Category Archives: TECHNOLOGY

iPhone X Review Roundup: Early But Really Nice

 

Apple’s iPhone X review embargo lifted today, and opinions from various sites have started to come in. The consensus, generally speaking, is that the iPhone X is a major revamp that hits far more often than it misses, though there’s an important caveat here: Apple appears to have seeded the iPhone X with less than 24 hours between unit reception and review NDA lift. That’s an insanely short period of time for any device, particularly a genre-redefining phone.

Everyone seems to love the display. “At a glance, the iPhone X looks so good one of our video editors kept saying it looked fake,” The Verge declares . It describes the display as looking “like a live 3D render instead of an actual working phone.”

Opinions on the “notch”–the cut-out at the top used for Face ID–continue to bifurcate. CNN reports still being annoyed by it, and The Verge claims landscape mode is still very messy, with content also clipped at the corners thanks to the screen’s rounded bezels. This is one area where Android and Apple both seem to have trouble; robust app support for the various bezel shapes, edge displays, and now Apple’s notch seems to lag years behind when hardware manufacturers want to roll these features out. Wired, on the other hand, says that while the notch isn’t great, “ you get used to it. ” Apps that haven’t been specifically updated for the iPhone X display in what The Verge refers to as “software bezel” mode, as shown below:

Reports on Face ID are also a bit split. Wired had some initial trouble with it, CNN isn’t giving an opinion yet, and The Verge states: “The good news is that Face ID mostly works great. The bad news is that sometimes it doesn’t, and you will definitely have to adjust the way you think about using your phone to get it to a place where it mostly works great.”

So… good, maybe?

The camera is always a major feature of any smartphone launch, but the iPhone X reviews are so compressed, most salient details are missing. The Verge writes that the iPhone X camera is very similar to the iPhone 8 (not counting its cutting-edge support for sentient poop emoji), while Wired writes that the iPhone X is a “major upgrade,” but appears to compare against an iPhone 7. Generally speaking, camera technology improves year-on-year more than in different models of phone with a similar camera, and Apple clearly spent its major budget working on getting Face ID working as opposed to on outfitting the iPhone X with a radically different back camera solution. CNN doesn’t mention the back-facing camera at all.

A Tight Review Embargo Does No One Any Favors

If this review roundup seems a little brief compared with the significance of the device, it’s because most of the review coverage out today is pretty sparse. If you want to read about a giant poop emoji, well, Wired leads with it. No, I’m not sure why. Everyone else has given the phone a lick and a promise, generally noting that while it does a lot of things pretty well, the tight review timeline plus the newness of the phone’s display make it harder to truly evaluate. There are no dramatic issues with Face ID, though it’s still possible that Apple relaxed its standards to speed manufacturing without fundamentally compromising quality.

If you’ve ever (or often) picked up an iPhone and wondered what the fuss was about, the various reviews waxing on about Apple’s reinvention of ideas like the Home Button (now you use gestures) or the glorious nature of OLED screens is going to strike you as a bit myopic. “Android devices have had some of these things for literal years,” you might be tempted to shout. And you’d have a point, in many cases. Right now, the iPhone X appears to be an exceptionally well-made handset, with a number of technological firsts in an Apple device, but it’s also designed to look towards a future that takes greater advantage of AR technology, eschews buttons, and fields apps that adjust to screen dimensions more capably than what we have today. The problem with this is you don’t know which innovations will catch with customers and which will not until you try. Apple is throwing a lot of mud at the proverbial wall with the iPhone X, but we’ll have to see what sticks.

With that said, all of these reviews are more positive on the iPhone X than the iPhone 8. If you were choosing which Apple phone to buy based solely on reviews, even at this early stage, the iPhone X comes off much better.

Source: EXTREME TECH

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Infinix Note 4 Gets High Market Attention With Fast Charging Advantage

Designed for the youths to go beyond,   Infinix Note 4 series, just released in the Nigerian market is gaining   market attention as a result of key innovative features,   especially, the   fast charger, Xpen, among others.

Infinix Note 4

While retaining   its DNA of stylish design, big screen, big battery and super-fast charge,   the product , a 4th generation of the Infinix Note Series, with the first of its kind Stylus pen ‘Xpen’ is crafted with state-of-art technology.

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At the launch in Lagos recently, the Regional Manager of smart phone maker,   Infinix Africa,   Bruno Li had told audience that Inifinix had introduced   a new era for their   Note series.

Battery life

True to his statement, the new product has a beautiful design with innovation of super-fast charge as the device   has the theme ‘5 minutes charge 250 minutes talk time’ and a battery life of 4500MAH, which charges five times faster and is equipped with Xcharge 4.0.

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Infinix Note 4 features ‘Note 4 & Note 4 Pro’, which are both budget friendly and runs on versions 7.0 Android.

Remarkable features

Crafted with finger print, the device also   comes with other remarkable features such as 5.7FHD screen, 13MP AF back camera, 8MP-mega pixels front camera, Xpen, Octa-core 1.3GHz 64bits, 32GB ROM, with expandable storage space to 128gb and 3GB RAM, 4G enabled and XOS 2.3.

The launch, which received a massive reception, also led to the smartphone becoming Nigeria’s most searched Android smartphone on Google the first time a mid-range smartphone has taken the search lead.

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Coming in three colours, champagne Gold, Ice Blue and Milan Black, customers, according to the tech giant,   customers could   pre-order the new Infinix Note 4 at all partner stores in Nigeria and get free Dual-Noise cancelling earphones or 3D speakers when they pre order before the 7th of July when it will be available in the market.

The retail price for Infinix Note 4 is N53, 000 and N58, 000 for the 32GB + 3GB and the Note 4 Pro will retail for N66, 000 respectively.

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This Spacesuit Case Keeps your iPhone Cool in the Baking Sun

     

Perhaps, you’ve seen this popup message?

  

Perhaps you’ve accidently left your iPhone in the sun and returned to find it inoperable with the “Your iPhone needs to cool down before you can use it” message plastered on its screen. Or the opposite: It shut down because it was frozen. 
Whatever the case, iPhones — and smartphones in general — don’t do well in extreme conditions. Which is where the Phoozy ($30) comes in. 

A simple sleeve or “capsule” for smartphones that’s made out of spacesuit-inspired materials designed to protect astronauts, the Phoozy is the brainchild of Kevin Conway, a NASCAR driver and Lamborghini Super Trofeo World Champion who got tired of “having my phone overheat and shut down when I was outside on a hot summer day or freeze when I was snowboarding.”

The Phoozy has a Chromium Thermal Barrier Shell and SpaceTech Penetration Layer, as well as a bit of velcro to keep it closed at the top. The secret to that Chromium Thermal Barrier is that it reflects 90 percent of the sun’s energy.  

The Phoozy isn’t waterproof exactly but it is buoyant, and if your phone falls in the water while wearing a Phoozy, it won’t sink (we did test it). Measuring 4 by 7 inches, it fits phones as large as the iPhone 7 Plus, Galaxy S8 Plus and Google Pixel XL. 

In an ideal world I’d like to see it priced a little closer to $20, but it would certainly come in handy at the beach this summer. The thermal proofing is also supposed preserve battery life when things get too hot or too cold (batteries don’t do well in extreme temps).

Here are the Phoozy’s key specs:
•Heat protection to 200F

•Coldproof rated to -20F

•Buoyant (float protection) 

•Price: $30

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Facebook Funds Harvard to Defend Democracy from Hackers

Facebook announced today it would fund a project called Defending Digital Democracy. The project, co-founded by the campaign managers for both Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney, aims to thwart outside interference in elections.

The Belfer Center at The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University announced the project earlier this month. Eric Rosenbach, Co-Director of the Belfer Center and former Assistant Secretary of Defense will be heading it up. In a Harvard press release he said:

Americans across the political spectrum agree that political contests should be decided by the power of ideas, not the skill of foreign hackers. Cyber deterrence starts with strong cyber defense — and this project brings together key partners in politics, national security, and technology to generate innovative ideas to safeguard our key democratic institutions.

The announcement came during Black Hat, an annual security event held in Las Vegas. Reuters reports Facebook Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos said:

Right now we are the founding sponsor, but we are in discussions with other tech organizations. The goal for our money specifically is to help build a standalone ISAO (Information Sharing and Analysis Organization) that pulls in all the different groups that have some kind of vulnerability.

Stamos declined to say how much money Facebook would be contributing to the Defending Digital Democracy project. He did, however, announce that Facebook would be offering a $1 million Internet Defense Prize for researchers this year, according to Financial Times.

The social network also announced it would be investing in education by joining forces with CodePath, a training company that provides free education for engineers.
Facebook has shown a vested interest in fighting fake-news, though perhaps this isn’t entirely altruistic. The social network might not have intentionally meddled in the 2016 Presidential election, but the role that false news articles on Facebook played can’t be overstated.

In a few long years we’ll start the entire US Presidential election circus all over again, in the mean-time we’ve got hundreds of elections from the State to Federal level occurring first. The Defending Digital Democracy team has more than its fair share of work ahead.

Update 1:47 PM CST : A representative for Facebook contacted us to say that the social network was disclosing it pledged $500,000 to the Defending Digital Democracy project.

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China-Hong Kong bridge to unity, or tentacle of Beijing control? (REUTERS)

As a 30-km (19-mile) bridge between Hong Kong and China across the Pearl River estuary nears completion, Chinese officials are hoping it will bring more than economic integration at a time of growing tension between the two sides.

The bridge that snakes out over the blue estuary with soaring pylons, viaducts and towers using more steel than 60 Eiffel Towers, was first proposed in the late 1980s.

But it was opposed at the time by Hong Kong’s British colonial government, which was wary of development that might draw the city closer to Communist China.

Since Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule in 1997, however, there has been a flurry of projects integrating the port city with the Pearl River Delta’s manufacturing and urban sprawl, and stoking some unease in Hong Kong.

Wei Dongqing, a Chinese Party official and the executive director of the Hong Kong Zhuhai Macau bridge Authority, one of the leaders of the project, sees the bridge, linking the former European colonies of Hong Kong and Macau with Zhuhai city, as promoting unity, both physically and mentally.

“It’s psychological. It joins three places,” Wei told Reuters on a media-trip bus speeding along the half-finished, six-lane bridge, with the facades of Macau’s casinos glimmering in the distance.

“We have confidence for the future … a united market, a united people … that’s the dream.”

After nearly eight years of construction, the cost of the bridge and tunnel project has ballooned to some $19 billion, at the last estimate.

Critics see it as a white elephant, that will struggle to become viable and be unlikely to draw the 40,000 or so vehicles a day as forecast.

While most construction is expected to be finished by year-end to allow the first vehicles to cross, Wei said he “wasn’t sure” when full operations – including toll booths, customs and immigration facilities – would be ready.

“We are facing new challenges after the bridge is completed … how to operate it, make it efficient, and really benefit the whole area,” he said.
The Hong Kong Transport Bureau, which oversees the Hong Kong end of the project, gave no specific response to questions on whether more delays and cost-overruns were expected, but said it was confident construction could be completed by the end of the year.

Final arrangements were being decided by the three sides, it said in an email.

‘BLUR THE BORDER’

Mainland and Hong Kong officials have long stressed the bridge’s economic importance at a time when tension in Hong Kong has escalated, with protests in 2014 over Beijing’s refusal to allow full democracy, and suspicion of creeping mainland interference despite a guarantee of autonomy.

Some in Hong Kong, apart from questioning the huge sums that could have gone into health, housing and education, are worried about what they see as an erosion of Hong Kong’s independent identity in China’s increasingly extensive embrace.

“You see a kind of network trying to blur the border between Hong Kong and China,” said pro-democracy lawmaker Kwok Ka-ki.
“In the coming 10 to 15 years, when all these infrastructure projects are completed, you will see Hong Kong is only part of China because you cannot see a clear border.”

Another project – a multi-billion dollar high-speed rail link – sparked an outcry over plans to allow Chinese immigration facilities to operate on Hong Kong soil.

Critics say that undermines Hong Kong’s autonomy under a “one country, two systems” formula, under which the city returned to Chinese rule.

“I don’t think many Hong Kong people mind to be integrated … but what we want is to do it democratically,” said Eddie Chu, who led protests against the rail link and is now an elected lawmaker.

“Behind all the protests in the last 10 to 15 years, the core idea is democracy and it’s an extension of the democratic movement, whether we have popular control over the direction of economic development and town planning.”

But project leader Wei, dressed in gray overalls and a white hard-hat, celebrates the integration that the critics decry.

“It’s actually one bridge, three systems. It’s about the law, policy, transportation policy, customs policy,” said Wei.

“The bridge is becoming a new icon.”

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What is Sarine & How Does it Work

DENSDOME- ​The victims of a bombing in northern Syria this week were exposed to sarin, a banned but easily manufactured poison that has been widely used in chemical weapons, Turkish officials who conducted autopsies on the victims said on Thursday.

WHAT IS SARIN?
Sarin is a nerve agent, one of a class of chemicalweapons that affect the brain’s ability to communicate with the body’s organs through thenervous system. It is a colorless, tasteless, odorless liquid that was first synthesized in Germany in 1938 as a potential pesticide.

Sarin is considered “the most volatile of the nerve agents,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

“This means it can easily and quickly evaporate from a liquid into a vapor and spread into the environment.”Sarin vapor does not last long, but it can be deadly if inhaled. 

Contact with sarin liquid on exposed surfaces, in food, or in water can also be fatal. Its effects may strike quickly or be delayed after exposure.

HOW DOES IT WORK?
All nerve agents belong to a class of organic compounds that contain phosphorous, and work in essentially the same way, by inhibiting the action of a crucial enzyme in the body that allows muscles and organs to contract. 

Without the enzyme’s action, the muscles and organs areconstantly stimulated and stop working properly;asphyxiation soon follows.

HOW IS IT WEAPONIZED?

Sarin is dangerous to handle and has a short shelf life, so it is usually stored in the form of twoseparate precursor compounds that will producesarin when mixed together.

On the battlefield, sarin and other nerve agents can be used against targets by spraying them asa liquid or an aerosol. 
Chemical bombs are designed to spray out the liquid on detonation. 
The Syrian government is believed to have used such a bomb this week in Idlib Province.

TheUnited NationsChemical Convention, which bans the use of sarin in war, went into effect in 1997. 

The Syrian government agreed in 2013 to destroy its chemical weapons stockpile, including sarin.

HOW TOXIC IS IT?
According to the United States military, sarin is 81 times as toxic as cyanide and 543 times as toxic as chlorine, which has been used in Syria as a chemical weapon. 

Chlorine has legitimate commercial uses and is not banned.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF EXPOSURE?
Symptoms of exposure may include the pupils ofthe eyes shrinking to pinpoints, rapid breathing, vomiting, convulsions, paralysis and respiratory failure. Swift medical attention can reverse the effects of low levels of exposure.

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5 Ways to Boost Your Blog Traffic Using Google Search Console

​Traffic makes a blog thrive; without it, a blog can’t build an email list or generate ad revenue. Low traffic numbers mean a lot of time and money were wasted on content generation when it could be a valuable money-making tool. To maximize your blogging results relative to energy invested, check in with Google Search Console on a regular basis.

Why Google Search Console

Search Console is a free tool for webmasters to determine the health of their website or blog. It allows bloggers to monitor their site performance in the Google search engine and identify issues that hinder performance. In short, Search Console shows you what is working for your site, and what could be improved. It also provides some big hints about where you can focus your efforts to maximize your search engine results.

If you don’t have a Google Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools) account then this handy getting started guide can get you set up. When setting up your Search Console account, here are a few important things to note:

Before you start, make sure your website has a Sitemap

  • You’ll need a Google account. It should be different than your personal account.
  • If you already have a Google Analytics account or Google Adwords account then use the same Google account.
  • You’ll need access to your site to verify ownership of your site.
  • Be sure to add ALL the variants of your site name (www., https://, etc) into Search Console
  • Be sure to tell Google which version (ie www.) you would like to use
  • Be sure to tell Google your geographic and language targets

Here are a few ways Search Console can help you dominate your niche.

Find Your Best Keywords
The best thing about Search Console is that it tells you exactly where you should be focusing your efforts to achieve higher rankings. Here’s how to find and use the provided data:

  1. Find the “Search Traffic” menu on the right side, and select “Search Analytics”. A graph will appear showing you how many organic clicks you received over the past 28 days (you can edit the date range).
  2. Above the graph, select “Impressions”, CTR, and “Position”. Now you’ll see the “Queries” that brought visitors to your site, and the number of clicks that query received along with your relative ranking.
  3. Sort the Queries by “Position” and look at all the queries you have that have a ‘top 10’ position.

These are the terms that Google thinks are applicable to your business and can rank on the 1st page of Google. Look for terms that would appeal to your readers and have a modest number of impressions. These are great terms for you to focus on.

One easy way to use this information is to optimize your existing pages. Since Google is already ranking you well for a term, it may pay to optimize your page for that keyword.

Discover Anchor Text Ideas
Anchor text refers to the text used in a link that directs someone to a page other than the one the reader is currently on. In this sentence, the anchor text is directing the reader to an article that has more information about “anchor text”.

When Google indexes links, it looks at the anchor text and associates it to the content on the page. If you have a site that is about an ERP company in Singapore, then you could use ERP-related phrases as anchor text to show Google that your site is related to ERP software.

Search Queries are a great place to find effective anchor text for your backlinks. Google already associates your page with that keyword, so a helpful reminder may strengthen your positioning for that keyword phrase. 

WARNING: Google does NOT like over optimized anchor text. Avoid using the same anchor text multiple times and use highly specific anchor text sparingly. Visit this article for anchor text distribution ideas.

Show Me The Interest
Next, click on the “Impressions” column header. This will give you an idea of the number of searches each term is receiving. If you aren’t ranked well for a query you may receive few or no actual clicks. But this information is key to knowing what your potential readers are exploring with the most frequency.

Look for queries that have a high number of impressions and would be especially interesting topics for your target readers. These queries are topics that you may want to focus on in a unique blog post.
Knowing what people want to read, and giving them that information is an easy way to pump up your readership numbers.

Who Goes Where?
On the top menu, change the filter from ‘Queries’ to ‘Pages’. This will show you the main pages on your site and how much search traffic they are receiving respectively.

Knowing which pages on your site are getting the most (and least) amount of search traffic may provide you with insights about what your readership is most interested in. Consider updating your most popular pages by adding new content to keep them relevant – Google seems to like updated content.

You can also sort your Pages tab by Impressions. This will give you an idea of how much opportunity there is to gain search traffic for each of your pages. Knowing where the biggest opportunities lie is a big help in expanding your readership.

Earning Backlinks
Your blog probably has some ‘core’ content that is meant to drive your website or blog objectives. With the ‘Pages’ button enabled, sort your pages by ‘Clicks’. Are you getting as many clicks as you would like for your ‘core’ pages?

Unfortunately, all too often the answer is “nope”.

In Search Console go to the ‘Search Traffic’ menu on the right side of the page. Select the ‘Links to Your Site’ option.

On the right side of the page, Google will show ‘Your Most Linked Content’. Click on the “More”  text for an expanded view. The expanded view will show you how many unique domains (Source Domains) have created a link to your website.

If the content you most wish to promote doesn’t have a robust backlink profile then you may want to try to earn some new, high quality, backlinks for those pages. These new backlinks will indicate to Google that your content is still relevant and of interest to people in your niche. Accordingly, Google may increase your overall search rankings for that page.

A Solution to the Traffic Problem
As you can see, Google Search Console is a great tool for solving issues that can affect your blog traffic. The key is to do things that can increase your blog’s organic ranking so that more people can discover it.

Keep your content fresh and updated, nail down your best query terms, focus your anchor terms (with restraint!!!), find topics of interest to your readers, and sculpt your backlink profile. Doing these things can have a significant impact on the overall performance of your blog and what you want it to accomplish.

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