Essential Phone finally starts shipping “in a few weeks”, Andy Rubin says

Although its official unveiling didn’t bring any details about when it would hit the market, the Essential Phone was internally targeted to start shipping to those who pre-ordered by the end of June. This deadline was revealed by Andy Rubin himself, the co-creator of Android and head of the new Essential smartphone venture.

That obviously hasn’t happened, though. Following a few weeks of complete silence from Essential and Rubin on the matter, today the company’s official Twitter account has published the message you can see embedded below.

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Essential

@essential

We’ve been working around the clock to get our first device in your hands. See this update from Andy.

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So the good news is that the wait is almost over. The bad news is that it’s not over-over – and that “a few weeks” really could mean a lot of things. We’re hoping that a more concrete deadline will be revealed soon, but until then let’s assume that if you pre-ordered an Essential Phone you will have it in your hands by the end of August at the latest.

The Essential Phone boasts a 5.71″ 1,312×2,560 near-bezelless touchscreen, and it’s powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 SoC. It has 4GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, a titanium frame, ceramic back, and a dual rear camera setup. A 3,040 mAh battery keeps the lights on, and the device boots Android 7.1.1 Nougat.

Via

[Source”timesofindia”]

Confirmed: Windows 10 may cut off devices with older CPUs

Windows 10 16215 action center revamp

No Windows 10 Creators Update for you, Microsoft says—at least, not if you happen to be the unlucky owner of certain older Atom-based Windows devices, and other aging models in the future. After stories arose of failed attempts to upgrade such hardware to the Creators Update, Microsoft confirmed late Wednesday that any hardware device that falls out of the manufacturer’s support cycle may be ineligible for future Windows 10 updates.

In the case of the four “Clover Trail” processors (part of the Cloverview platform) that have fallen into Intel’s End of Interactive Support phase, they will be ineligible for the Windows 10 Creators Update, Microsoft confirmed. Instead, they’ll simply be offered the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, plus security updates through January, 2023, the end of the original Windows 8.1 support period.

The problem, however, is that Microsoft’s language opens up the possibility that any unsupported hardware device could be excluded from future Windows 10 updates. “Recognizing that a combination of hardware, driver and firmware support is required to have a good Windows 10 experience, we updated our support lifecycle policy to align with the hardware support period for a given device,” Microsoft said in a statement. “If a hardware partner stops supporting a given device or one of its key components and stops providing driver updates, firmware updates, or fixes, it may mean that device will not be able to properly run a future Windows 10 feature update.”

Why this matters: For years, the rule of thumb was that you could run virtually any operating system on top of any Intel, AMD (or even Cyrix) hardware. Chances are that it would run, if slowly. Over time, though, things changed. As malware became more potent, running a supported Windows operating system became more important. Now, there’s Windows as a Service: If Windows 10 never really goes away, what limits PC builders is supported hardware, apparently. Now we have to worry about how long all of our PC hardware components are supported, lest we lose access to upcoming versions of Windows 10.

Is this more than sweeping Atom under the rug?

Microsoft appears to be doubling down on its belief that up-to-date hardware requires an updated operating system, and vice versa. Microsoft said last year that it would restrict the latest Intel Kaby Lake and AMD Ryzen silicon to Windows 10. Recently, the company has blocked patches on PCs that try to run older Windows operating systems on modern hardware.

“As new silicon generations are introduced, they will require the latest Windows platform at that time for support,” Microsoft said in January, 2016. “This enables us to focus on deep integration between Windows and the silicon, while maintaining maximum reliability and compatibility with previous generations of platform and silicon.”

Microsoft’s Clover Trail stance sets limits on what those previous generations can expect. If a processor platform falls out of support by a chip vendor, Microsoft may drop it from its OS list.

What’s unclear, though, is whether Microsoft’s new position represents a fundamental shift in policy, or a rather narrow focus on Intel’s troubled Atom processors. At one time, Atom’s “Clover Trail” architecture represented the future of Intel processors within the smartphone and tablet markets. But Intel never could quite develop the system-on-chip with logic and communications that rivals like ARM provided, and Intel essentially killed the Atom platform in 2016. Without a healthy customer base to support, Intel apparently decided to refocus its support resources away from the Clover Trail architecture.

Devices that use Intel’s Clover Trail chips “require additional hardware support to provide the best possible experience when updating to the latest Windows 10 feature update, the Windows 10 Creators Update,” Microsoft said in a statement. “However, these systems are no longer supported by Intel… and without the necessary driver support, they may be incapable of moving to the Windows 10 Creators Update without a potential performance impact.”

Specifically, the Clover Trail chips have moved into the “End of Interactive Support,” (EOIS) which is defined as “Intel Customer Support Agents no longer respond to telephone, chat, community support forums, or email inquiries for this product.” Self-help is provided by Intel’s support community, generally made up of other users.

What’s worrying about Microsoft’s statement, though, is its broadness. Conceivably, any “device”—microprocessor, hard drive, network controller, sound card, headphones, monitor, and more—that a manufacturer discontinues or fails to actively support could drop out of Windows updates. While this would certainly encourage new PC and hardware purchases, it would also infuriate millions of PC users whose otherwise-functional legacy devices fell by the wayside.

A related question is whether Microsoft will refuse to support any other Intel processors that have reached EOIS status. Intel has published an enormous list of legacy Core processors on its site, which includes dozens if not hundreds of chips that have already fallen into the EOIS bin. The most recent EOIS chip appears to be the Core i7-990X, a 32-nm Gulftown processor most recently sold during the first quarter of 2011. But chips including the Ivy Bridge (2012) architecture are already at end-of-life status, and presumably headed for EOIS status next. It’s not clear whether moving a chip to an EOIS status is decided on a chip-per-chip basis, or if there’s a fixed timeline by which chips move from officially supported to end-of-life, and then to EOIS status.

Intel representatives declined to comment on whether other chips beyond the four Clover Trail processors were affected, referring questions to Microsoft.

If there’s an upside, it’s that Microsoft said it will actively work with chip vendors to find support for older hardware. “We know issues like this exist and we actively work to identify the best support path for older hardware,” Microsoft’s statement added.

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[Source”GSmerena”]

Samsung to recover rare metals, components in Galaxy Note 7s

Samsung to recover rare metals, components in Galaxy Note 7s

Seoul: Samsung Electronics plans to recover gold and other metals and components from recalled Galaxy Note 7 smartphones to reduce waste.

The South Korean company said today that it expects to retrieve 157 tons of gold, silver, cobalt, copper and other metals from millions of smartphones that were recalled and discontinued last year after their batteries were found to be prone to catching fire.

It didn’t say how it would use the retrieved metals The phones’ display modules, memory chips, camera models and other components will be separated from the Note 7 for sale or recycling, Samsung said in a statement.

In another effort to reduce waste, Samsung has begun selling 400,000 units of Galaxy Note FE phones in South Korea made from unused parts of recalled Note 7 smartphones.

The Note 7 crisis was one of the biggest black eyes in Samsung’s recent history, costing the company more than $5 billion. Airlines banned passengers from carrying Note 7s on flights due to safety concerns and millions of smartphones were shipped back to Samsung.

The phone recall fiasco prompted Greenpeace to urge the South Korean tech giant to sell longer lasting electronics products that are easier to repair and upgrade.

Environmentalists fault smartphones for increasing the amount of tech waste, though some experts note that by replacing other appliances they may actually decrease the amount of high-tech-related rubbish overall. Samsung is the world’s largest smartphone maker.

[Source”timesofindia”]

Internet Reacts To Jayden K Smith, The Facebook Hacker Hoax

A warning message about accepting a Facebook friend request from a hacker has recently been making rounds online.

Particularly, the Facebook profile that users have been urged to steer clear of is named Jayden K Smith, but it’s all a big hoax.

What The Jayden K Smith Facebook Hack Was Said To Do

To set the record straight, the supposed threat is described as such: When a Facebook user accepts the friend request from the so-called hacker Jayden K Smith, their accounts and all their friends’ in their networks will get hacked.

Here’s one example of it:

“Please tell all the contacts in your messenger list not to accept Jayden K. Smith friendship request. He is a hacker and has the system connected to your Facebook account. If one of your contacts accepts it, you will also be hacked, so make sure that all your friends know it,” the warning message reads.

The Internet Reacts To The Jayden K Smith Facebook Hack

As is the nature of the internet, online users have been cracking jokes at the whole situation, taking things to Twitter with the hashtag #JaydenKSmith.

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Ran into Jayden K Smith downtown. distraught @ the end of his rope. He really needs friends right now. #friendsforjayden#jaydenksmith#help

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Jessie @jessiejensen

Now here’s a viral FB message I can get behind! #JaydenKSmith

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Kevin Hunsperger @kevinhunsperger

Is it okay to follow #JaydenKSmith on Twitter? #askingforafriend

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Kelly Collier @KellyColli

Jayden K Smith is not accepting my friend request 😭#jaydenksmith

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Terry Purdom @tpurdom

Feel sorry for the real Jayden K. Smith, probably not many friends on Facebook. #jaydenksmith #jaydensmith #hoax

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In defense of the people spreading the word, a huge portion of them is probably doing so in good faith.

To boil things down, the Jayden K Smith Facebook hack is just a hoax, so there’s no need to warn friends and family about it.

In other related news, Facebook recently reached 2 billion monthly users, which is one of the many factors how things like this instantly becomes rampant on the internet when they go viral on the social media platform.

Did you see the warning message on your Facebook Feed? If so, feel free to hit us up in the comments section below and let us know.

[Source”cnbc”]

Amazon has unveiled an early peek of Prime Day deals

amazon trailer

Amazon’s Prime Day is just hours away, and the online retailer wants to keep anticipation high. To that end, the company has unveiled a sneak peek at some of the deals you can expect throughout the 30-hour extravaganza.

As is typical for Amazon, the company’s preview includes some generic promises, such as up to 40 percent off gaming laptops—but a handful are truly excellent deals. We’ve picked the top three that jumped out to us. Keep these on your radar, and when Prime Day sales truly kick off at 6 P.M Pacific / 9 P.M. Eastern on Monday evening, we’ll be tracking the best of the Prime Day tech deals on PCWorld.com.

Note: To take advantage of Prime Day sales, you must be a member of Amazon Prime. This service is Amazon’s $99-a-year club that offers free two-day shipping on orders, as well as a litany of frills like free premium video and music streaming, free online photo storage, a Kindle lending library, and various promotional offers. New Prime members get a free 30-day trial, which means you can sign up, get the Prime deals, and then dump the membership before the $99 fee kicks in.

Amazon Echo for $90

amazon echo

Amazon

This is easily the best deal yet for Amazon’s smart speaker. The lowest ever price was during its pre-order period, when early adopters could snag it for $99. This undercuts that by $10, and the lowest price on CamelCamelCamel by $40. The Echo—powered by the Alexa digital personal assistant—is a fantastic smart speaker for those looking to get started with smart home gadgets.

$50 off August Smart Lock

augustsmartlock

August

Amazon isn’t offering a specific price for this device, only saying it’s $50 off. The second generation August Smart Lock is currently $195 on Amazon. For this to be truly $50 off, we’ll expect to see the price hit $145—assuming the deal is for the second-generation device. Keep an eye on this one if you’re looking for a smart lock. 

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Kindle Paperwhite for $90

If you’ve been reading Kindle books on your smartphone, Prime Day might be the time to get yourself a Kindle Paperwhite for $30 less. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen the Paperwhite at this price—it’s the same deal as during last year’s Prime Day sale—but it’s a strong discount.

[Source”pcworld”]

All about Debian 9 ‘Stretch,’ the Linux distro that just works

penguin image refers to linux

Debian 9 “Stretch” just came out, and as far as Linux distros go, Debian stands apart as a distribution meant for stability. Sure, most desktop users might choose Ubuntu or Fedora for their desktop PC, while users who are more willing to get their hands dirty might opt for Arch or Gentoo. Hackers might gravitate to Kali, while the paranoid among us might look for something like TAILS.

There’s a lot to take in with a Debian release, but there are a few key notes for the average desktop user.

What is Debian?

Debian is a free (as in freedom) GNU/Linux operating system created by volunteers. The operating system uses APT to manage packages and software, not unlike Ubuntu. In fact, Ubuntu is known as a Debian-based operating system in that most of the core utilities you find in Ubuntu (like APT) come from Debian.

And if you’re wondering how Debian code-names its releases, the names are taken from Toy Story characters.

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Debian 9 graphical installationAlex Campbell
Debian’s graphical installation is easy to follow, even for newbies.

What makes Debian different from Ubuntu?

Debian is different from Ubuntu in a number of ways. First, Ubuntu is created and distributed under the umbrella of a for-profit company, Canonical. Depending on where you stand on Linux, proprietary software, and other philosophical issues in open-source, Debian can be considered “more free” than Ubuntu.

While both Debian and Ubuntu use APT for package management and can install .deb files downloaded from the Internet, there’s an important differentiation to make. While Ubuntu can install .deb files built for either Ubuntu or Debian, Debian users should steer clear of .deb files meant for Ubuntu, as they could break your system. Because Debian is an OS that sells itself on stability, that’s a bit like banging the sharp end of a hatchet against one of the legs of the chair you’re sitting on. The leg may not fail right away, but when it does, everyone will say you did it to yourself.

The last big thing that makes Debian different from Ubuntu and other Linux OSes is that Debian has a really long release cycle. The last version of Debian 8 (“Jessie”) was released on April 25, 2015—over two years ago. Although the release cycles are quite long, Debian supports each version for one year after the latest version’s release. That equals out to about three years of support for each version, with Debian 8 “Jessie” reaching end of life on June 25, 2018. Ubuntu, on the other hand, releases new versions twice per year, with major LTS releases in the April of even years.

Debian 9 Mozilla applicationsAlex Campbell
Debian 9 comes with properly branded Mozilla applications (Firefox

[Source”indianexpress”]

Karbonn brings Artificial Intelligence-based solution in ‘Aura Note 2’

Karbonn brings Artificial Intelligence-based solution in 'Aura Note 2'

New Delhi: Domestic smartphone-maker Karbonn on Thursday unveiled the “Aura Note 2” smartphone with an artificial intelligence (AI)-based solution at Rs 6,490.

“With this, we aim to enrich the experience of our users making fashion as effortless as it can be. A balance of simplified technology and innovation, `Aura Note 2` will surely be a sought-after smartphone,” said Shashin Devsare, Executive Director, Karbonn Mobiles.

The device comes integrated with an app `Fashion Eye` which allows users to search for an outfit by simply clicking its picture, with the AI engine of the app automatically recognising the print, pattern and colour of the outfit to give relevant results.

`Aura Note 2` runs on the latest Android 7.0 (Nougat) and is powered by 1.25 GHz quad-core processor with 2GB RAM and 16GB storage with expandable memory up to 32GB.

The 4G/VOLTE capable smartphone is equipped with 13MP primary camera, 5MP front camera and 2900mAh battery.

[Source”indianexpress”]

Check out this leaked render of the Moto Z2 Force on AT&T

Last year’s Moto Z was only available in the US via its exclusive carrier deal with Verizon, so while you were able to get the thinner Moto Z from the unlocked markets, you were not able to get the shatter-resistant Moto Z Force with a larger battery from anywhere besides Verizon. Things this year will be different with the Moto Z2 Force.

As per phone leaker Evan Blass, @evleaks, The Moto Z2 Force will be available from at least one other carrier in the US. Blass tweeted a full press render of the Moto Z2 Force in a black color, complete with every angle of the phone and the AT&T branding just above the MotoMod interface area.

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View image on Twitter

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We’ve still not heard anything about the Moto Z2 Force from Motorola, in fact, we’ve still got no word on another possible announcement date. There were a couple of rumored datestowards the ends of last month, but June is now over. Last year’s Moto Z was announced in the early summer, but global availability didn’t come until later in the summer.

We should expect the Moto Z2 Force to be announced sometime this summer. We hope it’s sooner than later.

[Source”indianexpress”]

Sony launches new edition of its Wena smart wristwatch

Sony launched a new version of its Wena Wrist smartwatch, called Three Hands Square. It is unique because the body is analog, but the strap is smart – it comes with LED and has NFC chip for mobile payments.

The latest version adds a leather band to the already launched series with steel and rubberized sport-strap. Three Hands Square has a square body and a round face with three size options – 18 mm, 20 mm and 22 mm. The larger round Wena Wrist comes only in 22 mm.

The leather leash does not have LED notifications, but the NFC is available. You can also mix and match since Sony started selling the steel band separately.

The body’s price starts from JPY10,380 ($93), but the steel band will make you part with JPY33,880, or around $300. The leather band is much cheaper – only JPY8,380 or $75.

 

[Source”indianexpress”]

Microsoft’s canceled Surface Mini from 2014 stars in leaked images

In 2014 Microsoft was rumored to launch a Surface Mini tablet alongside the Surface Pro 3. However, in the end only the latter saw the light of day, and that’s because the Surface Mini was canceled just a few weeks before it was supposed to be unveiled.

This means Microsoft had very advanced prototypes in hand at that moment, and today one of those has been portrayed in a myriad of leaked images. The Surface Mini would have run Windows RT 8.1, as it was powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chipset. The tablet had 1GB of RAM, an 8″ 1,440×1,080 touchscreen with pen support, 32GB of storage, dual-band Wi-Fi, a microUSB port for charging, and USB-OTG support. A microSD card slot was also present, along with a 3.5mm headset jack.

It had a built-in kickstand, the signature design feature of the Surface tablet line, and came with the same Pen tech that was inside the Surface Pro 3. The Surface Mini was in fact designed with the Surface Pro 3 Pen in mind, and it even has a loop attached to the kickstand for easy storage of the stylus.

Overall, the Mini looks like a smaller Pro 3 in portrait orientation, and it’s housed in a soft, felt-like material. The kickstand has three locked positions, and when closed it’s flush with the device. The Surface Mini was apparently supposed to be offered in many different colors.

The Surface Mini wouldn’t have had its own Type Cover accessory, since Microsoft created it to be used entirely with touch and the stylus. Tapping the button on the Pen instantly opened OneNote on the tablet, betraying its note-taking focus.

Ultimately, Microsoft killed the Surface Mini because it felt the small tablet didn’t have enough unique selling points to become a success in the market.

[Source”indianexpress”]