Google Pixel 2, Pixel XL 2 Renders Leak With 3.5mm Audio Jack Absent

Google released Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones last year, and now iterative updates are in the offing. Now, renders of the Google Pixel 2 and Google Pixel XL 2 have surfaced online revealing design details. The smartphones sport thinner bezels, and there’s no sight of the 3.5mm audio jack as well.

These renders are courtesy OnLeaks in partnership of MySmartPrice. These Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2 smartphone images sport a Black colour metallic body with an unsightly camera bump that was absent in the predecessor. The fingerprint scanner sits at the back, and the Google logo is also seen on the rear end of the smartphone.

Google Pixel 2, Pixel XL 2 Renders Leak With 3.5mm Audio Jack AbsentThe bezels in the front have dramatically reduced with almost negligible borders on all sides. There is a little top and bottom chin seen on the renders, but much less than the predecessor. The USB Type-C port is seen at the bottom, but there’s no sight of the 3.5mm audio jack, presumably ditched to make room for the rumoured stereo speakers. The power and volume keys are situated on the right edge of the device, and the SIM-tray slot is seen on the left edge.

Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2 are rumoured to feature a 4.95-inch full-HD and 5.99-inch QHD (1440×2560 pixels) displays that will be manufactured by LG. The smartphones will sport 4GB RAM, and 64GB and 128GB of internal storage options. So far, they have also been tipped to sport an ‘Always On’ display mode, and a “squeezable” frame similar to the HTC U11. A recent report also suggests that the upcoming Pixel smartphones will be the first to sport Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 836 SoCs.

HTC Vive Standalone VR Headset With Snapdragon 835 SoC Unveiled, but Only for China

HTC on Thursday announced its Vive Standalone VR (virtual reality) headset exclusively for the Chinese market. HTC has partnered with Qualcomm to develop the new “premium” standalone VR headset, and said come with HTC’s Viveport as its official content platform.

One of the biggest highlights of the new premium standalone VR headset is that it will be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC.To recall, Qualcomm had launched its Snapdragon 835 SoC-powered reference VR headset in February this year, alongside a hardware accelerator programme for OEMs. For now, no exact specifications are available for the Vive Standalone VR headset.

HTC claims that the new Vive Standalone VR headset will deliver an “outstanding standalone VR experience” making it the “best-in-class premium device for this segment in the China market.” There’s no pricing or availability details announced as of now. Previously, HTC launched a VR headset only for Japan, and it was compatible with the HTC U11 smartphone.

HTC Vive Standalone VR Headset With Snapdragon 835 SoC Unveiled, but Only for ChinaThe Taiwanese company is calling out interested VR developers to register at viveport.com/standalonevr-cn to apply for participation in the associated support programmes of the Vive Standalone, and also to get an early access to upcoming developer events. The headset is said to come with built-in VR functionalities without the need of a PC or phone to operate.

“China is the leading mobile market in the world today, and has the momentum to lead the global VR market as well. Partnering with Qualcomm to deliver an easy to use and more affordable Vive VR system will enable us to make premium standalone VR widely accessible to the masses in China,” said Alvin W. Graylin, China Regional President of Vive, HTC.

“We are thrilled to work with HTC’s Vive team as they utilise our rich feature set to create exciting, new VR experiences in the first truly mobile VR headset of the Vive ecosystem,” said Hugo Swart, Senior Director, Product Management, Qualcomm Technologies.

Axis Bank Agrees to Buy Snapdeal’s FreeCharge for $60 Million

Country’s third largest private sector lender Axis Bank on Thursday entered into an agreement to acquire payments wallet FreeCharge for Rs. 385 crores in an all-cash deal.

“The bank has today entered into a share purchase agreement with Jasper Infotech Private Limited (‘Snapdeal’), to acquire 100 percent equity capital of Accelyst Solutions and FreeCharge Payment Technologies (Accelyst and FPTPL collectively referred to as ‘FreeCharge’), subject to receipt of requisite regulatory approvals, including from the RBI, for a cash consideration of Rs. 385 crores,” it said in a regulatory filing.

The bank’s managing director and chief executive, Shikha Sharma, told reporters that the agreement was signed earlier in the day and the deal is important from a strategic perspective for the bank.

Axis Bank’s chief financial officer Jairam Sridharan said the acquisition will double the customer base of the bank and leapfrog its digital journey by multiple years.

Axis Bank Agrees to Buy Snapdeal’s FreeCharge for $60 MillionHe said the bank expects regulatory clearances to the deal in two months. Following this, the bank could consider merging their wallet businesses.

FreeCharge presently has a revenue of about Rs. 80 crores, he added.

Snapdeal had bought FreeCharge in April 2015 for an estimated $400 million or over Rs.2,500 crores at current rates. At that time, this was touted as the largest deal in the nascent start-up ecosystem in India.

Earlier, FreeCharge was reported to be holding discussions with Paytm (One97 Communications).

However, the deal did not go through as the Alibaba-backed company was offering a much lesser price of about $15 million (roughly Rs. 96.1 crores), one of sources said.

Acquiring FreeCharge’s business would give Axis Bank access to about 52 million mobile wallet holders of FreeCharge as well as about 150 to 200 professionals.

Apple, Cochlear Partner on First ‘Made-for-iPhone’ Hearing Implant Sound Processor

Cochlear, a company focused at implantable hearing solutions, has teamed up with Apple to unveil the first “made-for-iPhone” cochlear implant sound processor. With the Nucleus 7 Sound Processor, people with a Cochlear Nucleus Implant can stream sound directly from a compatible iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

Additionally, people using the new Cochlear Nucleus hearing implant will be able to control, monitor, and customise their hearing on their iPhone or iPod touch through the Nucleus Smart App available to download for free from the App Store. The company also claims that the Cochlear Nucleus 7 Sound Processor is the “smallest and lightest” behind-the-ear cochlear implant sound processor available in the market.

The Nucleus 7 Sound Processor will be commercially available in September in the United States and Canada for those who are looking to receive a cochlear implant. Additionally, the company will make the Nucleus 7 Sound Processor available as an upgrade in October for select recipients of cochlear implants.

Apple, Cochlear Partner on First 'Made-for-iPhone' Hearing Implant Sound ProcessorThe Nucleus 7 Sound processor offers a range of features like the hearing tracker records coil-offs time when the sound processor coil does not detect the implant coil in cases such as if it has fallen off. The Nucleus Smart App’s Find My Processor feature helps locate a lost sound processor.

Chris Smith, Cochlear Chief Executive Officer and President, announcing the new implant said, “The approval of the Nucleus 7 Sound Processor is a turning point for people with hearing loss, opening the door for them to make phone calls, listen to music in high-quality stereo sound, watch videos and have FaceTime calls streamed directly to their cochlear implant.”

This is not a first hearing aid device for which Apple has collaborated with a hearing solution company. The company lists a range of products on its website.

Sarah Herrlinger, Senior Manager for Global Accessibility Policy and Initiatives at Apple toldTechCrunch, “We wanted to see something that could become ubiquitous out in the world. We want everybody to use our technology and to say ‘wow my iPhone is the best piece of technology I’ve ever used before’…with every iteration of our operating system our goal is to add in new accessibility features in order to expand the support that we can give to people all over the world.”

InstantCAD Tool Promises to Make 3D Design Easier and Faster

To make computer-aided design (CAD) programmes process easier and faster, researchers have developed a new tool called “InstantCAD” that lets designers interactively edit, improve and optimise CAD models using a more streamlined workflow.

Developed by researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and Columbia University, “InstantCAD” integrates with existing CAD programmes as a plug-in.

“From more ergonomic desks to higher-performance cars, this is really about creating better products in less time,” says Adriana Schulz, lead author of the study.

“We think this could be a real game changer for automakers and other companies that want to be able to test and improve complex designs in a matter of seconds to minutes, instead of hours to days,” Schulz said in a paper that will be presented at SIGGRAPH computer-graphics conference in Los Angeles this month.

With “InstantCAD”, the process of improving and optimising the design can be done in real-time, saving engineers days or weeks, the research said.

InstantCAD Tool Promises to Make 3D Design Easier and FasterAfter an object is designed in a commercial CAD programme, it is sent to a cloud platform where multiple geometric evaluations and simulations are run at the same time.

Users can instantly improve and optimise the design in two ways with this precomputed data.

With “interactive exploration”, a user interface provides real-time feedback on how design changes will affect performance, like how the shape of a plane wing impacts air pressure distribution.

With “automatic optimisation”, users can simply tell the system to give a design with specific characteristics, like a drone that’s as light in weight as possible while still able to carry the maximum amount of weight.

“‘InstantCAD’ could be particularly helpful for more intricate designs for objects like cars, planes, and robots, particularly for industries like car manufacturing that care a lot about squeezing every little bit of performance out of a product,” said Wojciech Matusik, Associate Professor at MIT.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Emperor Edition to Sport 8GB of RAM, 256GB Storage: Report

Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Note 8 is all the talk of the town these days as we approach its launch on August 23. While most rumours say that the Galaxy Note 8 will feature pack 6GB of RAM, a new leak makes mention of a Galaxy Note 8 Emperor Edition. Now the name means to signify that the smartphone will pack a whopping 8GB of RAM along with 256GB of inbuilt storage, with a slight possibility of a Star Wars reference attached as well. Separately, the Galaxy Note 8 will likely be available for pre-orders in Australia starting August 25, a leaked Samsung document suggests.

Now, the report of a possible Galaxy Note 8 Emperor Edition with 8GB+256GB capacity was first tipped on Weibo by @ice. It is said to be available in South Korea and China. In the same post, the tipster says that the 256GB internal storage variant will also be offered with the standard Galaxy Note 8 model with 6GB of RAM. Additionally, the tipster also mentions three colour variants, Black, Gray and Blue, for the phablet, the last of which could refer to the Deep Blue colour that was recently spotted.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Emperor Edition to Sport 8GB of RAM, 256GB Storage: ReportSamsung’s upcoming Galaxy Note 8 smartphone is tipped to sports a near bezel-less design similar to the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+. It will likely sport a more squarish frame with a slightly bigger 6.3-inch display compared to the 6.2-inch screen on the Galaxy S8+. The upcoming phablet has been rumoured to be the first smartphone to sport Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 836 SoC, a privilege Google is possibly fighting for with its next Pixel smartphone.

Additionally, the Galaxy Note 8 is rumoured to start with 6GB of RAM and now a possible 8GB variant as well. There will be a horizontal dual rear camera setup with two 12-megapixel sensors and independent OIS (optical image stabilisation) for each lens, and a fingerprint sensor next to it. Based on past leaks, the phablet is expected to house a 3300mAh battery.

The smartphone is expected to be unveiled at Samsung’s ‘Unpacked Event’ on August 23, and is rumoured to be up for pre-orders in Australia two days later, according to a Samsung document which mentions a “Screen Assure Offer”, a one-time free screen replacement in the first 12 months on purchase of the smartphone. The deal will come into play on August 25, which suggests the date for when the phone will be available for pre-orders. The document also reveals the list of stores in Australia where the smartphone will be available: Samsung stores (offline and online), carriers Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, Virgin Mobile, then retailers JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman, Woolworths, The Good Guys, Bing Lee, Costco, and more.

Wi-fi extenders vs. Powerline adapters – Which is the best way to boost your Wifi connection?

Is the Wi-fi connection in your house a bit weak which stops you from getting a strong internet connection? If answered yes, you may consider a Wi-fi range extender to boost your signal by that extra bit. Or would you prefer adding Powerline adapters which utilize the electrical wiring of your home to create a speedy network by adding new Wifi hotspots? We all know that a weak or dead Wifi spot in a house is pretty frustrating and these are the devices from which you can strengthen your Wifi signal. Black spots or dead zones are mostly caused due to the distance from wifi router, interference and thick stone walls. Have a look at few tricks and tips and few cheap yet effective gadgets that you can add to your house to enhance your weak wireless signal.

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  • Think of updating your wireless router

The foremost step that you can take is to upgrade your wireless router in order to get enhanced speed. 802.11n and 802.11ac are the 2 latest Wifi standards which will provide you with the fastest connection. In case you have an old wireless ‘b’ or ‘g’ router, you may consider updating it with a new ‘n’ or ‘ac’ device as they provide faster speeds and connection. You can even ask your ISP to send you a wireless and updated router. Though the new routers will not increase the range of wifi network, you can at least get longer distance range and better speed.

  • Create a new Powerline network in your home

Experts also recommend you to use Powerline adapters which are helpful in creating a fast home network using the wiring in your house. This implies that the user can carry internet through the entire portion of the house without having to lose much performance. Creating such a home network is easy as it just involves plugging onto a power plug. Plug an adapter in a power socket near your wireless router and then connect it using an Ethernet cable. The best adapters can create new Wifi hotspot even in the rooms far away from the router. These may not create superfast signals like the Zyxel wireless extenders but they are even good.

  • Wifi extenders

You can also install Wifi extenders as they can provide you with enhanced signal throughout your home. They can catch a wireless signal and again rebroadcast it thereby strengthening the signal from a router between one floor and another. However you should also note that they can even drop down the performance of the network. An extender uses half its internal antennae to get wireless signal and it uses its other half to transmit a new signal. Make sure you place the extender in a central location.

Therefore, if you’re not receiving good internet speed in your house, make sure you get an extender or a Powerline adapter with which you can boost your speed and get a speedy connection at home.

The very best iPad Pro deals for Black Friday 2016

The iPad Pro range from Apple represents the best that iPad has to offer, from slim design to the best screens and the most powerful internal components.

Both iPad Pro versions represent the crème-de-la-crème of the tablet market, if you like. If you want the best tablets money can buy, it’s probably an iPad Pro that you want as both models include features you won’t get in any other device.

For a start they use ambient light sensors to detect the level of light in the environment and adjust the screen accordingly – this all works separately to the new Night Shift mode which adjusts the amount of blue light emitted by the display late at night to help your pending sleep. And these being Pro-level tablets, both have support for the Apple Pencil stylus as well.

 

The latest 9.7-inch iPad is the most expensive but also by far the best ‘regular’ iPad ever

If you want a regular sized iPad – that would be 9.7-inches – and you want the best there is, the iPad Pro 9.7 is your huckleberry. It’s the most powerful iPad there is, sporting a stunning screen and all sorts of other clever features never before seen in an iPad. This is by no means the cheapest iPad out there, being the very latest model, but if it’s the one for you you’ll find the cheapest deals below!

Is the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 worthy of the hype ?

Few tech fans would argue with the fact that the Samsung Galaxy S7 has been the biggest smartphone hit of 2016 so far. Its incredible processing power and deluxe display meant that it quickly became the go-to smartphone for anyone wanting to enjoy the best in mobile media from streaming movies to playing online pokies games.

And so the expectations that surrounded the unveiling of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 have been understandably huge, as this could be the device that becomes the first truly iconic phablet on the market.

The Galaxy Note 7 follows on from 2015’s Galaxy Note 5 model, and it provides a significant entry into the phablet market by offering all of the functionality of a tablet, but with the convenience of a mobile.

This is best indicated by the device keeping the traditional 5.7-inch display, but adding a supercharged Exynos 8890 Octa system-on chip that should prove capable of advanced split-screen multitasking.

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Obviously a big part of the phablet’s appeal is the Samsung S Pen that has shown a fascinating evolution as it becomes closer to acting like a traditional pen, but with a host of ancillary features that prove capable of taking notes underwater!

Other eye-catching features include the iris scanner that provides an extra level of security which would be a big selling point for gamers who are interested in finding the latest online pokies games and keeping their winnings secure at sites like Lucky Nugget Casino.

The device also includes some pretty phenomenal camera technology with a twelve megapixel rear camera with f/1.7 aperture that’s also capable of taking 4K video. Such impressive features have been augmented by the welcome inclusion of a microSD card slot that will help it become massively handy for creating and recording media.

And if that wasn’t enough, the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 also features a nicely redesigned TouchWiz interface that should prove to be capable of making those online pokies games all the more intuitive when coupled with the latest Android Marshmallow operating system.

Other tempting features include the introduction of wireless charging and a USB Type-C port that will help it become the most striking all-round phablet to be launched in 2016.

And although the retail price isn’t cheap, for anyone wanting the most advanced way to play online pokies or just film their holidays in 4K, the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is a truly phenomenal piece of kit.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0a6Y9JvPqo

Creating a Successful Online Shop in 2016

Many people are understandably interested in finding out whether or not creating a successful online shop in 2016 is harder than it would have been ten years ago or even five years ago. This sort of thing is very difficult to measure. On the one hand, new opportunities have opened up in the last five to ten years, which can make things easier for many people. Some of the most popular hosted ecommerce solutions only appeared on the scene within the last five to ten years or so. The number of people on the Internet seems to increase every day, which is only going to make a person’s pool of potential customers that much larger. The mobile age has certainly created new opportunities, and the ensuing era of augmented reality should do the same thing.

However, creating a successful online shop in 2016 has its own challenges as well. For one thing, there is more competition today. The competition seems to increase as more and more people get on the Internet. Having an online store was unusual in the early 2000’s. Today, it seems as if every person with a blog is trying to monetize that blog through the use of an online store, especially something like an Etsy store. While it is true that more people can access online stores at all times through their mobile devices today, people now have to design their ecommerce websites around the needs of mobile devices, while still making them friendly to desktops. People do a great deal of their shopping at home on their desk top computers, but they do a lot of it in public as well on their mobile devices. People might be catering to all of the same customers, if only at different times. Creating a successful online shop in 2016 means managing a consumer base that is only becoming more complicated.

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Finding the best ecommerce websites from webshop is becoming easier today in many ways, since people are now able to read reviews of them more easily, finding out about these websites from their fellow ecommerce business leaders. The fact that it is so much easier to network with other ecommerce business people these days has really made the business a lot better for many people, which is one of the many reasons why there are still viable opportunities for successful online shops in 2016.

It is interesting that the people in the ecommerce world are technically competing with one another, and yet many of them will also network with one another and help each other when it comes to growing their respective businesses. Social networking is everything today, and even supposed competitors are bolstering each other through social networking today. People no longer have to feel like they are operating on little isolated islands online with their ecommerce stores, which is one of the great things about operating an online shop in 2016. Making a shop successful has always been tough, but at least people have more tools and more potential friends today.