iPhone X: Apple of everyone’s eye

10 years after the first iPhone was released, Apple launched its 10th-anniversary gift, with not one, or two, but three iPhones- iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X. Apple CEO Tim Cook launched the trio in new “spaceship” headquarters in Cupertino, California.
The front-back glassy looking iPhone X and siblings will be available at an eye-popping price of $999 for 64GB iPhone X which means INR 89000, $699 for iPhone 8  and 8 Plus at $799.
iPhone X, 8 and 8 plus have updated features of the earlier lot of iPhones. The trio has an A11 Bionic processor and has 2 gigs of RAM, better brightness and colors with TrueTone Tech. Wireless charging update will help the users to charge the phones by resting them on the charging mat. Also, the two cameras outfitted with 12-megapixel sensors will increase the camera use surely. With iOS11, the augmented reality support is available which will virtually advance your phone for games and apps. But iPhone X became the apple of everyone’s eye.
For the first time, Apple’s used 5.8 inch OLED screen called a Super Retina display that covers the iPhone X edge-to-edge, to brighten the colors.
Also, the disappearance of home button makes the new iPhone absolutely new though the users will have to change their habits. Swiping up for multitasking and down for control options. Siri will respond you either by pressing long side button or by calling her out-“Hey Siri’.
Another unique feature is the FaceID. Your face replaces the finger scanner unlocking system. Apple guarantees that glasses, accessories, photographs, nothing can fool the high-end security system as it works by mapping 30,000 invisible dots to create a mathematical 3D model of you face. One can even animate the emojis by giving them voice and expressions through this FaceID technology.
Pre-booking for iPhone X starts on October 27, and it ships November 3.
Image Source: Reuters

Samsung launches Galaxy Note 8 in India

Specifications –
Display – 6.30-inch
Processor – 1.6GHz octa-core
Front Camera – 8-megapixel
Rear Camera – 12-megapixel
Resolution – 1440*2960 pixels
OS – Android 7.1.1
Storage – 64GB
Battery Capacity – 3300mAh

After almost a two-year gap, Samsung is back with its Note series with the latest Galaxy Note 8 launched in India on September 12, 2017. The last phone in the series Note 7 was technically announced in India, but never hit the stores, prior to that Note was launched in the country in 2015.

Note 8 is becoming the talk of the town for its 6.3-inch display along with the price tag of Rs 67,900 attached with the model. The bezel-less Infinity display in the phone ensures that the phone has a more compact factor compared to the other six-inch-plus displays.

With a 18.5:9 aspect ratio and S Pen support, Note 8 sports the largest screen ever on a Samsung Galaxy Note handset. Other features include the dual rear camera setup, first for any Samsung smartphone till date, along with iris scanner and face recognition feature.

Another highlight in the Note 8 is the Bixby virtual assistant. Bixby is more efficient in understanding Indian dialects, accent and context, giving the phone a stronger market in the country.

Launched in its 64 GB inbuilt storage variant, the smartphone will be available in Maple Gold and Midnight Black colours. Apart from select Samsung retail stores and the Samsung online store, the phone will also be available on Amazon. Pre-bookings in the country will be available now and shipping to users will be started from September 21.
Along with the phone, the buyers will be getting a free clear case, and AKG-tuned headphones. A free wireless charger bundled with the smartphone, as well as a one-time screen replacement will be bonus offers for early buyers.

Sources: Indian Express, NDTV

Airtel launches VoLTE services in Mumbai

Bharti Airtel introduced the Voice over LTE (VoLTE) services in Mumbai on 11 September, 2017. The telecom giant plans to launch the same in other cities, shortly. With Reliance Jio being the sole player in this market, the launch poses a great challenge to them.

Airtel subscribers in Mumbai with this service will have better calling experiences as the telco claims to offer better voice calls and a faster call setup time. Abhay Savargaonkar, Director – Networks, Bharti Airtel, in a press statement deemed the launch as a significant milestone under Project Leap. Furthermore, he said, “Over the next few months, we will rapidly accelerate the deployment of VoLTE to cover all key geographies to bring HD quality calling to our customers.”

VoLTE calls are part of a new protocol that transmits voice data using the 4G LTE network. Any smartphone with the same can avail the VoLTE calling features. Simply put, VoLTE enables superior quality calling experiences. Airtel says that users don’t need a different talktime recharge for VoLTE calling and they won’t be charged extra for the data consumed.

The biggest challenge with VoLTE is that the user is required to keep their 4G data always on. However, Airtel assures that in the unavailability of 4G data the calls will automatically fall back on 3G/2G network ensuring constant connectivity. The list of compatible devices limits to Apple and few models from Samsung, Xiomi, Gionee and Oppo, for now.

Sources: Indian Express, NDTV

Airtel’s VoLTE a threat to Reliance Jio?

It seems the time has come for Jio to share the lime light with an equally lucrative service. Next week, telecom operator Bharti Airtel will offer VoLTE services to its customers.

With VoLTE technology, voice calling will be free, using the same 4G technology used by Jio networks. The services will pan the whole of India within the next fiscal year as per a report in the Economic Times.

VoLTE stands for Voice over LTE, a technology that offers more clarity on voice calls through the system of high definition calling, making use of the same network that is used for carrying data.

Bharati Airtel will officially be the first telecom carrier to adopt this new technology and pick up a rivalry with Jio. VoLTE promises to offer free VoLTE calls and unlimited data, a promise similar to that of Mukesh Ambani’s Jio. It is expected to amass a 130-million user base within its launch in September.

Jio and VoLTE are different from other technologies that have been offering voice calls to their 4G customers with support of their other established networks — 2G and 3G.

VoLTE is likely to be launched in Mumbai first, followed by Kolkata and other major metro cities across the country.

Sources: Economic Times, Zee News

Biggest X-ray laser gun,XFEL unveiled in Germany

The world’s largest and powerful X-ray laser- European X-ray Free Electron Laser (XFEL) was unveiled in Hamburg, Germany.

The first beams from XFEL were accelerated in April 2017 and first x-ray beams were produced in May 2017. It will help scientists penetrate the inner workings of atoms, viruses and chemical reactions.

The XFEL is lodged in series of 3.4-kilometer tunnels up to 38 metres underground near the city of Hamburg. It took 8 years to build 1.5-billion-euro ($1.7 billion) facility with funding from 11 countries. It has been hailed as one of largest and most ambitious European research projects ever.

Its centrepiece boasts world’s longest 1.7 kilometres superconducting linear accelerator, designed to provide the energy needed to generate X-ray flashes billion times brighter than best conventional radiation sources. It has the capacity to generate extremely intense laser flashes, at a rate of 27,000 per second generated by Self-Amplified Spontaneous Emission (SASE). It generates high-intensity electromagnetic radiation by accelerating electrons to relativistic speeds and directing them through special magnetic structures.

XFEL is like a camera and a microscope that will make it possible to observe tiny details and processes in the nano-world than ever before.It will help scientists to map the atomic details of viruses, take 3-D images of the molecular make-up of cells or film chemical reactions inside them. This will help to understand and treat illnesses. The light beams produced by the XFEL can also be bundled together to create extreme pressure and temperatures to study process inside Earth’s core.

Sources: The Guardian, Hindustan Times

Image Source: Gizmodo


Launch of satellite by ISRO unsuccessful


A.S Kiran Kumar, ISRO chairman, today at 7:25 in the evening made the announcement, that navigation satellite IRNSS-1H mission that was launched from Andhra Pradesh’s Sriharikota was unsuccessful. The heat shield of the spacecraft could not detach after Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched it.

It was the first ever private sector-built navigation satellite IRNSS-1H built in India carried by PSLV from Sriharikota. The countdown began a day prior at2pm, 29 hours before the launch time. The Launch Authorisation Board (LAB) and Mission Readiness Review (MRR) together on August 29 cleared the countdown.

The 44.4 metre tall PSLV-C39 was equipped with six strap–ons, each containing 12 tons of propellant, along with the 1,425 kg satellite which was lifted at 7 pm from the second launch pad at the Sriharikota spaceport.

ISRO along with a group of six small and medium industries built and tested the spacecraft. The IRNSS-1H would have been a backup navigation satellite for IRNSS-1A which is a part of the seven satellite constellation, the reason being the dysfunctioning of its three rubidium atomic clocks on board.

IRNSS stands for Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System, it is an independent regional system made by India. It is at par with the Glonass of Russia, US- based GPS and Galileo by Europe.

Sources: Hindustan Times and Outlook India 


Uber to end post-trip tracking of riders

Uber Technologies Inc has decided to pull off the tracking feature from its app which allows it to track a customer up to five minutes post a trip.

Starting this week, ‘ability to share location data only while using the app’, will be rolled out to Apple Inc iPhone users. It comes at a time when Uber is trying to recover from a series of crises culminating in the ouster of Chief Executive Travis Kalanick and Dara Khosrowshahi, the CEO of travel-booking company Expedia Inc prepares to become Uber’s new chief executive, as reported by Reuters.

Joe Sullivan, Uber’s chief security officer, said that he and his team have been working to bring in better customer privacy at Uber since he joined in 2015.

The change comes in just two weeks after Uber settled a U.S. Federal Trade Commission complaint that the company unsuccessful in protecting the personal data of drivers and passengers and was deceptive about its efforts to prevent snooping by its employees.

Sullivan said, the location-tracking update will initially only be available to iPhone users, but Uber intends to bring this change to Android devices as well.

These changes are a part of a series of updates expected in the upcoming year to increase privacy, security, and transparency at Uber, Sullivan added.


Sources- Reuters and NDTV