Category: Technology

Foldable smartphone: Will Samsung finally put an end to the Concept?

The folding smartphone is still a dream in the high tech world. Even if its potential users do not well understand the technology yet, Samsung wants to unveil its model by the end of the year.

We’ve been talking about it for years: the foldable smartphone is one of the most anticipated evolution in the small world of technology that never ceases to fascinate users. Samsung is the one who is most intended to use this format – even if other Asian manufacturers seem to be racing. And Samsung could also draw the first one: the CEO of the Korean company told CNBC that a first model of a folding smartphone could be presented as early as November 2018 at the conference for the giant’s developers.

DJ Koh felt that this was “the time to keep the promises,” even if the project is challenging. Samsung is no fool: if folding a technological object is just a gadget, the format will never break through. If the unfolded smartphone is just a tablet, it will have no interest. If the folded smartphone is just a smartphone, it will only be too thick a smartphone. The challenge for the manufacturer is, therefore, to create an experience at the service of uses that can take advantage of both forms of the smartphone.

It is a beautiful profession of faith, but the challenges are many. Beyond the novelty on the formal side, it will be necessary to make an efficient and effective operating system – two adjectives that do not correspond to what Samsung offers today on Android, the manufacturer having the reputation of overloading its devices. But we will also have to think about the whole ecosystem around it: in-house applications may be enough for a proof of concept, but they will not replace a real marketplace with thousands of apps designed for the format.

And as often with radical newness, you never really know where to start: developers will have no interest in creating applications for a platform that has no customer and customers will not buy an object that has no use. It is why an announcement at a conference dedicated to professionals is interesting: Samsung has a keen interest in providing tools well in advance to developers, or even financing development programs to ensure a significant application market.

Once achieved, the Korean will have to find the right price for a commercial product and given the trend towards increasing the cost of high-end smartphones, we can only bet on a device exceeding $1,000. Bit expensive for such a device!

Google Pixel 3, updates

Google would turn to Foxconn to build its Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, ending its partnerships with HTC and LG that have been doing this until now. More information on the design of the largest model was also revealed.

Since the launch of the first Google Pixel and Pixel XL, the Mountain View firm has always operated the LG and HTC production lines which operated in white brands. Nevertheless, for the third generation of this range of devices, Google might prefer another partner.

Indeed, anonymous sources from Bloomberg indicate that the web giant is currently negotiating with Foxconn – who is already assembling Apple iPhone. Google had already acquired the mobile division of HTC and the engineers and developers involved in this migration would probably be very involved in the design of the new devices.

Also note that according to Digital Daily – taken over by 9to5Google – LG will nevertheless provide the OLED screens of the Google Pixel 3 XL. The divorce is therefore not entirely recorded.

A few hints on the new Design

Bloomberg sources also corroborate previous information about the design of Google Pixel 3 XL. Leaks had indeed shown that a notch on his forehead would mark the larger of the two models. The notch would be smaller, but longer than on the iPhone X and would house two photosensors – while there would only be one at the back.

It is also specified that the XL model would keep a relatively thick border at the bottom of the screen. Google would probably be working on a model with no edges and no notches, but they would have preferred to preserve the front stereo speakers for this year’s product.

The smaller Google Pixel 3 will be very similar to its predecessor. Finally, the American operator Verizon would, once again, be Google’s exclusive partner.

Chrome 67, here is the list of new features.

Chrome 67, the latest update of the web browser gets rid of passwords thanks to a new identification system. It can be based on a device such as a fingerprint sensor on smartphones. Other novelties concern virtual reality features and more, discover the complete list by reading the following article.

Chrome updates to version 67, Google announces some new features. Most of them are mainly aimed at developers. However, the research giant has decided to take a new step that will make life easier for all users. The new version will make it possible to get rid of the old password in favor of an alternative method which requires a device connected in Bluetooth as the smartphone for example. WebAuthn, an API is now integrated into the new version of Chrome.

Chrome 67: discover the list of new features of the new version of the web browser

Services compatible with this device can open up new authentication possibilities to their users. There is, of course, the biometric sensor, but we can also consider using facial recognition, which is very popular with Apple with the iPhone X or the recent Xiaomi Mi 8, the first Android smartphone to be equipped with a 3D sensor. Of course, the WebAuthn standard is not only present on Chrome since we also find it at its competitor Firefox 60 Quantum. Here is the list of other new features introduced with Chrome 67 :

  • Progressive Web Apps land on the computer browser
  • Generic sensor API facilitates access to sensors on devices such as accelerometer, gyroscope and more
  • WebXR: an API dedicated to virtual reality
  • Better security by compartmentalizing the processes launched within the web browser

Many new features especially for developers for this latest version of Chrome. WebXR supports virtual reality, augmented and mixed, it is developed by Mozilla who already uses it on Firefox. The deployment of the update is already underway. We have seen that we already have Chrome 67 on our side. Google, in particular, is making efforts to improve the battery life of mobile equipment using Chrome. So far Microsoft Edge has done better in this area.

Watch the following promotional video to know more about these new features:

Introducing the DJI Mavic Air

dji mavic air droneOver the years of producing cutting-edge drones, DJI has earned the moniker of being “The Apple of Drones”. DJI Mavic Air is yet another impressive drone from their assembly lines with superb features.

The first experience of using the drone makes you love it instantly.

The Quickshot feature enables you to capture Holywood-quality video footage by simply pressing a button while the Boomerang feature lets you command the drone to hover around an object and take awesome close shots.

This top drone has been mainly recommended to photography newbies, but racers can find it to be a valuable tool for capturing shots in its Sports Mode at a blistering speed of 42 mph.

Features

12MP Photos and 4K Video capturing capability
3-Axis Gimbal-Stabilized movable Camera
Vision and GPS Position-Based Navigation
8GB Internal Storage
Flight Autonomy made possible by obstacle Detection and avoidance capability
Maximum speed of 43mph in the Sport Mode
21 Minutes battery life
Foldable, compact and portable Body
Charger dock supporting multiple batteries

Mavic Air has one fascinating difference from its older yet more professional sibling Mavic Pro in that Mavic Air’s cameras sturdier while that in Mavic Pro is fragile.

Pros

1. Incredibly portability makes this drone an excellent option for photography when you are traveling to the most remote places to which you need to carry few devices.

2. With 21 minutes battery life, this drone can last longer in the air than other drones in its class. Besides, you need just 50 minutes of charging time to return to your aerial photography adventure.

3. It has a solid camera performance that ensures capture of HD overhead footages

4. The rugged construction of the drone is sturdy enough to withstand bruising impacts and scratches.

5. The charger dock allows you to charge more than one battery. It is an excellent opportunity to charge all your batteries simultaneously so that you can last longer in the air.

6. The stabilizing rig is superior to most other drones in its class and slightly better offer compared to that in Mavic Pro

take amazing panoramas

Cons

1. Compared to Mavic Pro, Mavic Air has a much shorter range.

2. The drone comes with connection quirks that could have been easily avoided such having two different USB versions to perform two tasks. Instead of one unified USB option.

3. Regarding raw specs, the camera of the drone lags behind those of its peers.

Warranty Information

The drone has a 2-year warranty which looks normal. Second party owners are not eligible for the warranty.

Summary

DJI Mavic Air is certainly not the best drone out there, but it is still the best drone ever to roll out of DJI assemblies. All the right boxes about this drone are checked. The fiercest competitor to this drone is its stablemate Mavic Pro.

All things considered, Mavic Air still has impressive features compared with its predecessor especially the groundbreaking obstacle avoidance feature and its robust 8GB storage space.

Therefore, it is a drone I can recommend to anyone except if camera resolution is a factor in which case I would recommend the Mavic Pro.

Apple HomePod: a great sound but it seems less intelligent than Google Home

U. S. Tech websites have been testing Apple’s latest product for a few days. They praised the excellent sound quality but regretted the limited use of Siri.

homepod build elementsA marvel of software engineering, a more qualitative sound than that delivered by loudspeakers more expensive but critical intellectual limitations. American media specialized in new technologies delivered their first verdicts on the strengths and weaknesses of the HomePod, Apple’s latest creation.

Available since February 9 in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia at a price of $349, the HomePod is a voice-driven connected speaker via Apple Siri’s virtual assistant that focuses on acoustic performance.

The HomePod is Apple’s response to Amazon and Google, which capture most of the market share of voice-activated smart speakers with Google Home and Amazon Echo. With these products fuelled by artificial intelligence, the digital giants hope to be able to impose their services in the users’ homes.

An excellent and easy to use speaker

All the journalists who have tried Apple’s speaker system agree on one thing: the HomePod keeps its promises regarding sound performance with excellent bass. The device’s eight speakers and seven microphones, driven by a microprocessor designed by Apple, do justice to the device’s premium positioning.

The HomePod offers the best of your music, no matter where you are. An accelerometer allows the HomePod to adapt to the room in which it is installed to deliver a spatialised sound like the Sonos speakers.

American medias also praise the ease of use of Apple’s latest product. The software and hardware know-how of the American group is once again reflected in the installation and configuration of the HomePod, which takes just a few seconds from an iPhone. The paw of the American IT group is as impressive in the sleeker style of the device, which is finally more compact than its competitors Home Max or Sonos Play: 5. A good point for Apple that capitalizes on its strengths.

An environment locked in the Apple universe.

sound system made in appleThe HomePod is designed to become the cornerstone of music listening at home. Provided you subscribe to Apple’s music streaming service, Apple Music. Unlike its rivals Amazon Echo and Google Home, Apple’s speaker only works with the home ecosystem. No need to hope to throw a song on Deezer or Spotify. Only Apple Music, iTunes, Beats1, and MusicMatch are compatible with the native features of the device.

The HomePod logically gives its full measure with Apple Music. It is therefore aimed above all at Apple addicts, who have several products and subscriptions to the group’s services and will see no disadvantage in remaining in its universe. To play a song from a competing service, you will have to use the AirPlay protocol.

Siri use is still limited.

The analysis site Loup Ventures has put the artificial intelligence of Apple’s loudspeaker to the test against that of Google. According to the results obtained, Siri is far from overcoming his delay on Google Assistant. Less relevant, Apple’s voice was only able to provide a correct answer to 52% of the 782 questions asked during the exam.

Not fixable

Finally, it is difficult not to mention the red card addressed to Apple by iFixit. The site specializing in the dismantling of technological products scrutinized the HomePod and found that it, like other Apple devices, was simply irreparable. No easy access to components is provided.

The repair mark is irrevocable: 1/10. In other words, in the event of a glitch, it’s better to rely on a simple and straightforward replacement by Apple.

Growing concerns around civil drone use in 2017

UAVs, also known as the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) or drones, are being increasingly used in a variety of industries.

a surveillance droneCommercial drones are used responsibly by the majority of their users, most of their applications and users have a positive impact, but their use is not without problems. Knowing that it is possible to use a drone as a mobile “flying camera” to produce images or video footage of the sky, it can also be used to spy on a company or to identify security holes.

Likewise, it is possible to use a drone as a mobile and remote delivery tool for illicit products or even to commit an attack. More innocently, but not less dangerously, UAVs can pose a safety risk if they are inadvertently flown in airspace where other aircraft are flying or over people working on the ground. Companies must, therefore, take this new threat into account and put measures in place to monitor UAVs and control them from the field.

A growing risk, involving monitoring UAVs

Last April, the British newspaper “The Guardian” reported a sharp increase in complaints filed with police services about UAVs, including cases of detection for burglary, near-flight collisions and smuggling of illegal products into prisons. With drones on sale for only 35 euros, even if most of them are used for playful purposes, the risk of some of them being misused increases.

One of the critical issues is aviation safety. As reported in August at New York’s JFK airport, a drone was seen within 30 meters of two aircraft arriving at the airport. Between August 2015 and January 216,583 UAV incidents were reported by the FAA (Federal Administration Aviation) between August 2015 and January 216.

Many of these episodes were minor incidents in which pilots or citizens on the ground reported seeing a drone fly in restricted airspace, but not necessarily a danger. However, any risk to aircraft in flight is significant and can lead to a major disaster.

UAV detection, monitoring, and control

cop monitoring the skiesOne solution to the problem is to combine network cameras with sensors and analysis software to detect, monitor and control UAVs entering an organization’s airspace.

A few industry experts have recently developed a platform solution that aggregates sensor data and advanced video analytics algorithms on video sequences from our network cameras that establish a comprehensive detection area, provide visual localization and reduce risk. The solution’s user interface automatically generates visual alerts and notifications, while risk reduction can take many forms, such as UAV radio frequency jamming, laser signal disturbance, anti-drone deployment and fog bombing.

The solution enables the protection of sensitive sites, including 24/7 UAV detection, monitoring, and surveillance, real-time alerting and identification of potential threats, even if they are several hundred meters above ground level.

The threat posed by the development of the use of drones, whether innocent or malicious, is real and growing. From a safety perspective, it is essential that organizations of all types consider and act now on the risks to their businesses, employees, and customers.

Vacuum cleaners can also spy on you (if connected)

A loophole made it possible to take control of any connected object from the manufacturer LG. In particular, it allowed the use of a robot vacuum cleaner to film the interior of a house.

Are you a fan of robot vacuum cleaners? It is true that these devices are efficient, but the fact that they are connected and equipped with sensors creates a risk to our privacy. Check Point experts have just revealed a flaw called HomeHack, allowing remote control of an LG Hom-Bot vacuum cleaner and spy on the user with the integrated camera. To prove it, the researchers made a demonstration video.

Now corrected, this flaw had a much broader impact because it concerned the whole range of connected LG objects: vacuum cleaners, refrigerators, ovens, washing machines, dryers, air conditioners, etc. Millions of users were potentially exposed to this vulnerability. The problem was actually with LG’s SmartThinQ mobile application. Available on Android and iOS, it allows the user to log into their LG account and access the control functions of their connected object (s).

Unfortunately, the authentication procedure was not correctly programmed. After creating their own LG account, the researchers set up a Man-in-the-middle device to intercept requests and replace their identifiers with those of others. And bim, they were connected to a third party account. To do this, however, it was necessary to decompile the Android mobile application and remove two safeguards that the manufacturer had implemented. The first one prevented the app from running on a rooted smartphone; the second one stopped a middle-man interception by checking the authenticity of the HTTPS certificate (“Certificate pinning”).

Check Point discovered this flaw last July. LG released a patch in September. If you are a user of LG connected objects, make sure you have the latest version of the mobile application (1.9.23). It is also advisable to update the firmware of the devices, which you can do directly from the application dashboard.

iMac Pro: amazing speed in the first tests and benchmarks

The next Mac targeted at professionals, the iMac Pro, has reached monstrous speeds; that’s what emerged. The data comes from GeekBench where the results of two machines that would be just two iMac Pro machines appeared.

The first, an 8-core core, would have scored 23,536, the highest score ever seen, of course, for any iMac. Performance would be 21% higher than today’s most powerful iMac, the 4.2 GHz 5K with an average score of 19,336.

iMac Pro means high-performance

bbznxbbeubreryetrtafvabfddjkdeeeSeeing the speed of the 12-core iMac Pro, a Mac in the mid-range, we have monstrous results: 35,917 points that sweep even the latest model of the Cupertino based firm.

It should be noted that, in these tests, the 18 core model is still missing. We are sure that this machine will leave everyone open-mouthed and will burn any other competitor, giving the edge too many other devices on the market today, even very high-end ones.

Now we are all waiting for the release of this new iMac Pro that has scored so high and unprecedentedly. We look forward to 2018 for further developments.

Benchmarks show specially adapted Xeon chips

An exciting aspect to emphasize is what emerges from the benchmarks; the Xeon processor used by iMac Pro is calibrated on clock speeds lower than Intel’s standard products. It may be due to the heat dissipation problems that Apple’s compact machine, like the one Apple, is preparing to present, is more complicated than those devices that have the usual tower or mini-tower shape.

Benchmarks have now revealed Macs that work with hitherto unknown Intel chips – which suggests that they are not “Hackintosh.”

These are computers with an 8-core 3.2 GHz Xeon chip with the model designation W2140B and a 10-core Xeon chip with 3.0 GHz and the designation W2150B chip. The “B” variants of these chips have not been known so far; it is likely to be processors adapted by Intel for Apple – which apparently works at a slightly lower clock frequency to limit the heat build-up in the compact all-in-one iMac package. You will of course still need to do regular maintenance on your websites and use a software such as clean my mac 3 avis!

Even if the chips are obviously clocked down a bit, geekbench results are impressive: The 8-core model achieves a value of 23,536 points in the multi-core test – significantly more than the fastest iMac to date, the current Retina 5K iMac with 4.2 GHz 4-core Core i7 processor, which “only” reaches 19,336 points.

Wi-Fi, things you need to know about the different standards

Are you lost between all Wi-Fi 802.11 declinations (a/b/g/n/ac/ad/ax/ah…)? MU-MIMO, Wi-Fi Direct, Aware and TimeSync don’t tell you much?

Let us, therefore, go back to the basics of understanding what this is all about. Because yes, not all “Wi-Fi” is the same, far from it!

Behind the “Wi-Fi” name lies a myriad of technologies and standards, each with its particularities. The best known are of course the 802.11b/g/n/ac, but there are many others. To add some complexity, there are sometimes significant differences within the same standard.

So, between two Wi-Fi 802.11n and 802.11ac routers there can be significant gaps in performance and functionality, so it’s important to know what it’s all about before you make your choice. To avoid being lost in the jungle of acronyms, here is a glossary of relevant terms to know.

Frequency and rate reminders

Before entering deeper into this subject, an important reminder: the evoked flows are theoretical maximums. They will therefore always be lower in practice, even under perfect conditions. Then know that the signal is disturbed by the presence of walls, a microwave oven (on the 2.4 GHz band) and depends of course on the distance. This can cause flow rates to drop rapidly and the connection to be cut off, even over short distances.

Also, in Wi-Fi, the manufacturers always talk about Mb/s (or Gb/s) and not about Mo/s (or Go/s): to convert them you have to divide them by 8. Thus, 300 Mb/s gives “only” 37.5 MB/s, while 1 Gb/s corresponds to about 125 MB/s. Here again, always in theory and of course at most (see our test of Google Wifi to be well aware of it).

As in mobile telephony, the lower the frequency, the farther away it is. However, higher frequencies have more bandwidth to reach higher speeds. In Wi-Fi, the most commonly used are 2.4 GHz (best range) and 5 GHz (best rate).

The youngest will undoubtedly remember the 802.11a (up to 54 Mbps) in the 5 GHz band and the 802.11b (up to 11 Mbps) in the 2.4 GHz band, both standards dating back to 1999. The 802.11b was replaced in 2003 by the 802.11g. It is backward compatible with the previous standard and capable of climbing up to 54 Mbps.