Tech News

Vodafone launches first Ireland 5G network

Latest Tech News - Wed, 08/14/2019 - 07:14

Vodafone has launched Ireland’s first commercial 5G service, covering capital city Dublin as well as Cork, Galway, Limerick, and Waterford.

The Newbury-based operator has been one of the leading operators in terms of 5G deployment in Europe, having already switched on networks in Germany, Italy, Spain and UK.

The Irish network is powered by 3.6GHz spectrum Vodafone won at auction in 2017 and is powered by the Ericsson Radio System (ERS) platform. More locations will be added to the network before the end of the year, Vodafone confirmed.

Vodafone Ireland 5G

“This is truly a historic occasion for everyone at Vodafone,” declared Anne O’Leary, Vodafone Ireland CEO. “As a business, we have spent the last 18 months preparing the groundwork for the launch of Ireland’s first commercial 5G network and today we begin our switch-on.

“5G is set to revolutionise how we use and adopt technology and will have a huge impact on businesses and society in Ireland. It will bring high speed, ultra-low latency and highly secure connectivity to a massive amount of devices; and is a technology that will unlock a vast array of new use cases through Vodafone’s next-generation network.”

Vodafone’s rivals Eir and Three have both confirmed plans to launch 5G in the near future.

Vodafone says 5G will have benefits for nearly every single industry and has earmarked healthcare as a sector that could be transformed. It has partnered with the ASSERT Centre at University Colelge Cork (UCC) to establish the world’s first 5G telemedicine and medical robot training centre in the world.

The facility will help industry and academics to develop innovative healthcare products in a simulated environment. Potential applications include real-time monitoring, robotic surgery and telemedicine.

“5G will revolutionize medicine with rapid connectivity of the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT),” added Professor Barry O’Reilly, director of ASSERT.

“From advanced wearable technologies that will facilitate the care of patients at home, to immediate connectivity of new diagnostic technologies like handheld smartphone connected ultrasound between point of care and hospital specialists at for example a road traffic accident and an emergency department, to remote robotic surgery.”

Categories: Tech News

Cheap broadband bills and no price hikes make TalkTalk fibre deals a great choice

Latest Tech News - Wed, 08/14/2019 - 07:01

When we think about affordable broadband deals, TalkTalk is never far from our minds. With monthly bills starting at under the £20-mark for its very cheapest plan, you can see why. But if you can get fibre broadband where you live, we reckon TalkTalk's superfast offering is even better value.

One of the ISP's main selling points is the fact that unlike some broadband providers (yes BT and Virgin, we're looking at you!), TalkTalk guarantees that the bills you sign up for at the outset are the ones you'll pay for the duration of the 18 month contract. No hikes, no hidden charges and, at the moment, not a penny to pay when you sign up either.

But that doesn't mean you'll be paying over the odds for your internet. You're only looking at a very reasonable £23.50 per month for its entry-level Faster Fibre broadband. Need more speed? Crank things up to almost double the average speed (67Mb) with its Superfast Fibre plan and pay only an extra £2.50 each month.

The one thing to watch...TalkTalk says that this pricing is for a limited time only (without giving an actual end date). So if you like a look at the plans below, you'd better seal this fibre broadband deal quickly before it disappears

TalkTalk's great value fibre broadband deals:
Categories: Tech News

German retailer spills details on Leica's upcoming APO-SUMMICRON-SL 50 f/2 ASPH lens

Latest Tech News - Wed, 08/14/2019 - 07:00

Leica has been promising that its APO-SUMMICRON-SL 50 f/2 ASPH lens would be available in the first half of 2019, but August is here and we're still waiting patiently for further details. 

Now, as Japanese camera rumors site Nokishita has discovered, German retailer Foto Koch appears to have beaten the optics specialist to it, releasing plenty of new information on the lens, including a €4,200 asking price that equates to around £3,900 / $4,700 / AU$6,900.

The lens belongs to the L-mount system, which means it can be used on cameras from Leica's L-mount alliance partners Panasonic and Sigma, as well as on the manufacturer's own bodies. So, if you budget doesn't quite allow for both a Leica SL and the new lens, you can at least mount it on a Panasonic S1 or the upcoming Sigma FP.

The company cites reportage, travel photography, studio work, architecture, landscapes, portraits, and close-ups as suitable applications for the lens, and has previously claimed that it sets a new standard in terms of compactness and performance, with corner-to-corner sharpness and balanced bokeh.

What we now know thanks to this leak is that the lens has been designed around 12 elements spread across 10 groups, with aspherical surfaces on three of these elements. As an APO lens, it's corrected for monochromatic aberration to a similar degree as for chromatic aberrations, which will no doubt please those who can afford to drop this kind of cash on it.

The lens can be used across cameras from Leica, Sigma and Panasonic, such as the Sigma FP (pictured here with the Sigma 45mm f/2.8 DG DN |C)

The lens is said to have a 0.35m close-focusing distance and a maximum magnification ratio of 1:5, and dimensions of 102 x 73mm, with a weight of around 740g, while the 67mm filter thread that could be seen in images previously released by Leica appears to be confirmed too.

Like other Summicron SL lenses, the optic makes use of a stepper autofocus motor with DSD (Dual Syncro Drive) to move the focusing system rapidly, while a manual focusing ring is also fashioned into the barrel. Other leaked details include the use of multi-coatings on the elements to help banish reflections and keep contrast high, as well as weather-resistance to an unknown degree.

We don't yet know exactly when all of this will be confirmed, but with a price and full details now out in the wild, we can't imagine we'll have to wait much longer.

Categories: Tech News

Apple AirPods sale: wireless charging model gets lowest price yet

Latest Tech News - Wed, 08/14/2019 - 06:59

Seeing the Apple AirPods in the sales is a rare sight, but we've spotted some fantastic deals today. These price cuts are on the newest 2019 AirPods and that's with the standard charging case or the excellent wireless charging case.

So if you've been waiting for a great AirPod deal, today's your lucky day. In the US Walmart has come out fighting and has the lowest prices for both of the newest versions of Apple's super hot wireless headphones. Over in the UK it's Amazon rocking the cheapest prices in the land. You can get the standard 2019 AirPods from just $144.99 in the US, while in the UK, they're down to a very tempting £149. And while those are great prices, we've found discounts for the versions with the wireless charging case that are arguably even better value.

The Apple AirPods come with a charging case that provides 20 hours of battery life and up to three hours of talk time on a single charge. The truly wireless earbuds received an upgraded H1 Chip that results in faster pairing and seamless connectivity. The H1 chip also allows you to use your voice to ask Siri questions. You can adjust the volume, skip songs, and even make calls completely hands-free.

Discounts on AirPods are extremely rare, so while the discount percentages might not seem like much, these are fantastic deals for the Apple earbuds. We don't know how much longer Walmart and Amazon will have the AirPods on sale, so you should take advantage while you can.

US Apple AirPod deals: UK Apple AirPod deals:

See more Apple AirPod deals with the cheapest AirPod prices that are currently live. Interested in other wireless headphones? We also have the best cheap wireless headphone deals and sales.

Categories: Tech News

Realme 5 specifications leaked ahead of the launch

Latest Tech News - Wed, 08/14/2019 - 06:49

The Realme 5 is just a few days away from going official, and we’ve received additional information around the chipset powering this new mid-ranger.

The Realme 5 and 5 Pro will be unveiled on August 20 as the company’s latest mid-range smartphones and will succeed the Realme 3 series. They are skipping the “4” as it is considered an ill omen in China. The only significant detail about the phone we knew till now was the inclusion of a quad-camera setup on the back, but a new Geekbench listing has left little for us to wonder.

 Realme 5 specifications 

Realme 5 Geekbench listing

The most crucial detail is the Snapdragon 665 chipset powering the device. It is an 11nm octa-core processor, that is also expected to fuel the upcoming Xiaomi Mi A3. There’s also 4GB of RAM.

The other exciting bit is the quad-camera arrangement on the back, potentially making the Realme 5 the most affordable smartphone with four cameras. There’s a 48MP primary shooter, an 8MP ultrawide camera, a macro lens, and a depth sensor, making it a very versatile camera package. The Realme 5 series will not sport the highly-anticipated 64MP image sensors. That phone is slated for a pre-Diwali launch.

The display is likely to be an LCD panel with an HD+ resolution and a waterdrop notch housing the front camera. The battery will be in the ballpark of 4,000 mAh. The Realme 5 will come in colors such as blue, white, and a gradient finish.

 Realme 5 price 

Realme’s primary series of phones have always been priced at around the Rs 10,000-12,000 mark, and the Realme 5 is expected to follow suit. The Realme 5 Pro will share the stage and should occupy the Rs 15,000 segment.

We will have the official information on August 20 when these phones get launched in India.

Categories: Tech News

Windows PCs can be hijacked through Notepad

Latest Tech News - Wed, 08/14/2019 - 06:16

Windows PCs could be at risk from a major security flaw triggered by one of the platform's most popular software offerings.

A leading security researcher has highlighted a vulnerability that would allow hackers to take over control of an entire PC simply by loading some malicious code using Notepad.

Once exploited, this could allow hackers to gain access over all processes within the system. The flaw dates all the way back to the time of Windows XP, meaning a wide range of devices could still be at risk.

Noted

Google Project Zero expert Tavis Ormandy discovered the flaw, which exploits a shortcoming in the Windows Text Services Framework that oversees keyboard layouts and text input.

A component within the system, CTextFramework, can be hacked through apps that interact with it to process showing text on screen. Ormandy found that the security protocols governing the system can be easily bypassed, allowing hackers to escalate their access privileges and gain access to multiple systems across the victim's device.

These are the kind of hidden attack surfaces where bugs last for years," Ormandy said. "It turns out it was possible to reach across sessions and violate NT security boundaries for nearly twenty years, and nobody noticed."

The flaw, officially known as CVE-2019-1162, is included as being patched in Microsoft's monthly Patch Tuesday security release, which should be installed as soon as possible.

Via The Register

Categories: Tech News

Some MacBook Pro models are now banned from US flights due to fire risk

Latest Tech News - Wed, 08/14/2019 - 06:09

Some MacBook Pro 15-inch models have been branded a fire risk by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and therefore you won’t be able to take them on board an airplane.

You may remember that back in June, Apple initiated a recall for certain MacBook Pro 15-inch laptops sold between September 2015 and February 2017 for a battery replacement. At the time, the company noted that these portables could contain a battery that might overheat and pose a ‘safety risk’.

This affected a limited number of these notebooks, and you could check if your MacBook Pro was hit by this problem (and still can) by entering your serial number here.

It’s these MacBooks which the FAA has alerted major US airlines about, noting that it was “aware of the recalled batteries that are used in some Apple MacBook Pro laptops”, as Bloomberg reports.

Airlines were told to follow safety regulations from 2016 for products with batteries under recall, meaning that these affected MacBooks can’t be taken on a flight due to that potential fire risk (unless they have had the battery replaced by Apple).

Bloomberg further notes that it has obtained internal documents showing that this week, four airlines – TUI Group Airlines, Thomas Cook Airlines, Air Italy, and Air Transat – have banned the MacBook Pro models in question.

These airlines all have the cargo side of their operation managed by Total Cargo Expertise, and that firm has told staff members: “Please note that the 15-inch Apple MacBook Pro laptop, sold between mid-2015 to February-2017 is prohibited on board any of our mandate carriers.”

The laptops are banned from both the cargo hold, and from being brought on board into the actual cabin.

Departure debacles?

Bloomberg also states that airport staff will be making announcements about these MacBook Pros at the departure gate, and flight attendants before take-off.

This does raise some questions, though. If somebody is carrying a MacBook Pro 15-inch, how exactly will airport staff check whether it’s an affected model?

Also, devices which have had their battery replaced aren’t banned – but if airport staff find a traveler has one of the recalled units, what if the owner claims the battery has been replaced; how is that then verified by staff?

None of this practical side of the implementation of the ban is clear from the info divulged so far, and it’s not too difficult to imagine that this could potentially make for some thorny issues and frustration for MacBook Pro owners at the departure gate.

In Europe, the aviation safety watchdog (EASA) didn’t go as far as an outright ban on the affected MacBook Pros, but if one of the laptops is brought on board a European flight, it is required to be switched off and not used (or charged) at all.

You may also recall that a few years ago, Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 was famously banned on all US flights and branded a severe safety risk on the fire front.

We've contacted Apple for a response and will update this story when we hear back.

Categories: Tech News

8GB data SIM for less than a tenner - this cheap SIM only deal from Three is just ace

Latest Tech News - Wed, 08/14/2019 - 06:05

Time and time again, Three has come up with unlimited data SIM only deals that leave the competition struggling to keep up. But now, Three is having a change of pace taking on the world of cheap SIM only deals.

Offering an impressive 8GB of data for just £9 a month, Three has catapulted itself to the top of the market's collection of cheap SIMs. Without dropping down to realms of 1-3GB of data, you will struggle to find an offer that is cheaper than this.

However, if you're looking at that offer and thinking 8GB of data just won't do it for you then don't worry. As we said above, Three has been showing us its unlimited data prowess for a while now, offering some of the best big data SIMOs too.

Cheap or big data - you can find both of Three's market leading offers down below. Or, if there is something these Three offers don't quite bring to the table for you, check out our guide to the best SIM only deals to see your other options.

  • Need a phone to combine with your SIMO? Check out our best SIM-free phones guide
Why go with Three?

If you haven't already been won over by these amazing offers from Three then you'll be excited to hear that the network doesn't shy away from offering up some extra incentives as well.

Whether that be free exclusive prizes or extra roaming. You can see all of best parts of a Three SIM only deal or Three mobile deals down below.

  • Wuntu - Exclusive offers and freebies with Three's rewards app
  • Go Roam - Roaming abilities in 71 worldwide countries at no extra cost
  • Travel Swagger - Get travel upgrades with Easyjet with bag drop and early boarding
Categories: Tech News

Facebook contractors have been eavesdropping on your voice messages

Latest Tech News - Wed, 08/14/2019 - 06:04

Facebook, much like Amazon, Google and Apple, has been paying contractors to transcribe snippets of its users' speech. 

According to Time, a source closely involved in the work claimed that they had been given sound file to work on, but not told where they'd come from.

Facebook has confirmed that it did indeed commission the work, but says that it halted the program after the eavesdropping of other tech companies started to hit the headlines.

“Much like Apple and Google, we paused human review of audio more than a week ago," a company spokesperson said.

Facebook was also keen to point out that the messages were only transcribed to check that they were being interpreted correctly by its speech recognition software. Only users who had opted into the program had their speech transcribed, and that all snippets were anonymized so there was no way of linking an audio file to a specific user. 

Shhh...

It's no surprise that Facebook acted preemptively – the company suffered a serious blow to its reputation following the 2018 Cambridge Analytica scandal, which involved millions of users' personal information being shared without consent.

Facebook embarked on a huge campaign to win back users' shaken trust, including print advertisements and an apologetic video in which it promised to "do more to keep you safe and protect your privacy".

However, the dust hasn't yet settled, and a few weeks ago the company was hit with a $5bn fine from the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) as a result of the scandal.

"Despite repeated promises to its billions of users worldwide that they could control how their personal information is shared, Facebook undermined consumers' choices," said FTC chairman Joe Simons.

Facebook can't afford to look complacent in the face of another potential privacy problem, so pulling the plug on third-party transcriptions was the only sensible course of action.

If you're not sure how much data you've consented to share, this is a good time to take a good look at your privacy settings.

Categories: Tech News

Audacious promises clearer phone calls with the same mobile phone

Latest Tech News - Wed, 08/14/2019 - 05:58

A new Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) promises to improve the audio quality of phone calls for people with hearing difficulties without the need to change their mobile phone.

Audacious was developed in partnership with experts in audiology, data processing, and telecoms and promises an enhanced audio service with clearer calls.

The network is powered by EE’s infrastructure, meaning customers get access to the UK’s widest 4G coverage and fastest mobile data speeds.

Audacious MVNO

In order to determine an individual’s personal hearing profile, Audacious invites potential customers to take a ‘sound check’ on its website. A personalised SIM card is then sent out and can be used with any mobile phone. Contracts are flexible and customers can leave at any time.

Audacious founder Matthew Turner believes the service can help up to ten million people in the UK living with hearing difficulties or hearing loss.

“Having lived with moderate to severe hearing loss since birth, I am fully aware of the emotional impact millions of people are experiencing as they struggle daily to communicate using the mobile phone.,” he said.

“It was a real struggle to talk on the phone and it had a negative impact on both my personal and professional life. I made it my personal mission to develop the technology that could tailor phone calls to individual hearing loss or needs and so empower people across the UK to have better, clearer conversations.”

As part of the MVNO agreement, EE also offers international roaming and wholesale billing services. EE’s infrastructure powers more than 30 MVNOs, including the UK’s largest, Virgin Media.

“The strength and breadth of our EE mobile network makes BT the ideal MVNO partner for Audacious,” declared Alex Tempest, BT Wholesale MD. “By leveraging the best mobile network in the UK, as well as providing clearer calls to their customers, Audacious can deliver a superior customer experience, with unrivalled 4G coverage and superfast speeds for data services.”

Categories: Tech News

The UK's first 5G and broadband bundle has arrived courtesy of Vodafone

Latest Tech News - Wed, 08/14/2019 - 05:41

The UK's first package incorporating both 5G mobile internet and home broadband has been launched by Vodafone.

Vodafone Together gets you the best of both worlds - the plans start from just £31 per month for that 5G connection plus home broadband. Or you can pay more to get unlimited data.

It also comes with a home broadband app that allows you to pause Wi-Fi, boost or prioritise speeds to devices, give guests access and use live chat support.

You can head straight to the Vodafone website to sign up or read more about Vodafone Together

And Vodafone doesn't stop there. For a limited time, new customers will also receive a free Amazon Echo Plus. Vodafone claims to be the first network to allow customers to make and take calls via the Alexa voice controlled smart speaker.

The latest My Vodafone App allows for control of everything easily in one place. This includes sign up, order and bill management all in one place. Plus you get 24/7 live chat support as standard.

"Another game changing product"

The £31 per month Vodafone Together plan gives you a combined 18 month SIM only and home broadband plan. For an extra £6 per month on the Unlimited, Unlimited Max and 20GB plans you can add an entertainment subscription for free which includes Spotify Premium, Amazon Prime Video, Sky Sports Mobile TV or a Now Entertainment Pass.

Max Taylor, consumer director of Vodafone UK said: "It’s exciting to be launching another game changing product with Vodafone Together - the UK’s first 5G mobile and broadband bundle.

The free Amazon Echo Plus is the perfect partner for Vodafone Together, allowing customers to make even more use of their free mobile minutes. With our world first Alexa calls and Vodafone OneNumber, landline calls really will become a thing of the past."

Categories: Tech News

Want to play SNES games on Nintendo Switch? Leak suggests you'll be able to soon

Latest Tech News - Wed, 08/14/2019 - 05:21

Good news, retro gamers: the Nintendo Switch looks to be getting a wireless SNES controller accessory, for playing those sweet, sweet SNES games.

An eagle-eyed poster – on forum site Resetera – found documentation for the SNES controller in an FCC filing, with a "HAC" model number that fits with the listing information used for the console and Switch accessories

The majority of images in the filing are inaccessible until early February, 2020 – a likely launch date – though you can see an image of the back of the controller at the top of this article.

Given you can already buy NES controllers for the Switch, with NES games available to play through Nintendo Switch Online – it seems pretty certain that Nintendo is just biding its time until it starts flooding the Switch console with SNES games to play too.

A right ol' SNES

So, what's all this fuss about the SNES?

The iconic Nintendo console – the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, to be exact – launched in the early 90s, as a successor to the NES. Upgrading the NES's 8-bit hardware, the new 16-bit console could cram in far more information for more vivid and ambitious gaming experiences. 

It might pale in comparison to the average open-world game today, but hey – there are some real classics on this console, like Super Metroid, Star Fox, and Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.

Nintendo has released a number of mini consoles – the NES Classic Edition and SNES Classic Mini – for playing retro NES and SNES games on dedicated hardware, which sold out startlingly quickly.

Subscribers to the Nintendo Switch Online service can also play a select number of NES titles via emulation on the Nintendo Switch, and fans are eagerly awaiting the arrival of SNES games – if not GameCube and N64 titles too. We were hoping to see this happen before early 2020, but it's good to know when to expect it.

Via Eurogamer

Categories: Tech News

Panchshil's luxury project in Pune is a case-study in global construction technology

Latest Tech News - Wed, 08/14/2019 - 05:16

While luxury real estate in India is undergoing a transformation, one brand in Pune has already moved leagues ahead of the industry in this category, earning it the reputation of being India’s most global real estate brand. That brand is none other than Pune-based real estate major – Panchshil Realty.

Over the last decade, Panchshil, headquartered out of Pune, has introduced several international brands like YOO, Trump Corporation, World Trade Center, JW Marriott, and Hilton to Pune city, and pioneered several best practices in construction in luxury real estate. As a matter of fact, much of this is being successfully employed in Panchshil’s nine-tower luxury project – Panchshil Towers, which interestingly is also one of Pune’s tallest luxury residential landmarks.

Spread across 14-acres in the swanky neighbourhood of EON Free Zone, Kharadi, and World Trade Center Pune, Panchshil Towers is a luxury project consisting of 3.5BHK, 4.5BHK luxury apartments, Penthouses, and a limited number of Podium Villas.

The project is ideal for end-users and those looking at a top-end second home, as possession for the first phase of 4 towers is currently going on.

Panchshil Towers has been designed by US-based architect Shekhar Ganti & Associates, and has several global names in construction technology partnering the development. 

As you enter the project, intelligent use of materials and design meets your eye. The nine towers have a contemporary glass and aluminium (ACP) façade, which emanates splendour and strength. 

Use of technology and engineering excellence is evident everywhere in the project. Panchshil Towers holds the distinction of being a frontrunner in the large-scale use of the globally prevalent practice of Dry Construction Technology (DCT), a process that eliminates usage of brick and concrete, and has reduced the usage of water in the project significantly.

Other breakthrough technologies at Panchshil Towers include the use of Viega and Geberit firefighting systems from Germany that is non-welded, with almost zero chance of corrosion or leakage.

The project also has technology-rich features like VRF central-air-conditioning by Samsung (thus reducing the energy footprint), and 100% power-backup.

As residents enter the luxurious lobby, silent Mitsubishi elevators whiz them off to the tower apartments. The elevators have a speed of 2.5 meters per second taking residents to the upper floors in under a minute. The towers also have private elevators specifically for the Penthouse & Podium Villa residents. 

Depending on configuration, the Apartments have large family-centric spaces like exterior decks, lounge living, family area, study, lounge, and exterior decks.

Within the apartment, security is assured through the use of a 3-in-1 Yale locking system which allows residents to access the main door using either a key, fingerprint or passcode.

The use of technology continues within the apartments with a five-mode mood-lighting system. Instead of bricks and mortar, all apartments have dry-walls with superior imported materials and also free-up usable carpet areas.

Panchshil also believes in delivering a highly finished product to its residents ensuring that every apartment is ready to live in from day one. The Panchshil Towers living rooms comes with a false ceiling and concealed lighting. While exterior viewing decks are finished with strip tiles. 

The kitchen is modular and comes ready with Elica hob and chimney. All apartments come with separate utility room next to the kitchen, maid’s room, and thoughtful conveniences such as a powder room for guests. 

The apartments all come with floor-to-ceiling windows fitted with double glazed low-E glass and low emissivity.  

Panchshil Towers also prides itself as being the first project in the entire country where pre-fabricated bathrooms, branded as The BathPods, are fitted directly into the apartments. The BathPods are completely built units, with all fittings and fixtures in place ensuring outstanding finish and zero leakage. 

A perfect blend of beauty and functionality, the bathrooms come equipped with an imported washstand, mirror and shower enclosures that are among the finest in quality.

The bedrooms are a sanctuary of privacy with an unobtrusive lighting scheme, attached bathrooms, and spacious walk-in closets. Bedrooms come with wooden flooring, which is fixed over a sub-floor, enabling proper levelling.

Rivalling the imposing facade of Panchshil Towers is a long list of global amenities, catering to every kind of lifestyle. Be it fitness, wellness, sports, socialising, evening entertainment, and the arts, - the project has it all. 

The project has over 20 key lifestyle amenities include an expansive clubhouse with lawn, pool, gym, a gourmet café, restaurant, multi-sport courts, squash courts, jogging track, cricket/football ground, elder & teen gardens and much more.

Categories: Tech News

Google attacks Windows by comparing it to a broken-down car

Latest Tech News - Wed, 08/14/2019 - 05:15

The fight between the big tech companies can sometimes be vicious, and in a new advert for its Chromebook laptops, Google takes a sly dig at Microsoft’s rival operating system Windows 10, by comparing it to an old car that’s falling apart.

In the advert (which you can view below), Bill Nye extolls the virtues of switching to a Chromebook, including the lack of patches, long boot times and no more Blue Screens of Death.

While Google doesn’t directly call out Windows, in the background of the advert is a broken-down car – which has seen better days – and with the not-too-subtle licence plate that reads WNDWS.

"We've been through a lot together," Nye says as he pats the car, which promptly falls apart.

All’s fair

Google’s certainly got its tongue firmly planted in its cheek with that jab at Microsoft, but the message is clear: Windows is an out-of-date and sometimes unreliable operating system, while Chromebooks (and the Chrome OS operating system they run on) offer a more modern experience, free from the frustrations of Windows laptops.

We love a bit of playful banter between companies – such as when MSI rightfully mocked Apple’s ridiculous $999 price tag for a monitor stand – but we probably wouldn’t go so far as to say Windows 10 is falling apart, as Google is seeming to suggest.

Microsoft has been doing a good job of fixing issues and adding new features to its operating system, and while Windows certainly isn’t perfect, it’s a lot better than it used to be.

Having said that, the latest Chromebooks are also better than ever, and with Chrome OS supporting Android and Linux apps, Google’s operating system could soon be a real threat to Microsoft’s dominance.

Via ZDNet

Categories: Tech News

The OnePlus TV will be called... OnePlus TV (with 43- to-75-inch models on the way)

Latest Tech News - Wed, 08/14/2019 - 05:01

It's been a year since OnePlus teased the existence of its very own TV to be headed to market, and in that time it's ran a competition to help decide the name of the soon-to-be-revealed set. 

The winner of that competition has now been announced. Brace yourself: it's going to be called the 'OnePlus TV'. Genius.

Jokes aside, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise – the OnePlus brand, having made its name in phones, is known for its straightforward approach to both design and naming conventions. For OnePlus, it's all about the best possible specs at the lowest possible price.

Big screen sizes

Will that carry over into its first foray into television technology? It's hard to say at this point, as the company has revealed little about its television's specifications.

What it has revealed however is that it will be a range of LED screens, running the Android TV smart platform, scaling from 43-inches up to 75-inches.

Speaking of the name and logo reveal, OnePlus said on its forum that: 

"We’ve explained the meaning behind "OnePlus" – "One" represents "at the moment" and "Plus" means endless possibilities for the future, and we sort of made a tribute to this concept when we designed this logo – this is our OnePlus way to show the world that it is our first step to explore the endless possibilities in a broader spectrum."

There's no word yet on pricing or release date for the OnePlus TV screens, but we're hoping they'll stick to the strong value proposition that has made the brand's phones sing previously. We'll be hoping for a glimpse of the TV at IFA 2019 – Europe's premier AV show, in September.

Categories: Tech News

Tumblr sold to Wordpress owner

Latest Tech News - Wed, 08/14/2019 - 04:49

Social network Tumblr is being sold to the owner of Wordpress in a major blow to Verizon.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but reports say Tumblr has been bought for far less from the $1.1 billion Yahoo paid for it back in 2013.

Tumblr later became part of the Verizon stable after its acquisition of Yahoo in 2017, with today's sale marks a major drop in value, with some reports putting the deal at as little as $3 million.

Tumblr sale

Automattic will doubtlessly see Tumblr as a key part in its bid to strengthen its online operations. Although the site is unlikely to be profitable in the short term, Tumblr still hosts over 450 million blogs, meaning it remains one of the web's largest such sites.

“Tumblr is a marquee brand that has started movements, allowed for true identities to blossom and become home to many creative communities and fandoms,” Verizon Media CEO Guru Gowrappan said. 

“We are proud of what the team has accomplished and are happy to have found the perfect partner in Automattic, whose expertise and track record will unlock new and exciting possibilities for Tumblr and its users.”

Verizon had been keen to sell on Tumblr for some time, but adult site Pornhub had been the only declared bidder until Automattic showed its interest. Ironically, Tumblr suffered a major backlash last year after Verizon announced it would be banning adult content from the site, leading many users to boycott the site.

Automattic says it has no plans to reverse this ban, and that Tumblr will act as a "complementary" site to WordPress.

Automattic will take on Tumblr's 200-odd employee workforce under the deal. The company say it currently employs 940 staff across 71 countries, with WooCommerce, Jetpack, Simplenote and Longreads among its other entities.

Via WSJ

Categories: Tech News

Motorola One Zoom leaked: it's a premium-ish phone exclusive to Amazon

Latest Tech News - Wed, 08/14/2019 - 04:10

It looks like Motorola is set to release another high-end smartphone – well, high-end in Moto terms, so still a mid-ranger – as details have leaked about the Motorola One Zoom, a device we'd heard scant information about up until now.

This information comes courtesy of tech leaker Roland Quandt, who has a fairly solid track record with phones scoops – it's not clear where he got the information though, and while many are attributing it to a leak from Amazon itself, Quandt's tweet doesn't suggest this.

The confusion may lie with the fact that the Motorola One Zoom seems exclusive to Amazon, like the Moto G7 was, thanks to its integration with Amazon's Alexa.

According to Quandt the handset will work with Amazon's AI assistant like the Echo home speakers, and this means it probably won't be running on Android One, the pared-down Android operating system that previous Motorola One phones ran, as Android One lacks much in the way of extra features and bloat.

In terms of specs, the One Zoom apparently uses the mid-range Snapdragon 675 chipset, with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.

The reason we say the phone is premium, at least by Motorola standards, is that according to the leak (and images alongside the leak) the One Zoom is set to have a whopping four rear cameras.

The main sensor is said to be 48MP with optical image stabilization (OIS), but there's no information on the other cameras yet.

It's probable that one of these is an ultra-wide angle lens, and another is a telephoto for zoomed-in shots, as these seem standard on most phones with at least three cameras. Plus, the 'Zoom' in the name suggests a telephoto lens.

It doesn't seem like the four cameras have identical specs, like the Nokia 9 PureView, as in the images we can see the sensors are different sizes. The bottom-left sensor, which is rather small, could be a depth sensor or macro lens, which are typically used to add appropriate background blur to portrait shots, or take high-quality close-up pictures.

According to Quandt, you'll be paying €399 (about $445, £370, AU$660), which is rather high for a Motorola device, but affordable in the grand scheme of things – and just about the lowest price we've seen for a quad-camera smartphone yet.

For now we don't know that much about the Motorola One Zoom, and what we do know is leaked information (which doesn't always turn out to be true, even from the most established leakers). When there is more to know, though, you'll hear it first from TechRadar.

Categories: Tech News

These wireless headphones boast an incredible 100-hour battery life

Latest Tech News - Wed, 08/14/2019 - 04:01

If you regularly use wireless headphones to soundtrack your journey to work, you'll know how frustrating it is when your battery drains down mid-commute; enter the Cleer Audio Enduro 100 wireless headphones. 

These over-ear headphones promise a staggering 100 hours of battery life – that's over four days of continuous music playback, meaning you can ditch those tatty wired earbuds you keep in your bag for emergencies.

You'd be forgiven for thinking that huge capacity means the Cleer Audio Enduro 100 wireless headphones will take ages to charge; however, Cleer Audio says that the over-ear cans only require "five minutes of charging time to hold an hour of playback".

Patented audio tech

These wireless headphones should sound pretty good too, using Cleer's patented 40mm Ironless drivers, which apparently provide "low distortion and high resolution no matter the volume level" you're listening at. 

Cleer's Ironless technology uses a set of stacked magnets to achieve an "even and symmetrical confinement of the magnetic flux within the driver." 

The company claims that, unlike the usual arrangement of "soft iron parts and a single magnet," its drivers ensure that the the transducer motor is "free from distortions, creating a balanced and dynamic sound". 

(If you're not familiar already, the transducer is the part of the driver that converts electronic signals from your device into the vibration of the speaker cone and diaphragm.)

The Enduro 100s support AAC and aptX HD low latency support, so they should hold up whether you're listening to music or bingeing your favorite Netflix show

While you can use the wireless headphones with any Bluetooth-enabled device, they're optimized for Android, offering Google Fast Pair 2.0; Cleer Audio says that you just "simply turn on the headphones and the pairing request will almost instantly appear on-screen".

Of course, looks are an important consideration when buying a new pair of over-ear headphones – and these cans look pretty swish, coming in subtle grey and white, and white and sand color schemes. 

While we're waiting on a firm release date, Cleer Audio has confirmed that they'll be available to buy from September in the US and UK, for $179.99 / £169.99 – much cheaper than our reigning wireless headphones champion, the Sony WH-1000XM3.

Categories: Tech News

Oppo confirms it's readying its very first smartwatch

Latest Tech News - Wed, 08/14/2019 - 03:58

Chinese smartphone manufacturer Oppo is set to join the list of companies that also make gadgets for your wrist, as it has confirmed it's working on its first smartwatch.

The Oppo smartwatch was confirmed by the company's VP Shen Yiren in a Weibo -that's a Chinese social networking site - post where they provided a few other details about the upcoming device.

It's set to launch at some point in 2020, but Yiren didn't reveal if the product would be available around the world. It may be the watch comes to China first and we have to wait a bit longer to see it in other markets if it comes at all.

Yiren's Weibo post also confirmed that Oppo will opt for a square screen on its first smartwatch, which is something we haven't seen many manufacturers opt for aside from Apple with the Apple Watch.

The reasoning for square seems to be to fit more information onto the screen at the same time.

We don't currently know much more about the new smartwatch from Oppo. The post doesn't confirm whether it will come with Oppo's own software or embrace the Wear OS platform like a lot of other Android manufacturers do.

The post also teased the fact the company is working on an Oppo-branded pair of noise-cancelling wireless headphones, and we're likely to see those launch by the end of 2019.

Via GSMArena

Categories: Tech News

HTC launches Wildfire X in a bid to acquire its lost spot in the Indian market

Latest Tech News - Wed, 08/14/2019 - 03:25

HTC has launched a new smartphone, the Wildfire X in India on Flipkart. The new phone comes in two variants having a 3GB RAM and a 4GB RAM with 21GB and 128GB storage respectively.

Most people thought that HTC had silently departed the smartphone game, beyond its attempts to launch a blockchain phone in the HTC Exodus. But on August 12, HTC India tweeted a teaser where it mentioned that it is still in the game, and its “journey of innovation continues.”

Although the new smartphone was teased earlier, the specifics of the phone were a mystery. The HTC Wildfire X, which kept us all interested, is now confirmed to be a budget offering placed in the most competitive price segment.

HTC Wildfire X specifications

As mentioned the phone comes in two storage configurations -- 3GB+32GB, 4GB+128GB. It features a 6.22-inch display with waterdrop design and 1520x720 resolution. It’s using Mediatek Helio P22 chipset that’s an equivalent to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 600-series.

On the camera front, it features a triple camera setup having a 12MP primary sensor, 8MP secondary with 2X optical zoom and a 5MP depth sensor. Up front, there’s an 8MP camera.

As a highlight, HTC has put a “Mybuddy” security feature that can be used to trigger a loud SOS alarm and send the live location to family and record and transmit audio/video of the surrounding in real-time.

With all that to offer, the HTC Wildfire X will compete against the likes of Realme 3 Pro, Redmi Note 7 Pro, Asus Max Pro M2 and similar.

Price and availability

The MRP of both smartphones is Rs 13,999 and Rs 17,999 for 3GB RAM and 4GB RAM variants respectively. But, Flipkart is offering a limited time offer, under which the 3GB RAM variant is priced at Rs 9,999, and the 4GB RAM variant is set at Rs 12,999.

The smartphone will go on sale at 12 PM on August 22. 

Categories: Tech News

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