Nokia 3310 Reboot, Nokia 8, Nokia 5, Nokia 3 to Launch at MWC 2017: Live Blog

All eyes are on the Nokia MWC 2017 event, where as many as four new Nokia handsets are expected to launch. Rumours point to the likes of flagship Nokia 8 phone and Nokia 3 and Nokia 5 affordable Android smartphones being launched at the event, but the centre of attraction will be the Nokia 3310 reboot, which will take us all on a trip down memory lane and bring back memories of the early 2000s. Amidst all this, the Nokia 6 – available only in China at present – will also make an appearance, and may even go global, if reports are to be believed.

The Nokia 3310 reboot is expected to be a feature phone roots running the Series 30+ user interface. It is said to have basic multimedia features and come with swappable faceplates in multiple colours. The design is said to remain similar to the original’s but be a little slimmer and weigh a little less; it is also said to have a slightly bigger screen, and the physical alphanumeric keyboard’s key size and key structure may be changed. Rumours suggest that Nokia 3310 reboot will be priced at EUR 59 (roughly Rs. 4,000), positioning it as a secondary phone for the nostalgic Nokia fans.

Nokia 8 is the long-rumoured flagship Nokia Android phone that has reportedly been under development with the name Nokia P1. The Android 7.0 Nougat-based Nokia 8 is said to have a 5.3-inch display with Gorilla Glass 5 on top, 128GB and 256GB storage options, 6GB RAM, 22.6-megapixel rear camera with Zeiss optics, 3500mAh battery, and IP57 certification for dust- and water-resistance. The smartphone is said to run on Snapdragon 835 chipset. An online Nokia 8 listing pegs the device’s price at CNY 3,188 (approximately Rs. 32,000).

Little is known about Nokia 5 so far, except that it may sport a 5.2-inch display, 12-megapixel rear camera, and 2GB RAM. The smartphone is expected to cost EUR 199 (around Rs. 14,000). Nokia 3, on the other hand, is said to be the entry-level Nokia Android phone, with price tag of EUR 149 (about Rs. 10,500). The smartphone is said to have a 5.2-inch HD screen, Android 7.0 Nougat OS, 1.4GHz quad-core Snapdragon 425 chipset, 2GB RAM, 16GB built-in storage, microSD expansion support, 13-megapixel rear camera, and 5-megapixel front camera.

So if you are interested in Nokia 8, Nokia 3310 reboot, Nokia 3 and Nokia 5, catch all the Nokia MWC 2017 live updates right here as well hit the floor for live, round-the-clock coverage of the biggest mobile expo of the year.

ZTE Gigabit Phone Launched at MWC 2017, World’s First 5G-Ready Smartphone

Chinese telecoms giant ZTE unveiled Sunday what it said is the world’s first smartphone compatible with the lightening-fast 5G mobile Internet service that networks expect to have up and running by 2020.

ZTE Gigabit Phone Launched at MWC 2017, World's First 5G-Ready Smartphone

The company said the Gigabit Phone is the first smartphone capable of download speeds reaching up to 1 gigabit per second (Gbps) – up to 10 times faster than the first generation of 4G services widely in use today.

The device, unveiled in Barcelona in northeastern Spain on the eve of the start on Monday of the Mobile World Congress, the world’s biggest mobile fair, will allow for 360-degree panoramic Virtual Reality video and fast downloads of ultra Hi-Fi music and videos.

“With the new device, the way people stay connected will be changed forever. Focusing on 5G technologies will be one of the key priorities of ZTE’s global development,” a ZTE spokesman said.

Tech firms are racing to develop products that will be compatible with 5G, shorthand for the fifth generation of networks, which promise blazing fast connectivity for a generation used to streaming movies and TV directly to phones.

South Korean carrier KT Corp aims to offer trial 5G services during the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

The first large-scale commercial deployment of the technology is expected in 2020.

Forrester analyst Thomas Husson said ZTE was using the phone to “showcase innovation” and “offer a glimpse into the future when people will be able to download full movies in seconds” but it was not likely to be a big seller.

“The sad reality is that this smartphone will not end up in consumers’ pockets because both 5G and Virtual Reality are still years away to be a mass-market consumer reality,” he added.

Founded in 1985, ZTE offers telecom equipment and services and has customers in more than 160 countries, according to the company.

It is the only Chinese smartphone vendor with a meaningful presence in the United States, where its 10 percent market share makes it the fourth-largest vendor.

It is very convenient to buy Fastin XR diet pills at Walmart and other retail stores

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ISRO Rockets Can Take 400 Satellites to Space at a Time, Says Former Chairman

Noted space scientist G Madhavan Nair on Wednesday said ISRO’s feat of launch of 104 satellites in one go was achieved by proven technology, and the rocket has the capability to launch even 400 nano spacecraft.

ISRO Rockets Can Take 400 Satellites to Space at a Time, Says Former Chairman

“This is no new technology. We (Indian Space Research Organisation) started with ten satellites (on board a single rocket), then went to 18 or something; then it’s 35. Now it’s 100. If you make 3 or 4kg satellite, it (PSLV) can take 300 to 400 satellites at a time,” the former ISRO Chairman told PTI.

India today successfully launched a record 104 satellites – all but three of them foreign – from Sriharikota and put them into orbit in a single mission onboard its most dependable Polar rocket.

The PSLV Wednesday first launched the 714kg Cartosat-2 Series satellite for earth observation and then injected 103 co-passenger satellites, together weighing about 664 kg at lift-off.

“This number (104 satellites) has not demonstrated any new technology; it’s a proven technology which is being used,” said Nair, apparently refusing to share the euphoria over the launch.

“Cartosat is the real thing, the country needs it; it’s the main passenger and the spare capacity (of PSLV) was used to carry this many (the remaining 103) satellites. That’s all,” said the former Secretary in the Department of Space and ex-Chairman of Space Commission.

“Certainly, it (the launch of 104 satellites on board a single rocket) is a very significant milestone as far as ISRO is concerned. Of course, the technology we have proven earlier. About 30 satellites have been launched (at one go) earlier also. It’s an extension of that. But when you count it in numbers, it’s huge,” he said.

But the usefulness of the satellites that were launched is the most important, according to him.

“One worry is that these (103 satellites) are tiny satellites which at the best can have a life of one or two years; after that it really become space debris. Since they are small in size, they may not be amenable for tracking and finding out their positions and things like that. They become passive. To that extent, that worry is there,” he said.

Huawei Catches Up With Samsung, Apple in Smartphone Market: Gartner

Chinese smartphone maker Huawei managed to gain ground on Samsung and Apple in terms of market share last year, following the problems encountered by the two sector giants, the Gartner consultancy group said on Wednesday.

Huawei Catches Up With Samsung, Apple in Smartphone Market: Gartner

Over the year as a whole, the Chinese maker saw its sales leap by 26.7 percent, while the South Korean and US rivals both saw their sales decline by 4.3 percent, Gartner said in a study.

As result, Huawei was able to increase its share of the smartphone sector to 8.9 percent in 2016 from 7.3 percent a year earlier, while Samsung saw its market share shrink by two full percentage points to 20.5 percent and Apple’s contracted to 14.4 percent from 15.9 percent.

“Chinese makers succeeded in winning market share over last year and Huawei now seems to be the main rival to the two giants, even if the gap remains large,” Gartner analyst Annette Zimmermann told AFP.

Among the other Chinese smartphone makers are Oppo, BBK Communication Equipment (with its OnePlus and Vivo brands), ZTE, Xiaomi and Lenovo.

“We’re seeing a very real progression compared with earlier years, when the number three maker and the others had struggled to hold on to a market share of more than four percent,” Zimmermann said.

“Huawei looks likely to strengthen its position again this year,” she added.

In the fourth quarter of 2016 alone, the launch of the iPhone 7 and Samsung’s difficulties with its Galaxy Note 7 model enabled Apple to take top slot in the market with a share of 17.9 percent or 77 million units sold.

Samsung sold 76.8 million smartphones in the October-December period, giving it a market share of 17.8 percent, while Huawei sold 40.8 million phones or a market share of 9.5 percent.

“Preliminary data for the current quarter suggest that Samsung will overtake Apple again. But it’s remarkable that Apple can hold on to that sort of share of the market with a closed eco-system,” the analyst said.

With regard to the different operating systems, Android, which is used by the large majority of smartphone makers, commands a market share of 81.7 percent, while Apple’s iOS operating system of its iPhones and iPads accounts for 17.9 percent of the market.

How AI Could End Stupid Thanksgiving Arguments

I’m writing this before Thanksgiving, which I used to hate and now don’t — largely because I no longer spend the day arguing with family. I’ve been listening to a lot of friends and relatives dread this year’s event because of political discussions that are likely to occur, and the equally annoying comments and critiques from those who supported both candidates.

I have no doubt that both sides will use fake news, quotes taken out of context, and false facts to make their points to the annoyance of those of us who just want to have a nice big meal and then drop into a food coma for a few happy hours afterward.

Perhaps my own most memorable Thanksgiving was going over to my then steady girlfriend’s house, having her compare herself to a Playboy playmate, and making the unfortunate comment “you wish,” to the glee of her brothers, and effectively ending the relationship. My defense of “trying to fit it,” I’m afraid, fell on deaf ears.

The week before Thanksgiving, Intel presented a fix that could be applied to this problem — an artificial intelligence tool that could prevent you from saying or tweeting something stupid. Hell, it likely could make more than a few politicians look a lot smarter than they currently do.

I’ll explain, and end with my product of the week — well, book of the week — which is an ex-Amazon employee’s take on how Amazon is going to take over the retail world. A lot of us catch up on our reading over the holidays, if only to avoid some of our more outspoken relatives and friends.

artificial-intelligence

Your Personal AI Guardian Angel

In a column this summer, I referenced the two models that car makers like Toyota were using to define the future of autonomous cars. One — which drivers hate — takes the steering wheel out of the car and makes you a passenger, but the other, called “guardian angel,” just keeps you from doing stupid things.

As soon as you start doing something stupid, it disconnects you from the car and keeps you safe. For instance, a drunk driver would be no different than a child in a child seat with a fake steering wheel. Drunk drivers might think they were in control, but the car would be getting them home safely instead.

Consider this same concept applied to all of your correspondence — whether comments in email or over social media. The tool could operate in one of two modes: in one, it would insert a pause when you hit send, and ask if you really want others to view your remarks, listing the implications. Another option would be for it to reword your message or post, taking out all of the bigotry, inappropriate language and false information.

Now imagine this same capability in a Siri-like application on your phone, tied to a wireless headset. It would be listening to the same thing you were hearing, and it could do one of several things:

  • It could warn you that you were likely to say something you’d regret, because its sensors would read a change in your biometrics indicating you were both angry and intoxicated.
  • It could suggest an appropriate response to defuse rather than escalate a dispute — for instance, “that’s interesting, did you notice there is a bug in your potatoes?”
  • Depending on the setting, it actually could provide that zinger that you otherwise wouldn’t think up until hours — if not weeks — had passed, along with the suggestion you step back to avoid being slapped or slugged.

Regarding this last possibility, and by way of personal experience, when I was around 11, my then-stepmother wanted me to go to bed at 10 on a Friday, and I wanted to stay up and watch Star Trek (yes, I’m that old). She told me that “all smart people went to bed at 10 o’clock,” to which I responded “oh yes, what time are you going to bed?” Had I stepped back, my jaw would work a lot better today. I still smile about this, granted a tad lopsided.

Wrapping Up: AI as Enhancement Rather Than Replacement

Many of today’s concerns surround the idea of AI as a human replacement. In a lengthy GAO report, and a far more concise paper from my old friend and futurist Brian David Johnson, these concerns are brought forward, and they are real.

We really aren’t ready for the sudden unemployment of millions — but what if, rather than replacing people, we instead focused AI on making people better? Kind of like the old Six Million Dollar Man, we have the technology. We can make all of us smarter and better people. Granted, it might mean the end of politics as we know it — but frankly, after the last several months, I’d say good riddance to that.

AIs could provide advice that will help us avoid mistakes, respond to difficult situations in both more timely and more appropriate ways, and either help us safely avoid nasty arguments — or if we choose, help us win them. In all cases, they could help us be better people.

That is likely a far better focus than creating AIs that will put most of us out of work, which is where the industry is mostly headed. Thankfully, Intel folks like Brian David Johnson and Intel’s resident ethnologist Genevieve Bell are working to make the right things happen. Let’s pray they are successful.

If nothing else, it could keep you from avoiding Thanksgiving family events like I do. Happy holidays from an undisclosed location in the Northwest.

I get a lot of inquiries on IoT and why it is disappointing. I’ve been working in this space since the 1970s and certainly long before Cisco termed IoT, or “Internet of Things,” as a concept. Generally speaking, it continues to be defined more by security problems, interoperability issues, and just horrid user experiences than by successes.

One firm that at least does seem to get the concept right is Amazon. I was thinking it would be great if someone wrote a book, and someone did. It is by John Rossman, who as an executive at the company, launched the Amazon Marketplace. He has a unique insight into why products like the Amazon Echo are so good. (By the way, the Amazon Dot, my favorite Echo product, is down to US$49 and makes a great Christmas gift.)

In the book, The Amazon Way on IoT: 10 Principles for Every Leader from the World’s Leading Internet of Things Strategies, Rossman speaks to the fact that Amazon’s goals are much closer to what the user experience should be, and less about just connecting stuff and leaving the user to figure out the mess. (Samsung should be the poster child for that.)

Rossman explains how Amazon uses the analytics that IoT products generate both to build better versions and to provide better services to its customers, which is the true benefit of IoT done right, and how to create a product like the Echo with little initial risk and huge potential upsides.

If you’ve ever wondered why the Amazon Echo is so great, how to build a successful IoT product, or just wanted something interesting to talk or read about over the holidays, The Amazon Way on IoT is the book for you, and it is a very reasonable $9.99 on your Kindle (and yes I still love my Kindles).

SF Muni Hack a Wake-Up Call for Public Systems

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority, or SF MTA, was hacked on Friday.

“You Hacked, All Data Encrypted,” was the message reportedly displayed on computer screens at the authority’s stations throughout the city. “Contact for Key (cryptom27@yandex.com)ID:681 , Enter.”

Fare payment machines at underground stations were out of order, resulting in free rides on the subway and light rail system known locally as “SF Muni.”

Some SF MTA employees’ email systems did not work, The San Francisco Examiner reported.

The MTA locked its subway fare gates in an open position to enable free riding, according to the paper.

The agency was hit by a ransomware attack that disrupted some of its internal computer systems, including email, according to spokesperson Kristen Holland.

The attack didn’t affect transit service or buses, she noted. Neither customer privacy nor transaction information were compromised, and the situation was contained.

 san-francisco-muni-ransomware-attack

All About the Dough

A person at the email address provided by the hacker, who identified himself as “Andy Saolis” to the Examiner, demanded 100 bitcoins — equal to about US$73,000 — to release data captured from the MTA.

The MTA payment system was inaccessible over the weekend, according to the Examiner, and employees were concerned that the personal data of the agency’s nearly 6,000 employees was at risk.

Saolis indicated the attack was “for money, nothing else.”

“Andy Saolis” is the name used by the attacker who launched a full disk encryption ransomware package that Morphus Labs discovered earlier this year and dubbed “Mamba.”

Open Muni

The MTA’s network was penetrated after an employee downloaded a torrented computer file that contained a software key code generator, Saolis reportedly said. That automatically launched an admin-level infection.

The SFMTA network was very open, he maintained.

Saolis threatened to close the email Monday if he hadn’t heard from the MTA, which would lock the agency’s infected computers out of its network permanently.

“It looks like the Muni scheduling and billing systems are running on the same machines as the employees’ email systems,” said Michael Jude, a program manager at Stratecast/Frost & Sullivan.

“This implies that the Muni operations are exposed to external attack,” he told the E-Commerce Times.

Muni “should have critical operations and management systems running in a secured environment, ideally one not exposed to outside access,” Jude suggested.

The Very Real Public Threat

Penetrations of this sort “can easily escalate to life-threatening events,” Jude warned. “Simply messing with route scheduling could lead to confusion or, possibly, collisions.”

Mass transit and passenger rail systems, including buses, light rail and subways, are one of the seven key subsections in the United States Transportation Systems Sector.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the sector jointly with the U.S. Department of Transportation, has issued a cybersecurity framework implementation guidance and a companion workbook for owners and operators in the sector to help reduce cyber risks.

Keeping Transit Systems Safe

“The threat environment warrants evaluating security controls for any organization that relies on computer systems for providing a service or running a business,” said Tim Erlin, senior director of IT and security at Tripwire.

Ensuring adequate network separation “is a good first step,” he told the E-Commerce Times. “Other basic best practices include monitoring for and patching vulnerabilities, validating secure configurations are in place, and watching system logs for indications of malicious activity.”

Xiaomi’s In-House Pinecone Processor Gets an Official Weibo Page

Chinese electronics firm Xiaomi has been working on its in-house processor for quite some time. The Xiaomi 5c smartphone has been tipped to be the first to come with the in-house Pinecone processor, and is now expected to be unveiled sometime this month. Ahead of its rumoured launch, the official page of Xiaomi’s Pinecone processor is now live on social networking site Weibo. The official Pinecone page has minimal information, and apart from the processor name and logo, it reveals little else as of now.

Xiaomi's In-House Pinecone Processor Gets an Official Weibo Page

China site Anzhou.cn reports that the new Weibo page of the Pinecone processor indicates that the Xiaomi Mi 5c is not far away. Xiaomi’s partnership with chipmaker Leadcore has given birth to Pinecone. A few years ago, the company did launch the Redmi 2A with a Leadcore chipset, and now looks like it is finally ready to ship devices with its own chipset. Rumours indicate that Xiaomi will launch two processor models – the Pinecone 1 with an octa-core Cortex-A53 CPU, and the Pinecone 2 with four Cortex-A73 cores and four Cortex-A53 cores. There’s no clarity on the GPU, but the chip is expected to be made in the cutting edge 10nm process.

As is the case with most OEMs, Xiaomi has been relying on Qualcomm and MediaTek for processors till now; however, it looks to introduce one more offering with Pinecone, joining the ranks of Samsung, Apple, and Huawei. As mentioned, the first smartphone tipped to launch with the new Pinecone processor is the Xiaomi Mi 5c – the affordable variant of the Xiaomi Mi 5 smartphone. However, the device is also been alternatively rumoured to sport a Snapdragon 625 processor as well.

Past leaks further indicate that the upcoming Xiaomi smartphone will sport 3GB of RAM and offer 64GB of inbuilt storage. As for optics, the Mi 5c is tipped to sport a 12-megapixel sensor at the rear, and an 8-megapixel sensor at the front for selfies. The Xiaomi smartphone is said to pack a 3200mAh battery and run on MIUI 8 out of the box.

The Xiaomi Mi 5c is tipped to come with really narrow bezels, and a 5.5-inch full-HD display with 2.5D curved glass protection. Live images of the device have also been leaked showing us how the Xiaomi budget smartphone is supposed to look from all angles. The smartphone was first tipped to launch in December, but that didn’t happen, and we now expect it to see the light of day this month.

Asus ZenFone 3S Max Launched at Rs. 14,999: Release Date, Specifications, and More

Asus has launched a new ZenFone 3 series smartphone in India on Tuesday – the ZenFone 3S Max (ZC521TL). The smartphone, named Asus Zenfone 3S Max (ZC521TL), has been priced at Rs. 14,999 and will be available from via both offline and online retail channels starting Tuesday itself in Black and Sand Gold colour variants.

Asus ZenFone 3S Max Launched at Rs. 14,999: Release Date, Specifications, and More

The highlights of the Asus ZenFone 3S Max (ZC521TL) are its metal unibody design made of aluminium, a fingerprint scanner on the Home Button that’s claimed to unlock the smartphone in under 0.5 seconds, apart from a 5000mAh battery that’s rated to deliver up to 3 days of normal usage, and is coupled with a reverse charging feature that allows the handset to be used as a power bank. Asus says the ZenFone 3S Max (ZC521TL) is a more powerful variant of the 5.2-inch Asus ZenFone 3 Max (ZC520TL).

Running ZenUI 3.0-based on Android 7.0 Nougat, the dual-SIM (Micro + Nano) Asus ZenFone 3S Max (ZC521TL) brings features such as ZenMotion Touch Gesture, Bluelight filter, Audio Wizard, and GameGenie over and above the improvements that Android 7.0 Nougat brings.

The Asus ZenFone 3S Max sports a 5.2-inch HD (720×1280 pixels) display with 2.5D curved glass and a brightness of 450-nits, and it’s powered by a 1.5GHz octa-core MediaTek MT6750 SoC that’s coupled with 3GB of RAM and the Mali T860 GPU.

As for optics, the new ZenFone 3S Max smartphone bears a 13-megapixel rear camera with an f/2.0 aperture, 5P Largan lens, PDAF, and dual-LED real-tone flash. Rear camera of the new Asus smartphone features include super resolution mode, low-light mode, panoramic mode, backlight HDR mode, and beautification mode. On the front, it sports an 8-megapixel camera with an 85-degree wide-angle lens – features include HDR, low-light mode, and beautification mode.

The ZenFone 3S Max comes with 32GB of inbuilt storage that’s expandable storage via microSD card (up to 2TB) in a hybrid dual-SIM design. Connectivity options on board include 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth v4.0, and GPS/ A-GPS. Asus is also touting a dual-microphone setup for noise cancellation, and an ICEpower-enhanced mono loudspeaker. It’s 8.5mm thick and weighs in at 175 grams.

Google Releases February Android Security Update for Pixel, Nexus Devices

Google has released its monthly Android security update for the month of February for its Pixel and Nexus devices. The company however was second to rollout the security update as Sony released the update to its Xperia devices last week. Similar to previous releases, Google’s February Android security update focuses on fixing security issues in the operating system.

Google Releases February Android Security Update for Pixel, Nexus Devices

The February security update includes two patch levels, as per Google, the first was released on February 1 and it fixes critical security vulnerability that could enable remote code execution on an affected device through media files. The second patch level string was released on February 5 which fixes the rest of issues. Google adds that supported devices will receive a single OTA (over-the-air) update with the February 5 2017 security patch level.

The latest security bulletin for February fixes eight critical issues while 18 issues are rated as high severity, and nine issues are rated as moderate. Some of the critical security vulnerabilities fixed in the update by Google include remote code execution vulnerability in Surfaceflinger, remote code execution vulnerability in Mediaserver, remote code execution vulnerability in Qualcomm crypto driver, elevation of privilege vulnerability in kernel file system, elevation of privilege vulnerability in Nvidia GPU driver, elevation of privilege vulnerability in kernel networking subsystem, elevation of privilege vulnerability in Broadcom Wi-Fi driver, and vulnerabilities in Qualcomm components among others.

The February Android security update changes build numbers of the devices including the Pixel and Pixel XL which will receive update with NOF26V build. The Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X will receive an update with build number N4F26O while Nexus 6 will receive update with NBD91Y. The Nexus 9 and Nexus Player will receive update with build N4F26Q and NMF26X respectively.

Google says that OEMs were notified of the issues in the latest bulletin last month and source code patches for these issues have been released to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) repository.