31772a6dd13fa30012a6de614c7ac0fc9734955e5797a33812 Money And Knowledge: 2016

Windows 10 Upgrade Tactics Were a Bit Too Aggressive, Admits Microsoft

Microsoft finally admitted that forcing its users to upgrade to Windows 10
was a bad decision.The Redmond giant this year tried several ways to 
push the newest OS onto existing Windows 7 and 8 users to the point 
that it refused to offer no as an option.
The Redmond giant had been aggressively trying to increase the
adoption of Windows 10 ahead of its July 29 free upgrade deadline. 
Windows 7 and 8 users complained of free Windows 10 upgrade 
pop ups that included no cancellation option beyond the red X button.
Soon, even that option disappeared - instead, clicking on the red
X button sent confirmation to schedule the upgrade. Now, Microsoft's 
Chief Marketing Officer Chris Capossela finally admitted that it went 
a little too far with its strategy in a Windows Weekly podcast, reports
by Forbes' Gordon Kelly.

"We know we want people to be running Windows 10 from a security
perspective, but finding the right balance where you're not stepping 
over the line of being too aggressive is something we tried and for 
a lot of the year I think we got it right, but there was one particular 
moment in particular where, you know, the red X in the dialogue box which
typically means you cancel didn't mean cancel," Capossela said.
"And within a couple of hours of that hitting the world, with the listening
systems we have we knew that we had gone too far and then, of course, 
it takes some time to roll out the update that changes that behaviour. 
And those two weeks were pretty painful and clearly a lowlight for us. 
We learned a lot from it obviously." As Kelly notes, taking two weeks to 
change the behaviour of the red X button appears to be a case of 
Microsoft waiting to see if the consumer outrage outweighed the 
increased adoption.
Capossela's admission is long due and perhaps a little too late.
Since the second half of 2015, Microsoft started pulling some sneaky 
tricks to get users running an older version of Windows to upgrade 
to Windows 10. From secretly downloading Windows 10 on Windows
7 and Windows 8 PCs with automatic updates turned on to making the new OS
mandatory update, Microsoft tried it all. In June, Microsoft paid $10,000
as compensation for forcefully installing the Windows 10 update on 
a user's PC without her permission.
Whether this acknowledgement finally means that Microsoft will
stop forcing users onto its newest operating system or not will 
have to be seen. As of now, it looks like the Redmond
company will let the adoption of Windows 10 take place naturally and
will not resort to tricking users to accept what is 
otherwise a pretty decent upgrade.

Google launched Android 7.0, even though 30% of its users are still on Android 4.4

Earn free bitcoin
Google has officially rolled out the latest version of Android, version 7.0 Nougat. For the most part, it looks great. Among its many additions are a multi-window mode that lets you run two apps onscreen simultaneously, a more polished and capable notification panel, and, naturally, more emojis. It's not a monumental upgrade, but it's a step forward.
The issue, as always, is that very few people are actually going to see it - at least not while it's new.
android market share
According to Google's Android developer dashboards, 15.2% of Android customers were using version 6.0 Marshmallow as of August 1. That's twice as much market share as it had this past May, but still a fairly small amount for an update that's been available for 10 months. Meanwhile, 35.5% of users were on some form of Android 5.0 Lollipop, while 29.2% were on Android 4.4 KitKat, which launched in late 2013.
This fragmentation problem is anything but new for Google, but it's worth reiterating with today's launch: Android is beholden to the device manufacturers that use it, as well as the carriers that service those OEMs' devices. Year after year, very few of those companies are capable of and/or willing to supply their customers with everything their devices could do.
Lately, a chunk of them haven't even committed to rolling out of Google's monthly security updates on time, putting an already iffy piece of software with regard to keeping data secure on even shakier ground.
As hackneyed as it is to say, it has to be noted that iOS doesn't have this problem. According to Apple's developer support page, 87% of iDevice users were on the latest iOS 9 update as of August 15. Another 10% were on 2014's iOS 8 update, while just 3% were on anything before that.
This doesn't mean iOS is "better" than Android. Rather, it's another reminder that Google faces structural, industry-wide issues that Apple has done well to bypass. (Though it's allowed Google to have a much higher global market share.)
Android Nougat does nothing to fix them. Right now, the only way to ensure you get those updates quick is to buy a Nexus device. Even that has its limits, though - Google confirmed on Monday that Nougat's rollout doesn't apply to 2013's Nexus 5 phone or Nexus 7 tablet, a faster cutoff than what Apple's doing with iOS 10.
Beyond that, Google would either have to make some sort of major technical change that allows it to update Android itself, or some sort of major contractual change that puts more pressure on Android-using companies to push updates faster.
Or, as has been rumored, Google could try creating its own iPhone competitor, cutting those third parties off at the knees. (My colleague Kif Leswing has made a case for this before.)
Whatever happens, Nougat is what we've got today. Here's hoping you don't have to wait too long to see it.

Now Get Paid For Using Microsoft's Edge Browser

In an effort to make people switch to Microsoft Edge, the company will now pay you to use the browser, which the company claims can last longer than its Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Opera counterparts.

Edge can deliver 36-53 per cent more battery life while doing daily tasks, including watching videos on YouTube, browsing internet or checking in with friends on social networks.

Microsoft Rewards, announced earlier this week, is a rebranding of Bing Rewards and so far only available in the US, offers points for using Edge and Bing, as well as shopping at the Microsoft store, CNET.com reported on Friday.

You have to make Bing, a web search engine owned and operated by Microsoft, as your default search engine to earn points in its revamped rewards programme.

Points can be traded in for vouchers or credits to places like Amazon, Starbucks, Skype and the ad-free version of Outlook.com.

"Almost three-quarters of Windows 10 users are not using the Edge browser," the report noted.

Microsoft once dominated the browser game with Internet Explorer, a predecessor to Edge.

Over the last decade, however, Edge has seen a significant decline in usage as alternatives such as Google's Chrome and Mozilla's Firefox have gained popularity and Internet Explorer failed to keep up.

Best Vector illustrations Store

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Vector illustrations. All opinions are 100% mine.

glowing perspective floor - easy to change color EPS10 vector

You know that feeling when you're busy working from home or in the office but that piece of work just isn't coming together? You don't have the time to sort something from scratch so you decide to search for some quality vector art online. Today I am going to introduce a best and quality vector illustrations store called My Vector Store. What is Illustration? Ok, Illustration is a vector graphic provided as an standard Adobe EPS file.

The collection at My Vector Store is huge and the quality is awesome and everything is well tagged so it's easy to find what you're looking for. There are two options to purchase license of vectors - Standard and Enhanced with affordable prizes.

They accept PayPal payments. You can also use Visa, MasterCard, American Express and more other cards to make PayPal payments.As soon as payment status is "Completed" (usually immediately), you will be able to see the download links at the download page.

So guys, don't waste your time. If you want to get best and quality vectors then visit My Vector Store.
I'd love to hear your thoughts and experience on Vector illustrations! Leave a comment below.
Visit Sponsors Site

Microsoft to release two Windows 10 updates in 2017

Microsoft to release two Windows 10 updates in 2017

Technology giant Microsoft has announced that it would roll out two major updates for Windows 10 next year after releasing a third and final update for 2016.
"Windows 10, version 1607 is our third Windows 10 feature update released. Based on feedback from organisations moving to Windows 10, this will be our last feature update for 2016, with two additional feature updates expected in 2017," the company wrote in a blog on Saturday.
According to Windows Central, while the first major update for 2017 -- codenamed Redstone 2 -- would release in the early part of 2017, the second one -- codenamed Redstone 3 -- might be released in 2017 summer.
This update pattern is similar to the one that the Threshold update wave followed.
Much like Threshold 2 was to Threshold 1, Redstone 3 is likely to be a much smaller update compared to Redstone 2.
Microsoft is currently in the middle of Redstone 2 development with the latest internal builds now being compiled around the 14900 range, the report said.

(source: zeenews)

Microsoft’s Windows 10 Anniversary Update will arrive August 2nd

Microsoft’s Windows 10

Microsoft today announced that the Windows 10 Anniversary Update will launch on August 2. This is one of the biggest Windows 10 updates yet and will include new features for both consumers and enterprises.

As Microsoft also announced today, Windows 10 now runs on 350 million devices and users have spent 135 billion hours using it so far. That’s up from the 300 million devices running Windows 10 the company announced in May.
Picking August 2nd as the  launch date is a bit of an odd choice, though, given that Microsoft’s free update offer, which allows most current Windows users to update to Windows 10 for free, expires just a few days earlier on July 29th and Microsoft doesn’t seem to have any intention to extend this offer beyond this date. July 29th also marks the one-year anniversary of Windows 10 that gives the update its name.
As Windows senior director Lisa Gurry told me, the company doesn’t want to roll out a major update on the 29th because it’s a Friday and also because the Windows team wanted some extra time to finish the product. She also noted that the expiration date of the offer was communicated for a year now, so Microsoft couldn’t change it anymore. I’m not sure I buy all of that, but the date is now set.
On the enterprise side, the update will include a number of new security features, including advanced threat protection in Windows Defender and the Windows Information Protection Service for ensuring that enterprise data remains secure.

Most of the new features, however, are geared toward consumers. Cortana, for example, will now be able to answer to queries without you having to log in to your computer and can now help you recall your frequent flier number, while Windows Ink allows you to easily write notes, draw sketches, and add sticky notes to documents and web sites (with the help of the updated Edge browser, which is now also more energy efficient than before and offers support for a limited number of third-party extensions).
Gurry also noted that the update includes a number of new features for schools that want to adopt Windows 10 laptops (instead of Chromebooks or iPads, for example). It’s now easier to set up a shared cart of devices, for example, or to configure the laptop for a test-taking session (with copy-and-paste disabled, for example).
Xbox One users will also see some updates to their console. Maybe the most noticeable will be the addition of Cortana to the system. In addition, Microsoft’s Xbox Anywhere program will allow gamers to buy games once and then play them on Xbox One and on their PCs. These games will be available in the new unified Windows Store on Xbox and PC.


Amazon offering Prime members $50 off two newly-released Android phones, but there’s a catch …

If you’re an Amazon Prime member in the market for a low-cost unlocked Android phone, the company is offering 50% off the full retail price of two models. The budget BLU R1 HD, normally $99.99, is available for $49.99, while the 4th-gen version of the popular Moto G is down from $199.99 to $149.99.

Each phone is offered unlocked, with no commitment to a contract, giving Prime members the flexibility to switch between wireless carriers and service options to best fit their needs. The BLU R1 HD and Moto G feature Android 6.0 Marshmallow with Google Mobile Services, including Google Maps, Gmail, YouTube, and Google Play … 

For a budget phone, the BLU R1 HD has a decent-looking spec, including a 5-inch HD Gorilla Glass display and an aluminum body. 

Featuring a 1.3 GHz quad-core processor, fast 4G LTE speed, 8MP rear-facing camera, 5MP selfie camera with LED flash, 1 GB RAM and 8 GB of internal – with microSD card support for up to 64 GB of additional storage. The BLU R1 HD is compatible with GSM carriers, including AT&T and T-Mobile.

The Moto G has been one of the more popular mid-range smartphones, with a spec boost for the latest iteration. It is due for its U.S. release in a couple of weeks.

The fourth-generation Moto G is the latest premium phone from Motorola and the thinnest Moto G yet. Compatible with all major CDMA and GSM carriers, including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon. It boasts a 5.5” full HD display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 chipset with an octa-core processor at up to 1.5 GHz, 2 GB RAM, and 4G LTE speeds. In addition, the Moto G features a 13MP camera with dual LED flash, and a 3000 mAh battery with TurboPower charging giving you up to 6 hours of power in just 15 minutes of charging. Available with 16 GB or 32 GB of internal storage, plus microSD card support for up to 128 GB of additional storage.

There is, however, a catch: they will display lockscreen ads, much like some Kindles. They also have the Amazon apps pre-installed.
Both phones are available for pre-order starting today at www.amazon.com/prime-exclusive-phones. Amazon Prime costs $10.99/month with a 30-day free trial, so if you’re not a member but plan to buy one of these handsets, you may want to grab a free trial.


Slack for Android picks up full Android Wear support in latest update

Slack is quickly taking over messaging for businesses around the work, but their Android application isn’t exactly amazing, especially when it comes to feature support. Thankfully in their latest update, Slack has not only fixed a few outstanding issues, but also added full support for Android Wear.

Just like other messaging apps on the platform, Slack will give you the ability to reply by voice as well as view previous messages within a thread. Pretty simple stuff, but it’s great to finally have this functionality available.
Aside from that, Slack 2.12.0 updates the method in which notifications are handled and also improves the in-app browser for those who use it. There are also a dozen bugs fixes which are listed and detailed on Slack’s official changelog. The update is rolling out now via Google Play.

Slack 2.13.0 for Android – Release Notes

  • Updated the way notifications are handled and displayed, to make them better.

  • Support for Android Wear (Reply to notifications and view previous messages to a notification by swiping right)

  • When using the in-app browser we’ve added more options to make it easier to share – in Slack, and out.

Chrome OS will finally get a storage manager in an upcoming update

Chrome OS has always been pretty bare bones, but as an avid user and fan of the OS, even I have to admit it’s missing features it really shouldn’t be. With the limited storage available on most Chromebooks, you’d think a storage manager would be available, but you would be wrong. Thankfully, that will be changing very soon.
Fran├žois Beaufort, a member of the Chrome OS team at Google recently revealed over on Google+ that the next update to Chrome OS will pick up an easy to access storage manager within the settings menu.
The storage manager will break down your used and available storage separating stored files into offline Google Drive files and downloaded files. Presumably this will also have a section broken out for Android apps as that is set to arrive on more Chromebooks over the coming months.
For now the change is available via the Chrome OS dev channel by enabling it in flags. To do this easily, type chrome://flags/#enable-storage-manager into the URL bar and then restart your Chromebook. Once you’re back up, head over to Chrome settings and you’ll find the storage manager under the “device” section.


iPhone SE review: Good choice at a good price

If you've been clinging on to your 5S because you don't want a larger iPhone, now is a good time to upgrade.

Unless you take a lot of selfies or need a bigger phone, Apple's new 4-inch iPhone SE is a good choice at a good price.

You get the same 12-megapixel rear camera that's in the much larger iPhone 6S, but for $250 less, at about $400. You also get the same speeds and graphics capabilities.
Of course, you don't get everything. The SE isn't going to be right for everyone, especially power users. Now that Apple has started taking orders, with shipments due in a week, keep these differences in mind:
Most noticeable is the front camera. The SE has an older 1.2-megapixel camera _ not the 5 megapixel one in the 6S. But with software improvements, selfies taken with the SE came out better compared with the iPhone 5S it replaced. In addition, the SE's screen turns into a front-camera flash. That's more important than megapixels in darker settings.
Though you get the same rear camera as the 6S, you don't get an image-stabilizing feature found in the jumbo iPhone 6S Plus. This won't matter to most people, though. I typically have to blow up shots and look real closely for differences. You get the same options for panorama shots, slow motion and high-resolution ``4K'' video in all three phones.
The SE lacks a barometer, which means fitness apps won't record stairs climbed. The SE also lacks 3D Touch, in which you can press on an icon hard and harder for shortcuts and other options. Including it would have made the phone thicker. You can still perform the same tasks, but might need an extra tap or two.
The SE doesn't support "LTE Advanced'' cellular technology, which can be twice as fast as regular LTE. The iPhone 6 doesn't either, and frankly, I didn't even notice when I got the 6S. There's one SE model for Sprint and another for AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon. China has its own model, though both U.S. versions should still work there and elsewhere abroad _ data will just potentially be slower without LTE Advanced.
The SE doesn't come in a version with 128 gigabytes of storage _ just 16 GB for starters and 64 GB for $100 more. Many high-power users will probably want a bigger screen anyway, but if that's not the case, splurge for at least 64 GB. Your phone will fill up quickly _ especially as still images now come with three-second videos by default, doubling storage requirements.
Promised battery life for video and Web surfing is 13 hours _ a few hours better than the 6S. It helps that there's less screen to light up.
The SE largely retains the boxy feel of the 5S, so old cases will work, but you don't get a smoother feel from the larger phones' curved edges. On the other hand, the smaller size feels more comfortable, and had there been a curved design at that size, your phone might slip out of your hand more easily.
I ran 14 miles with the phone in my hand or pocket and forgot about it. Oh, I miss that size. But the screen now feels tiny for reading and typing, now that I'm used to a bigger one.
If you've been clinging on to your 5S because you don't want a larger iPhone, now is a good time to upgrade. A new wireless chip enables payments with Apple Pay. There's faster Wi-Fi, though not as fast as the 6S. You can also access the Siri voice assistant anytime hands-free, without pressing the home button.
Though your 5S might last a few more months, it's going to get tougher to run the latest software and apps. And the $400 price is $50 less than what the 5S sold for. If your 5S is in good condition, you can trade it in at an Apple store and get the SE for $240, in 24 monthly installments.

Many Android makers have shunned 4-inch screens in premium phones. You're stuck with mid-range phones that lack high-end cameras and speeds. I had expected older technology in the iPhone SE, as Apple usually has 2-year-old hardware at this price. Instead, much of what's inside is just six months old _ better than the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

Sure, there are trade-offs, but at least Apple didn't try to pressure people into larger models by skimping on what matters most.

Google, we may not need you in future, here’s why!

It's difficult to think of a world without Google today. The search engine has an answer to every question - from the nearest Dominos Pizza store to how to tame that frizzy hair! It has made inroads into our lives so smoothly and swiftly.
With so much of dependence on the search engine, the need for it will only increase with a rise in internet penetration in the developing countries; at least that's what Google would want to believe.
We cannot speak for other countries, but Google, shocking as it may sound to you, India may not need you in future at all. That's because we prefer human brains that work as fast as you do and well, we have got that in plenty! 
Meet India's first Google boy Kautilya. He has an academy of his own, we're not kidding!
At an age when most children are just graduating from alphabets to words, Haryana's Kautilya Pandit could name every galaxy, reel off Australia's GDP and talk about Indonesia's politics. Kurukshetra University found his IQ to be around 130 points against 92-110 of a normal kid. He even left Amitabh Bachhan in awe of him when he appeared on Kaun Banega Crorepati.
Who learns periodic table at the age of 4? Meet Jaitra Sharma, the second Google Boy from Haryana after Kautilya
Read Full Article

Hasbro Patented a 3D Scanner For Kids That Uses a Smartphone to Digitize Toys

Hasbro Patented a 3D Scanner For Kids That Uses a Smartphone to Digitize Toys
Mattel might be the first to market with a 3D printer aimed at kids, but Hasbro isn’t sitting by and letting its main competitor have all the 3D fun. The company just patented a kid-friendly 3D scanner that can digitize small objects using a smartphone’s camera and clever software.

Hasbro Patented a 3D Scanner For Kids That Uses a Smartphone to Digitize Toys

Given how the company has already embraced 3D printing when it comes to some of the its most popular properties, it’s not surprising to see Hasbro move more into this market space. But it’s important to point out there isn’t a Hasbro-branded 3D printer—at least yet.
Hasbro Patented a 3D Scanner For Kids That Uses a Smartphone to Digitize Toys

So what good is a 3D scanner without a 3D printer? The 3D models produced by this device—which uses a hand-crank to spin the object being scanned while a smartphone snaps photos of it from multiple angles—can still be used on a non-Hasbro-branded 3D printer, or even uploaded to 3D printing sites like Shapeways.
Kids could also use the scanner to turn a favorite toy or stuffed animal into a 3D avatar for a video game, or bring it into virtual reality. The quality wouldn’t quite compare to what a laser 3D scanner would be capable of. But presumably Hasbro is also targeting a kid-friendly price tag if and when this eventually shows up on toy store shelves.


Apple’s March 21 iPhone launch event: 5 things to expect

Apple has announced that it is hosting an event on March 21, without giving much information on what to expect from it. However, the rumour mill has been active for months about this event and we have a fair idea of what it will be about. The primary theme will be going ‘small’, for both the iPhone and the iPad. But there will be a few other things to look forward to on March 21.
Take a look at the 5 things to expect from Apple’s March 21 launch event...
iPhone SE
The highlight of the event is expected to be iPhone SE, or Special Edition, which is said to feature a 4-inch screen and sport the design of the iPhone 6/6S series. Powering the smartphone is the A9 chipset, the same processor that keeps the iPhone 6S running. Other key features of iPhone SE leaked so far are 8MP camera setup of iPhone 6, support for Apple Pay and Live Photos.
Read Full Article

Ranking the 10 Best Smartphones You Can Buy Right Now (March 2016)

Some of the newest smartphone of 2016 are just now starting to hit shelves, so if you’re interested in upgrading to a new phone, there are some new options to consider.
We are still waiting for phones like the rumored iPhone SE and LG G5 to launch, so keep that in mind on this list. However, for now, this is our ranking of the 10 best smartphone you can by right now.
Nexus 5X: Nexus phones have always been for hardcore Android fans, but this year Google wanted to change that by bringing a budget-friendly phone ($379) to the market that just about anyone would want to pick up and use.
It’s made out of plastic and has a pretty basic design, but it’s really light in the hand and has a nice textured feel. Furthermore, it has just a 5.2-inch display, so it’s quite a bit smaller than most other Android smartphones out there. Most importantly though, Google (in partnership with LG) has made one of the best budget phone out there and pretty much erases the notion of ever buying a “midrange” smartphone ever again. It’s not the absolute best value (see the OnePlus phones for that), but if the stock Android 6.0 experience for cheap is what you want, get the Nexus 5X.

Read Full Article

Facebook just bought the popular face swapping app that's dominating the App Store right now

Facebook acquired Masquerade, the maker of a popular mobile app that lets people swap faces and add other special effects to their videos.
Facebook acquired Masquerade, the maker of a popular mobile app that lets people swap faces and add other special effects to their videos.
The app will make Facebook a bit more like Snapchat, which has become increasingly popular with young users thanks in part to filters that add special effects to pictures and videos.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg showed off Masquerade in action by posting a video to his Facebook page on Wednesday in which he sports a digital Iron Man mask.
Facebook has said it will bring the Masquerade features to its main social network. So take a look at Zuckerberg's video - it's only a matter of time before you start seeing similar antics from all your Facebook friends:
Taking a break from coding to welcome the MSQRD team to Facebook!

WhatsApp Introduced Document Sharing for Android and iOS

With over 1 billion user bases, WhatsApp is the world’s leading online cross platform messenger commonly used as a colloquial messaging app, which lacked the file sharing function. For more work oriented communication, the leading cross platform instant messaging client introduced a new update for Android and iOS that allow users to share locally stored documents with individuals as well as groups. The latest WhatsApp update version 2.12.453 for Android and 2.12.14 on iOS has a new documents icon to the paperclip attachments list. But for now the only type of document that can be added is PDF, where both the sender and receiver must be on the same version of WhatsApp to use this latest feature. However, this update has not been released to all Android users via Google Play.
To share the files in new version of WhatsApp, tap the attachment icon on the top right of the screen in the chat window and select the ‘document’ option, this opens a list of PDF files stored in the local drive that can be shared. But the navigation has limitation in opening specific folders in the local drive.
Founded in 2009, WhatsApp Messenger is the world’s leading proprietary cross-platform instant messaging client for smartphones. After months of being at beta stage, the application was eventually launched in November 2009 exclusively on the App Store for the iPhone. In January 2010, support for BlackBerry smartphones was added, and subsequently for Symbian OS in May 2010 and for Android OS in August 2010. With over 1 billion active users, WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook on February 19, 2014 causing a considerable number of users to move, or try out other message services. In late January 2015, WhatsApp was officially made available for PCs through a web client, under the name WhatsApp Web.
WhatsApp uses a customized version of the open standard Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP). Upon installation, the app creates a user account using one's phone number as the username to login. The app has a score of 2 out of 7 points on the Electronic Frontier Foundation's secure messaging scorecard for having communications encrypted in transit and having completed an independent security audit.


You could go to prison for having a Facebook account that's not in your real name


Internet users who create fake profiles could face criminal charges, according to new guidelines.
People who use social media accounts under other names to harass and attack others should be charged, according to the Crown Prosecution Service.
The new rules could allow for the prosecution of people who create a profile "under the name of the victim with fake information uploaded which, if believed, could damage their reputation and humiliate them", the CPS said.
"In some cases the information could then be shared in such a way that it appears as though the victim has themselves made the statements."
Authorities said that the new rules were a response to the changing nature of online crime.
"It is vital that prosecutors consider the bigger picture when looking at evidence and examine both the online and offline behaviour pattern of the defendant," director of public prosecutions Alison Saunders said.
Read Full Article

Seriously? That Ancient Greek Statue Does Not Depict a Laptop

Greek statue with a "laptop"

There's a new conspiracy theory out there, but instead of invoking big government or aliens, it questions whether there's a laptop carved into an ancient Greek statue.
That's right — there's a theory out there saying that a funerary statue of a woman, dated to about 100 B.C., shows her looking at a modern laptop or a handheld digital device. The theory, proposed by the anonymous YouTube user StillSpeakingOut, ventures that the ancientOracle of Delphi may have foreseen the invention of laptops, and told people about it.
"Just so we are clear, I'm not saying that this relief was depicting an ancient laptop computer," StillSpeakingOut said in the 100-second-long video

In fact, the object depicted on the statue does look something like a laptop, said Jeffrey Spier, the senior curator of antiquities at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Malibu, California, which owns the statue.
But, of course, it's not, Spier said.
Instead, the object may be a jewelry box, a shallow chest or possibly a hinged mirror, as "we have hinged mirrors from this time period," Spier said. Perhaps it's a box containing incense, although there's no incense burner in the scene, so that may be a stretch, he added.
Another historian debunked StillSpeakingOut's idea that the so-called laptop has USB ports in its side.
"The 'USB ports' are drill holes for the attachment of a bronze object, or perhaps a separate piece of marble," said Jeff Hurwit, a professor of art history and classics at the University of Oregon.
Grave artwork
The statue, officially called "Grave Naiskos of an Enthroned Woman with an Attendant," depicts a well-dressed woman lounging on a cushioned armchair and reaching out "to touch the lid of a shallow chest held by a servant girl," according to the J. Paul Getty Museum.
Funerary reliefs, fashioned out of marble like this one, were common inancient Greece, going in and out of style over the years, Spier told Live Science. Such reliefs start occurring in the archaeological record in the sixth century B.C. and continue until about the first century B.C.
These funerary statues would have sat above graves of the deceased, and are called naiskos, which are small temples dedicated to the deceased, Spier said. This one would have likely had a triangular top, and probably had the departed woman's name painted on top, he said.
"We have a number [of naiskos] in the museum," Spier said. "They show young girls with their toys or with pets. They are very nostalgic and sympathetic."
However, guests won't see the "enthroned woman" naiskos anytime soon at the Getty. The museum lent the statue to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, where it will go on display April 18 for an exhibit called, "Pergamon and the Hellenistic Kingdoms of the Ancient World."
Guests visiting the Met can decide for themselves whether they think the statue shows a laptop, but the experts have already made up their minds.
"Seriously?" Hurwit said. "The 'laptop' is in fact a shallow box or lidded tray from which the woman is about to select a piece of jewelry, as is commonly shown in grave reliefs like this one."
However, this isn't the only conspiracy about modern technology showing up in yesteryear. In 2010, a similar flurry arose concerning a woman in a 1928 Charlie Chaplin film holding an object that looked like a cellphone. But that mystery object was likely an ear trumpet, used to help the woman hear, experts said.


Vivo Xplay5: The world's first 6 GB RAM phone announced; comes with Samsung S6 Edge-like curved display

Vivo has just introduced its new smartphone- the Vivo Xplay5 - that offers a 6 GB RAM (Ultimate Edition) making it the world's first phone to come with double the RAM currently on offer in some smartphones.
However, from the exterior, the Vivo Xplay5 Ultimate Edition looks like a cross between Samsung S6 Edge with a spilling side display and an iPhone due to its rear designing.
The Vivo Xplay5 comes with a 5.43-inch super AMOLED HD display offering 2560 X 1440 pixel resolution and at its heart is a 2.15Ghz Qualcomm Xiaolong 820 quad-core processor.
The phone is being offered with a single internal storage choice of 128 GB. In tune with the current trend of offering device security, the Xplay5 Ultimate Edition comes with a rear fingerprint sensor.
Powered by Android 6.0 Marshmallow with Vivo's own Funtouch OS 2.6 layered atop, the phone features a 16 megapixel Sony IMX298 rear camera with f/2.0 aperture, PDAF, and flash. The rear camera is complemented with an 8 megapixel front snapper with f/2.4 aperture. The phone offers 4K recording and playback option.

Read Full Article

Unveiled: The world's first 'invisible' mobile phone charger

Say good-bye to tangled wires and misplaced charging cables. Spanish start-up MiniBatt presented a smartphone charging system that can be installed in any piece of furniture, regardless of the material. To charge a device, you just have to put it on top of a desk, chair or table. The company hopes to convince furniture makers to incorporate the charger into its designs.
The device consists of an 80 mm disk which can be placed under any table or surface of wood, plastic or glass, plugged into an electricity outlet, making it invisible to users. To charge the mobile phone battery, you just need to place it on the table, on top of a sticker indicating the charging zone. Thus, the phone does not need to connect to any device nor does it need direct contact with the charger.
Read Full Article

8 tips to extend your smartphone‘s battery life

Ashlei Temena’s family trip to Disneyland last Thanksgiving break turned into a nightmare when her smartphone battery hit empty.
Temena, a San Francisco support technician, had gotten separated from her family and realized she had no way to find anyone. Instead of riding roller coasters, she wandered around searching for the group — eventually locating them four hours later watching fireworks.
“It sucked really bad,” Temena said. “I wanted to throw my phone on the ground by the end of the day.”
Many consumers can relate. Despite the leaps forward in mobile phone technology with crisp, clear screens and faster chips, batteries have made only sluggish progress. That has propelled a desire for longer battery life to the top of the list of factors considered by consumers when they purchase smartphones, according to a 2014 survey by the research firm IDC.
So why is battery technology still underwhelming? Plenty of companies have been developing smarter battery technology for years, including methods to increase battery capacity tenfold or charge devices by pulling energy from the air. But lithium ion, the technology that most mainstream batteries are based on, is low cost and easily reproducible while being safe — so we’ll be stuck with it for the foreseeable future, said Charlie Quong, an executive at Mophie, a battery accessory maker, in an interview.
“There’s a lot of investments on all fronts for improving the technology above and beyond that, but I don’t think we’re going to see that hitting any kind of mass market for several years out,” Quong said. In general, lithium ion improves about 10% a year in terms of the amount of energy that can be stored in a given space, which is partly why consumers perceive batteries as being far behind other technologies.
Read Full Article