iPhone X's look harsh and unnatural, especially around hair and anything with uneven texture.

Viewing photos at 100 percent magnification is not just something photographers do to "pixel peep". If you end up cropping a photo or changing parameters like exposure, you can end up seeing a lot of these issues more easily.

Where the iPhone can't keep up

The iPhone X produces pleasing portraits in optimal conditions, but where it can't keep up with the dSLR is in low light. In extremely low light the iPhone can't even activate portrait mode as you'll see below, whereas the dSLR is able to take shots regardless.

 

How close is the iPhone X?

In ideal conditions, the phone mimics the bokeh effect well and Portrait Mode has come a long way since the iPhone 7 Plus. If you're posting on social media or viewing on a phone screen, the shot may look pretty close to what you would get on a dSLR, especially if you're viewing photos at a reduced magnification. But if you look closely, you can see where the processing still needs to improve.

Apple Leak Reveals Massive New iPhone

Source: Forbes

Gordon Kelly 

Want to know about the iPhone 7 before release? He nailed it. iPhone 6S? He nailed it. iPhone SE? He nailed it. Yes, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has an unparalleled track record attaining Apple AAPL +2.74%’s future plans and now he has news on perhaps the biggest iPhone change in years…

Having last week confirmed the 2017 iPhone SE update has been scrapped, a new research note from Kuo obtained by MacRumors explains that’s just the beginning of Apple’s plans to overhaul the iPhone range:

“We look for new 2017 iPhones to come in three models: one OLED model, and two TFT-LCD models with 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch display. We believe the OLED and 5.5-inch TFT-LCD iPhones will feature [a] dual-camera.”

 

2017 Apple iPhone OLED concept design with integrated fingerprint reader. Image credit: Veniamin Geskin

Barclays analysts this week said this OLED model will be a massive 5.8-inches and, if correct, Kuo’s revelation of three distinct models brings both good and bad news:

The Good News

Looking at this positively, Apple finally embracing OLED is great news. OLED works without a backlight so it can be much thinner and lighter than the IPS LCD panels iPhones currently use and they can save battery life. OLED also achieves a higher contrast ratio than LCD, so it would be a notable step up.

Recommended by Forbes

iPhone 7 Vs iPhone 7 Plus Review: Should You Upgrade?

Apple iOS 10 Has 25 Great Secret Features

SAPVoice: Are Humans Already Obsolete?

Apple Leak Confirms 'All Glass' New iPhone

iPhone 7 Vs iPhone 6S: What's The Difference?

MOST POPULAR

Photos: The Richest Person In Every State

TRENDING ON FACEBOOK

Donald Trump's Tax Plan Would Hit Single Parents Hard

MOST POPULAR

Photos: The World's Highest-Paid Celebrities Under 30

MOST POPULAR

Stan Lee Introduces Augmented Reality For His Kids Universe

That said it would be a catch up as much as a step up, since Apple rivals have been predominantly using OLED for several years now.

The Bad News

And yet the bad news is all too obvious: further fragmentation of the premium iPhone line and continued sidelining of the popular and most affordable 4.7-inch iPhone model.

Whereas the adoption of OLED has long been expected across the iPhone range in 2017, giving it to just one model which will sit above both the so-called ‘iPhone 8’ and ‘iPhone 8 Plus’ with an even higher price tag risks alienating customers. Especially in light of the major price increases delivered with the new MacBook Pro lineup this year.

After all it was not long ago that, storage aside, $650 got you the best iPhone spec. Now a $650 iPhone 7 has a worse display, camera and reduced RAM and battery life compared to a $770 iPhone 7 Plus. But come 2018 it appears circa $850-900 is going to be the entry level price point for an iPhone with Apple’s best display and camera tech.

 

Right now the Google Pixel is clearly the best smartphone camera with the Galaxy S7 second and the increasingly neglected 4.7-inch iPhone 7 falling behind. Image credit: Gordon Kelly

Do you have the cash to pay for a top of the line iPhone but prefer the smaller 4.7-inch form factor? Tough. Best you take a long hard look at the uncompromising 5-inch Google Pixel.

What To Think?

The big concern here is Apple is forgetting the every-man. Apple products have always been expensive and – critically – they have always been aspirational. But right now a base level 15-inch MacBook Pro costs more than some of us paid for our first car.

Apple has recently stated sales of these new MacBook Pros are very strong while demand for the iPhone 7 Plus has outstripped the iPhone 7 for the first time, so the strategy is working: people are indeed prepared to pay more and more for the best that Apple can offer.

So where is the line where customers will start to leave? Right now no-one knows, but it is becoming increasingly clear that Apple is prepared to find out…

Microsoft Announces “Project Scorpio” – The Most Powerful Console Ever Built

Source: FragHero.com

 

Microsoft just dropped a bomb during its ongoing E3 press conference by confirming that it’s working on a brand new Xbox One version called “Project Scorpio.” The console will have 4K support and high-quality VR.

Microsoft claims it’s going to be the most powerful console ever made and will have 6K teraflops of power. The console will be releasing Holiday 2017.

 

 

It is to be noted that the new console will support both the current Xbox One games and accessories as well as the Slim version, which is due to release in August. Here are some of the amazing capabilities of the console –

  • 8 Cores
  • 6 TFlops
  • 320GB/s memory bandwidth
  • 4K/VR Gaming
  • BC and forward compatible

Xbox One S, image via theverge.com

Speaking to The Verge, Xbox head Phil Spencer had this to say:

It’s crazy to announce something this early,” he admits. “But when I put myself in the shoes of our customer, I want to be able to make a choice on what console I want to buy with as much information as possible. We want to give you the information to make that decision. We also want to go talk to the developers that are out there today, that are building games for next holiday, and say here’s what you’re going to have at your disposal on the console side.

Sony is also confirmed to be working on an upgraded version of its current PS4 device called PS4 Neo, but it has been stated that it will not be showing it during its upcoming E3 presser.

New iPhone 7 Photos Leaked

Source: Forbes.com

So far iPhone 7 leaks have had one consistent message: prepare to be disappointed. But, following the release of new chassis photos, that might be about to change…

Picked up by the ever reliable Nowhereelse.fr are new images which suggest the iPhone 7 may actually make a few very significant design alterations after all. Let’s break them down:

Change #1 – Four Way Speaker Heaven

Last year Apple introduced a brilliant quad array of speakers with the iPad Pro 12.9, something it continued with the smaller iPad Pro 9.7 and now these new photos suggest Apple will bring them to the iPhone 7.

iPhone 7 chassis leak shows four speakers, including two at the top. Image credit: Nowhereelse.fr

How is this done? The photos show dual speakers top and bottom. No, they still aren’t front firing like some rivals but they would likely give the iPhone 7 external audio which is up there with the best.

No this wouldn’t be world changing or my default route for music, but for those who enjoy audio books, podcasts and so forth it could prove very useful and do away with the need for smaller Bluetooth speakers. Furthermore this was hinted at in April.

Change #2 – Larger Camera, Repositioned Flash

Another area where the iPhone 7 looks to be taking design cues off the iPad Pro line is the camera. Just like the iPad Pro 9.7, the iPhone 7 chassis photos show the flash repositioned under the camera instead of sitting alongside it.

iPhone 7 chassis leak (left) shows flash repositioned like the iPad Pro 9.7 (middle) which differs from the iPad Pro 12.9 (right). Image credit: Nowhereelse.fr

This could free up the necessary internal space for the top edge speakers, but it also ties in with a larger camera cut out which hints at a notable sensor upgrade (likely aperture ahead of megapixels). Given Apple is now playing catch up to Samsung, this is vital – even if it again suggests the more radical dual camera technology the company has will be saved for the new iPhone 7 Pro.

Change #3 – Goodbye Headphone Jack (Yet Again)

Yes, once again a chassis leak has shown the iPhone 7 removes the headphone jack (a long term Apple strategy I broke nearly two years ago). At this point the leaks around this are so consistent that it looks to be nailed on. How users react to this loss is likely to be the single biggest factor affecting the phone’s success or failure.

The Big Warning

Of course there’s one additional point which needs to be made here: why we’re still finding slight discrepancies in these iPhone 7 leaks?

The obvious point is some are simply wrong (and that will undoubtedly be the case), but the other factor is Apple is known to test multiple prospective iPhone designs for each generation so we’re likely just seeing some of those variants here.

What I would say is I hope Apple picks this one. This chassis is by far the most compelling we’ve seen to date with others being uninspired retreads of the iPhone and iPhone 6S. No, they still aren’t as exciting as the all glass and edgeless display iPhone 8 revelations, but they could do enough to satisfy Apple’s famously loyal supporters.

Only time will tell…

PS4 4K 'NEO' to be released October 2016

Source: ChristianDaily.com

The PlayStation 4.5, or Neo 4K, is yet to be officially announced or hinted at by Sony. However, speculations about the alleged PlayStation 4 (PS4) refresh only continue to spread, suggesting that the console is well on its way.

Reports suggest that the console will come in 2016, but it has since been rumored to come before the end of September 2016. As Christian Daily previously reported, the French distributor Innelec Multimedia accidentally revealed in a press release (shared by Boursier) that the PS Neo 4K will come during the first half of the company's fiscal year, which runs from April to September 2016.

The company later retracted the statement, but damage has already been done. Though a release date has not yet been pinned down by fans, the PS Neo 4K is expected to be announced at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) event in June, if not launched.

AMD is also believed to have disclosed an upcoming PS Neo. According to VR World, the statement from one of the slides that reads, "New semi-custom business in 2H 2016," is referring to Sony.

The report has been picked up by Reddit user Flight714 who suggested that Sony didn't plan to upgrade the PS4 at all. However, with AMD's new 14 nanometer FinFET transistor (also referred to as "Fin Field Effect Transistor"), Sony had no choice but to incorporate it by producing an upgrade to the PS4.

Sony's PS4 currently uses the 28 nanometer planar transistor. While the company can make use of the FinFET transistors using the "die shrink" method, which was previously easily done, it will prove to be costly.

The user also suggested that to please new and old customers, Sony had to mandate that Neo-optimized games should also be able to run on the original PS4.

Current reports about the PlayStation Neo 4K state that Neo-optimized games can also be played on the current PS4, but with lower quality.

More information about the PlayStation Neo 4K is expected to be made available during the E3, which runs June 14 to 16.

Sony Refuses to Refund PS4 User Who Lost $600 From Hack

Source: GameSpot.com

Questions have been raised over the standard of Sony's customer services after it was discovered that the victim of a PlayStation 4 hack would not be fully refunded the $600 that was stolen from him.

If a PlayStation 4 loses its place as the primary console, users must wait six months to reverse the policy.

If a PlayStation 4 loses its place as the primary console, users must wait six months to reverse the policy.

"The Sony representative told me that they are only permitted to refund up to $150"

Reddit user Kadjar

A Reddit user, going by the name Kadjar, explained that he awoke on Wednesday morning with a series of email alerts stating that about $600 of content had been purchased through his account. He also discovered that his PlayStation 4 has been deactivated from PSN and another system, of which the location is unknown, has seized control as the primary system on the account.

Having spoken to Sony customer services on several occasions throughout the day, his criticisms of its response was summarized accordingly:

  • Sony will only refund $150 of the $600 that was taken.
  • The money will be in PSN credit, and not refunded into the bank.
  • If the user escalates the payment dispute with his bank, his account will be banned.
  • If his account is banned, his purchased licences for games, such as The Last of Us Remastered, will be wiped.
  • If the licences are wiped, there is no way of restoring them.

The user's PlayStation 4 cannot be designated as the primary console for another 6 months, meaning it is locked out of the account until then.


If a PlayStation 4 loses its place as the primary console, users must wait six months to reverse the policy.

Readers on Reddit have voiced outrage at what they consider poor protection from account hacks. Others have urged that this story highlights how important it is that users protect their account with a very strong password, due to the lack of protection should something go wrong.

GameSpot has contacted Sony to discuss the matter or provide some clarification.


Kadjar has published images of his online chat with Sony customer services, and highlights three other cases where users have complained about similar issues.

His post reads:

"This morning, I started receiving emails indicating a number of purchases on my PSN account. As the transactions came in, one-by-one, it became immediately clear that my account had been hacked. I immediately logged into PSN and removed my card from the account, changed my email and password, and simultaneously launched support chats with both Sony and my bank.

"The Sony representative told me that they are only permitted to refund transactions of up to $150. He also informed me that I could dispute the charges with my bank, but by doing so, my account would be banned from PSN. As a result, I would permanently lose all of my purchases, including the Last of Us Remastered.

"He also informed me that my existing PS4 had been deactivated from the network this morning, and that a new one had been activated. When I asked him to deactivate that new, mystery PS4, he said he could not. I then turned on my PS4, logged in with my new credentials, and attempted to activate my PS4 with my account, but it informed me that I could not activate it as long as there was another PS4 bound to my account.

"I called customer support, hoping for some clarification. The agent informed me that there is indeed a refund investigation underway, but that it will be limited to $150, and that it would be credited to my PSN wallet, not my bank account.

"Furthermore, my account will not be able to activate a new system for 6 months, per Sony policy. I'm completely locked out of my own account until that date. I then asked about what would happen if I got my bank to reverse the charges, and he informed me that it would result in a banned account. I asked if there would be any way to restore my purchases, and he told me that there would not be, but I 'only have the Last of Us and a couple of the monthly free deal games,' so it's not a big deal."

Several Reddit users have offered Kadjar copies of their games, which he has thanked them for, but declined.

"My goal here is bring attention to a few of Sony's bad customer service policies in the hopes that they'll change them," he said.

Having spoken to Sony customer services on several occasions throughout the day, his criticisms of its response was summarized accordingly:

  • Sony will only refund $150 of the $600 that was taken.
  • The money will be in PSN credit, and not refunded into the bank.
  • If the user escalates the payment dispute with his bank, his account will be banned.
  • If his account is banned, his purchased licences for games, such as The Last of Us Remastered, will be wiped.
  • If the licences are wiped, there is no way of restoring them.

The user's PlayStation 4 cannot be designated as the primary console for another 6 months, meaning it is locked out of the account until then.


If a PlayStation 4 loses its place as the primary console, users must wait six months to reverse the policy.

Readers on Reddit have voiced outrage at what they consider poor protection from account hacks. Others have urged that this story highlights how important it is that users protect their account with a very strong password, due to the lack of protection should something go wrong.

GameSpot has contacted Sony to discuss the matter or provide some clarification.


Kadjar has published images of his online chat with Sony customer services, and highlights three other cases where users have complained about similar issues.

His post reads:

"This morning, I started receiving emails indicating a number of purchases on my PSN account. As the transactions came in, one-by-one, it became immediately clear that my account had been hacked. I immediately logged into PSN and removed my card from the account, changed my email and password, and simultaneously launched support chats with both Sony and my bank.

"The Sony representative told me that they are only permitted to refund transactions of up to $150. He also informed me that I could dispute the charges with my bank, but by doing so, my account would be banned from PSN. As a result, I would permanently lose all of my purchases, including the Last of Us Remastered.

"He also informed me that my existing PS4 had been deactivated from the network this morning, and that a new one had been activated. When I asked him to deactivate that new, mystery PS4, he said he could not. I then turned on my PS4, logged in with my new credentials, and attempted to activate my PS4 with my account, but it informed me that I could not activate it as long as there was another PS4 bound to my account.

"I called customer support, hoping for some clarification. The agent informed me that there is indeed a refund investigation underway, but that it will be limited to $150, and that it would be credited to my PSN wallet, not my bank account.

"Furthermore, my account will not be able to activate a new system for 6 months, per Sony policy. I'm completely locked out of my own account until that date. I then asked about what would happen if I got my bank to reverse the charges, and he informed me that it would result in a banned account. I asked if there would be any way to restore my purchases, and he told me that there would not be, but I 'only have the Last of Us and a couple of the monthly free deal games,' so it's not a big deal."

Several Reddit users have offered Kadjar copies of their games, which he has thanked them for, but declined.

"My goal here is bring attention to a few of Sony's bad customer service policies in the hopes that they'll change them," he said.

APPLE’S BIG EVENT: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW

Apple Watch

Apple Watch

Source: Wired.com

TODAY’S APPLE WATCH event brought us a few more details about the company’s first wristable, sure. But there were also plenty of non-watch announcements made today that were just as impressive. Here’s what happened, and why it mattered.

Apple Watch

We can start with the headliner. It turns out that Apple had already shared most of what it had to say about its wearable at its first introduction last September. The most important new info is the price, which varies—a lot—based on what model you opt for. Here’s a quick breakdown (price ranges depend on accompanying band).

 Apple

Apple Watch Sport Edition: $349 (38mm); $499 (42mm)

Apple Watch: $549-$1049 (38mm); $599-$1099 (42mm)

Apple Watch Edition: $10,000 and up (and up, and up)

Preorders start on April 10th, with availability slated for April 24th. And while that Apple Watch Edition price might seem crazy, there’s a perfectly good explanation.

Otherwise, this is the same Apple Watch you’ve seen before. It offers some clever messaging and communication tools, like letting you share a drawing on your display with a fellow Apple Watch wearer in real time. It includes health monitoring tools, like an an accelerometer and heart rate monitor, and will help keep track of your fitness goals and nag you when you’re not meeting them. It plays nice with Siri and Apple Pay. You can use it for phone calls, even though if you have any common decency you probably shouldn’t. All pretty familiar!

We did, though, get a little more insight into what apps will work with it from launch, and how. Favorites like Twitter and MLB at Bat will bring with them fairly obvious notification use-cases (here is a tweet! here is a score!) while apps like Instagram will be present despite not making a strong case for why (here is beautiful photograph that you can barely see at this size!). The most useful apps will likely be those that save you time with your real-life interactions, like an American Airlines Passbook integration that lets you wave your wrist at TSA rather than digging out either your physical boarding pass or the one on your phone. Similarly, a W Hotels app will let you unlock your hotel room door with a single tap, rather than having to keep track of a keycard.

So far, most developers don’t seem to have done much beyond offloading features from your smartphone to your wrist. That’s enough to shave a few seconds off of a few interactions every day, probably, but hopefully over time they’ll be able to zero in on use cases that feel truly unique.

MacBook

The real star of the show—other than potential sticker shock for Apple Watch Edition hopefuls—was Apple’s 12-inch, two-pound, whisper-thin, totally redesigned, Retina display MacBook. An addition to Apple’s laptop lineup, rather than a MacBook Air replacement, the new Macbook features a few innovations might take a little getting used to.

 Apple

To achieve its 13.1 millimeter thinness—that’s nearly a quarter less bulk than the current MacBook Air—this new MacBook ditches nearly all ports save for one USB Type-C (used for file transfers, video output, and charging) and a headphone jack. Its internals are also thoroughly redesigned; a tiny logic board, a Core M processor that lacks serious horsepower but allows for fanless operation, and acres of battery for up to 10 hours between charges.

Apple also gave the super-slight MacBook a new type of keyboard, trading traditional scissor switches for a “butterfly” movement that the company says improves accuracy but that we found a bit awkward in actual use. Similarly, a new “Force Touch” trackpad, which senses different levels of pressure applied, takes some getting used to.

The existing MacBook Air, meanwhile, got a processor bump but not a much-needed Retina display upgrade, leaving some question as to what sort of future Apple intends for its original ultralight laptop.

The new MacBook will start at $1,299 for a configuration with 8GB RAM and a 256GB SSD. They’ll be available in silver, space grey, and gold, and will start shipping April 10th.

Cheaper Apple TV and HBO Now

Apple TV hardware didn’t get a spec upgrade today—although we hope to see one at some point this year; it’s been a while—but it did get a price cut, from $99 down to $69. That’s probably an overdue drop, given the prevalence of cheap streaming dongles like the Amazon Fire Stick and Chromecast. It also staves off competition from full-feature boxes like the Amazon Fire TV, Roku 3, and Nexus Player both of which still retail at $99.

 Apple

Of even more importance, especially for those who already have an Apple TV entrenched in their living room, was the news that Apple will be the exclusive launch partner for HBO Now, the cable network’s standalone streaming service. When HBO Now launches in April, you’ll only be able to access it on Apple TV or through an iOS app. It’ll cost you $15 per month, which is totally worth the thrill of leaving your cable subscription behind.

ResearchKit

It’s not as flashy as watch or as gorgeous as a Q-tip-thin MacBook, but one of Apple’s most important announcements today was ResearchKit, a new open-source framework that hopes to draw on data from Apple’s millions of users to further medical studies. Essentially, it enables apps to turn your iPhone into a medical diagnostic device, sending your data to labs around the world.

 Apple

ResearchKit will work with five apps as of today, including downloads that will attempt to do everything from tracking the effects of Parkinson’s disease, to aiding breast cancer patients. Any data collection will be strictly opt-in, and Apple itself won’t see any of your vitals along the way. While the idea of handing that much health data over to anyone can be off-putting, the potential benefits of research scientists having access to such a large sample size—and a constant flow of readings—are enormous.

Etsy seeks to raise $100 million in IPO

Source: CNET.com

 

Etsy, the online crafts marketplace, filed papers on Wednesday to raise $100 million in an initial public offering.

Founded in 2005, the website derives its revenue from listing fees and commissions on the sale of items such as handmade jewelry, crocheted wool booties and antique mother of pearl silverware. Etsy's move is part of a recent resurgence in IPOs that's included the likes of Chinese e-tailer Alibaba and data-storage service Box.

Etsy reported a net loss of $15.2 million on $196 million in revenue last year, a 56 percent increase over the previous year, according to the company's filing. It also recorded $1.93 billion in gross merchandise sales last year.

Etsy said it would use the proceeds of the IPO for working capital and corporate investments, including marketing to attract new members, developing localized services and developing relationships with third-party service providers.

The site currently has 54 million members, 1.4 million sellers and 19.8 million buyers, the filing said.

Etsy declined to comment further on the filing, citing Securities and Exchange Commission "quiet period" rules.

"I appreciate your patience with us during this process and we will share more information when we can," Etsy's Chad Dickerson said in a blog post Wednesday.

The company will trade on the Nasdaq under the symbol ETSY, the company said in its S-1 form filed with the SEC. Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Allen & Co. have been named as underwriters.