Category: IT News



Earlier this month, Samsung was reported to be making an Amazon Echo competitor, but a fresh report seems to refute those claims. A new report now claims that Samsung feels that competitors in the market like Amazon Echo are way ahead in the game, and the tech giant wants to still indulge in the waiting game before launching a product in the smart speaker space. Korean site The Korea Herald reports that Samsung is not so enthusiastic about the smart speaker market as of now, and is not looking to launch one anytime soon.

“Samsung currently does not view Al speakers as marketable, as the global market is already dominated by unbeatable Amazon and the Korean market is too small to make profits. More importantly, Samsung cannot afford to focus on the uncertain market, as most of its AI specialists — whose number is much less than that of the US tech giants — are currently going all out to develop the Bixby version in English,” an anonymous source told the publication.

Amazon Echo currently enjoys 70 percent of the market share in smart speakers, with Google Home market share on the rise. The Korean market, where Samsung has dominance, also has SK Telecom’s NUGU which is quite famous already. Samsung, presumably, prefers to wait it out and see how the market for smart speakers shapes up before taking the plunge.

Also, its Bixby AI’s English version, which was delayed for months due to several technical glitches, has finally been released for Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ users in the US. It still needs to be rolled out in other markets where the smartphones have been made available. All of this suggests that Samsung would be making a smart move by not venturing into smart speakers for now, given how advanced Alexa and Google Assistant are.

In any case, Samsung has confirmed that Bixby is arriving on the Family Hub 2.0 smart fridge, indicating that it’s not completely ruling out the AI assistant’s integration in its smart products line after all.

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


China’s top cyber authority ordered the country’s top tech firms to carry out “immediate cleaning and rectification” of their platforms to remove content deemed offensive to the Communist Party and the country’s national image, it said on Wednesday.

The watchdog held a meeting with representatives from firms including Tencent Holdings Ltd, Baidu Inc and Sohu.com Inc, on Tuesday where it gave them a list of specific errors, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) said in a statement on social media.

The violations include distorting Chinese history, spreading fake news, misinterpreting policy directives and failing to block content that subverts public stability.

“[The sites] must adhere to the correct political line and moral norms,” the statement said.

Chinese authorities have recently cracked down on platforms that allow users to share media from outlets that are not sanctioned under state-issued licenses, amid a wider censorship campaign spearheaded by President Xi Jinping.

On June 1 the CAC ushered in new regulations requiring all offline and online media outlets to be managed by Party-approved editorial staff. Workers in the approved outlets must receive training from local propaganda bureaus.

In the wake of the new regulations several sites have been targeted with fines and closures under the watchdog’s orders.

In specific examples, the CAC criticised one platform that failed to censor articles that “seriously deviated from socialist values” by saying China benefited from US assistance during conflicts with Japan during World War II.

Other examples included a story detailing alleged affairs by party officials, an opinion piece that decried China’s death penalty and an article that urged readers to invest in speculative real estate projects.

The CAC said the firms were required to immediately close offending accounts and strengthen “imperfect” auditing systems to avoid future punishment.

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Following a quiet launch of the Aqua Selfie earlier this week, Intex on Thursday unveiled another budget smartphone in its Aqua series, the Aqua Lions 3, which has been priced at Rs. 6,499. The smartphone highlights 4G VoLTE support, Android 7.0 Nougat, and SwiftKey integration that, among other things, brings multilingual support baked right into the keyboard. The Intex Aqua Lions 3 will be available via offline channels in Champagne and Black colour options.

The Intex Aqua Lions 3 runs on Android 7.0 Nougat and sports a 5-inch HD IPS display with 2.5D curved DragonTrail glass on top. It is powered by a 1.25GHz quad-core processor coupled with 2GB of RAM. You get an inbuilt storage of 16GB, which is expandable via a microSD card (up to 128GB).

Both the front and back cameras on the Aqua Lions 3 feature an 8-megapixel sensor along with LED flash for better low-light pictures. The handset packs a 4000mAh battery, measures 139.6×68.8×9.4mm, and weighs 162 grams. Connectivity options on board include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 4G VoLTE and OTG support, among other things.

One of the focal points during the launch event in New Delhi on Thursday was Intex’s partnership with SwiftKey. With this, the Aqua Lions 3 gets a new SwiftKey app pre-loaded, which offers multilingual support with the ability to type in different Indian languages simultaneously via the keyboard to provide an enhanced keyboard experience. SwiftKey India’s Country Head, Sarabjeet Singh, at the launch said, “With SwiftKey’s three adaptive ways to type Indian languages, every Indian user can communicate easily. We’re excited to make this available to Intex customers.”

Additionally, the Index Aqua Lions 3 also comes pre-loaded with services like QR Code, Xender app that allows you to transfer your contacts, photos, SMS and other details from your old phone to the Aqua Lions 3. It also comes with music streaming and video streaming apps like Gaana and Amazon Prime Video pre-loaded.

“With Aqua Lions 3 smartphone, we are not only providing the best specs, but also with SwiftKey keyboard integration enabling Intex’s diverse consumers from different parts of the country the freedom and joy to express themselves in their mother tongue. Intex has always designed products keeping in mind consumers’ needs and demands and Aqua Lions 3 model will surely be a delight,” Ishita Bansal, Product Head – Mobiles, Intex Technologies said.

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Google on Thursday rolled out its Expeditions app with a new solo mode for all users.

“Using this mode, they can explore over 600 different tours on their own. All that users need to do is download the Expeditions app (available on both Android and iOS), drop their phone into Google Cardboard and get ready for an adventure!” the company said in a statement.

For the past two years, the app was available only for teachers as a tool to extend learning inside the classroom, helping students to gain exposure to new career paths and learn about various social impact initiatives happening around the globe.

With the new update, users can either take these tours as an explorer or a guide.

As an ‘Explorer’, users can experience the tour on their own, where they can view more detailed information on various points of interest within the experience.

The ‘Guide Mode’ lets teachers preview a tour before embarking with their students on a virtual journey.

Expeditions also works on Daydream View VR headset-ready phones for more immersive and engaging experience.

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Nokia 8 is on the top of everyone’s minds now that the Nokia 3, Nokia 5 and Nokia 6 release plans are out of the way. Considered the true Nokia flagship after the mid-range budget handsets unveiled so far, the Nokia 8 and its specifications have been leaked multiple times over the past few weeks. Now, press renders of the smartphone have been outed, giving away the Nokia 8 design details with Carl Zeiss optics and dual camera setup. This leak comes a day after a report pegged July 31 as the launch date for the smartphone.

Nokia 8 design

Tipster extraordinaire Evan Blass (aka @evleaks) has posted a press render of the Nokia 8 flagship showing the device from the front and back. A Blue colour variant is seen sporting a metal body and a vertical dual camera setup at the back. The lenses are Zeiss branded, making this the first smartphone to be leaked with this after the announcement of HMD Global and Zeiss partnership earlier this month. @evleaks also leaked the dual camera module separately showing two camera lenses, a flash at the bottom, and an extra hole presumed to be for laser autofocus. However, that’s just speculation and the fourth hole could be for something entirely different.

There’s a Home Button in the front with hardware capacitive keys on either side for navigation. The volume and power keys both are seen situated on the right edge of the device, while the 3.5mm audio jack is seen sitting on the top edge.

Nokia 8 specifications

The Nokia 8 is tipped to run on Android 7.1 Nougat and sport a 5.3-inch QHD display. It is expected to be powered by the Snapdragon 835 processor. Nokia 8 may launch with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage initially, though the rumoured 6GB RAM and 8GB RAM variant may see the light of the day a little bit later. Two 13-megapixel rear lenses from Carl Zeiss are a possibility, and a 13-megapixel front camera is expected as well. The dimensions are tipped to be at 151.55×73.7mm.

Furthermore, the Nokia 8 is largely expected to be priced at EUR 589 (roughly Rs. 43,400). Lastly, at launch, the Nokia 8 will be available in four colour options – Blue, Steel, Gold/Blue, and Gold/Copper.

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


The Xiaomi Mi Max 2 India launch event has started, and Product Manager Jai Mani is describing areas where the smartphones scores over handsets with smaller screens. These include productivity, videos, battery life, among others. Mani also announced the Mi Max 2 will come with a new Split Screen feature, which allows users to operate two apps simultaneously. For those unaware, it is the successor to last year’s Mi Max, and will compete against the likes of Samsung Galaxy On Max, Galaxy J7 Max, and Lenovo Phab 2 Plus. All the Mi Max 2 units sold in India will be manufactured domestically, and the handset will get MIUI 9 custom software in coming months. Buyers will get 100GB of free Jio 4G data on purchase of the smartphone.

The launch event is being live streamed for the fans, so you can check out the launch as it happens in the video below. Of course, we are revising the copy as the event progresses, so you can have minute-by-minute updates of the Mi Max 2 launch.

 

Xiaomi Mi Max 2 price in India
The smartphone has been launched in India in one configuration only – 4GB RAM and 64GB storage. The Mi Max 2 price in India has been set as Rs. 16,999, and buyers will get 100GB of free 4G data from Jio on purchasing the smartphone. It is being launched in India in Matte Black colour. The smartphone will go on sale via Mi.com and Mi Home offline store on July 20, and will go on sale via online partners such as Flipkart, Amazon, Tata Cliq, etc. as well as offline stores on July 27 at 10am.

As for the Xiaomi Mi Max 2 specifications, the dual-SIM (Nano+Micro) smartphone runs Android 7.1.1 Nougat-based MIUI 8, and bears a 6.44-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) display. The large-screened Mi Max 2 offers a one-handed interface option, and boasts of a fingerprint scanner on the back panel.
The Mi Max 2 is powered by an octa-core Snapdragon 625 SoC clocked at 2GHz coupled with 4GB of RAM.

The Mi Max 2’s rear camera sports a 12-megapixel Sony IMX386 sensor with PDAF and dual-LED flash. On the front, it sports a 5-megapixel camera. The inbuilt storage is expandable via microSD card (up to 128GB). Connectivity options include 4G VoLTE, dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11ac , GPS/ A-GPS, Bluetooth v4.2, infrared, a 3.5mm audio jack, and a USB Type-C port.

The Mi Max 2 is powered by a massive 5300mAh battery that features Quick Charge 3.- said to charge 68 percent in just one hour – and claimed to provide a two-day battery life. It measures 174.1×88.7×7.6mm, and weighs 211 grams. Sensors on the phone include accelerometer, ambient light sensor, gyroscope, and proximity sensor.

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


After a US-based digital security company alerted Twitter about a massive botnet campaign promising online sex to its users, the micro-blogging website has removed nearly 90,000 such fake accounts.

Dubbed as ‘SIREN’, the fake botnet campaign was discovered by ZeroFOX, a Baltimore-based security firm specialising in social-media threat detection.

“To our knowledge, the botnet is one of the largest malicious campaigns ever recorded on a social network,” ZeroFOX wrote in a blog post.

ZeroFOX’s computer vision and natural language processing algorithms identified over 8,500,000 tweets from close to 90,000 accounts related to the ‘SIREN’ campaign.

“‘SIREN’ has been incredibly successful, netting over 30,000,000 clicks from its victims. This data can be gleaned because the botnet uses trackable, Google shortened URLs,” ZeroFOX added.

ZeroFOX last week reported the findings to both the Twitter and Google security teams, who promptly removed the offending accounts and links, comprehensively remediating the ‘SIREN’ botnet.

All of the nearly 90,000 accounts had a suggestive photo of a woman as a profile picture and a female name as the display name.

The accounts either engaged directly with a target by quoting one of their tweets or attracting targets to the payload visible on their profile bio or pinned tweet.

The tweets themselves generally contained canned, sexually-explicit text, often in broken English, compelling the target to click, such as “you want to meet with me?” or “Push, don’t be shy” [sic].

Once a link is clicked, the user is issued a series of redirects.

The final redirect websites encouraged the user to sign up for subscription pornography, webcam or fake dating websites.

“These types of websites, although legal, are known to be scams. Many of the websites’ policies claim that the site owners operate most of the profiles,” the blog post said.

A large percentage of the bots were female names with nude or semi-nude pictures.

In terms of the ‘SIREN’ actors themselves, a large chunk of the Twitter accounts’ self-declared user languages were Russian.

“The poor English, Cyrillic text and sheer magnitude of the infrastructure is indicative that ‘SIREN’ is a group or actor that is technically proficient and probably located in the Eastern Block of Europe,” ZeroFOX said.

The botnet is named after the mythical Greek Sirens, who seduced wayward sailors with their singing and lured them to their doom.

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


While we still await the much-delayed Web client of Google Allo, version 14 of the messaging app has now started rolling out for Android and brings message reactions to the platform. Currently, the latest update is not showing up for us but it is expected to be rolled out by the search giant in phases to the users.

Now, just like on Facebook Messenger, users can give emoji reactions to particular messages within the chat and once there are multiple reactions, the count of the reactions starts showing up beside the message. Amit Fulay, head of Google Allo, announced the new feature in his tweet saying, “Latest #GoogleAllo version out today! You can react to messages in chat (tap the heart to like them)”

Notably, unlike Facebook Messenger, Allo users can only react to messages with a heart-shaped emoji as of now. Fulay has suggested that there are more “under-the-hood enhancements” that come with the update but we will have to wait to figure out other notable additions. For now, there’s now word on when the updated app will hit iOS.

To recall, Google said in May that the Web client of the Allo app will be released in a month or two but recently clarified that it will take “few more weeks” to be made available. Nick Fox, VP, Communications Products at Google, said in a tweet in May: “I’m using Web client every day and loving it. Team is working hard to get it out ASAP [As Soon As Possible], but we’re still a month or two from public release.”

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Governments around the world are enlisting “cyber troops” who manipulate Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets to steer public opinion, spread misinformation and undermine critics, according to a new report from the University of Oxford.

Adding to growing evidence of government-sponsored efforts to use online tools to influence politics, researchers found 29 countries using social media to shape opinion domestically or with foreign audiences. The tactics are deployed by authoritarian regimes, but also democratically-elected governments, the authors said.

“Social media makes propaganda campaigns much stronger and potentially more effective than in the past,” said Samantha Bradshaw, the report’s lead author and a researcher at Oxford’s Computational Propaganda Research Project. “I don’t think people realize how much governments are using these tools to reach them. It’s a lot more hidden.”

Online behavior of the government-backed groups varies widely, from commenting on Facebook and Twitter posts, to targeting people individually. Journalists are harassed by government groups in Mexico and Russia, while cyber troops in Saudi Arabia flood negative Twitter posts about the regime with unrelated content and hashtags to make it harder for people to find the offending post. In the Czech Republic, the government is more likely to post a fact-check response to something they see as inaccurate, said the report.

Governments also use fake accounts to mask where the material is coming from. In Serbia, fake accounts are used to promote the government’s agenda, and bloggers in Vietnam spread favorable information.

Meanwhile, government actors in Argentina, Mexico, the Philippines, Russia, Turkey, Venezuela and elsewhere use automation software – known as “bots” – to spread social media posts in ways that mimics human users.

“Cyber troops are a pervasive and global phenomenon,” said the report published by the group that is studying how digital tools are being used to manipulate public opinion.

Propaganda has long been a dark art used by governments, but digital tools are making the techniques more sophisticated, according to Bradshaw. She said governments over the past several years have taken note of the way activists have used social media to spread a message and build support, and are adopting some of the same methods. Online tools such as data-analytics software allow governments to more effectively tailor a message for specific groups of people, maximising its impact.

Bradshaw said that while Russia and authoritarian regimes get most of the attention for manipulating social media, Western democracies have been using similar techniques. In the UK, the British Army created the 77th Brigade in 2015, in part for psychological operations using social media. Bradshaw said democratic governments aren’t forthcoming about their digital propaganda efforts.

“They are using the same tools and techniques as the authoritarian regimes,” she said. “Maybe the motivations are different, but it’s hard to tell without the transparency.”Following the US election, Facebook and Twitter have been criticised for not doing enough to filter out fake news and offensive content. Facebook, which had no immediate comment on the report, has hired more human curators and partnered with fact-check organisations in an attempt to keep misinformation out of people’s feeds.

Twitter spokesman Ian Plunkett referred to a June a blog post that said the company “should not be the arbiter of truth,” and that others on the site do a better job of highlighting wrongdoing. The company has taken steps to crack down on the use of bots. Bradshaw said there isn’t an easy solution when balancing the benefits of sharing information across the Internet against the problems with spreading propaganda. She said one improvement would be tools that make it more clear when a government is involved. “There’s a fine line,” she says, “between free speech and censorship. ”

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Xiaomi Redmi 4A flash sale in India will held on Thursday on Amazon India. The Redmi 4A smartphone (Review) will be made available for purchase on the e-commerce site at 12pm IST, and customers do not need to register in advance to buy it. The budget smartphone is available in only one variant (2GB RAM/ 16GB inbuilt storage) in the country, with three colour options – Dark Grey, Gold, and Rose Gold. The Redmi 4A was launched in the country in March, and has since been made available via flash sales.

Xiaomi Redmi 4A price in India
Xiaomi Redmi 4A price in India is Rs. 5,999. As we mentioned, the smartphone is available only in a single RAM/ storage configuration in India – 2GB RAM/ 16GB storage.

Xiaomi Redmi 4A specifications
Featuring a polycarbonate body, the Redmi 4A bears a hybrid dual-SIM card slot, and runs MIUI 8 based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow. The smartphone features a 5-inch HD (720×1280 pixels) display, and is powered by a 1.4GHz quad-core Snapdragon 425 SoC coupled with the Adreno 308 GPU and 2GB of RAM.

It sports a 13-megapixel sensor with PDAF, a 5-lens system, an f/2.2 aperture, and is backed by a LED flash. There is a 5-megapixel sensor with an f/2.2 aperture on board as well. The Redmi 4A comes with 16GB of inbuilt storage that is expandable via microSD card (up to 128GB).

The Redmi 4A’s connectivity options include 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, GPS/ A-GPS, and Bluetooth v4.1. Sensors on board the smartphone include accelerometer, ambient light, gyroscope, infrared, and proximity. Dimensions of the new Xiaomi smartphone are 139.5×70.4×8.5mm, and it weighs in at 131.5 grams. Redmi 4A is powered by a 3120mAh battery with fast charging support.

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)