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Microsoft to End its support for Windows 7 in 2020

Windows 7 support ending

Are you a Windows 7 user? Here is a special news alert for you. Microsoft will be ending its support for Windows 7 in 2020. This means that next year, you won’t get the support that you are currently receiving from this software giant.

To be precise, Microsoft has set January 14, 2020, as the exact date that it will be ending the support. After that, the Windows 7 users will no longer be getting security updates, the latest functionalities and bug fixes from the company.

The news may not be a surprise to many people especially when we consider the fact that Microsoft halted the mainstream support for Windows 7 in 2015. This means that those who will continue using this operating system will be highly susceptible to cyber attacks. To be on the safe side, Microsoft is advising the Windows 7 users to upgrade to the Windows 10 operating system.

Will the change affect all Windows 7 users? Microsoft is known for making exceptions in every big step that it takes. In this case, big businesses and enterprise customers will still receive free support.

Windows 7 is still popular

There is no doubt that this latest move by Microsoft will affect many people. This is because according to statistics, millions of people are still using Windows 7. The state of the affairs has remained so even after the release of Windows 10.

According to the latest figures, at least 20 percent of the world’s PC is powered by Windows 7. Despite stopping the mainstream support for this operating system, users have been still receiving security patches and updates.

In early 2017, Microsoft started blocking some security updates and patches for Windows 7 and even Windows 8.

Windows 7 is not the only casualty that will be affected by the Microsoft’s move. The company is also planning to stop supporting MS Office 2010, SQL Server 2008/2008 R2, Windows Server 2008/2008 R2 and even Windows Embedded 7.

The changes are also expected to affect Microsoft’s Browser-Internet Explorer. The support for this browser on all the Windows 7 devices will stop as from January 14, 2020.

What will happen to Windows 8? Microsoft is planning to continue supporting this operating system until 2023.

What should Windows 7 users do?

If you are heavily depending on Windows 7, you have less than 12 months to upgrade to Windows 10. The earlier you do so, the better. Continuing to run on Windows 7 after the stated date will put you at a high-security risk.

Big enterprises and even governments can continue using Windows 7 as they will still get the necessary support. They will still receive security updates even after January 2020.

What is your opinion on the timeline that Microsoft has given? Are you comfortable with it or is it too early? Share your opinion on the comments section.

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Tech News

Google’s ‘Game of the Year’ Tests Your Knowledge About 2018

google game of the year

It is just a matter of days before the curtain comes down in 2018. As we all know, we cannot count out on Google regardless of the time of the year. The search engine giant has just released a new game known as “Game of the Year.” Basically, the game tests your knowledge of the trends that happened in 2018.

If you think that you have a sharp memory or you are well-informed about the trendy topics in 2018, you need to immerse yourself into this game. Simply put, it tries to gamify the search. It touches on the most popular search trends and also highlights on the most talked about moments that dominated the world in 2018.

The gameplay of “Game of the Year” is quite simple. It comes in a click-to-choose format. In fact, it is a productivity zapper. The first questions of the game will give you 50/50. As easy as they look, they can be challenging, especially if you are not extra cautious. For instance, you can be asked: Who among the two was the most-searched person? Donald Trump or Elon Musk?

If you miss three questions in the first stage, the game will be over. If you survive in the first stage, you will be able to proceed to the next stage where you will be given a bonus.

On the next stage, you will pick an onscreen photo that has trended in 2018.

From the gaming angle, “Game of the Year” can be viewed as a progressive game. This is because the challenges become more difficult as you advance to the later stages.

To many, “Game of the Year” does not come as a surprise. Especially when we consider the fact that it is coming from Google. For years, the company has been busy compiling several mini-games on Doodle. The company has also been showing hints of venturing into the traditional video game arena. In early 2018, Google launched Project Stream, a video game that allowed people to play the AAA family of games on any device.

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Tech Facts

Technology Transforming Money Management As We Know It

money management

In a 2018 report by Ernest Young, Banking of the Future: Embracing Technologies, India is viewed as being on the cusp of a digital revolution. Not only is technology is transforming how we do business and our habits in our homes; it is changing the way we manage our money. Our financial attitudes and habits are all being redefined in today’s environment. The result? Tech-savvy financial management processes ranging from savings to banking and even budgeting. Read on for a glimpse of a few ways technology is changing the money management landscape in this era (and possibly in the future).

The Rise Of Alternative Markets

From savings to lending institutions, brick and mortar banks are no longer dominating the market. A growing proportion of the population are becoming digital adept and as a result, their wants are changing; something alternative lenders have been quick to utilize. The gap in customer satisfaction in regards to customer service and interest rates have also fueled the rise of alternative finance houses across in the globe.

In India, the fintech industry is alive and thriving. In fact, the country has been repeatedly tipped to be a hotbed for innovation in the finance sector. Access to financial data has gained momentum with the introduction of apps and software such as PolicyBazaar, which allows industry-wide comparison of financial services from insurance companies.

In the money transfer and payment sector, companies such as Freecharge and PayTM offer a fresh way of paying monthly bills and sending money with the use of your mobile. The capital market (and access to it), has been transformed with digital lending in India set to increase by up to 15 times by 2023 thanks to startups such as Aye Finance who cater specifically to small and medium-sized enterprises. Gone are the days of filling out pages of loan applications and formal interviews. Now, businesses and entrepreneurs alike can have their answer in minutes.

The Rise Of Robo Advisors

A key question for many in money management is getting the best returns from their money. Whether it is investing for retirement or as a side income, a growing percentage of the working class are opting to invest. This is where robo advisors fit in. They were first introduced over a decade ago but recent shifts in the European and finally the Asian market have seen their use skyrocket.

Currently, the Asian market is growing by 5.6 percent according to the International Monetary Report. This invention is a low-cost alternative to a human investment advisor. Besides the reduced cost, the decline chance of human error and 24/7 accessibility are proving to be significant attraction factors for investors across India and the globe. Formulated using preset algorithms, robo advisors are just one example of artificial intelligence being used to address the complexities of financial decisions faced by individuals every day.

The senior population has been identified as one of the most promising markets. Most seniors deal with not only making life-changing decisions before retirement but also the monetary tension that can surround their retirement. One of those issues: Outliving their savings. So with this reasoning in mind, many are hopping on the investment train and thanks to robo advisors, it is now done from the comfort of their own home for a fraction of the price paid to a financial advisor in person.

Making Biometrics A Norm

Biometric technology has been talked about for the past few years and more recently, has been the latest tool employed in the financial services industry. Banks and financial institutions have begun to place much more emphasis on the security of their customers and their customers’ data after multiple international incidents of data breaches.

In response, we have seen institutions move away from PIN codes and traditional measures and towards more personalised biometric tools such as fingerprint readers. One promoted advantage of this added measure; the data is not stored on the banks’ interface and therefore is more secure from being intercepted. Of course, fingerprint matches are also less likely to be imitated which in turn tackles credit card fraud and theft issues.

Biometrics is not just being applied to point of sale purchases but also integrated into online banking and mobile banking along with other measures such as voice and iris recognition. With a majority of mobile phones and computers now equipped with at least a fingerprint scanner, accessibility is no longer an issue. Judging from these technological introductions and rumoured news of planned additions, it is safe to say the revolution of the money management world is not slowing down anytime soon.

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Tech News

Youtube’s Original shows will soon be available for Free!

youtube originals

YouTube has announced that plans are underway to remove its original programming from its paywall. Instead, YouTube Originals will be availed freely and will be supported by ads.

In what is viewed as a complete change of strategy, YouTube has announced that by 2020, users will be able to watch its original programs without having to part with some penny. This is totally different from the current situation where users are required to pay a monthly subscription.

To ensure that there is still a flow of revenue, YouTube Originals will be supported by ads. This means that it will be similar to other types of content that are generated on this Google-owned site.

YouTube has coined a new name for this new strategy. It is known as ‘Single Slate’ because it combining both the ad-supported strategies and the Premium Originals. These two programming strategies will exist as a single unit. It is also expected that YouTube will expand the number of programs and shows in this new programming strategy.

However, YouTube has clarified that not all the YouTube Originals will be affected by the new changes immediately. Some movies and shows will stay behind the paywall for some time before they are moved. However, all the YouTube Originals will be available for free in 2020.

So what could have triggered the latest changes of strategy? Pundits claim that the changes could because of the poor performance that has been posted by YouTube Originals. The stiff competition from other platforms that are providing original programs can also be blamed for the move. Such platforms include Netflix, Hulu, and even Amazon.

It is also rumoured that YouTube has been underfunding the YouTube Originals. This is totally different from other streamers such as Netflix who have pumped in billions of money on programming. The lean budget made it difficult for YouTube to compete favourably.

Even as we brace ourselves for the upcoming changes, it will be just to look at the history of YouTube Originals and see how it managed to reach where it is now. The streaming feature started back in 2016 and it was initially known as YouTube Red service. Subscribers were required to pay $11.99.

The journey started becoming tough almost immediately after the launch. Some of the shows and vlogs such as PewDiePie were scrapped off because they violated some rules.

The programme picked up and started broadcasting several premier shows and movies. Big Hollywood names such as Kevin Hart and Ellen DeGeneres utilized the platform. Also, YouTube pumped some good money into the initiative making it a competitive player.

The move to support content through ads will definitely have a direct impact on the finances. It is predicted that the budget for the scripted content will drastically go down. Although YouTube has not yet confirmed, it has already paused the buying of scripted content.

On the other hand, the audience for the YouTube Originals is expected to grow by big margins. “We expect to meet the demand of the growing fan base,” said a YouTube spokesperson. The company promises to continue investing in scripted content.

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Tech News

Spotify is coming to india in 2019, calls it a ‘big market’

spotify

There is no doubt that India is a major tech hub not only in Asia but through the world. Just pop into any tech forum and discussion group and you will be surprised by the origin of the most active members. Most of them are Indians. Giant tech companies have made forays into this country. The latest entrant is Spotify. Credible sources indicate that Spotify may be coming to Indian in 2019.

It is beyond questionable doubt that India has got the numbers. Yes, there are many active internet users in the country. Many tech companies are keen to tap on this number and that’s why they are scrambling to set up their offices here. This is what could have motivated Spotify to come. The digital music service provider is hoping to get a piece of the irresistible Indian online population.

After all, Spotify won’t be the first US-based tech companies to set a footing in India. Several other companies have done so. While some companies have failed terribly and even shipped out, others have enjoyed immense success. In fact, the likes of Google have curated their services to perfectly meet the needs of the Indian population.

It is expected that within the next six months, Spotify would have established itself in India. Of late, the giant music streaming services has been adding lots of features to its platform. Currently, it can be integrated with Google Maps. It also allows users to download up to 10,000 tracks per device. Currently, the company is testing the sleep timer feature to allow users to listen to podcasts or even music just before bedtime.

Spotify hopes that these new features will appeal the existing user base and even attract new users. The good news is that the latest updates are available on the Spotify Connect.

Expanding the User Base

spotify logo

Just a few weeks ago, Spotify announced its ambitious plans to expand its user base to cover new geographical areas. They said that they are planning to bring their service to the Middle East and North Africa. From the look of things, it seems that Spotify is focusing to beyond the stated regions. It has already laid plans to set a footing in India within the next few months.

Even before it launches in India, Spotify is already trying to address some pertinent issues that are synonymous with the Indian market. One of them is the pricing. Indian market is mainly dominated by price-sensitive customers. So, how will Spotify address this issue?

Spotify feels that their pricing structure will give them an extra advantage in making inroads to the Indian market. Users will enjoy a 30-day free trial period and Spotify believes that this will motivate more people to subscribe to the service.

Local Content

Another hurdle that Spotify expected to face is partnering with the local record labels. We all know that such negotiations are time-consuming and this may slow down the penetration of Spotify into the Indian market.

All, in all, let’s wait for the much-anticipated launch.

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Tech News

Windows 10 Light Theme is Coming with Cool Features

Microsoft Windows light theme


Are you a Windows 10 user? Well, here is some good news. Microsoft has revealed its plan to introduce a new light theme for Windows 10. The company has announced that this new release will be part of the 19H1 development cycle.

As expected, the new Windows theme is expected to come with a pack of new changes that promise to bring a new experience. It is also expected that the new theme will be an alternative to the white theme which currently being used in the Windows 10 operating system. After looking at the insider build, I’m sure it’s going to be one of the best Windows themes we have right now.

So, what should you expect with the new Windows 10 light theme? It seems Microsoft was keen on the views of the Windows 10 users and that’s why most of the changes seem to be answering their expectations.

New Features

1. Lighter Windows

Windows 10 light theme settings

Most Windows 10 users have been finding it hard to distinguish light theme from the dark one. In fact, this has been one of the major complaints regarding the Window 10 theme. The new changes seem to address this issue. The system colour will be lighter than the current theme and you will be able to see and feel the difference. Unlike the current theme, everything on the user interface will be light. This includes the Start menu, touch keyboard, Action center, and many other components.

Microsoft also revealed that the new theme will come with a default wallpaper. However, Microsoft revealed that they are still working on improving the light colour experience. The hope to light up all the components of the theme so that the users will have a more refined experience.

2. Window snip feature

shipping in windows 10

While in the process of trying to answer queries from Windows 10 users, Microsoft decided to introduce delay snip option and window snip mode. You can easily start your snip by pressing WIN+S, Print Screen or do it directly from Snip and Sketch. Currently, the snipping feature is still on being refined. Microsoft is promising that this feature will be available very soon.

3. Refined printing

The Windows 10 light theme is also promising to refine the printing experience. You will notice this once you update your current theme with the latest build.

Windows 10 printing

The modern print dialogue is fully compatible with the Windows 10 light theme. Also, it features clearer icons. This clarity makes it easy to identify all the icons that you intend to use. To make it user-friendly, There is a description line that provides more information about the dropdown settings. The theme also allows you to add the name of your printer on the document that you are printing.

4. Intelligent active hours

active hours

The new theme comes with Intelligent Active Hour setting. This setting lets the Windows know when to reboot and when not to reboot. The Windows can also adjust the active hours depending on the activity of your device.

5. Varying brightness depending on the battery power

Does your computer become brighter when transitioning from the battery to direct power? The new theme aims at eliminating this behaviour. The feature aims at maintaining the consistency of the display settings.

The new changes are still in the beta version. They can be tested by the insiders before they are fully made available in 2019.

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Tech News

IBM to buy Red Hat Linux for $34 Billion! But why?

IBM to buy red hat

 

Here is the big news coming out of Tech Industry, IBM (International Business Machines), one of the oldest technology companies in operation is about to acquire the Linux Giant and open source enterprise Red Hat for $34 billion. If they intendants proceedings then acquisition will be completed till half of 2019. It is the largest software acquisition in history, till now the largest software buyout was Microsoft’s purchase of LinkedIn for $26.2 billion in 2016.

IBM chief Ginni Rometty made a statement “The acquisition of Red Hat is a game-changer. It changes everything about the cloud market”. Buying Red Hat, IBM will start providing technology to its biggest competitors, including Amazon, Microsoft, and Google. Since, Red Hat partners with all of them, and IBM stated that it will continue to be the partners even after the acquisition and will work to expand on them.

IBM is expecting to emerge as the leading hybrid cloud provider in the world and will treat Red Hat as a completely different unit inside its Hybrid Cloud group. It also expects to use Red Hat’s open source roots for benefiting itself. If you are having doubt about the cloud, I will just make it clear to you, the cloud allude to software and services that run on the internet instead of your computer such as  Google Drive, Flickr, Netflix, Microsoft Office 365, Yahoo Mail, Dropbox, all these are cloud services.

The reason behind this acquisition

Spending billions to acquire an open source software company might seem strange. In the 90s when Linux was coming up as a firm third OS alternative for engineers, coders, sysadmins, and people got tired of Microsoft and Apple, IBM publicly announced its support to Linux. The reason was predicted well by IBM that Linux would be running on a great majority of the servers that would power the internet and corporations’ backends. So it created IBM Linux Technology Centre to allow development in Linux without costly patent lawsuits, though Red Hat might not be nearly as old as IBM, it’s still a publicly traded corporation in making money.

Open source was once the impractical movement in the software industry, but now it is the core part of how big companies like Google and Facebook to Walmart etc operates. Sharing code with competitors allows these companies to work together to solve common problems. Microsoft has released multiple open source projects and just closed a $7.5 billion acquisition of the code hosting and collaboration company GitHub.

Meanwhile, IBM has been trying to shift itself into a cloud computing company. The cloud management company RightScale conducted a survey earlier this year and put IBM as the fourth-most-widely-used cloud service, behind Amazon, Microsoft, and Google, and found the company’s growth statistics lower than them.

Though Red Hat is not a major host of cloud services but is a major player in the building of cloud services. While Red Hat is best known for its operating system, it offers a growing range of other products that make it easy for companies to build cloud-like platforms in their own data centres or manage applications that run on multiple different cloud computing services.

This settles IBM to acquire Red Hat for its business. IBM has made a remarkable change from being a hardware giant into a services-centric company and has a long partnership and relations with Red Hat. But the question is, will the cultures of these two companies settle well. As I mentioned above, IBM said Red Hat will operate as a standalone unit within its Hybrid Cloud organization, with its authority staying unblemished from IBM.

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Tech News

Google Launches New Search Engine for Discovering Datasets

google dataset search engine

We are living in a data-centric age. Everyone is on the move to discover data, no matter how small it may be. The good news is there are thousands of data sources on the internet where anyone can go and extract data. These repositories provide free access to data from governments, private and public organizations. However, accessing and even using such data is not always a smooth ride, especially when you are dealing with thousands of data at a time.

Google Dataset Search

To make the task of accessing data repositories easier, Google has launched a new tool known as Dataset Search. This is a tool that scientists, geeks, journalists, and other people can use to find the exact data that they are looking for to back up their work.

The working mechanism of Dataset Search is quite similar to that of Google Scholar. It gives you the power to find datasets from whichever locations they are hosted. This can be from the organization’s website or from the personal website of an individual who published the data.

Also, Read: Google’s “What-if” tool analyzes ML Models without writing code

In order to facilitate a seamless access of dataset, Google has created a set of guidelines which dataset providers can use to make their data accessible to Google search. The search engine should be able to understand the content of their data. Some of this information include:

  • A brief information about the data
  • The creator of the data
  • The person who collected the data
  • The methods that were used during data collection
  • The date when it was published
  • The terms for using the data

Using the above information, Google will analyze the data and collect a set of different versions of the same dataset that may be existing on the internet. It uses the schema.org standard which is an open standard for describing data on the internet. Data providers are encouraged to use the same standard to describe their data.

A variety of references

Dataset Search provides a wide source of references of any given dataset that it has collected. Although environmental and social sciences are some of the main sources of references, governments and news organizations are also the main sources of data. The fact that most of more data repositories are embracing the use of schema.org standard to describe their data means that Dataset Search is able to access lots of data at any given time. This also gives room for the growth of this tool.

Also, Read: 5 Best Websites By Google for Programmers and Developers

Dataset Search is multilingual. There are plans to incorporate more languages into the tool. It also has a user-friendly interface making it easy to use. You simply need to type the information that you are looking for and the rest of the job will be done for you.

The launch of Dataset Search is one of the recent moves that Google has been making to improve the accessibility of data. Unlike other initiatives that focused on particular groups of people, Dataset Search targets a broader audience. It will be of great use to anyone who is looking for critical data from governments and news outlets. However, the availability of data depends on the metadata that the publishers provide.

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Tech News

The Reality of Apple Products in India – An Overview

apple store

Apple, the first ever company to touch down $1 trillion mark and one of the tech giants popular for its high quality, expensive and top-notch products, is no doubt have proven their domination over the whole tech world but, is the case same that Apple holds for the Indian market?

A recent research and study depict that Apple has been facing failures in India especially with the sales of expensive ranked iPhones which are way more expensive and you have to sell your organs to own them. In this article, I will try to figure out why iPhones have to face a bit of criticism in India? So, let us get started.

The Stats

Apple iPhones are demanding products around the world. If you give a gauge at the stats shown below that is about the iPhone market share then, the numbers show that after the Android eco-system, iOS is the most popular and trusted OS among the users.

Source: Statcounter

And takes about 18.91% market share. If I talk about the iOS users in market share by reason then we have the following data.

  • North America about 48% of the total users
  • Oceania in Australia about 48.34% of the total users
  • Europe about 24.06% of the total users
  • In Asia and South America, it has about 10% of  total users
  • Lastly, in Africa, the market share is about 7% of the total users.

Pointing out the Asia Pacific reason, its just 10% don’t you feel awkward! Countries like India with a population of more than 1 billion and such a small per cent.

Also, the unpopularity can be clearly seen from this image below.

When it comes to sales, Apple is nowhere on the table. If I talk about the market share of MacBooks then also scenario doesn’t change. The below picture is the laptop’s market share of Q1(2018). The reason is clearly the price that the laptops of Apple hold for the same configuration that other companies provide at a lower price.

Why is this so?

India is the world second-biggest phone market where each company pays extra attention to satisfy the needs of the people but Apple is gambling with the sentiments of people by pricing their phone in lacks because, In India, Apple products are more often treated as a symbol status rather than a smartphone with camera and internet connectivity and Apple understand this very well.

When Tim Cook visited India way back in 2016, he said,

 Apple was in the country for a “thousand years.”

But, with iPhone sales continuously going in the downward trajectory,  this seemed like a joke by him and Unfortunately for Apple, any good joke often contains a grain of truth.

According to Counterpoint Research; in the first half of this year, Apple shipped fewer than 1 million iPhones in India which is very less when compared to Samsung, that shipped about 17.4 million smartphones in the same time period, while Xiaomi shipped nearly 19 million units.

Over the years, Apple’s jagged policies to seek profitability per handset over erect volume has never really competed with the likes of Samsung in terms of overall smartphone shipments in India. Apple shipped 2.6 million iPhones in India in 2016, a growth of over 50 percent compared to the year before.

That number rose to 3.2 million in 2017, but by the end of last year, there were signs that the growth was going down according to Counterpoint. Apple’s share of the Indian smartphone market has dropped to just 1 percent as of Q2 (April to June) 2018 and all thanks to the expensive iphones touching the price of 1.3 lack.

Here are some reasons that can actually justify the downfall of Apple products in India.

  • A boost in “Made in India” campaign by the Indian government has forced most of the tech giants to establish their manufacturing plants in India. Since import duties on mobile have been increased and imports of the components required for local assembly has been done duty-free, or taxable at lower rates so, the Indian government has been pushing smartphone makers to set up shop in the country.
  •  The rise in sticker prices of Apple products is a major concern for most of the middle-class buyers. It’s cheaper to buy a return ticket to the UK, but buying an iPhone XS, XSMax or even X is far beyond the capability of Indian customers.
  •  Feature phones. Yes, in 2018 even. The stats showed us that they still account for over 50 percent of all mobile phones shipped in the country as of the third quarter last year. Thanks to the Jio Phone that captured nearly 36 percent of the feature phone market in India in Q1 2018, which is still bigger than the smartphone market in India in terms of pure volume.
  • Lack of Dual Sim feature in the Phone. This feature is existing from 2000 but, why Apple is not offering this feature is still a mystery for most of us. Though, XS and XSMax and XR are now having an electronic sim which will take Indian buyers to digest for a while.
  • Apple seems to be selfish by degrading the older models. This is a weird strategy from one of the finest company in the world to force people to buy their new models.
  • A smaller screen size and poor screen resolution than most of the mid-range range devices available in the Indian market.

Conclusion

By this post, I really don’t want to hurt the sentiments of Apple fans as I am my self an Apple Fan Boy and I buy it because of its solid build quality, finish, and durability. But, don’t deny the truth as its always bitter to taste that people in India buy an Apple product just to show other people. You may say that I do the same thing but what’s wrong in this let’s accept it, I accept this, you should even accept this.

Apple has been really lucky enough to gain such kind reputation in the World that its products are the best and most valuable but hey, I really don’t think so that the products are value for money in any means. Majority of Indian users buy cheaper devices. According to Counterpoint Research, the “premium smartphone market” in India is around Rs. 30,000, or roughly $450. This is the reason why iPhone SE and 5s  is most sold in India.

Companies like MI, OnePlus, Oppo and Vivo have realized this fact and the prices of their devices lie under 40K even for their flagships. I am not saying this to suggest Apple but if this continues then Apple’s market will go down the same route as Sony or HTC anytime soon.

Globally, the iPhone is doing as well, and with the launch of new iPhone models, it will do well only but, unless the company decides to introduce a cheaper iPhone for Indian market it’s hard to see how Apple can start selling more units in a way that will gain them significant market share.

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Gaming

Google Unveils Project Stream for Streaming Video Games

google project Stream

We cannot deny the fact that there has been a tremendous improvement in the streaming technology. Companies have put efforts to enable consumers to access content easily by streaming. Whether you want to stream video or music, you simply need to visit your preferred streaming service and watch or listen to the content that you want.

However, there is one frontier that has been elusive to many companies. This is game streaming. However, Google is trying to fill this void with its new solution known as Project Stream. This solution is designed to help Google Chrome users to stream video games through this browser.

Google’s Project Stream

To many, this may sound impossible especially when we consider the technical aspects of video games. However, we should expect anything with Google. After all, it has all the resources to actualize this technology.

You should take note that this streaming service is nothing close to Twitch. You won’t be streaming a video of yourself playing a video game. Instead, it will enable gamers to play video games through their Google Chrome browser. In other words, you won’t have to download a video game and save it in your hard drive. Everything will be taking place on the browser with the support of a seamless internet connection.

One of the solutions that Project Stream technology is expected to solve is the storage space requirements. Most video games are hardware-intensive. They require large storage spaces which in some cases can exceed 100GB. Since the streaming service will be available online, there will be no need for gamers to worry about storage space. The project also intends to explore the possibilities of coming up with games which will allow players to play on subscription modes. This can be a major boost to gaming companies that want to minimize the cost of hardware.

Buffering and Latency

When we talk about online streaming there are tow issues that we cannot avoid to talk about. These are: latency and buffering. While you may be comfortable with some seconds of buffering when watching movies or streaming music, your feelings will definitely change when it comes to gaming. These two issues can have a negative impact on your gaming experience.

Project Upstream intends to minimize the latency time, especially when streaming high-quality video games. It should not degrade the quality of graphics in the game.

In order to ensure that the final consumers get a practical solution that will improve their gaming experience, Google decided to bring in an established gaming company-Ubisoft. The company agreed to stream their upcoming blockbuster game: Assassin’s Creed Odyssey on the Google Chrome. Gamers are invited to test this game on their Google Chrome browsers.

Google is not the first company to venture into live game streaming. Other gaming companies such as Nvidia are testing similar products. If successful, the project will boost the level of creativity in the video gaming industry as creators who are held back by the lack resources will still be able to publish their video games. It will also make more video games affordable.

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Tech News

Google will pay $9 Billion to Remain default search engine on iPhone

Google Montain view office

For a very long period of time, Google has been and is the world’s top search engine due to the precise search results it provides. However, it has always been willing to pay for this title and is now set to add $9 billion to the Apple coffers this year in order to remain as iPhone’s default search engine. This estimate was calculated by Rod Hall of Goldman Sachs, who calculated the $9 billion figure based on how many searches Apple users come from Siri or the Safari browser.

This is, however, not a new phenomenon. Many highly regarded analysts have revealed information about Google and it having a past of paying large sums of money to preserve their number one position, especially to Apple. These amounts have only been increasing over the past few years. A respected analyst from Bernstein estimated an amount of $3 million at one time, and this number grew staggeringly to $1 billion in 2013.

Furthermore, the payment in 2019 could be as astronomical as $12 million. But in contrast to this, the Wall Street Journal revealed information in May which hinted towards a slowdown in payment growths made to Apple. However, this is only an estimate, given that both Apple and Google have not released any statements confirming or denying this information.

It is well known that Google pays for each and every iPhone user. BMO Capital Markets estimated that in 2017, there were around 715 million iPhone users. In addition, it is estimated that annually, Google pays around $10 per iPhone user.

Google and Apple have always maintained an intriguing relationship. When the iPhone was first introduced by Apple to the world, it was a very easy decision to utilise Google as the default search engine, due to Google’s reputation as the world’s most powerful search engine.

Although Apple has used Google as its automatic search engine on iOS, they have also made use of the Bing platform in a variety of other places, for example, when searching the web through Siri. This is quite interesting, given Bing wasn’t even a thing until 2009. But Rod Hall has maintained that for Google, Apple still remains one of its biggest sources of gaining traffic.

All this really confirms is that overall, Apple and Google’s relationship remains mutually beneficial. Apple is very much gaining free money and Google still remains as popular as ever among users of Apple devices. This is providing even more growth for Apple, with its hardware sales gaining more and more traction. Applications such as Apple music and iCloud storage are seeing huge progress.

These separate segments of the Apple machine are making their own revenues – services revenue broke $36 billion over the last year, meaning that the company isn’t any longer so dependent upon the sales of their hardware, which can have their peaks and troughs due to changes in demand. In summary, the fact that people are constantly paying for services and product enhancements means it is a continuous win-win situation for Apple.

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Google apologies for remotely changing Android Pie settings

android apps for hackers

Android Pie users may have noticed something strange on their smartphones. After charging their phones to full capacity, they were surprised to see the battery saving option switched on.

With the battery saving option enabled, power is directed to the essential parts of the phone. Other features like GPS and phone brightness are disabled. Android 9’s Adaptive Battery feature goes a step further, disabling apps that run in the background that aren’t used often.

The android pie bug confused users who had the full capacity with battery saving enabled. At critical times, there were unable to use features and apps they should have access to. As the comparisons swirled around sites like Reddit, users realized the bug was on phones like the Essential Phone, Google Pixel 2, One Plus 6, and a host of others.

Google Responds To The Android Pie Bug

The noise online rattled Google who recently issued an apology, citing that they were aware of the issue. The tech giant indicated the change was a controlled experiment by their engineering team. They were testing the battery saving features of Android Pie, to improve its reliability.

The intended test targeted a small group of devices. Unfortunately, it was rolled out to a larger group of phones.

They have since reverted the affected phones to their default settings and removed the bug from affecting other devices. Google maintains that testing was safe. No phones or data was adversely affected and measures will be put in place to prevent a repeat of the issue. “Sorry for the confusion,” Google said in its statement.

Should Android Users Panic?

Android users did not take lightly to the apology. Many were upset that the changes were made without prior consent. For a feature that worked perfectly, it was confusing that Google will implement a bug to disrupt the experience of the user. Don’t they care about them?

Other users felt that Google showed its users that it has dominion over the operating system. Although users made changes to their settings, this self-inflicted android pie bug was able to stop them.

The android pie bug raised another concern. Can Google change settings on each phone? It’s easy to conclude this if they were able to target a select group of phones and toggle one setting. The entire suite of phones on Android Pie was not harmed. Therefore, Google has shown that it can not only collect data on your app and phone usage, it can also see how you customize your device. And change it.

This simple error may raise the conversation on data protection again.

Changes Mean Continuous Testing

At the same time, Google has made several changes to its new Android Operating-System with Adaptive Battery & Adaptive Display. It is part of the company’s intention to integrate Artificial Intelligence in Operating Systems. Adaptive Battery looks at when, and how you use apps.

It determines which apps deserve more battery. This gives a better battery experience. Adaptive Brightness tracks the brightness you prefer in different environments. It then predicts and adjusts accordingly. Both features improve the user’s battery experience.

Changes like these mean that Google will continuously test its technology, to ensure that it is working in all situations. Admittedly, these tests should be managed better. The argument could be raised that users should expect Google to have control over the ecosystem if they wish to benefit from these features.

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Google’s “What-if” tool analyzes ML Models without writing code

google's what-if tool for analyzing machine learning models without writing any code

The What-If Tool For Probing Machine Learning Models

When it comes to building a Machine Learning(ML) system, training a model is not enough. Instead, you need to ask lots of questions. Rather than just behaving a like a typical programmer, you need to act as a detective whereby you ask tons of questions. By being inquisitive, you will have a better understanding of how the model works.

Some of the questions that you need to ask include: Do the changes on a datapoint affect the predictions that the model will make? Does the model perform in a different manner when exposed to various groups? Is the dataset that I am testing my model on diverse? If so, what is the magnitude of the diversity?

As you can see getting concrete answers to these types of questions is not an easy process. Most ML programmers usually opt to write a one-off code that will be used to analyze the whole model. This option creates many loopholes and it is highly inefficient. For instance, it locks out the non-programmers and they won’t be able to participate in the process even when it is necessary.

This is one of the things that Google AI PAIR initiative aims to address. It wants to bring in different people in the whole process of examining, evaluating and debugging machine learning systems.

Google has already taken the first step toward achieving this goal. It has launched the What-If Tool. This is a completely new feature of the TensorBoard application that allows all interested users to analyze a Machine Learning model without having to write a single line of code. The What-If Tool uses dataset and pointers to a TensorFlow to produce an interactive interface which can be used for exploring the results of the model.

Finding the Counterfactuals

The What-If Tool is capable of visualizing the database on its own while at the same time is capable of editing the examples that you presented in your dataset. You simply need to click a button and you will be able to find the exact point where the model gives a different prediction. Such points are known as ‘Counterfactuals’ and they play a critical role in determining the decision boundaries of the model.

Analyze the Performance and determine the fairness of the Algorithms

You can also use the What-If Tool to explore the effects of using different classifications especially when you consider some constant constraints.

Demos of What-If Tool

To show the effectiveness of the What-If tool Google has released some demos which use the pre-trained models. These demos are used for:

  • Detecting the misclassifications of plants
  • Analyzing and assessing the fairness of binary classification models
  • Analyzing the performance of the model on different subgroups.

Putting the What-If Tool in Practice

To ensure that the What-If tool is effective in real-life ML applications, Google put it into various tests. Different teams tested it on different applications. One team discovered that the model was not detecting the whole feature of the dataset. This forced them to fix a bug in the model. In another team, the tool was used to organize their examples visually so that they discover familiar patterns. In overall everyone is hoping that the What-If tool will give a better understanding of the ML models.

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iPhone XR, XS, XS Max Announced – An Honest Opinion

dual sim iPhone XR, XS, XS

Well if you’re an “Apple FanBoy” then you should stop right now and do something better with your Apple device cos your battery lasts 3 hrs (that’s what she said).

Apple recently became a Trillion Dollar company and I’m not gonna emphasize on how that happened, but to sum up the past few years, it relies “Heavily” on the Business model of “Create a Problem and Sell the solution”. Fast forward to 2017, we got the iPhone X after iPhone 8, cos 7 ate 9 (get it?) Enter 2019, the year where Uber has started planning on bringing flying taxis while Elon Musk already put one in the space; Apple here introduces us to the technology of “Dual Sim”. I mean Apple got Swiftkey recently, this is too much for Apple fans to handle man gee, Give them a break Tim Cook!!

The new iPhones

So the new phones are named iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and the iPhone XR which stand for Expensive and Stupid, Maximum Expensive and Stupid and iPhone X Refurbished/Refresh?? (See where I’m going?). Anyway, the cheaper among the three musketeers is, of course, the XR, and only XS and XS Max seem to have received a decent upgrade if any and let’s not forget the Dual Sim feature. But a decent upgrade is merely a small amount considering you’re paying a stupid amount of money to buy a phone. Oh wait, its major user base is the stupid demography, makes sense!!

Let’s talk Specs

So Tim Cook quoted some really big numbers on the Keynote, let’s see if the following table knock I mean make sense.

FeatureiPhone XSiPhone XS MaxiPhone XR
Screen5.8” OLED6.5” OLED6.1” LCD
Resolution2436*1125 px
@ 458PPI
2688*1242 px @458PPI1792*828 px
@326PPI
Splash, Water & Dust ResistantIP68 CertfiedIP68 CertfiedIP67 Certfied
ChipsetA12A12A12
CameraDual 12MP Rear

7MP Front

Dual 12MP Rear

7MP Front

12MP Rear

7MP Front

Storage Options (GB)64,256,51264,256,51264,128,256
BatterySucksSucksSucks as usual
Price1.5 Kidney2 Kidneys1 Kidney

The Upgrades

So, design wise there have been minor improvements in screen size and resolution along with IP68 certification which OK. But the battery is also a big deal for iPhone users as it tends to drain out faster than a regular Android priced similarly. To make it fishier, Apple has chosen to display reference values such as 1hr more battery than the iPhone X and such comparative numbers in battery section of new iPhones which makes me question what does the R stand for in XR again? but of course, it’s Apple.

Coming to the newest “Dual SIM” feature, which rest of the world started using since 2000 thanks to “Technological Marvel” BenefonTwin phone, released by Benefon. It took Apple 18 years to adapt to the Dual SIM technology but also it’s not exactly Dual SIM you see. It’s a combination of an eSIM and a physical nano SIM so, well played Apple.

The selling point of the XR (doesn’t even have a 1080p display) here has to be the 5 colour variants and it’s iPhone for everyone price as quoted by Tim Cook which is $749 or ₹76,900 for the 64GB model. And from there it tops at $1,499 or ₹1,34,900 for the 512GB XS Max. In other words, the newer storage options are so high that even some of Apple’s MacBooks don’t even come close, man I’m gonna store all my movies on my phone and maybe even edit/store my YT videos on the fly as well.

Should you buy one?

Well well well, if you wonder what really has been upgraded? it’s not the company’s motto nor is it the consciousness of the consumer (you never know) but the price and maybe a few minor improvements here and there. If you’re just a regular consumer who wants a good phone at a decent price then please take a look at the Android Hemisphere, you’ve got great options such as OnePlus 6 and Galaxy Note 9 or maybe even budget options which don’t cost an organ. If you’re a hardcore Apple fan, do go for it as we’ve already established what the S stands for.

Please don’t get offended, if you are offended then, I don’t care. Do check out more tech Youtuber’s thoughts on the same for more in-depth review. See you guys in the next one!!

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Uber wants to Bring its Air Taxi Service in India

uber air taxi station

Uber, as we know it, is an online Taxi/bike sharing/carpooling/food delivery company that has millions of users worldwide. Uber started as a Taxi Company in 2009 and since then has gone to capture the Taxi market by a storm.

Uber Air Taxi

The Taxi giant which currently offers Cab service through bike or car, food delivery; is looking to spread its wings and explore the unconquered air for public transport services. Uber, thus has planned to bring out Air Taxi and intends to launch through three cities initially that can sustainability support Air Taxi and help in cutting major time spent in traveling.

Currently, it has chosen Dallas and Los Angeles to be its two launch cities along with Mumbai possibly being the third city (in talks with the authority). Check the following brief video of what could Air Taxi bring to the public.

Additionally, Uber has shortlisted five countries – India, Japan, Australia, Brazil and France – and one of them will become the first Uber Air City outside of the US. Eric Allison, chief executive, Uber Aviation Program, illustrated that the 100-minute road journey from the city airport in the western suburbs to downtown Churchgate in South Mumbai can come down to 10 minutes using the futuristic service.

Eric, after a meeting with India’s PM regarding this agenda, highlighted the importance of Air Travel in a heavily populated country like India and how innovation can bring about significant changes to the public transport.

What to Expect

If all goes well, then we could be looking at a revolutionized transport system by 2023 where traveling is just a small part of our life rather than being the major part in Metropolitan cities of our country. Coming to the vehicles that make Air Travel happen, we are looking at Vertical Take-Off Landing (VTOL) similar to the way a Helicopter works.

By using multiple smaller rotors to fly while reducing the space consumed by the jets, and also implantation of Electric Motors to make this initiative Green makes it icing on a cake.

This futuristic tech could also bring about positive changes in the Environment in cities like Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru. I just wish for the betterment of this country and hope we make our peace with Transportation problems.

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Apple Watch 4 (2018) – The Changes, Specs and Rumors

It would not be wrong to divulge that Apple has been dominating the Smart Watch market for the past few years. Companies like Samsung are nowhere as close to the sale of Apple’s watch. In the last two year, we have experienced and substantiated the Apple Watch models i.e. Series 2 and Series 3 with LTE support but the design was more or less the same and they just upgraded the wearable’s components with a faster chip, a water-resistant case, and cellular support.

In this article, we will highlight the all-new Apple watch 4 series, its changed design, rumored hardware specs and price that you had to pay to afford and wear this flagship device.

Also Read:  Apple MacBook Air 2018: Release Date, Specs, Price, And Rumours

Here’s everything about the rumored new Apple Watch 4

1.The All New Apple Watch Design

apple-watch-4-size

The upcoming months are going to be hectic for the Apple as rumors are, the company is all set to thrill their fans with the all-new series of products. Well, this watch from the Apple will actually be the fifth watch model and is expected to release in September 2018.

Apple might keep up the same pattern, and likely to introduce new Apple Watch models soon, possibly second week in September. Also, Apple is planning to introduce for the first time its new Apple Watch industrial design since the product line was first revealed in 2014, and believe me this might be the biggest change in terms of design and the sales for the expected watch might break the record of its own series 3 model.

The series-3 model was a great hit for the company and since its release, they are ruling over the smart-watch industry as the company sold more watches last quarter than Rolex, Omega, and Swatch combined. Why is this so? Here is the answer. According to the reports,

Features like fitness tracking and the ease of taking phone calls from the wrist have been most profound and perhaps given the Apple Watch an edge over traditional timepieces in the long run, especially as new capabilities are added such as bigger full HD display and Siri Assistance and water resistance.

If you had a series 2, 3 or earlier, nobody will able to identify the difference in terms of design as they all look identical. You basically get two options from the above watches i.e a 38mm and 42mm diameter that cost somewhere between 1200-1400$. We would have appreciated if Apple might have gone for a circular design pattern as they have some patents over the design as well but according to the reports and leaked news, only the size of the screen is going to be increased as follows.

  • 1.57″ for 38mm model from 1.5″
  • 1.78″ for the 42mm model from 1.65″

Thus the bezels will get thinner, enhancing the overall looks, the user experience of the watch and you not only be able to see more contents on the screen but every single watch face will be quite larger.

2. The Battery Life

Since its release, the watch was not so efficient, I would not say that it was poor but it needed some improvements. Apple has tried to make the battery as efficient as possible but this time we will notice a much better performance form new watch model.

According to the reports by KJ’s Securities and again “Min-chi-Kao” states that the 2018 Apple watch might be getting an overall 15% increase in the battery life. It seems like Apple might redesign the logic board from scratch in order to achieve the mentioned functionality.

3. The price

All the previous generations were nowhere close to the affordability of the general public and the scenario is not likely to change this time. The Series 2 and 3 generation weighed your pocket for about 1100 to 1400US dollars. This new model is supposed to come with a price tag of 1300 to 1500$ costing well enough then a MacBook Air.

Conclusion

The overall design, performance, and improvements in functionality such as a better talk droid tracking especially for detecting some heart rate conditions etc might be the best option for the people who can afford this flagship watch from Apple. I am really over-welled and waited for its release and hope as you are so let us see what Apple has to offer us in September.

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