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Asus ZenFone AR, claimed to be the world’s first smartphone with 8GB of RAM, will be launched in India on Thursday. The company will be live streaming the launch, which kicks off at 2pm IST, and you can catch it right here. To recall, the Taiwanese consumer electronics giant had launched the ZenFone AR at CES 2017.

Apart from the massive amount of RAM it offers, the smartphone’s biggest highlight is support for Google’s Tango augmented reality platform. It also sports a modfied Snapdragon 821 SoC that’s been optimised for Tango performance. To facilitate Tango, the handset also sports a camera arrangement and sensors that allow motion tracking, depth perception, and area learning.

Asus ZenFone AR price
So far, the ZenFone AR has been launched in the company’s home market – Taiwan. The Asus ZenFone AR price is TWD 24,990 (roughly Rs. 53,100) for its 8GB RAM and 128GB storage variant. We can expect the Asus ZenFone AR price in India to be around the same.

Asus ZenFone AR specifications
In terms of specifications, the Asus ZenFone AR runs Android 7.0 Nougat and sports a 5.7-inch QHD (1440×2560 pixels) Super AMOLED display and is powered by a Snapdragon 821 SoC that has been claimed to be customised for Tango by the company. As mentioned earlier, the handset comes with an impressive 8GB of RAM.

In terms of optics, Asus ZenFone AR comes with a 23-megapixel Sony IMX318 module with TriTech+ autofocus system, dual-PDAF, second-gen Laser Focus, and continuous-focus. The rear camera supports 4-axis OIS (optical image stabilisation) as well as 3-axis EIS (electronic image stabilisation) for video recording alongside support for 4K video recording. At front, there is an 8-megapixel camera with an f/2.0 aperture and an 85-degree wide angle lens.

The ZenFone AR comes with up to 256GB of built-in storage, which is further expandable via microSD card (up to 128GB) in a hybrid dual-SIM (Micro+Nano) configuration. It houses a 3300mAh battery and connectivity options offered by the smartphone include USB 2.0 Type-C port, Bluetooth v4.2, and Wi-Fi 802.11ac connectivity.

The Taiwanese company has previously confirmed that the Asus ZenFone AR features vapour cooling system to avoid overheating. We will not have to wait very long for the Asus ZenFone price in India and availability as the launch date is not far away.

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)

 


E-commerce site Yerha.com on Thursday announced the launch of what is claimed to be the ‘smallest phone in the world’ – the Elari NanoPhone C. Specifically, the company claims the NanoPhone C is the world’s smallest GSM phone, said to be no bigger than a credit card.

The Elari NanoPhone C price in India is Rs. 3,940, and it is available in Black, Rose Gold, and Silver colour variants. In a statement, Yerha says the NanoPhone C is a “stylish, ultra-compact, anti-smart mobile phone” that’s meant for smartphone users who “wish to maintain an active lifestyle having the opportunity to completely disconnect, while staying reachable and retaining other features, when required.”

The NanoPhone C weighs 30 grams, and measures 94.4×35.85×7.6mm. It sports a 1-inch 128×96 pixels TFT display. It runs RTOS, and is powered by a MediaTek MT6261D chipset, coupled with 32MB of RAM. It comes with 32MB of storage that’s expandable via microSD card (up to 32GB).

The dual-SIM (Micro-SIM) phone is powered by a 280mAh battery that is claimed to last up to 4 hours of talk time, and up to 4 days of standby time. It features a MP3 player, FM radio, voice recording, and phone recording functions. Apart from GSM connectivity for phone calls, it comes with a 3.5mmhead phone jack, and a Micro-USB port.

The NanoPhone C also features Bluetooth connectivity that enables it to connect with Android and iOS devices, which also lets it accept and make calls from connected smartphones. The company is also touting a Magic Voice function, which the company claims lets users prank call their friends

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Nokia 3, the cheapest of the three new Nokia Android phones, will now be available in India with interest free financial schemes. HMD Global has struck a deal with Home Credit to offer prospective Nokia 3 buyers an interest free scheme. Nokia 3, an offline-exclusive Nokia Android phone, went on sale in India few weeks back. It is available in the country at a recommended best buy price of Rs. 9,499, and comes in four colours, namely Matte Black, Silver White, Tempered Blue and Copper White.

Under the new partnership with Home Credit, Nokia 3 will be available to buy with financing schemes that will offer 0 percent interest loans with flexible EMI and down payment options. With the new partnership, Nokia 3 potential buyers can opt for to pay their EMIs in six or seven months.

Commenting on the partnership, Tomas Hrdlicka, Chief Marketing Officer, Home Credit India Finance, said, “This strategic partnership is aimed at enabling customers to have easier access to Nokia phones with hassle free financing options. We are optimistic that our collaboration with HMD will make buying of the new range of mobiles much easier and convenient given our huge network of point of sales across the country.”

Ajey Mehta, Vice President India, HMD Global said, “The consumer is always at the centre of whatever we do. Keeping this in mind, it is our constant endeavour to offer a smooth and convenient ownership experience to our consumers. This led to our partnership with Home Credit to ensure that consumers buying Nokia 3 can avail of ‘interest-free’ financial schemes.”

To refresh on specifications of the Nokia 3, the smartphone is targeted at those who are looking for a premium-looking handset at a budget and features a 5-inch HD display, Android 7.0 Nougat, and 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek 6737 SoC. It comes with 16GB of inbuilt storage, which is expandable via microSD card (up to 128GB). Optics include an 8-megapixel camera on both the front and back. The Nokia 3 packs a 2650mAh battery and measures 143.4×71.4×8.4mm.

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


It seems as though Google’s Android platform is facing its worst time yet as far as malware infestations go. After two malware-related reports in the past week – CopyCat and SpyDealer – there are now reports of another malware, called LeakerLocker, that has the potential to send your personal pictures, messages and browser history to your friends. What’s more, this malware is also reportedly a ransomware that does not encrypt files.

Popular security technology company, McAfee has discovered that the LeakerLocker ransomware can be accidentally downloaded from the Google Play. As of now, It has noted two apps in particular, Wallpapers Blur HD and Booster & Cleaner Pro, that seem to carry the malware. Notably, the ransomware steals the information, creates an unauthorised backup, but does not encrypt them. Instead, it demands “a modest ransom,” failing which the attacker would leak the victim’s private data to their contacts.

McAfee has reported the ransomware to Google. One of the apps, Wallpapers Blur HD, has been downloaded between 5,000 and 10,000 times, and one user has pointed out that the wallpaper app strangely requests permissions such as calls, reading and sending SMS, access to contacts, among other things. The second malicious app, Booster & Cleaner Pro is an easier target as this is the sort of app that requires access to almost everything in your phone to function properly, which users may unwittingly give permission to.

LeakerLocker is the third in a series of malware-related reports this past week. On Monday, it was reported that an Android malware, named SpyDealer, had the ability to steal a user’s personal data from over 40 popular apps that include Facebook, WhatsApp, Skype, Telegram and more. This comes following another report last week of a CopyCat malware that had reportedly affected over 14 million Android devices last year. These cases have started to paint a pretty gloomy picture about the safety of Android OS, but at least we know that Google is taking some active anti-malware measures to help out its users.

For Android users who feel recent malware-related reports are getting too much for Google’s own good, there may a bit of relief in knowing that the tech giant has been reported to be working on an Android ‘panic button’ that would help users exit a potentially malicious app and back to the home screen. There’s no word on when Google will release this feature, but when last reported, it was being tested on Android 7.1 Nougat. It may not be much, but at least we know Google is taking some active measures to fight off compromised apps.

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Twitter, in its latest step to curb abusive behaviour on its platform, rolled out new features on Monday to help users disable notifications from accounts that they want to avoid.

The micro-blogging website said its “advanced filter settings” will now have options for users to mute notifications from accounts that they do not follow as well as from accounts that do not follow them.

Users can also filter lower-quality content from notifications such as content that appears to be automated and mute notifications related to certain words and phrases.

Twitter had said in March that it would introduce new filtering options for notifications to allow users to limit what they see from certain types of accounts, such as those that do not have a profile photo.

Twitter and rival Facebook have been facing a barrage of criticism for failing to tackle cyber-bullying, fake news and extremist propaganda on their platforms.

Last week, a US judge ruled that Twitter could move forward with a lawsuit that aims to free technology companies to speak more openly about surveillance requests they receive from the US government.

The US government had failed to show the kind of “clear and present danger” that could possibly justify restraints Twitter’s constitutional right to talk about surveillance requests, US District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers in Oakland, California, said in a written order.

“The government’s restrictions on Twitter’s speech are content-based prior restraints subject to the highest level of scrutiny under the First Amendment,” Rogers wrote.

The First Amendment to the US Constitution guarantees certain rights including freedom of speech.

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


China’s government has told telecommunications carriers to block individuals’ access to virtual private networks by February 1, people familiar with the matter said, thereby shutting a major window to the global Internet.

Beijing has ordered state-run telecommunications firms, which include China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom, to bar people from using VPNs, services that skirt censorship restrictions by routing web traffic abroad, the people said, asking not to be identified talking about private government directives.

The clampdown will shutter one of the main ways in which people both local and foreign still manage to access the global, unfiltered web on a daily basis. China has one of the world’s most restrictive internet regimes, tightly policed by a coterie of government regulators intent on suppressing dissent to preserve social stability. In keeping with President Xi Jinping’s “cyber sovereignty” campaign, the government now appears to be cracking down on loopholes around the Great Firewall, a system that blocks information sources from Twitter and Facebook to news websites such as the New York Times and others.

While VPNs are widely used by businesses and individuals to view banned websites, the technology operates in a legal gray area. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology pledged in January to step up enforcement against unauthorised VPNs, and warned corporations to confine such services to internal use. At least one popular network operator said it had run afoul of the authorities: GreenVPN notified users it would halt service from July 1 after “receiving a notice from regulatory departments.” It didn’t elaborate on the notice.

It’s unclear how the new directive may affect multinationals operating within the country, which already have to contend with a Cybersecurity Law that imposes stringent requirements on the transfer of data and may give Beijing unprecedented access to their technology. Companies operating on Chinese soil will be able to employ leased lines to access the international web but must register their usage of such services for the record, the people familiar with the matter said.

“This seems to impact individuals” most immediately, said Jake Parker, Beijing-based vice president of the US-China Business Council. “VPNs are incredibly important for companies trying to access global services outside of China,” he said.

“In the past, any effort to cut off internal corporate VPNs has been enough to make a company think about closing or reducing operations in China. It’s that big a deal,” he added.

China Mobile Ltd., the Hong Kong-listed arm of the country’s biggest carrier, declined to comment. Representatives for publicly traded China Telecom Corp. and China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd. couldn’t immediately comment. The ministry didn’t immediately reply to an email seeking comment.

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


While we expected LG Q6 to launch at an event in Poland, the LG on Tuesday went ahead and unveiled three new smartphones LG Q6, LG Q6+, and LG Q6a. The company says that its Q series offers some of the most sought premium features at a competitive price. As these are all variations of the same smartphone, all three models come with the company’s FullVision display, which was introduced with LG G6, and features a taller-than-usual aspect ratio of 18:9.

Despite mentioning the “competitive pricing” part, LG hasn’t announced the pricing for the new handsets but says that the LG Q6 and it’s variants will go on sale in key markets in Asia starting next month. This will be followed by availability in Europe, Latin America, and North America.

Notably, the LG Q6+, LG Q6, and LG Q6a feature exact same design, similar to the LG G6, and will all be made available in Astro Black and Ice Platinum colours. LG Q6+ will additionally be offered in Marine Blue colour while the Q6 will come in Terra Gold and Mystic White colours as well. The LG Q6a will be available in Terra Gold colour variant too. Other differences are in terms of RAM and inbuilt storage.

Coming to the specifications, the LG Q6+, LG Q6, and LG Q6a run Android 7.1.1 Nougat out-of-the-box and sport a 5.5-inch FullVision display with a screen resolution of 1080×2160 pixels. The smartphones are all powered by a Snapdragon 635 processor. However, in terms of memory, the LG Q6+ comes with 4GB of RAM, the Q6 packs 3GB of RAM, and the Q6a features 2GB of RAM.

In terms of optics, all three models come with a 13-megapixel single rear camera, unlike the dual camera setup on the LG G6. At front, the smartphones feature a 5-megapixel camera with wide-angle lens. Moving to the storage, the LG Q6+ has a built-in storage of 64GB while the Q6 and Q6a come with inbuilt storage of 32GB and 16GB respectively.

The connectivity options on the smartphones include 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, and USB Type-B 2.0. The LG Q6+, Q6, and Q6a house a battery with 3000mAh capacity. The handsets measure 142.5×69.3×8.1mm and weigh 149 grams each.

“The LG Q6 is a blend of premium features, great performance and attractive pricing, a combination that is extremely important to us as we look at the way consumers are using smartphones around the world,” Juno Cho, president of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company, was quoted as saying in the company’s release.

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


An unmanned NASA spacecraft is about to fly over a massive storm raging on Jupiter, in a long-awaited a journey that could shed new light on the forces driving the planet’s Great Red Spot.

The flyby of the Juno spacecraft, surveilling the 10,000-mile-wide (16,000-kilometer-wide) storm, is scheduled for 9:55pm Monday (1:55am GMT Tuesday, 3:25am IST).

“Jupiter’s mysterious Great Red Spot is probably the best-known feature of Jupiter,” said Scott Bolton, principal investigator of Juno from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio.

“This monumental storm has raged on the solar system’s biggest planet for centuries.”

The storm looks like a churning red knot on the planet’s surface. It has been monitored since 1830, and may have existed for more than 350 years, the US space agency said.

Juno, which earlier this month marked its first year in orbit of the gas giant, will offer “humanity’s first up-close and personal view of the gigantic feature,” NASA said in a statement.

Equipped with instruments that can penetrate clouds to measure how deep the roots of this storm go, scientists hope to learn more about the workings of the raging tempest.

All eight of Juno’s instruments, including its camera, will be on when the spacecraft passes about 5,600 miles (9,000 kilometers) above the Giant Red Spot clouds, NASA said.

Juno launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida in August, 2011, on a mission to learn more about Jupiter’s origins, structure, atmosphere and magnetosphere.

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Paying income tax, applying for PAN and seeking redressal of grievances have become easier as the tax department Monday launched an app allowing taxpayers perform basic functions through their smartphone.

The mobile app will also help people link their 12-digit biometric identifier Aadhaar with Permanent Account Number (PAN) card as well as track the TDS deduction details.

The mobile app ‘Aaykar Setu’, launched by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, literally means bridge for taxpayers and will be available in Android phones.

“This is a very important step forward by the CBDT and the principle reason being technology as a very powerful tool becomes an enabler. (With the app) most of the work the assessee can discharge without any external help sitting at home,” the minister said.

This is the first mobile app by the CBDT and can be downloaded by giving missed calls to 7306525252.

The app will have a live chat facility named ‘Chatbot’ from 10 am to 6 pm which will provide solution to queries of taxpayers relating to PAN, TAN, TDS, return filing, refund status and tax payments.

Besides, people can also have a live chat with tax experts and provides address of nearby tax return preparer.

It provides ease of use of all the services related to tax payment including tax payment, tax calculation. Also if a taxpayer has a problem, this app will help in lodging his grievance in the e-Nivaran module of the CBDT.

The taxpayers will also be able to receive regular updates regarding important tax dates, forms and notifications on mobile numbers registered with the ITD.

All taxpayers who wish to receive such SMS alerts are advised to register their mobile numbers in the Aaykar Setu module.

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) will also activate the option of filing tax returns using the mobile app in the coming months.

“The app reduces the physical interface between assessing officer (AO) and assessees. Physical interface has many unintended consequences – it is time consuming and can lead to improprieties,” Jaitley said.

The tax department, he said, has endeavoured to reduce interface and a lot of it has already happened. The app will make it “far more convenient” and make compliance easy.

“It also helps us in improving the image of the department. For the reason that one of the not so acceptable alibis given by those who don’t comply is we don’t comply because the harassment that compliance involves. Not that this reason has much reason in it, but today this reason gets eliminated more the interface is reduced,” he said.

Jaitley said an external audit must be done to see how much of the interface has been reduced and which are the other areas where it can be done.

The app will also have a section as ‘tax gyaan’ which will be a multiple choice question web-based game to provide knowledge to the youth accessible from mobile as well as desktop.

The mobile app is in the series of actions taken by the CBDT to provide better taxpayer services and reduce grievances.

The new initiative is a step by the I-T department to directly communicate with the taxpayers on a range of multiple informative and useful tax services aimed at providing tax information at their fingertips.

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


SoundCloud is cutting about 40 percent of its staff in a cost-cutting move the digital music service says will give it a better financial footing to compete against larger rivals Spotify and Apple.

SoundCloud, which in January said it was at risk of running out of money, informed staff on Thursday that 173 jobs would be eliminated. It had 420 employees. The company’s operations will be consolidated at its headquarters in Berlin and another office in New York. Offices in San Francisco and London will be shut.

“We need to ensure our path to long-term, independent success,” Alex Ljung, the company’s co-founder and chief executive officer, said in a blog post published on SoundCloud’s website. He said the company has doubled its revenue over the past 12 months – without providing specifics – and that the cuts put it on a path to profitability.

SoundCloud has about 175 million listeners who are drawn to its expansive library of songs, dance mixes, podcasts and other user-generated content uploaded by artists ranging from established stars to bedroom DJs. Popular among passionate young music fans, artists such as Chance the Rapper post material to site before it’s released elsewhere, while record labels use it to scout new talent.

But the cultural cachet has never translated into a successful business model. Most of the content on SoundCloud is free, and a subscription tier introduced last year that put some music behind a paywall hasn’t been as successful as executives hoped. In recent years, the company has explored a sale to Twitter and to Spotify, but a deal never reached the finish line.

Rival music services, including Apple Music, are among those again looking to acquire SoundCloud, according a report in the New York Post earlier this month. Spotify and Apple Music are the two largest players in the on-demand streaming music business. Spotify said in June it has more than 140 million users and more than 50 million subscribers, while Apple said its music service has 27 million customers.

Ljung said the goal of the cuts is to remain a standalone business. “By reducing our costs and continuing our revenue growth, we’re on our path to profitability and in control of SoundCloud’s independent future,” he said.

SoundCloud’s inability to create a stable business model on top of its large audience reflects broader challenges in the music industry. While consumer adoption of streaming services has led the world’s largest record labels to see sustained sales growth for the first time since the glory days of the CD, the companies delivering the music online have struggled to make money.

Pandora has never had an annual profit, and just sold a minority stake to online radio company SiriusXM. Spotify’s losses have grown despite rapid consumer adoption. Meanwhile, companies such as Apple and Amazon use music to draw users for their broader businesses.

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)