Saturday, 25 November 2017

Track your kids or pets with the Samsung Connect Tag

While trackers are far and about, all of them make use of Bluetooth to stay connected to your phone. The problem with this implementation is that the range of Bluetooth is a couple of meters at the max. So if your kid or belongings get lost when you are out of range, you are left with no way to locate them.

Enter the Samsung Connect Tag. Instead of using Bluetooth, it makes use of narrowband network technology (NB-IoT). Narrowband networks connect Internet of Things devices through cellular communication bands. Such networks are usually meant for devices that use small amounts of data and power and provides the capability to securely connect to the Internet for location services.

Information on the Samsung Connect Tag

The tracker can provide location data, both inside and outside by taking advantage of GPS. Cell ID and Wi-Fi positioning are available too. Furthermore, it features an accelerometer and has a three shaded LED. The company says the tracker can work for seven days before needing to be recharged and will only work with Android device.

The design of the Samsung Connect Tag allows it to be attached on to a kid’s bag, pet’s collar or something like a purse. The tag comes with a handy feature too. Called the geofence feature, it alerts you when the object or person is moving beyond the limits set. There is also a function to request the tag"s location at any given time through your smartphone which can be helpful if you’ve parked in a massive parking lot.

The Samsung Connect Tag is tiny and is only 1.1 cm in thickness and is 4.21 cm wide. Moreover, it is resistant towards water and dust. Samsung has still not released any information regarding pricing yet. It will first be sold in the company’s home country, S. Korea before being sold elsewhere in the globe.


Aston Martin unveils a new Aston Martin Vantage

Last Tuesday, the British automaker took the covers off its latest car; the Aston Martin Vantage. It is intended to replace the Aston Martin DB11, which released in 2016 and went on to be the best selling car in the company’s history.

Information on the Aston Martin Vantage

It is powered by a 503hp 4.0L twin-turbo V8 and is the cheapest version of the model. The Aston Martin makes use of the company’s bonded aluminium architecture.

The vehicle is a more compact vehicle. It is about eleven inches shorter than the DB11 and takes up a smaller footprint than even a Porche 911. It"s significantly lighter, too; the company says it has a dry weight of 3,373lbs (1,530kg), and the sprint to 60mph should take just 3.6 seconds.

The four-litre AMG twin-turbo V8 engine is courtesy of a technology partnership with Mercedes-Benz. It is the same engine that is offered on the Aston Martin DB11 as an added option. It provides 510 ps (503 hp/375 kW) and 685 Nm (505 lb-ft) of torque. Moreover, it is coupled to ZF"s very good eight-speed automatic gearbox. The company says there will be a manual option in the future too.

Aston Martin described the design on the vehicle as "an athletic, predatory stance". However, even though, the engine and design language is very similar to the older DB11, Aston Martin says the majority of the components, 70 % to be exact, in the vehicle are new.

The interior looks especially stunning and seems like something out of a Ferrari or Lamborghini. There is an eight inch screen in the middle for navigating and entertainment purposes. Of course, it can be customized to how you want The company says that its latest car has its most advanced up-to-date adaptive damping suspension and the vehicle dynamics are tuned by Matt Becker.

Fossil Q Activist Review

The Fossil Q Activist is the latest in the line of the famed company’s so-called "hybrid" watch category. While many tech companies and watchmakers have attempted to create something like this. Fossil seems to have perfected the design

Fossil Q Activist Design

The design of the Fossil Q Activist does not feel totally premium but it does not feel totally cheap either. The model comes with more than forty styles that are made for a wide range of people. Each watch comes with a band, but they"re all standard sizes with standard quick-release pins, so it"s easy to replace them with something you like better.

Fossil Q Activist

There are three buttons on the watch that can be assigned to multiple tasks. These can be set to show the date, your steps, different time zones, music controls, and a few other things.

What does the Fossil Q Activist do?

The smartwatch can track steps, monitor your sleep, allows you to control your music, see your commute time, and, of course, get your notifications. For notifications, you can set people or apps to any of the 12 numbers around the dial. So while you won"t get the contents of a Facebook Messenger ping, you"ll at least know that the thing vibrating is Facebook Messenger and not, say, a tweet.

Fitness tracking works well, although it’s a bit basic. It can track your sleep and count the number of steps you take. You will not find a heart sensor and there is no way to set up an exercise session. This fitness data can be merged with many other apps.

There is an app for the smartwatch and it is available for both Android and iOS. Another amazing feature is the battery life. The Fossil Q Activist can run for about six months on one charge.

Uber hid a data breach for a year and paid hackers to delete the stolen data

Uber has had somewhat of a rough year and is under a lot of negative press at the moment. The latest news out of the ride-sharing service looks like it will add coal to the fire. The company has now revealed that the security of their service was breached roughly a year ago and that the hackers were paid around one hundred thousand US Dollars to delete the information they had acquired.

When did this hack at Uber happen?

The hack happened during the month of October in 2016. Two hackers are thought to have gained access to an archive of rider and driver information. This data was present in the Amazon Web Services servers that maintain computing tasks for the ride-sharing service. They got their hands on the login information via a private GitHub coding site.

These individuals then contacted Uber. The announced that they possessed sensitive information on riders as well as drivers. The information they had included email addresses, phone numbers and more importantly, the license numbers of six hundred thousand drivers employed at Uber. On the plus side, information like Social Security numbers and credit card details were withheld.

When such breaches occur, companies are mandated to inform people and government agencies. However, Uber took another route. They decided to pay the hackers to delete the information and kept everything under the sheets.

The current CEO believes the information was never used and had the following to say.

At the time of the incident, we took immediate steps to secure the data and shut down further unauthorized access by the individuals. We also implemented security measures to restrict access to and strengthen controls on our cloud-based storage accounts.

The company also recruited former National Security Agency general counsel Matt Olsen to further strengthen its cybersecurity division to present a reoccurrence. While the effects of it have now been neutralized, the company faces new problems.

A lawsuit was filed in federal court in Los Angeles against Uber for its failure to “implement and maintain reasonable security procedures and practices appropriate to the nature and scope of the information compromised in the data breach.”

Fitbit Flyer review

While all eyes were on the Fitbit Iconic, the company quietly released the Fitbit Flyer; Fitbit’s first audio product. It is a headphone engineered towards those who work out.

Build and design of the Fitbit Flyer

The earbuds are mostly manufactured using plastic and silicone but aerospace grade aluminium accents are used to add a premium touch to the device. Safe to say, the company took the design process very seriously. These earbuds are pretty comfortable to use too. The cable connecting the earbuds is flat and rubbery, and it is hardly noticeable on your neck. They are sweat proof, however, they do not have water resistance.

Battery life of the Fitbit Flyer

According to the company, these earbuds can stay powered on for around six hours. According to our tests done, the claim is pretty close as the earbuds last a little over 5 hours. When you do need to charge them, it will only take an hour or two to charge from empty to full. Fitbit also says you’ll get one hour of playback after a 15-minute charge.

Sound quality of the Fitbit Flyer

The headphones contain a Power Boost mode that greatly increases the bass and EQ while other sound profiles are included too. This product from Fitbit accurately plays lows and the bass is well amplified. The mids are decent too but they tend to get distorted at loud volumes while the highs are pretty much perfect. The Flyer comes with Passive Noise Isolation to help reduce background noise, and I think it does a great job.

The Fitbit Flyer’s sell for $130. As I mentioned above, these headphones are made for those who exercise but they do not have the ability to track your workout and activities like some other headphones like the Jabra Sport Coach.

Friday, 24 November 2017

Lenovo Yoga 920 review

Lenovo’s Yoga laptops are well known in the world of convertible laptops. Their latest offering, the Lenovo Yoga 920 succeeds their previous Yoga 910. Long before 2 in 1 laptop made the headlines, it was this line of devices of Lenovo that pioneered these machines. It comes with better battery life and more ports to name a few.

Quick information on the Lenovo Yoga 920

Putting the first things aside, this is a premium laptop. Priced at $1199, it is powered by an 8th gen Core i5 processor. There is a Full HD display that gives you clear and crisp pictures while there is 8 gigs of RAM to ensure smooth performance. A 256 GB SSD is included for storage. Of course, there are further add-ons for this machine. You can include a 4K display, 16GB of RAM, and a 1TB SSD, which takes the grand total all the way to $1,999.

Design of the Lenovo Yoga 920

The iconic hinge design makes a return. Robust and unique, it also hides the computer’s ventilation system. The entire machine is 0.55 inches in thickness and features a smooth finish that looks elegant. However, this makes it quite a fingerprint magnet. The metal design also makes the Lenovo device heavy at three pounds.

The keyboard is great to use, though the travel is a bit shallow. It is not much of a deal and one can easily get the hang of it after a few days of use. A pen is included with the laptop.

Those who use Cortana will be glad to know that the machine has far-field microphones with a range of about 20 feet. On the sound of audio, you can find twin JBL speakers.

There are four ports on the laptop. These are the USB 3.0, two Thunderbolt 3 / USB-C ports and the headphone port. The battery lasts for about twelve hours while the Yoga 920 has a fingerprint sensor too.

Google Pixel Buds review

The Google Pixel Buds are the first headphones manufactured by Google. They come with a number of enticing features that we will take a look at below.

The Google Pixel Buds Design

These earbuds come in a clamshell enclosure that feels a bit like the Google Home Mini. They are easy to remove but needs a specific procedure to be put back in. You will probably have to refer to the manual to get it right.

As soon as the Pixel Buds are removed from the case, they start searching for a device to connect. Similar to the AirPods, they do not have an ON/OFF button. The earbuds rest gently in the outer ear and don’t slide into your ear canal, which allows noise from the outside world to slip into the mix of your music.

These earbuds operate via touch and voice control but only the right earbud can do this. To pause, play or to pick up a call, a tap once on the plastic exterior. A forward swipe will raise the volume and the reverse motion does the opposite. If you want to check in on your notifications double tap exterior.


The Pixel Buds perform quite well and the quality at the full most volume is quite impressive. Google says these earbuds can last for about five hours and this was true during the tests done. The case can charge the earbuds for another 24 hours so rest assured you are not going to have dead earbuds at any point.

The coolest feature is the integration with Google Translate. The user speaks in his or her native language into headphones and the Translate app automatically spits it out of the Pixel phone’s speaker in the desired language. On the opposite side, it can decode another language spoken into the phone and translate them to the user’s language through the Pixel Buds.

Samsung Notebook 7 Spin review

The 15.6-inch Samsung Notebook 7 Spin is a fantastic, mid-range 2-in-1 laptop. While the display can not be removed like the Microsoft Surface, its 360 degree hinge means it can be used in a tablet manner. With a premium design and fancy specs, the Samsung Notebook 7 Spin seems like a great device.

The Samsung Notebook 7 Spin Design

The design looks mostly like the previous generations and it is not necessarily a bad thing. The entire machine is made out of aluminium while the keyboard is backlit. Samsung even went to the extent of including a number pad in the laptop.

The keys have sufficient travel and are a joy to type on. There is a glass touchpad that performs just fine with single and- multi-touch gestures. The touchscreen can be used as a mode of input too.

Specs and performance in the Samsung Notebook 7 Spin

The laptop weighs 2.26 Kg which is on the hefty side but the laptop is also quite thin. Moving on to the rest of the spec sheet, the machine is powered by a 2.5GHz Intel Core i7-6500U processor and backed up by 16 gigs of RAM. The display is a crisp 15.6-inch Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) LED screen. The storage varies between a 1 TB HDD or a 128 SSD.

With the above mentioned specs, it should be of not surprise that the device handles everyday tasks without a stutter. Do not expect to play the latest COD or such as this is not a gaming laptop but everyday use is a breeze with this machine.

Samsung said the device can last nine hours but in our testing, the laptop lasted around six hours which is not that bad. It has fast charging capabilities which means the Samsung laptop can regain 2 hours of its capacity in just 20 minutes, and a full charge in 90 minutes time.

Nikon D5600 review

Nikon recently released a new camera in their D5xxx range with the Nikon D5600. Rather than a complete overhaul, the company has opted for a modest upgrade. Here we take a look at the Nikon D5600.

Features in the Nikon D5600

Most of the features of the device are quite similar to the previous iteration. The resolution is stuck at 24.2 MP and has the APS-C-sized CMOS sensor. Furthermore, the cameras share the EXPEED 4 image processor and have the same ISO range. There is the same 3.2-inch vari-angle touchscreen display with a 1,037,000-dot resolution, although its operation has been improved. It now offers the frame-advance bar we have seen on both the D5 and D500 to speed up toggling through images, as well as a crop function for use during playback. The time-lapse movie function makes its way to the camera too and is an addition not found in the previous model.

Build and autofocus of the Nikon D5600

The design of the D5600 is no different from the shell of the D5300 and D5500. It uses a monocoque build and is made of polycarbonate. The buttons are in the same location as the D5300 and it comes with a 39-point Multi-CAM 4800DX AF system. Autofocus happens pretty fast and is quite accurate.

Performance of the Nikon D5600

The Nikon D5600 can do burst shots of up to five frames per second which is the same for the D5500. The Matrix metering system works quite well and adapts itself to a wide number of situations. An area the camera excels at is its battery life. It can take approximately 820 shots on a single charge. It does not have 4K video but it can shoot 1080p at 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p and 24p frame rates. There is a small stereo microphone positioned just in front of the hotshoe.

Panasonic Toughbook CF-XZ6 review

Panasonic’s Toughbook CF-XZ6 is a business oriented laptop from the company. It runs Windows and has an extremely durable body that can take up a few knocks. this is exclusively a business-targeted device which isn’t available through the usual retail channels. Without wasting time, let us dive into the review.

Design of the Panasonic Toughbook CF-XZ6

The laptop has a hybrid 2 in 1 design. The screen can be completely detached without the need for a reboot. The keyboard partition has a 5200 mAh cell, 3 USB ports and VGA/HDMI ports. it also consists of an Ethernet port and the elusive SD card slot.

However, the keyboard itself is pretty cramped and hard to type on. Even worse is the small round touchpad below the keyboard. Only forty two millimetres in diameter, it is unflattering to use and will have you reaching for the mouse in no time.

The design of the tablet portion is pretty impressive. It has one Type C connector and weighs only 639g. there is a magnesium frame which should protect the laptop in case of a drop. Panasonic said it can handle a 76cm freefall drop test.

Spec sheet of the Panasonic Toughbook CF-XZ6 review

The laptop is powered by an Intel Core i5-7300U vPro dual-core 2.6GHz and the graphics card is an Intel HD Graphics 620. This is enough for day to day use but it is not good enough for gaming or 3D applications. There is 8 GB of RAM while the display is a 12 inch QHD touchscreen display. The storage is a 256 GB SSD hard disk. There is an 8 MP camera on the back. On the front is a 2 MP front camera. The entire device weighs just 1.18 Kg.

The company says the laptop can work for up to fourteen hours. According to the tests done, we can confirm that the laptop lasts for about the same time.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Tesla springs a surprise with the Tesla Roadster

At the official launch of the Tesla electric semi on the seventeenth of November, Tesla unveiled a surprise package in the form of the Tesla Roadster. It caught the general world unawares and reeling from this. The CEO of Tesla described it as a “smackdown” to the fossil fuel-addicted auto industry.

What is exciting about the Tesla Roadster?

The major headline out of this roadster is that it is the quickest production car to go from 0 to 60 mph.. well at least according to Elon Musk. Musk said that the Roadster can go from 0-100 km/h (0-60 mph) in as little as 1.9 seconds. And that is just the base model!

He could not give a specific number for the top speed but he said it would be above 250 mph. On a side note, the world record held by the Koenigsegg’s Agera RS is 277.9 mph.

The Tesla Roadster will have a 200 kWh battery pack and a 620-mile range per charge. The Roadster will have a total of 3 motors with two of them on the back and the other on the front. Furthermore, it will have AWD and torque steering.

Also Read: Tesla Update brings a Chill Mode

The design of the car heavily borrows features from popular sports cars. The back looks akin to the Tesla DB10 while the cockpit resembles McLaren’s P1.

Now for the bad news!

Fans of this car will have to wait for a few years. Musk says production will begin only in 2020. Tesla has been notorious for setting deadlines and never meeting them so that fact has to be taken into consideration too.

Also Read: A Tesla Semi Truck is on its way

The base price of the Tesla Roadster is $200,000 and an interested individual is for $50,000. Elon Musk as confirmed that there will be a more powerful model to the Roadster that can do better than the 1.9 s he has claimed. He also said that rocket technology will be incorporated into the vehicle.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Galaxy S9 might look like if Samsung copies the iPhone X

Samsung is rumored to launch the Galaxy S9 earlier than expected next year so that it can better face the iPhone X threat. Reports also say the new Samsung handset will feature some iPhone X “tricks,” although it’s not clear what that means.

Yes, the Galaxy S9 will undoubtedly feature a dual-lens camera like the Galaxy Note 8, but that’s not the iPhone X’s signature feature. What else can the Galaxy S9 steal from the iPhone X? Face ID is one likely candidate, assuming Samsung can develop similar facial recognition technology in time for the Galaxy S9’s launch. The design may be one other iPhone X feature the Galaxy S9 will borrow. And then, there’s the now-famous iPhone X notch.

Galaxy S8 users are right to point out that Samsung beat Apple when it comes to releasing an “all-screen” smartphone. That’s true, the Galaxy S8 came out before the iPhone X, but each company has its own interpretation of all-screen designs.

The Galaxy S8 features symmetrical top and bottom bezels, while the screen sides are curved. The iPhone X’s screen occupies the entire front of the handset save for the top notch and the small bezel that surrounds it. In my opinion, Samsung should just stick with its own Infinity display design for at least one more year. But maybe Samsung wants to eliminate the bottom bezel as these fan-made concepts suggest:

Here’s one other version:

These aren’t official renders of the Galaxy S9’s design, so don’t get too excited — or disappointed. But they suggest that at least some Samsung fans out there are toying with the idea of Samsung extending the display even further.

There’s no notch at the top in these designs, which is a good thing. That’s probably a design compromise Samsung should stay away from.


Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Fujifilm X-23 review

Fujifilm is well known for their range of mirrorless cameras and the Fujifilm X-23 is the latest camera in the X mirrorless series.

Build and key features of the Fujifilm X-23

The mirrorless camera comes with the company"s 24.3MP X-Trans CMOS III APS-C sensor. There is an OLED electronic viewfinder which has a 0.62x magnification. The display is a touchscreen display that makes it easy to use. Wi-Fi and NFC make its way to the device, so does Bluetooth, which is a first for the series. You should be able to easily transfer your images thanks to the connectivity options at hand, to share on social media.  4K video capture (3840 x 2160) at 30p as well as Full HD (1920 x 1080) at 60p is available too.

Fujifilm X-E3

The Fujifilm X-23 weighs only 337g and has magnesium plates on the top and the bottom which give an elegant look to the camera. The camera is not weather sealed however and is currently the smallest X Series camera with a viewfinder. The back of the camera is vastly different from its predecessor. Gone are the buttons, and most of the navigating is to be done using the touchscreen.

Performance of the Fujifilm X-23

The camera takes just 0.4 seconds to start up, so rest assured you won"t be missing any sudden action. if you plan on taking action photos, you will be happy to hear that the camera can take 14 frames per second in burst mode. If you are using the mechanical shutter, however, the maximum you can go for is 8 frames per second. Images on the viewfinder are bright and vivid and since it has a 2.36m dot resolution, the details are rich. The camera makes use of Fujifilm"s tried and tested TTL 256-zone metering system, which performs well.

Nikon D3400 Quick Review

The Nikon D3400 is the company’s latest device aimed at the entry level market. Read on as we take a look at what has changed and what is new.

Design and build of the Nikon D3400

The design is very similar to the previous D3300. A Polycarbonate construction is used for the camera. It weighs only 445g (without the battery) making it quite light and offers plenty of grip so you won"t have to worry about dropping it. There is soft rubber around the grip that helps improve the feel. The buttons are easy to grip and use.

The Nikon D3400 has a 11-point Multi CAM 1000 AF system that comes with 3 D tracking. The autofocus is extremely quiet and works fast in good lighting conditions. Of course, the speed drops when it comes to low light scenarios. The built in guide mode makes the controls easy to figure out for a beginner.

Performance of the Nikon D3400

The camera has SnapBridge connectivity for image transfer and a battery that can last 1200 shots. The Auto White Balance works well, with just a few errors. It works better than expected under artificial lighting. It can do burst photography at 5fps. While its not excellent, it is good enough for most situations. The viewfinder delivers clear images while the LCD display is not touch screen and is fixed in place. There is no 4K video but the Full HD gives good shots. The sensor is a 24.2 MP sensor that is capable of delivering excellent levels of detail.

Nikon"s Picture Control options provide a sensible array of colour options, such as Standard, Vivid and Flat. Flat is a mode found in the more expensive Nikon cameras and it is nice to see the feature in the entry level D3400.

The Nikon D3400 sells at $499.95.

Dream Chaser completes the first flight in four years

Last Saturday, Dream Chaser, the Sierra Nevada spacecraft completed a major milestone in its development. It successfully completed a free flight test. The spaceship was carried high up by helicopter and then dropped. The Dream Chaser was able to fly back to the landing area at Edwards Air Force Base in California. The corporation that owns the spacecraft confirmed rumours of the test by sending out a tweet the same night. The tweet is given below.

“The Dream Chaser had a beautiful flight and landing!”

The company failed to supply more information about the test. However, it said they would be releasing more information in the following week.

A little history on the Dream Chaser

The last time the spacecraft tried a free flight test was back in 2013. It was a failure as there was a problem with the deployment of its left landing gear, causing the plane to skid off the runway and leading to minor damage. This makes it a major achievement for the spacecraft and its manufacturer, Sierra Nevada Corporation.

At that time, the Dream Chaser was competing with Boeing’s Starliner and SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft as entrants in NASA’s commercial crew competition. NASA did not choose Sierra Nevada Corporation’s vehicle. The reason was that NASA didn’t think the spacecraft could be finished by 2017.

The company did not give up and instead tried to join NASA as a commercial cargo deliverer. When NASA announced a new round of multi-billion dollar contracts in 2016 to supply the International Space Station with food, water, and scientific research from late 2019 through 2024, this spacecraft was able to clinch a spot. NASA liked how flexible the Dream Chaser was.

The Dream Chaser spent the last couple of years having its insides reconfigured to accommodate cargo. It has now completed its test and seems to be able to fly on 2019 to space.

iStorage diskAshur Pro2 review

For those with high security files, there is always the worry of losing the device with the files. This could mean the files can fall into the wrong hands. For people with that worry, the 5TB iStorage diskAshur Pro2 which is priced at $670 is the perfect HDD. (There is also a 2TB variant) Read on as we explain why!

Design of the iStorage diskAshur Pro2

The device is made out of a combination of metal and rubber that is fused well to deliver a well engineered product. It comes with a soft foam lined carry case. There is a built in USB cable. Although only 12 cm, it should be enough to plug it into a PC. Another interesting feature is the numeric pad embedded into the side of the HDD. One can not access the files on the HDD without possessing the pin code of the HDD. Pretty clever I’d say.

Using the iStorage diskAshur Pro2

On the side of encryption, it comes with AES-XTS 256-bit.  This means if a person removes the base drive, he or she still cannot easily access the contents. Guessing the password does not work as the HDD deletes the encryption key if the wrong code is punched in too many times.

iStorage diskAshur Pro2

It also has defences against hardware tampering. If it detects external tampering, the iStorage diskAshur Pro2 enters a deadlock frozen state that renders further attacks useless. Furthermore, it is IP56 certified. This means it is water and dust resistance, however, it is not waterproof unluckily. The keys on the HDD are coated with epoxy. This serves two purposes. One is that it extends the life of the keys. The second and arguably more important purpose is that it makes it difficult to figure out what keys are frequently used.

Performance is pretty good with speeds of 145.5MB/s reads and 144.8MB/s.

The LunaR smartwatch is kinda cool

Smart watches have come along way since their first generation. Many manufacturers have jumped into the trend and made their own versions of a smartwatch. However, other than the Apple Watch most smart watches have failed to make a major impact on the market. A common criticism of smartwatches is their battery life and charging facility.

So why is the LunaR smartwatch interesting?

Enter the LunaR smartwatch. The watch’s 110 mAh battery can be charged using solar power. Of course, it can be charged via a cable too, but the highlight is the transparent solar panel. It comes with a traditional inductive charger in the box. It works with both natural and artificial lighting. According to the company, it can run indefinitely on just an hour of light. Neat eh?

The design is reminiscent of a conventional watch design. It is not flashy and does not have any futuristic designs. It looks understated and eye catching.

However, the LunaR smartwatch isn’t just about looks or the battery life. It comes with resistance to water up to a depth of 5 ATM. It does not have much of the functions that Samsung’s smartwatches and Apple’s smartwatches too. These include making use of a digital assistant like Siri or Google Assistant. You can not reply to messages or call an Uber either. It does have the basic functions like the ability to set dual time zones, track your activity, tracking the sunrise or the sunset, smartphone notifications, monitoring your sleep and of course setting up alarms.

The watch is present on Kickstarter. The company says they will start shipping next month. You can get it for an early bird price of $138. This model though, comes with only a sapphire coated glass, however. The complete sapphire crystal will set you back $169.

Harry Potter AR Game in the works

Niantic Labs recently announced that they are announced that they are making an augmented reality game based on the Harry Potter franchise. The company is more famous for the famed Pokémon Go game and plans to apply the same idea to the magical world of Hogwarts.

What do we know so far about the Harry Potter AR Game?

Niantic Labs did not specify an exact release date for the Harry Potter AR Game. They said they will be giving out more information on the game in the coming year.

The gameplay will be quite similar to Pokémon Go. The Harry Potter AR Game will be called Harry Potter Wizards Unite and will show digital images on top of real-life objects when you view them on a smartphone or tablet.

Niantic Labs will collaborate with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and WB Games San Francisco"s development team to work on this game. The company did not give out much information to the press but they did tease the idea behind the game. They had the following statement to say.

"Players will learn spells, explore their real world neighbourhoods and cities to discover and fight legendary beasts and team up with others to take down powerful enemies,"

There were widespread rumours about a Harry Potter AR Game but was labelled a hoax by fact-checking site Snopes. According to Snopes, memes and petitions were misinterpreted into a story that a game was about to release. The website has changed their statement after the news from Niantic Labs.

The company will be hoping they can see a success story similar to Pokémon Go. Pokémon Go was launched in the mid of 2016 and went on to be a hit. Apple said it broke its App Store download record, but it didn"t disclose the exact numbers.

Sony has announced a new Aibo robot pet

After months of rumours, Sony has taken the covers of the latest version of its Aibo robot dog. Last seen in the year of 2006, the robot returns after more than a decade in the shadows. Aibo was first launched in the 90’s and received an incredible reception. Sony sold three thousand units in just twenty minutes.  After the first few generations, interest waned and the company killed it in 2006. Now with the world making a move towards AI, Sony has tried again with Aibo

Whats new in the Aibo Robot Dog?

Of course, the 2017 version comes with many tech. it is AI powered for starters. Furthermore, it looks very un robot like; I’d even go to the extent of saying it looks cute! It can wag the tail, chase balls and Aibo can be taught new tricks. Unlike the previous generations, it has eyes. These are OLED screens that can show various expressions and comes with a round face a smiling mouth.


The dog comes with an app to connect it to a store. The hound hears and understands words of praise and eventually learns and remembers which actions make owners happy. With the owner"s permission, Aibo can constantly upload and update data stored in the cloud, changing its personality over time. You can even ask the hound to take pictures which it stores as memories that the owners can check through the app. Aibo will retail on January at a price of ¥198,000 ($1,740)

Sony has been making large in roads into the field it once reigned supreme. It recently partnered up with a small AI focused startup called Cogitai to further its ambitions and take on Amazon and Google. Aside from that, Sony launched a venture capital fund with the aim of investing in AI and robotics startups.

Amazon’s rival in India, Flipkart is making a phone

Flipkart is trying to do an Amazon by tapping into its large smartphone user base to sell its first phone. Called the Billion Capture +, Flipkart is India’s largest online retailer. Although it features an awkward name, the device has some decent specs and a generic but solid design.

Design of the new Flipkart Bullion Capture +

According to the Bangalore based retailer, “The phone"s design draws on detailed analysis of millions of customer reviews of devices sold on Flipkart”. It offers a 5.5 inch Full HD display that gives a total pixel density of 401ppi. It has Dragontrail glass for protection and is accompanied by an all metal design. On the back of the phone is a fingerprint sensor.

Camera of the Flipkart Bullion Capture +

The device is equipped with a dual camera setup at the back -- a 13MP RGB (colour) sensor alongside a 13MP monochrome (black and white) sensor. This helps the user take depth of field pictures as well as better low light images. A dual tone flash is added to the mix too. The sample images look good enough, however, we cant say for sure till we try the device ourselves

Specifications of the Flipkart Bullion Capture +

For its price range, the Flipkart device has some impressive specifications. It comes with a mid tier Snapdragon 625 and comes in two variants with 3 GB and 4 GB or RAM. The GPU is an Adreno 506 while the on board memory varies between 32 Gb or 64 GB. Of course, there is a Micro SD slot for memory expansion. The battery packed into the phone is a 3500 mAh which the company says can power the device for two days. A loft claim for sure, but it cant be verified until we get our hands on the device. It comes with QuickCharge for faster charging.


Sunday, 12 November 2017

Chrome will start blocking annoying website redirects

As part of Google’s ongoing effort to make ad-ridden websites more bearable, the company is introducing some new protections to Chrome. Over the next couple months, the browser will start blocking various types of annoying, unwanted redirects, where a website or ad suddenly loads a new page, either because it’s been hijacked by a bad ad or because it intentionally wants to force visitors to see one.

Google’s plan to block redirects will roll out in three parts. It’ll first start blocking ads from redirecting visitors to another site when they haven’t been clicked on. When that happens, you’ll instead see a toolbar on the page noting that a redirect has been blocked.

After that, Google will start blocking a type of redirect that acts like a reverse pop-up: instead of clicking and having an ad pop up, the current website will redirect to an ad, while the link you clicked will open in a new tab. Google says this is “effectively a circumvention of Chrome"s pop-up blocker” and will begin preventing the original tab from being redirected.

And finally, Google will go after more nefarious websites that open new windows when visitors click on invisible overlays or advertising links that are disguised as buttons, like video playback controls.

The first two changes will come as part of Chrome 64 and 65. Chrome 64 is currently at Google’s “Canary” release stage, meaning it’s pre-beta software. Google says the changes should be released to everyone “in the first few months of 2018.”


The third change will go into effect in January. Google is releasing a tool today called the Abusive Experiences Report that will let developers check to see whether their websites are compliant. If a site isn’t, its developers will have 30 days before Chrome will begin blocking the site from opening new tabs and windows.

Google previously announced plans to add an ad blocker to Chrome early next year, too. Though these new updates aren’t part of that initiative (there’s still no date on when the ad blocker will be released), they serve much the same function, making sure that some of the web’s worst ad offenders don’t frustrate or take advantage of users.

Because of the huge scale of Chrome, Google is in many ways able to unilaterally set and enforce what the web can look like. That’s good when it comes to something like this, where Google is looking out for users’ interests and the safety. But there’s also a real risk to having so much power consolidated within a single company. (Chrome has well over majority market share on both desktop and mobile.)

It’s been the norm for browsers to block pop-ups for well over a decade now, so these new updates aren’t at all unusual or even controversial. They’re legitimately blocking annoying, spammy, and obviously unwanted behaviors, and it’s hard to see another way that these kinds of practices can be stopped at scale. But exactly how Google handles its bigger ad-blocking initiative will be something to watch closely. For that, Google is working with the Coalition for Better Ads, which includes other tech giants and several media groups, so that it won’t be making those decisions entirely on its own.

Xiaomi Mi A1: Quick review

Google and Xiaomi join hands to deliver another Android One device in the form of the Xiaomi Mi A1.

The Android One program was first initiated in 2014. However, lacklustre efforts from Google and domestic OEMs meant that it did not make much of an effort. Google though, is not ready to give up on this yet and has added the Moto X4 and HTC U11 Life to its array of Android One products. Now the Xiaomi Mi A1 follow suit.

Design of the Xiaomi Mi A1

The design of the Xiaomi Mi A1 feels somewhat like the OnePlus 5. It is elegantly built and has a premium design that features a metal construction. The thickness of the phone is 7.3mm while it weighs a mere 165g. The fingerprint scanner is on the back while the dual camera prods out a bit but it is not an eyesore.

It has a 5.5 inch IPS Full HD display in the front. It displays vivid colours and excellent contrast thanks to the 403 PPI pixel density.

Specs of the Xiaomi Mi A1

Xiaomi uses its trusted Snapdragon 625 processor coupled with 4 GB of RAM which helps keep everything snappy. Since stock Android is lighter, it further helps ensure a smoother experience. The device comes with 64 GB of on board memory but if it is not enough, you can add more via the Micro SD card slot. There are two Nano sim slots, which double as the micro SD slot. The Xiaomi Mi A1 has a rare feature; it comes with an infrared emitter that allows the device to interact with many home appliances and it comes with one bottom firing speaker.

Camera of the Xiaomi Mi A1

Although a mid range device, Xiaomi brought the dual camera set up to this device. The camera setup includes a 12 MP wide-angle 26mm f/2.2 lens and another 12 MP 50mm f/2.6 telephoto lens, with a dual-tone LED flash.

It also comes with phase detection auto focus. Camera quality is pretty good in excellent lighting conditions but is sub par in low light. The 5 MP front camera takes quite good selfies and with face detection, it locks on to your face in a snap.

Tesla update brings a Chill Mode

Tesla, the electric car maker has recently rolled out a software update, 2017.44, that has a new acceleration mode. It is simply called Chill. In the settings of its touchscreen display, Tesla has described the mode as follows.

“You can now choose between two acceleration options in your vehicle: Chill and Standard. Chill makes acceleration more gradual – ideal for smoother driving and a gentler ride for your passengers.”

[caption id="attachment_5149" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Screengrab via DragTimes on YouTube[/caption]

According to the release notes on Electrek, this mode is the inverse of the company’s Ludicrous mode. It softens the throttle and delivers a smoother and calmer acceleration. Electric cars are known for their instant torques and extreme accelerations, but it seems like there are people who prefer a smooth acceleration.

The standard mode hits 0 to sixty in little under four seconds. However, when the vehicle is in the Chill Mode, it goes from zero to sixty in 7.2 seconds. This might seem too slow for some people, but for those who are in the mood for some lazy driving, this is ideal. According to Tesla, Chill Mode is "ideal for smoother driving and a gentler ride for your passengers."

This update is available for the Tesla Model S and Model T. it is unclear if Tesla’s budget vehicle will get the feature too.

The update, 2017.44 brings another significant update to the vehicles from this electric automaker. This is a feature called exit mode. This is a feature that is present in many luxury vehicles nowadays. When this mode is switched on, it automatically adjusts the steering wheel as well as the seat when entering and exiting the car. When the driver sits in place in the car, the wheel and the seat move back to the original position. This is a handy and luxurious feature that many Tesla owners will appreciate.

Google Home Mini: Quick review

Google has recently taken the covers of the Google Home Mini. It is a smaller companion to the Google Home speaker that was released in 2016. The device has the same features as the older and larger brother but has a vastly lower price tag. It sells for $49 instead of $129. The Mini is set to take on the Amazon Echo Dot.

Design of the Google Home Mini

Shortly put, the overall design somewhat resembles a doughnut. It is very minimalistic and is designed in such a way that it does not bring attention to itself. There are three colour variants. These are light grey, dark grey, and coral red. The top part of the smart speaker is encased in a textured fabric that gives a homely vibe. But, there is a chance that this will collect a lot of dust over time.

The top was supposed to have touch controls that allowed you to change music and pause it. However, after the touch controls started triggering themselves, the company switched it off via an update. There is a physical mute switch behind to mute the microphone.

Audio quality of the Google Home Mini

The Google Home Mini has only one top firing speaker. It does not fill a large room and is not as good as its larger brother which has three speakers. Since it is using Google assistant, the voice responses are much better than Amazon’s Alexa. There are two microphones which do a good job is hearing you from anywhere in the room, even when music is being played.

Integration with smart home gadgets

Google’s product can integrate with smart home products, but it is not as broad as Alexa. You can adjust the temperature on a Nest thermostat, but it cannot control an Ecobee. It can integrate with SmartThings, like Alexa can, but its implementation is not as good or reliable as Amazon’s.

Predictions on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845

Qualcomm has a yearly habit of announcing the next generation mobile SoC at its Snapdragon Technology Summit. If history repeats itself, then Qualcomm will be releasing it"s Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor at the same summit this December.

What will the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 pack inside it?

Chances are that Qualcomm will make use of the new tech from ARM. For those who do not remember, ARM released Cortex-A75 and A55 CPUs and the DynamIQ multi-core cluster technology. While Qualcomm can come up with their own, it is pointless wasting resources to develop an already existing technology.

Qualcomm can make use of ARM’s Built on ARM Cortex Technology license to make tweaks and changes to ARM’s Cortex-A75 or A55 cores. However, do not expect these details to be publicized.

Chances are that the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 will release with a four plus four octa core framework. this will help increase the performance and power efficiency. When it comes to the FinFET chip, it is mostly like to be a 10nm chip.

It is also highly likely that a greater emphasis will be placed on machine learning. This is due to the increasing implementation of AI in smartphones nowadays. The company recently bought a machine learning start up company called Scyfer. This suggests the company is planning to put more effort into machine learning.

There will also be a new Adreno GPU. It will supposedly be called the Adreno 630. There is also a chance that Qualcomm’s gigabit LTE X20 and 5G ready X50 modems could make an appearance in the processor. If the company does it, it is guaranteed to make the chipsets future proof. Quick Charge 5, a standard for fast charging has a possibility of featuring in the SoC. Another welcome move would be to have better compatibility with the increasingly common USB Power Delivery standard.

Friday, 10 November 2017

AI will fight email scammers by wasting their time

Netsafe, a New Zealand-based non-profit online safety group, introduced an AI email bot this week that will fight back against phishing scams by wasting their time. As Netsafe explained in a on Tuesday, the bot replies to scams “with a never-ending series of questions and anecdotes so that scammers have less time to pursue real people.”

All you have to do to retaliate against a scammer is forward the email to From there, the Re:scam AI will take over and start a dialogue with the scammer, leading them on and wasting their time. When the scammer stops responding, Netsafe will even send you a summary of the conversation.

“Re:scam can take on multiple personas, imitating real human tendencies with humour and grammatical errors, and can engage with infinite scammers at once, meaning it can continue an email conversation for as long as possible,” Netsafe explains on its website. “Re:scam will turn the table on scammers by wasting their time, and ultimately damage the profits [which Netsafe says number in the billions] for scammers.”

If you want to learn more about the project, head over to to “interact” with the bot. On the site, you can look through a series of sample scams to see how Re:scam responded, giving potential participants an idea of what a typical conversation with a scam-fighting AI looks like. There’s also an FAQ that can help educate you on phishing in general, and Netsafe and the Re:scam AI program specifically. It’s worth checking out.

Hulu will be the first streaming service available on Nintendo Switch

In its weekly email newsletter highlighting upcoming releases, Nintendo revealed that Hulu will be the first streaming service to hit the Switch, and it will be available within the next week. Nintendo has stated on multiple occasions since the launch of the Switch in March that streaming services would eventually come to the new console, but no detailed plans were ever discussed. If Nintendo’s newsletter is to be believed, Hulu could be available later today.

Oddly, neither Nintendo nor Hulu have said anything about the arrival of Hulu on Switch yet. The only indication that it’s coming are the mention of the app in the email to press and a currently blank page on Nintendo’s website.

Providing this isn’t an error on Nintendo’s part (and the page on suggests it isn’t), Hulu will plug one of the only major holes in the Switch ecosystem. As we said in our review earlier this year, the Switch is one of the most impressive consoles Nintendo has ever released, but the fact that it didn’t launch with any media apps was odd. Even the Wii U, as flawed as it was, had access to Netflix and other streaming services at launch.

Nintendo didn’t include a release date for the Hulu app in its email newsletter, but there’s a decent chance that it will be available on the eShop in North America when the digital store updates at 12 PM ET. The Hulu app will be free to download, but you’ll either need to have an active subscription or start a free trial to watch anything.

UPDATE 11/9 | 11:18 AM ET: Hulu has confirmed that the Hulu app (with Live TV) will hit Switch at noon ET:

Thought Nintendo Switch was just for games? It was. Until today…

We are very proud to announce that Hulu is the first US streaming entertainment service to debut on Nintendo Switch! Beginning later today, Hulu subscribers can now use their Nintendo Switch to stream all of their favorite TV whether they’re at home or on the go.

The next time you start up your Switch, you’ll be able to download Hulu directly from the Nintendo eShop and immediately dive into the new, deeply personalized Hulu experience. You’ll be able to enjoy both our traditional on-demand subscription as well as our Hulu with Live TV plan and watch live and on-demand programming from more than 50 of the top news, sports and entertainment channels including all five of the major U.S. broadcast networks, ESPN, Fox Sports, CNN, FX, Bravo, TNT, A&E and more.

Whether you have our core $7.99 service or our $39.99 Hulu with Live TV plan, you’ll have have access to our vast catalog of award-winning content like The Handmaid’s Tale or This is Us and the ability to customize your experience by adding up to six profiles and HBO®, Cinemax® or SHOWTIME® premium add-ons.

And, since we know that some things are better live- like sports, news and major events like the Emmys– we offer personalized experiences uniquely in our live TV product. For example, if you’re a sports fan, Hulu’s live offering makes it easy to find and favorite your teams, sports, and leagues – you no longer need to memorize what time or which channel your team’s game is on. We’ll automatically record your favorite teams for you, so you’ll never have to miss a play. We also curate timely one-stop destinations for must-watch programming like College Football, The NFL games and Fall TV so you always have a pulse on and easy access to the sports and shows you love to watch live.

So, with Hulu now on the Nintendo Switch, all of your TV is truly in one place. You can have a deeply personal experience in your living room or on the go, without having to change devices.

We hope you take advantage of all the ways you can make your new Hulu experience as personal as possible and enjoy your experience on Nintendo Switch. We’ll continue to roll out across the devices that matter most to you.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Google will soon show you the wait times at your favorite restaurants

It’s Friday night and you’re going out with your significant other. You show up to the restaurant at 7:00 PM sharp, only to be told that you’re going to have to wait an hour to be seated. It’s a scenario we’ve all had to deal with, but thanks to Google’s latest innovation, wait times might soon be a thing of the past.

On Tuesday, Google announced on its blog that wait times for restaurants will be rolling out on Google Search soon, with an update coming to Maps in the future as well. Once the new feature goes live, all you’ll have to do is search for a restaurant, open the business listing, scroll down to the Popular Times section and tap the appropriate hour bar to see what the estimated wait time is (or will be if you’re planning ahead).

You can also scroll left and right to see what wait time you should expect on different days of the week. Friday night will likely be busier than Tuesday, for example, so you’ll see different estimates depending on which day you choose. These wait times aren’t live, but rather are based on anonymized historical data for each restaurant.

Google says that the feature will support over one million sit-down restaurants when it becomes available. This is actually the second most useful feature that Google has unveiled over the past week, as it is now possible to compare phones with a Google search as well. Now if only Google’s phones would work properly.

Russian man says he lived on Mars in a past life, and that Martians are still there

There are lots of crazy people walking around on our planet, and even if they honestly believe some of the things they say — that the Earth is flat, or a mysterious hidden planet is going to slam into the Earth — they’re not really worth listening to. A 20-year-old Russian man named Boriska Kipriyanovich may very well be crazy, but his claims that he is a reborn former Martian has stolen headlines thanks to his unusual life story, and oddly specific “knowledge” of the cosmos.

Kipriyanovich was reportedly something of a child prodigy from the very first years of his life, allegedly learning to read and write before the age of two. As he grew older, he began telling a tale of a previous life on Mars that would make for a great sci-fi movie, but the young Russian claims it’s 100% real.

Kipriyanovich says that he once lived on Mars many years ago, and that he died when then planet was in the midst of a nuclear war. He says that as a Martian he stood seven feet tall, and that he was 35 years old, though that’s only because Martians had mastered the prevention of aging and all martians stopped aging and became semi-immortal at 35 years of age.

He further claims that he was part of a Martian military organization and flew raids both on Mars as well as traveling to Earth, where Martians freely interacted with the ancient Egyptians. The iconic Sphinx has some kind of a mechanism built into it that allows it to be “opened,” he says, and doing so will unlock “the secrets of the universe.”

Of course, scientists have never stumbled upon any remnants of a Martian civilization, but Kipriyanovich has an explanation for that, too. He says the surface of the planet was wiped out in a nuclear holocaust, and that while Martians do still live on the planet, they have actually made their home deep underground, and breathe carbon dioxide.

It’s a wild tale, and the timeline of the entire thing doesn’t exactly match up with what we know thanks to space agencies and researchers from around the world, including Russia. In an interview, Kipriyanovich’s parents note that, thanks to his ability to read at a very young age, he would often read books on space and astronomy. Is it possible a 3-year-old brain studying space literature fabricated it all? Well, it’s more likely than Mars being destroyed in a nuclear holocaust, that’s for sure.

Twitter is giving everyone 280 characters

After a global test, Twitter has done the previously unthinkable and given virtually all users access to 280 character tweets. Long-form tweeting is now the standard for everyone, and the changes are in the process of rolling out to all users. Judging by the feedback of users, it seems that the web version of Twitter is updating faster than the app version.

The changes will be standard in nearly every language, apart from some Asian ones. Twitter in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean is staying at the 140-character limit, as those languages fit more into fewer characters. The average tweet length in Japanese is just 15 characters.

Twitter is framing the move as a logical progression of the platform, one that will help users express their thoughts without ruining the brevity of the platform. According to the company, just 5% of tweets sent during the trial period were over 140 characters, and only 2% exceeded 190. “We saw when people needed to use more than 140 characters, they Tweeted more easily and more often. But importantly, people Tweeted below 140 most of the time and the brevity of Twitter remained,” a Twitter blog post explains.

Twitter Number of Characters

You’ll likely notice some changes to your Twitter feed immediately. As Twitter notes, people tend to mess around with new features a lot, so you can expect some mega-tweets at launch. “We expect to see some of this novelty effect spike again with this week’s launch and expect it to resume to normal behavior soon after,” the company says.

Sending your nudes to Facebook seems like a really bad idea

Facebook has a new game plan for stopping revenge porn campaigns on Messenger and Instagram, and it involves users sending their nudes to themselves using Facebook’s servers before someone else actually shares them.

The idea is that the best way to combat revenge porn if you suspect someone would do that to you is to teach Facebook’s algorithms how you look naked, so pictures of you can’t be shared online using Facebook’s services.

That may sound strange, but Facebook is apparently serious about the matter. The giant social network partnered with a small Australian Government agency, according to to prevent revenge porn using this program.

First, you have to get in touch with the e-Safety Commissioner (Julie Inman Grant in this case), and then they might instruct you to upload your nudes to Facebook Messenger in a conversation with yourself.

“It would be like sending yourself your image in email, but obviously this is a much safer, secure end-to-end way of sending the image without sending it through the ether,” Grant said.

Once the nudes are inside Facebook’s systems, the servers will “hash” the images, which means it’ll create unique fingerprints for them.

They’re not storing the image, they’re storing the link and using artificial intelligence and other photo-matching technologies,” the commissioner said. “So if somebody tried to upload that same image, which would have the same digital footprint or hash value, it will be prevented from being uploaded.”

That way, your photo will never show up on any of Facebook’s servers.

Australia is one of the four countries included in this “industry-first” pilot that relies on “cutting-edge” technology to prevent revenge porn. “The safety and wellbeing of the Facebook community is our top priority,” Facebook’s head of global safety Antigone Davis said.

Revenge porn appears to be a pretty serious business in Australia where one in five women aged 18-45 and one in four Indigenous Australians are victims of “image-based abuse.” 

While Facebook’s solution may prevent some abuse cases, it doesn’t mean that people won’t use other means of sharing nude photos. The best way of avoiding revenge porn is to stop sharing nudes with people.


This wireless charger can power 3 devices at once

Apple’s upcoming AirPower wireless charging pad looks fantastic. Instead of just being able to charge one device at a time, it can wireless charge three different devices simultaneously!

Now for the bad news: it’ll reportedly cost $200 when it launches in the coming weeks. The good news is there are plenty of companies out there that already make wireless charging pads capable of charging three devices at once, and they cost is just 40$ way less than $200.

We told you about one yesterday and it sold out in a matter of minutes. Well we found another one today — the mobfun 3-Coil Wireless Charging Pad — but supply is limited once again so hurry!

mobfun 3 Coils Wireless Charging Pad

Here are some highlights from the product page:

  • This is a new designed fast wireless charger, which is compatible with Qi standard smartphones and other devices, it provides you safety,convinence and interesting wireless charging experience.

  • [Multi Device Charger] Our high quality charging pad have 2 USB 2.0 port and built-in 3 coils, which can charge five devices at the same time(3 devices by wireless charging and 2 devices by USB cables). It is convinent and efficient.

  • [Heat Dissipation Design] Many radiating holes can help heat dissipation faster, ensure normal temerature while charging.

  • [Simple elegant design and soft LED indicator] No annoying lights and proper size, which is popular at office, café, party and home.

  • [Compatibility] Works with all Qi enabled phone including iPhone 8/8 Plus/X, Samsung Galaxy 8/8 Plus/S7/S7 Edge/Note 8, Nexus 4/5/6, Motorola Turbo, Lumia 1520 and more


Wednesday, 8 November 2017

How to Compare smartphones: Google new search tool

When you want to find something out about a smartphone, I’ll bet that the first thing you do is perform a search on Google. Unfortunately, there’s no telling if you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for in the top result, so you may end up having to do some digging to get the information you require. That’s why a new tool that Google just rolled out for Search has us so excited, especially during a time of the year when the biggest new phones are launching.

Over the weekend, Android Police was one of the first sites to report on a new feature that allows users to compare phones with a simple search. If you want to see how two phones stack up against one another, just search for both of them with “vs” in between, and a comparison chart with all the most important data will appear.

The feature doesn’t appear to be available for everyone yet, but in order to test it, try typing in something like “iPhone X vs Pixel 2 XL” into the search bar. If you’ve been included in the test, you’ll see the following chart appear:


While the specifications and details aren’t as comprehensive as you might find on a technology site, it’s a great way to get a quick overview of two smartphones and see how they compare. On mobile, there’s even an option to highlight the differences, so that the rows with different specifications will light up.

The feature still needs some work, as the prices Google has listed don’t accurately reflect the MSRP, and at least a few phones aren’t even supported yet, but it’s another clever addition to the ecosystem that is Google Search.

Google Pixel 2 XL owners are complaining about yet another problem

When Google debuted the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones in early October, we were cautiously optimistic about the future of Google’s hardware lines. The new phones, especially the Pixel 2 XL, looked to build upon the success of the original Pixel, but instead they have been repeatedly crashing and burning due to unforeseen issues.

Following reports of screen burn-in, phones shipping without an operating system and battery charging issues, some Pixel 2 XL owners are now reporting that the oleophobic coating on the glass is wearing off after just a few weeks of use. As 9to5Google explains, most phones ship with the coating in place, which makes it easier to wipe fingerprints off the screen. Without it, smudges begin to appear, which is exactly what some users have been experiencing.

The oleophobic coating will eventually wear off on any phone, but typically after months of years of use. For Pixel 2 XL users to be seeing it happen just weeks after the phone launched is an anomaly. And yet, that’s what a few users on Google’s Product Forums as well as on Reddit are claiming happened to their devices.

Here’s a partial account of the issue from Chris Pirillo, who noticed a smudge on his phone last week:

“Last night, I noticed, after two weeks of use – treating this device as carefully as I do others, going as far as to only clean with a dry t-shirt, having it be the only thing in my pocket at any given time – that there was an incongruent mar over the proximity sensor circle. I thought it was a smudge, but when I tried wiping away, it didn’t go away.

Before I go further, apparently, this VERY SAME ISSUE has been seen by someone else who had a pre-production LG V30 unit in-hand within a week’s time.

It’s like the oleophobic coating was very easily brushed away – somehow – though the phone had not been dropped, scraped, largely sitting in the open, face-up – for these entire two weeks.”

Once the coating wears off, the only fix is to replace the screen altogether. This does not appear to be a widespread issue (at least not yet), but at this point, Google really can’t afford any more bad PR.

Another Google Pixel 2 XL issue arises as users report slow battery charging

If you’ve been following the Pixel 2 XL debacle, you know that fresh problems have been cropping up with Google’s new flagship phone ever since it launched in late October. First there were the display problems, which include image retention (or burn-in) and color inaccuracy. Then Google started shipping Pixel 2 phones without the operating system installed. And now, as if the launch hadn’t been a big enough disaster already, a new issue has surfaced.

Last Friday, following reports of the Pixel 2 XL charging more slowly than expected, Google+ user Nathan K. used a series of tools to measure the speed at which the phone charged. According to Nathan, the reports of slow charging are completely true. His test showed that Pixel 2 XL charging is “functionally capped at 10.5 watts” when charging from a low percentage, and then decreases “exponentially” after it reaches 65% charge.

“This suggests to me Google or LG is trying to avoid strain on the battery in order to maximize longevity,” he wrote, hypothesizing about why the phone was failing to charge as fast as it should. “Rather than opting for performance, they are being extremely conservative with the charging current and temperature.”

The most baffling part of this is that the Pixel 2 XL ships with an 18W charger to take advantage of the phone’s fast charging technology. Nathan claims that the phone never even comes close to hitting 18W while charging, averaging far below that when charging from a low percentage to fully charged.

Google has yet to comment on the matter, but providing this is something that every Pixel 2 XL user is experiencing, the list of issues continues to grow for Google just as the iPhone X begins to roll out around the world.


Lamborghini unveils the Terzo Millennio

Lamborghini has collaborated with MIT to bring its version of an EV supercar to the world. It is called the Terzo Millennio and is powered by capacitors. Batteries power most electric vehicles, if you did not know. Here we take a deeper look at the new concept car out of Sant"Agata.

The tech inside the Terzo Millennio

Thanks to MIT’s input, the vehicle has plenty of advanced technology inside it. The keynote of the tech involved is the supercapacitor energy storage tech. Supercapacitors have not been adopted for mainstream use. The main reasons are that they are quite expensive and that capacitors are not as energy dense. However, they are used in some automotive applications.

What is different here is the implementation. MIT and Lamborghini want to produce one that"ll work more like the main battery. They want it to have a better ability to recharge and discharge quickly. If you need an ultra quick acceleration, this is the ideal set up you will need.

Furthermore, the company has said that it is looking into making use of carbon composite batteries utilizing nanotech. According to Lamborghini, this will bring down the weight as well as increase the discharge capacity of the batteries. For now, it seems like the Terzo Millennio will make use of both the above technologies.

The all wheel drive vehicle has a body constructed out of carbon fibre. According to the concept, it is to make use of "nano-channels" to detect wear and tear in the car and repair it if possible.

Lamborghini is also trying its best to make a car that sounds like one of its trademark supercars. This will not be an easy task because the vehicle does not have a twelve cylinder or a ten cylinder engine. The company does not have a clue on how to make it work either. All they had to say was that a "[a] deep investigation is needed".

A Tesla Semi Truck is on its way

Elon Musk has teased the idea of a Tesla Semi Truck for a while but the launch had been pushed back over a series of set backs. Originally the reveal date was set for the last week of October. The latest set back was that the company took on the job of setting up solar energy generation and storage facilities in Puerto Rico. This was as a way of helping the country after the devastating hurricane.

Now the company has said the semi truck will be releasing on November 16th. This has been confirmed thanks to the email invites sent from the company to the press. The invitation also has a full size picture of the Tesla Semi truck. However, most of the vehicle is shrouded in darkness, but the futuristic headlights from a previous teaser image are visible.

The launch date was further confirmed when Company CEO Elon Musk tweeted saying: “Tesla Semi unveil now Nov 16”. He further said the following. “Diverting resources to fix Model 3 bottlenecks & increase battery production for Puerto Rico & other affected areas.”

Information on the Tesla Semi Truck

Elon Musk went on to say that the truck will be a heavy duty semi truck that can go for a long range. Initial rumors said that the Tesla Semi Truck will have a range of two hundred to three hundred miles in terms of range on one charge. Nevertheless, the cryptic tweet from Elon Musk indicates that there is a chance it will be more. The company wants a semi truck that can go head to head with the new diesel heavy duty trucks. The CEO says he expects his truck to out torque the diesel trucks, which is a pretty big statement to make. This means the truck needs quite a large battery capacity to achieve this target.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Best sites to find Black Friday Deals

Black Friday is widely referred to as the biggest day in the shopping world. While there are many who steer clear of the shops and stores during this day, there is an equal amount of people who brave it all for the great deals on offer. The smart shopper plans ahead and if you are one of them, chances are that you will want all the deals and information in one hub.

This website is only in its fifth year, but it seems to have caught up quick and now offer a lot of handy tools. They have the usual tools like ad scans. However, the unique tools are that the website has a guide which shows the opening hours of each store, predictions of what is more likely to be on offer and divides the deals by category.

One of the most famous websites when it comes to Black Friday deals, this website has multiple ways with which you could divide the deals. This allows easier reading while it also provides ad scans as the number of ads increase, might launch their own buying guide which is divided by category.

While there is no shortage of sites claiming to be the, this site has the domain name to prove itself right. A handy feature at this Black Friday website is that it can alert you whenever new ads have been posted. It also provides the opening hours of shops and shows you what type of deals are online.


DealNews updates their content every day of the year, but come Black Friday and they open up a new section to help you out. They have the same features as the above websites but added to that they have a section for predictions on different categories.

OPPO R11s has been announced

Back in China, OPPO has launched a new device named as the OPPO R11s. the company is not resting on its guns, even though it just launched the OPPO F5 recently in India. This is a sequel to the R11 and features some upgrades on the inside as well as the outside. Without further ado, let us jump into the main tidbits.

Spec sheet of the OPPO R11s

OPPO’s device offers a 6.01 inch display that packs a Full HD + resolution. It offers a bezel free design, which helps deliver a screen to body ratio of 85.8 %. The processor department is a bit of a let down as the phone sports a mid range Snapdragon 660 chipset and 4 GB of RAM. 64 GB is the only storage option available, although the added micro SD slot supports cards up to 256 GB. A 3,205 mAh battery powers the OPPO R11s. it comes with fast charging too, with OPPO’s own VOOC Flash charge tech onboard. The smartphone runs OPPO’s ColorOS 3.2 UI that is built on Android 7.0.

Camera of the OPPO R11s

The R11s comes with plenty of tech packed in its cameras. There is a dual camera system on the back. One lens is 20 Mp while the other is 16 MP. They have f/1.7 apertures, 2.0µm pixels and an LED flash to help with low light conditions. A unique feature of the R11s camera is that each camera can take pictures separately, depending on the lighting condition. The bigger 20 MP camera is made for conditions with less light and the other lens has been optimized for day to day shooting. The front camera is a 20 MP camera that has the company’s A.I. Beauty Recognition technology. A major downside in the device is the use of micro USB and the fact that there is no NFC.

Harman Kardon Invoke review

Harman Kardon has recently released a smart speaker that incorporates Microsoft’s Cortana. Called the Harman Kardon Invoke, it is the first speaker that comes with Cortana. The fact that it is made by Harman Kardon brings the promise of great audio quality too. Without further ado, let us dive into the review.

Hardware of the Harman Kardon Invoke review

Design wise, the smart speaker looks eerily like the Amazon Echo. It is tall and features a cylindrical shape but it gradually widens towards the bottom. The key difference between the two is the build materials used with both. The Echo is made out of plastic which feels plastic, but thanks to a metal casing the Harman Kardon Invoke oozes a much more premium appeal. Harman Kardon’s expertise in making speakers is clearly visible here.

The top is touch sensitive and contains a frosted display that shows you when Cortana is listening and the volume level. It also has a seven-far-field-microphone in the top. There are just two buttons which you can use to mute and pair the speaker.

Using the Harman Kardon Invoke

If you want to set up the speaker, you just need the Cortana app or a Windows 10 computer. After you have set it up, all you need to say is "Hey Cortana" to get started. It can search for music or give directions to your phone. The major downside of this smart speaker is the fact that it does not support Pandora. However, Microsoft has said that they are working on resolving this as well as bring Soundcloud and Deezer support to the Invoke.

Music is amazing with detailed mid-range, crisp highs and some decent low-end thump. The Invoke will have no problem filling up a room. This is all in thanks to its three tweeters, three woofers and two passive radiators.

The Harmon Kardon Invoke sells for $199.


Nokia 2: Hands on review

HMD Global has released their most affordable smartphone in the form of the Nokia 2. Here we take a look at the device.

Specs of the Nokia 2

The device comes with some of the most modest specs you will see in a 2017 era smartphone. On the side of processors, it has a Snapdragon 212 and comes with a meagre 1 GB of RAM. The device runs Android 7.1.2 out of the box. HMD Global has promised quick updates, including monthly security patches for a long time. The performance is quite smooth and is not laggy as you might assume when you look at the specs. It comes with 8 GB of internal storage, out of which only 5 GB is available for use. The good news is that it can be expanded to 128 GB thanks to the micro SD slot. The Nokia 2 offers a five inch HD LCD display.

A crazy 4100 mAh battery powers the device. The company says it can power the device for up to two days. In addition to that, it comes with an 8 MP on the back that takes crisp photos and a 5 MP camera on the front.

Design of the Nokia 2

The device has a pretty premium design. This is quite hard to believe given the price tag. It has a polycarbonate back that boasts a matte finish and a metal grill that is made out of series 6000 aluminium. The company has paid a great deal of attention to the design and ergonomics of the device. The 5 inch form factor helps keep the device portable and easy to use with one hand.

Pricing and availability of the Nokia 2

The phone is being sold at an unbelievable price tag of $115. HMD Global has not given details on the availability of the device yet.

The HTC U11 Plus has been announced!

The HTC U11 has been one of the finest devices from the Taiwan company. However, they lacked one major feature that all 2017 flagship devices used. It was bezel free displays. Well HTC has now heard you and announced the HTC U11 Plus.

Overview of the HTC U11 Plus

The main highlight of the HTC U11 Plus is its six inch Super LCD QHD+ screen. The display covers almost the entire design. This something like the display on the Samsung S8. Safe to say, it looks pretty amazing. On the side of specs, they are pretty much what you would expect from a flagship device from HTC. There is a Snapdragon 835 processor, 6GB of RAM for smooth multi tasking, 64GB or 128 GB of storage that can be expanded and IP 68 for protection against water and dust. Other features include HTC’s renowned BoomSound and Edge Sense which is all powered by a 3930 mAh battery.

Other features on the HTC U11 Plus

A handy feature is that the company allows you to configure the Edge Sense technology to launch your own favourite app. This is unlike the Pixel 2 which allows you to open Google Assistant only. The device comes with Android 8.0 Oreo. Of course, it will have the HTC Sense skin over it. The plus side is that HTC’s skin is among the best skins used by manufacturers. The fact that the device is releasing with 8.0 means you will not have to hang around until you get an update.

Colors, pricing and availability of the HTC U11 Plus

HTC said that the device would only be released in certain countries in Europe and the Asia continent. They did not reveal any information on the pricing. On the side of colours, the smartphone will be released in a translucent black, ceramic black and amazing silver.

How to unlock your Chromebook with an Android smartphone

Google’s Chromebook has been steadily taking up a slice of the laptop market. They come with a large number of unique features that help it stand out from the usual Windows laptops and Mac laptops.

One major feature that Google is pushing out is to make the experience between Android and Chromebook much more seamless. They aspire to make a level of seamlessness attained by Apple and its ecosystem.

In Google’s quest to do so, they have now released a new feature that further slims down the gap. This is the ability to unlock your Chromebook by simply using your Android device. The method to set it up is pretty easy too. It does not take more than a few minutes to do so. After that, whenever you want to unlock your Chromebook, you can do so just by unlocking your phone.

How to unlock your Chromebook using an android device

The first step is to click on your profile picture. This will bring up the quick settings. Click on the gear icon present as this will load up the settings. Under a subheading named People, click on Screen lock. Here you will be prompted to enter your password. Once you have done so, look for Smart Lock for Chromebook (beta). Click on the Set Up icon. You will be prompted to switch on the Bluetooth on your Android device.

Once you do this, go back to your Chromebook and click on Find Your Phone. After the Chromebook finds the device, it will list it and you can tap on Use This Phone. After a couple of processes that are done in the background, a notification will be shown on your phone. You will then be asked to tap Next on the Chromebook. The final step is where you click on Try Smart Lock.

The laptop will now lock itself so you can try the try unlocking your phone and you will see that you can unlock the laptop without having to add the password.

Libratone Q Adapt Headphones Review

Wireless headphones are quickly turning into the rage. A new high end wireless headphone in the market is the Libratone Q Adapt Headphones that feature Google’s new auto pair feature.

Design of the Libratone Q Adapt

The design is very minimalistic and simple. Some features like the backlit bird logo stand out but overall the headphones are understated. The bars can be adjusted for a better fit while the headband is cushioned for greater comfort. The ear cups are made of leather and are quite comfortable.

Sound quality of the Libratone Q Adapt

This is the most important aspect for any headphone. However, the sound quality on these headphones are all positive. At its neutral mode, the quality is balanced and does not overdo on any aspect. That being said, there are plenty of sound profiles that increase the bass or treble to suit your taste. The noise cancellation is pretty good too. It comes with four levels, which can be adjusted. A unique feature in these Libratone Q Adapt Headphone is the Hush feature. You can activate it by simply pressing your palm against the left ear cup. It basically pauses the music, switches off the noise cancellation and also activates the microphone, enabling you to hear the world.

Main feature of the Libratone Q Adapt

The main feature that makes this heaphone appealing to Google Pixel owners is its Fair Pair feature. As the name implies, it makes pairing with your Pixel phone simple. Once you get the pairing notification all you have to do is click that to finish the pairing. The entire procedure takes approximately five seconds. This is much faster than the old fashioned method where you go through your settings looking for the Bluetooth settings. The Libratone Q Adapt On-Ear headphone has gestures to help with playback.

Razer Phone: Hands on Review

Razer recently bought Nextbit. Thanks to that venture, they have now released a smartphone called the Razer Phone. Here we take a look at what it is like.

Design of the Razer Phone

The design of the phone seems a bit like the Nextbit Robin. However, it has a few tweaks from that design. The device has a black finish on the back. It also has green icons, which is a known sign of all Razer products. The aspect ratio of the phone is 16:9. It also comes with a dual front facing stereo speakers. A rare feature in smartphones nowadays, each speaker includes its own amplifier.

Display of the Razer phone

On the side of displays, the device has a 5.7 inch QHD IPS Sharp IGZO screen. Users of Razer devices will realize this is the same display present in the Razer laptops. The display on this phone is the first display on a smartphone to have a variable refresh rate of a maximum of 120 Hz. Another major feature of the display is Ultra Motion. This is basically a smartphone version of NVIDIA’s Gsync which is available on PCs.

Specs on the Razer Phone

The specs on this device are up to 2017 standards. This means it comes with a Snapdragon 835 processor, 540 Adreno GPU, 64 GB of storage that can be expanded and 8 GB RAM. The entire framework is supported by a 4000 mAh battery. The company says that the device can stay powered for days. The Razer Phone is the first device to support Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 4.0+.

As with most 2017 devices, this phone has a dual camera setup. It has two dual camera lens on the back; one for wide angle photos and the second for telephoto. They come with phase detection autofocus and a dual tone LED flash to help with the image taking. Razer’s phone runs Android 7.1.1 with a scheduled update to Oreo.

Monday, 6 November 2017

Samsung is finally letting Galaxy S8 owners disable the Bixby button

As impressed as we were with the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ at launch, we couldn’t help but question Samsung’s decision to put a dedicated Bixby button on the side of the phones. Bixby was meant to be Samsung’s answer to Google Assistant, but until recently, Bixby Voice wasn’t even accessible to S8 owners outside of South Korea. But now, just six months after the S8’s launch, Samsung is already walking back its Bixby plans.

On Monday, SamMobile was the first to report that Samsung had quietly begun rolling out an update to allow S8 owners to disable the Bixby button altogether. Once you install the latest Bixby updates on your S8, S8+ or Note 8, you should see a toggle at the top of the Bixby Home screen that will allow you to choose whether or not Bixby launches when you hit the Bixby button. The toggle also appears in the Bixby settings menu.

Bixby Home can still be accessed at any time by swiping left on the home screen, but at the very least, you’ll no longer accidentally go to the Bixby Home screen when you meant to turn down the volume. The fact that this appears to be such a welcome change for so many users probably isn’t a great sign for Bixby.

Interestingly, SamMobile also notes that not all S8, S8+ and Note 8 devices have received the update yet. The rollout seems to be random up to this point, so keep an eye out if you have a phone with a Bixby button.

Watch an iPhone X get hit with a hammer and stabbed with a knife

Torture testing a new iPhone model via a series of drop tests and other bizarre experiments has essentially become a rite of passage at this point. Still, it’s a bit surprising that a few folks have already put the iPhone X through the ringer.

The iPhone X, after all, retails for $1,000 on the low-end and is easily the most expensive iPhone model ever released. Further, with iPhone X supply being somewhat low relative to other iPhone releases, folks who opt to destroy their current model may not be able to pick up another one for quite some time.

That notwithstanding, iPhone X stress tests are already starting to make their way onto YouTube and some are comically random and decidedly unscientific.

Case in point: the following video from the TechRax YouTube channel sets out to see what happens when someone takes a hammer to the iPhone X display and a sharp knife to the rear panel.

Now that’s all well and good, but the testing quickly devolves to the iPhone X being smashed and destroyed with no rhyme or reason from varying heights and with varying levels of power. The following video, in a nutshell, is laughably absurd but oddly entertaining nonetheless.

With that little preamble out of the way, let’s jump right in.

The video begins at the 1:24 mark when TechRax starts stabbing the iPhone X’s rear casing. I’m not exactly sure what this test is supposed to measure, but the iPhone X more or less emerged unscathed.

The real fun, though, begins at the 2:30 mark when a 3-pound hammer is repeatedly dropped on the iPhone X from an unknown height. Shortly thereafter, our fearless tester begins actively pounding the iPhone X with a hammer before the front glass ultimately shatters.

The entire video can be viewed below.