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Updated: 1 hour 15 min ago

The market share of Windows Phone reduced to only 2.5%

Friday 15th of August 2014 03:12:12 AM

There used to be a time when GNU/Linux was kept under mysterious 1% market share. Today mobile Linux Android owns over 85% of the market share leaving the once market leading iOS behind. But its not a tragedy for iOS that it’s market share has shrunk, the real tragedy is for Microsoft whose Windows Phone market share has gone down to mere 2.5%; just 1.5% ahead of what Linux used to have on desktops.

According to an IDC report:

Android and iOS, saw their combined market share swell to 96.4% for the quarter, leaving little space for competitors. Android was the primary driver with its vendor partners shipping a total of 255.3 million Android-based smartphones in 2Q14, up 33.3% year over year. Meanwhile, iOS saw its market share decline despite posting 12.7% year-over-year shipment growth. While Android and iOS both realized gains from a year ago, the rest of the market recorded losses.

Windows phones lost over 9.4% in the second quarter of 2014 coming down to mere 2.5% of the market share which is a sign of worry for Microsoft as their platform has no takers. Even the butchering of Nokia (which could have been a European market leader had it adopted Android) didn’t help Microsoft and most of the Windows Phones sales seemed to be by the loyal Nokia fans, who switched loyaltee after using the half-baked Windows phone.

The situation is even grimmer on the PC side where Microsoft remained a market leader thanks to it’s monopolistic practices. PC shipments are declining and smarphones are taking over, which is dominated by Linux.

While Microsoft is trying to figure out their mobile strategy and Apple is busy implementing Android features in iOS (which is a great thing), Google has taken Android to future with Glass, Android Wear, Android Auto and Chromecast.

I remember Steve “Clipper” Ballmer’s statement that ‘Linux is Cancer’. This cancer has claimed its first victim.

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Motorola’s new phone and 360 watch to land September 4th

Thursday 14th of August 2014 08:12:49 PM

We have been long anticipating the launch and arrival of the Moto 360 and now it seems the long wait is over. Well, the wait until we know when is over at least.

This morning reports are coming in Motorola have issued invites to their official launch event entitled Moto Launch Experience. It is highly expected the Moto 360′s official release will be announced at the event which will be held in Chicago on September 4th.

However what may be more interesting is both the titled ‘Moto Launch Experience’ and the actual invites are highly suggesting it won’t be only the 360 that’s gets a public outing. The invites were slightly more novel than what is normally received and consisted of a Cootie Catcher and four distinct product images. One was a watch, one an earpiece attachment (probably a Bluetooth in-ear piece) and lastly two phones.

It is fair to assume the watch will be the 360 while the two phone images came branded with a “G” on one and an “X” on the other. So without applying too much analysis it is probably fair to assume this will be updates to the Moto X and Moto G.

With the launch scheduled for September 4th the month is shaping up to be a busy time for tech lovers. We are also expecting both Samsung and Apple to also host ‘event’ launches within the same week for both the Note 4 and iPhone 6 respectively.

So get ready folks. September won’t just be the battle of the big names but also may be the battle of the launch events.

Let us know what you are most looking forward to getting hold of this September. Moto 360, Note 4 or iPhone 6?

Source: The Verge

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Latest Linux kernel version 3.16.1 announced

Thursday 14th of August 2014 03:37:31 PM

Kernel maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman announced the availability of the first update on top of 3.16.y Linux kernel branch. This is a stable kernel release and the latest version of the kernel as of now given the fact that Linus Torvalds has not opened the merge window for the first release candidate (RC1) of the 3.17 branch yet.

The Linux kernel is the core of the open source Linux operating system that powers most of the supercomputers and smartphones running today. It is maintained by a large number of developers and organizations with Linus Torvalds at the head of the project.

The 3.16.1 version doesn’t have a lot of changes which is understandable because the 3.16 release was announced just one week back. Being open source, the source code is open for viewing and modification. The 3.16.y git tree is hosted at
git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-3.16.y

and can be browsed at
http://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git;a=summary

The changelog includes modifications in tcp, ipv4, tg3 and some fixes for the sparc64 architecture.

You can also download the full 3.16.1 kernel source as an archive from:
https://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/v3.x/linux-3.16.1.tar.xz

Ubuntu users interested in checking out the latest kernel can download it from the Ubuntu mainline kernel PPA:
http://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/v3.16.1-utopic/

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Gold nanoparticles and a trojan horse can cure cancer!

Thursday 14th of August 2014 03:36:55 PM

We all know the old saying, “learn from the past”. A group of researchers have taken that advice and have hit on a novel way that might eventually lead to curing cancer! The “Trojan Horse” method employed by the researchers smuggles gold nanoparticles into the target cancer tumour cells. Then using standard radiotherapy to completely destroy the tumour and eliminate the probability of the cancer from growing back.

The study was reported in the Royal Society of Chemistry journal Nanoscale. The study was led by Mark Welland, Professor of Nanotechnology and a Fellow of St John’s College, University of Cambridge, and Dr Colin Watts, a clinician scientist and honorary consultant neurosurgeon at the Department of Clinical Neurosciences.

Gliobastoma Multiforme (GBM) or brain cancer is the most common brain cancer in adults. It is also one of the hardest to treat with patients dying after a few months of diagnosis and only about 6% of patients being able to cross the five year mark.  In the research, scientists took a tumour cell culture that was taken from a GBM patient and grown in the lab. In the proposed approach, the researchers encased nanostructures with nanoparticles of gold and cisplatin, standard chemotherapy gold. The nanostructure was then introduced in to the tumour cell. Once inside, standard radiotherapy was applied to the cell. This caused the gold particles to release low energy electrons called Auger electrons. These electrons damage the cancer cells’ DNA which in turn destroys as well as prevents it from re-growing itself. The process also enhances the accompanying chemotherapy drug’s effect.

The culture was checked after 20 days which showed no signs of revival, thus proving its effectiveness. One of the challenges with treating GBM is that the tumour cell invades surrounding healthy cells rapidly and such surgical removal of the tumour is virtually impossible. But since gold yields low energy particles, the effect is limited to a short range and as such in the immediate vicinity which has the highest probability of being affected. Using just gold nanoparticles without any accompanying drugs resulted in significant cell damage. Treatment-resistant cell populations did eventually recover several days after the radiotherapy. Thus the researchers made a new nanostructure and suffused it with cisplatin. The gold particles were wrapped inside a positively charged polymer, polyethylenimine. This interacted with proteins on the cell surface called proteoglycans and thus was ingested by the cell.

By using this therapy, the cell population was reduced by a factor of 100 thousand, from which the cancer didn’t grow back. Although this is a great achievement in itself, there is still a lot of work left. For starters, the researchers have to look into a way to convert this process into a treatment process for GBM patients. But researchers are hopeful that this method will eventually yield a way to cure cancer. They are also helpful that this method can be deployed to cure other types of cancer too.

Source: Eureka Alert

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Samsung new Galaxy Alpha is more metal

Wednesday 13th of August 2014 09:03:00 PM

Samsung have today officially unveiled the newest addition to their Galaxy smartphone range. The Galaxy Alpha has been expected for some time with details filtering through news agencies at a steady stream. However today was the first time we have actually had the images and details released by Samsung.

The ‘new’ design of the Apha is an attempt to redress the issues and complaints made about the Samsung Galaxy Range (specifically the S5) with both users and experts claiming the device materials felt too cheap when compared to HTC, Apple and Sony. As such Samsung are quick to claim this is the “sleekest Samsung Galaxy phone ever” with a “luxury look and feel”.

We recently reported leaked images of the Galaxy Note 4 sporting a metallic frame and it had long been expected this would be the case for Alpha. Today Samsung confirmed the inclusion of a “high quality metal frame” which adds to the “eye-catching finish”. The device is thinner than the S5 measuring only 6.7mm in depth and is also notably lighter than the S5 weighing 115 grams.

The screen is slightly smaller than the S5 measuring 4.7” (HD Super AMOLED display) and contains a more limited 1280 x 720 pixel resolution. Alpha is based on Android 4.4 and will be powered using a Exynos processor. This processor is an Octa core processor with Quad 1.8GHz and Quad 1.3GHz cores in play. Alpha will come equipped with a 12MP camera on the rear and a 2.1MP camera on the front, 1860 MAh battery, 2GB RAM and will contain a decent size 32GB internal memory. However it is worth noting the device does not have a micro SD slot and so the 32GB memory is all you will ever have.

There is no doubt this device is designed as a more modern look-and-feel device although initial indications are this may not be significantly different (or improved) to address the issues noted about the S5. For instance (and in spite of the new metal frame) the device still comes with a plastic back which was a major criticism for the S5 on launch. In addition the reduced specs and features compared to the S5 indicate that this is likely to be sold at a much cheaper price-point compared to its flagship device.

In terms of the price Galaxy have yet to release details on what it will actually cost and have also held back on releasing shipping dates although we do expect it to be in stores soon(ish).

So what do you think? Do you like the look of the Alpha? Will it help Samsung’s recent flailing sales figures and do you think it is enough of an improvement in design to attract your attention?

Let us know your thoughts and if you intend to buy one.

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Motorola’s ‘Shamu’ the rumored Nexus 6 surfaces

Wednesday 13th of August 2014 09:02:17 PM

A couple of weeks ago we reported rumors were circulating that Motorola was building the next Nexus (6). Now we can add a little more speculation to the Nexus rumor mill for your enjoyment.

There has been wide speculation that a device ‘Codename Shamu’ is the Nexus 6 although this has not been confirmed by either Google or Motorola. However Shamu suddenly appeared on the GFX Benchmark Database fuelling suggesting that the Nexus is getting nearer and nearer.

The GFX Benchmark Database is a site used to compare cross-platform device performance and on the Shamu page posted some interesting results. Firstly Shamu will have a 5.2” screen with a 2560 x 1440 pixel resolution. In addition will be touchscreen with at least 5 finger gesture support. There are also a lot of associations being made that the processor will be a Snapdragon 801 (upgraded from its previous model’s 800 processor). This has not been confirmed on the GFX benchmark page although its performance results seem to be in alignment with other devices which do use the Snapdragon.

The other details provided is Shamu will contain a back facing 12MP camera (Capable of 4k video), a 2MP front facing camera, 3GB RAM and 24 GB internal memory.

Now again, these results have not been verified and it possible benchmarks can be faked but as the buzz around Shamu builds it can only be a matter of time before we get something concrete. Of course, we will keep you up to date on any Nexus 6 and Shamu related information as it comes in.

So what do you think? Is Shamu the Nexus 6? Do the specs further confirm this? Or as some critics are suggesting does these specs not offer enough difference from the Nexus 5 to be the next Nexus?

Let us know your thoughts.

 

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MonsterMind : NSA’s cyber weapon

Wednesday 13th of August 2014 08:59:22 PM

Edward Snowden recently did an interview with WIRED magazine where he detailed to them an NSA project named ‘MonsterMind’. The project, which doesn’t have the best codename out of those revealed so far, is used to automatically respond to cyber-attacks from nation states without the need for agents to do anything.

It works by detecting traffic patterns which look like an attack is being started and then blocks it from entering the country.

This looks great from a national security standpoint however how can the NSA be sure where an attack originated? Even novice computer users can use spoof their locations so it should be no problem for an advanced user to launch an attack from an IP other than their own.

Snowden said “You could have someone sitting in China, for example, making it appear that one of these attacks is originating in Russia. And then we end up shooting back at a Russian hospital. What happens next?”

You can read the long write up over on WIRED’s nicely formatted website (scroll down) to get additional information on the newly revealed NSA program.

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Plasma 5 gets first update

Wednesday 13th of August 2014 02:09:21 PM

The first update for Plasma 5 has arrived. 5.0.1, adds a month’s worth of new translations and fixes from KDE’s contributors. The bugfixes are typically small but important such as fixing text which couldn’t be translated, using the correct icons and fixing overlapping files with KDELibs 4 software.

Plasma 5 is still in early stages of development and still lacks many features, but it is still usable for a majority of users.

Kubuntu users can easily install it on their system along with Plasma 4.

The post Plasma 5 gets first update appeared first on The Mukt.

Soon sound waves will recharge your phone batteries

Wednesday 13th of August 2014 01:54:04 PM

Say hello to an exciting concept to keep your mobile phone working for longer by tapping into the stray energy present all around us. Soon you will be able to charge your smartphone by using traffic noise, unwanted music, chants from a football ground and even your own voice.

Scientists from Queen Mary University of London and Nokia have built an energy-harvesting prototype that generates enough power to charge a phone just by being exposed to everyday background noise.

The prototype, about the size of a Nokia Lumia phone, comprises energy-harvesting nanogenerators. These nanogenerators, according to British researchers, can turn vibrations generated by sound waves or movement into electricity.

“Being able to keep mobile devices working for longer, or do away with batteries completely by tapping into the stray energy that is all around us is an exciting concept,” said Joe Briscoe, a researcher at QMUL’s School of Engineering and Materials Science, who developed the concept together with his colleague Steve Dunn.

In their research, the team used the key properties of zinc oxide, “a material that when squashed or stretched creates a voltage by converting energy from motion into electrical energy, in the form of nanorods. The nanorods can be coated onto various surfaces in different locations making the energy harvesting quite versatile. When this surface is squashed or stretched, the nanorods then generate a high voltage,” phys.org said in a report.

The nanorods respond to vibration that is created by everyday sound. Electrical contacts on both sides of the rods are then used to harvest the voltage to charge a phone, the report added.

The post Soon sound waves will recharge your phone batteries appeared first on The Mukt.

Walmart to sell Facebook only phone

Wednesday 13th of August 2014 01:53:04 PM

Wal-Mart, the US company whose employees are so poor that they live off food stamps while the owners are among the richest in the country, is now offering a new phone plan for $12 that allows users to access only Facebook. They are being offered by Virgin and initially you’re offered 20 minutes and 20 texts, then for $5 each on top you can add Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

This plan effectively takes away net neutrality for it’s users as they can only access white-listed services and if more carriers see this they may decide to implement something like this themselves.

Net Neutrality is a term meaning that the traffic on the internet travels at the same speed, I can get data from any servers and receive the content as fast and my connection and the server’s connection allows.

In the US however there has been talk about scrapping net neutrality under the auspice that ISPs can’t cope with the growing amount of traffic and that people should pay more for using services like Netflix which accounts for much of the traffic.

Other concerns around net neutrality have been raised with regards to encrypted communications. There were fears that ISPs may throttle based on the content and because they cannot see the content of encrypted data that they would just throttle it anyway or outright ban it for those without the higher paid packages.

Jayne Wallace, Sprint’s (Virgin parent company in US) director of corporate communications, passed of the new changes as merely being budgeting and parental control, it is too common to see know when children rack up extortionate bills on mobiles for going over data limits and purchasing in-game extras. She said “We started with the four (social-media offers) that we felt were the most popular.”

Source: USA Today

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64-bit mobile processors for Android L is coming

Wednesday 13th of August 2014 01:35:00 PM

Back in 2011, Nvidia announced to the world that they had acquired a license for the latest ARM instruction set, the ARM v8. But the most exciting part of the deal was that the new ARM instruction set is 64-bit. After making 32-bit mobile CPUs, Nvidia was set to take their Tegra K1 platform to the next level with a 64-bit mobile CPU. At the Hot Chips conference this year, Nvidia revealed their little project that they have been quietly working in for all these year. The Tegra K1 ARM v8 64-bit chip from Nvidia is ready for a release later next year. The new chip is codenamed Project Denver.

The upcoming chip is a 192 core Kepler class chip which is the basis of Nvidia’s previous 32

-bit Tegra K1 mobile CPUs. Being from the same class, the newer chip will have the same pin configuration and compatibility with the previous generation of Tegra, thus making the implementations of this chip much more cost effective. The new chip will pair two Denver Chips on one die. According to Nvidia, pairing two processing cores for their upcoming chip provided them with a far higher performance when compared to the quad or octa core mobile processor designs from rival companies.

Each of the Denver chips can attain speeds as high as 2.5 GHz. The newer chips have a 7 way superscalar microarchitecture, in contrast to the 3 way of the previous generation. What this means is that the chips will be able to execute up to 7 concurrent micro operations per clock. The mobile CPU also comes with a 128KB 4-way L1 instruction cache, a 64KB 4-way L1 data cache, and a 2MB 16-way L2 cache.

Nvidia also confirmed that they are indeed working on Android L’s support for 64-bit processors on their Denver chips. According to Nvidia, consumers can expect devices packing the new chip to be available by the year’s end. If they do pull it off, Project Denver will definitely bring mobile CPU at par with desktop processing prowess. That and the fact that with the latest OpenGL 4.5 and Android Expansion Pack, we can expect graphical features like tessellation on Android L, the next version of Android looks better by the day!

Source: The Next Web

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Google+ Update brings support for Chromecast

Tuesday 12th of August 2014 11:21:39 PM

As a rule of thumb Google typically offer updates to its services and products on Wednesdays. However google+ was given a surprise update today with a neat albeit a debatable limited update.

From today the Google+ app has been updated from Android 4.4 to 4.5. With this increment advance comes support for Chromecast. Now users can cast their Google+ circles, images and videos directly on to their big screen. This update came as a bit of a surprise to everyone with no official announcements or heads-up given either publicly or in the Changelog. One would expect Google would be quite happy to announce increased support for Chromecast and as such this was seen as a silent-surprise offering by them.

However whether there is actually any meaningful use to this addition is unclear. Users can use the Google+ app to control and pause the Google+ feed on the TV although navigation and other expected features seem to be a little limited at the moment. Whether this is just an initial crossover period with more functionality to come later is not known. This also maybe the reason there was no official announcement provided.

So if you have (or do) update your Google+ app you should notice a small cast icon is now available. If you don’t see the icon yet then don’t worry. It seems devices and accounts are being constantly updated and it will only be a matter of time before you notice the icon. Of course you need a device that can cast and Chromecast to use the service.

On a side note and for those who care YouTube, Chrome (Beta) and Google Search also received updates. However these are relatively minor in comparison to the Google+ update with no notable features offered and largely consisting of bug and performance fixes.

The post Google+ Update brings support for Chromecast appeared first on The Mukt.

Hurry! Aug 17th next closing date for Project Ara development boards

Tuesday 12th of August 2014 08:57:10 PM

Yesterday we reported on the upcoming and possible game-changing Project Ara. If you missed the post then follow the link to read our report in full.

To quickly recap Google’s Project Ara is a completely new take on what a smartphone is. Google next year will launch a Modular phone which consists of small interchangeable modules (MOD’s). Each MOD will have a different purpose i.e. camera, identity, speakers and users will simply be able to change the modules at will and upgrade only the parts they want to upgrade.

 

Yesterday we also advised that Google are currently offering developers the chance to build their own Modules for when the Ara platform launches in 2015. To help in understanding and building the MOD’s correctly Google are giving away dev boards for developers to see, inspect and use to design their MOD’s.

We’ve created developer hardware based on the v0.10 MDK to help with prototyping and development of modules for the Ara platform. There are three dev boards: an application processor (AP) board with a strawman TI OMAP 4460 AP and modified Linaro Android; a UniPro switch board representative of the network switching functionality of the Ara endoskeleton; and a general purpose endpoint board for developer-unique functionality that supports the tunneling of legacy DSI, I2C, I2S, SDIO, and GPIO protocols over UniPro”.

However the boards are limited in terms of the numbers they have available and also the dates for which they can be ordered. Currently Google are in the second cycle of dev board distribution and the window to order a board ends on August 17th (this Sunday). So if you did read our report yesterday and want to get hold of a board then you must register your interest this week to be in the current cycle for distribution

As the number of boards is limited Google are asking potential developers to briefly explain what type of MOD they intend to create and design. Priority will be given to “requests based on technical experience and the strength of your module concept”. In addition it is worth noting Google cannot ship the boards to Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Syria.

You can find out more about the boards in general by clicking here. If you want to go straight to the hardware request form click here.

Anyone out there with any good MOD ideas? Leave a comment with your suggestion and you never know. Someone may actually build it.

 

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Japanese researchers develop “world’s fastest camera”

Tuesday 12th of August 2014 08:56:58 PM

It goes without saying that Sony, Nikon and Olympus are big camera manufacturers and they are all Japanese. In fact, the country doesn’t seem to stop making advancements in the field of digital optics, especially if we talk about cameras. A joint group of researchers working at two separate Japanese universities have come out with a camera that’s 1,000 times faster than existing high-speed cameras.

Developed by the University of Tokyo and Keio University, the world’s fastest camera can capture images such as chemical reactions, lattice vibrational waves, plasma dynamics, even heat conduction, in a single shot.

Using a new technology called Sequentially Timed All-optical Mapping Photography (STAMP), the camera’s optical shutter enables it to shoot images consecutively in less than one-trillionth of a second.

Prior to the announcement in Japan, high-speed photography relied on the pump-probe process—where light is “pumped” at an object to be photographed, and then “probed” for absorption.

“The main drawback to such an approach is that it requires repetitive measurements to construct an image. The new camera is motion-based femtophotography, performing single-shot bursts for image acquisition, which means it has no need for repetitive measurements,” according to a report.

Researchers are of the opinion that their camera could make a difference, in both the public and private sectors, in a variety of fields. Some examples would be laser processes used for making big items like car parts, or in tiny applications such as the creation of semiconductros.

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Cyanogen unhappy with the Ladies Only invite competition of OnePlus – UPDATE: OnePlus pull competition

Tuesday 12th of August 2014 08:56:09 PM

Has OnePlus One reached a new low in terms of their notorious invite system?

By now, you are probably well aware of OnePlus and their flagship killer phone, the ‘One’. You are probably also aware of the terrible invite system used. If you are not then in short you simply cannot purchase the ‘One’. Instead you have to be given an invite before you can buy. Typically there are only two methods to obtaining an invite. The first is simple, receive an invite from a friend.

The second route is far more controversial and relies on potential customers to ‘win’ an invite. OnePlus have already attracted attention with their previous invite competition attempts. The worse (until now) asking users to film themselves destroying their current phone. Users who destroy their phone in the most novel way will win the invite.

Today it seems OnePlus may have gone a step too far. Literally only hours ago OnePlus launched a ‘Ladies Only‘ competition asking women to post pictures of themselves while displaying the OnePlus logo. The rules suggest the logo should be on either a piece of paper or the user’s hands or face.

The post rules state “no nudity please” which adds to the notion that OnePlus are well aware of where this type of competition could lead. To further add insult the competition begins with an extremely ominous intro

In true gentlemen fashion and because chivalry is not dead, we are giving the lovely ladies of OnePlus a chance to skip the invite line and introduce themselves to us

If you are interested than here are the competition rules.

Ladies (and only ladies, sorry guys, ladies first), the rules are simple:

1. Draw the OnePlus logo on a piece of paper or on your hand/face/wherever (so we know it’s really you)
2. Take a photo of yourself with the OnePlus logo clearly visible
3. Post the photo in this thread

The 50 most well-liked ladies will receive an invite and a Never Settle t-shirt. Additionally, we will be giving out another 100 invites at random to any lady who participates in the contest. The contest begins today and ends on Friday. We will announce the winners on Monday.

Ladies, no nudity please.

So is this going too far? Should companies be using such obvious tactics as a marketing tool to avoid heavy marketing costs. After all, we (and no doubt other news agencies) will all be reporting this. So although the method works should a company who prides itself on a better user experience and products, be relying so heavily on finding new ways for users to degrade and demean themselves.

Cyanogen (the providers of the operating system running on the OnePlus One) seems to think so. Judging by their twitter account it seems they are starting to feel some of the heat. Cyanogen tweeted a brief message highlighting that they “value” their users and do not “support any contest that objectifies people“.

What makes this worse is the completion is for an invite. So winners (which are judged by the number of ‘likes’ their image receives) will only win the opportunity to buy the phone. At present the competition has only been live for a few hours and already has over 67 pages of comments and entries.

What do you think? Have OnePlus gone too far? This obviously generates awareness so do the end results justify the means? Should OnePlus strive for a higher moral compass?

I guess the big question is what would you do for a OnePlus invite?

Let us know your thoughts.

UPDATE

It seems the pressure (and backlash) has become to great for Oneplus as they have now pulled the competition completely. Now when the comp link is clicked on users simply are shown an error page (as shown below). There have so far been no further explanation or announcement as of yet but it is clear this really was one step too far.

Will OnePlus recover from this? What are your thoughts?

 

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3D Magnetic Logic Gate Helps Give Moore’s Law Extra Life

Tuesday 12th of August 2014 07:46:00 PM

Computers may just get another increase in circuit density and a decrease in power consumption thanks to a collaboration between German and U.S. researchers. The researchers are working on a new way to integrate nanomagnetic logic into circuits by way of a 3D programmable magnetic logic gate.

The Nanotechnology journal that this discovery was published in explains that it works by way of four nanometer-scaled magnets, one output and three inputs. These are arranged in a 3D manner and acts as a traditional logic gate of a computer.

The magnets have a magnetization state that shows whether it’s on or off, and specialized microscopes that detect magnetic fields are used to check if the gates are working properly. This microscope in conjunction with testing using micromagnetic simulations, are key to insuring that the boolean value of the gate does not change without direct input. The 3D part of this gate is due to one of its input pads being located on a plane separate from the others.

According to phys.org the stronger magentic effect manages to, “reduce the error rate” and even, “improves the functionality…” which one would assume gives these logic gates a step up from other traditional transistors. The advantages of the magnetic logic gate are being radiation hardened, which is useful for applications in space, and being non-volatile, which increases reliability and the ability to preserve data without power. Other perks of the magnetic transistor include the ability to operate at normal room temperatures as opposed to some other experimental or high powered transistors requiring very low temperatures.

Although Moore’s Law seems to be faltering as of late due to the physical limits of silicon, hopefully researchers at the Technical University of Munich and the University of Notre Dame can use new technologies like the 3D magnetic logic gate to uphold Moore’s Law and benefit humanity at the same time.

Source: Phys.org

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OpenGL 4.5 update brings desktop like graphics on Mobile

Tuesday 12th of August 2014 07:43:23 PM

Special Interest Group on GRAPHics and Interactive Techniques or SIGGRAPH is the annual event where graphics industry professional comes together to unveil their tricks that they have been working on for the year. This year at SIGGRAPH 2014, as is customary for them, Khronos Group took the stage to reveal their latest version of OpenGL, OpenGL 4.5. The announcement also included updates on their OpenGL ES as well as WebGL, all offshoots and parts of the OpenGL standard.

To start off, OpenGL 4.5 is the yearly update to the previous OpenGL 4. The new version iterates by adding new features and updating the older ones to solve problems that developers were facing with the old one. This method allows Khronos to actually deploy useful updates for developers quicker and keep bugs limited to a minimum. As such, this update mainly consists of API alignments so that OpenGL is much better aligned to the changes made in the OpenGL ES, WebGL and Direct 11, thus keeping it cross platform still.

Direct 3D emulation has received attention so that games can be easily ported and run without running into too much of a hassle. OpenGL ES is now being maintained as a subset of OpenGL so that OpenGL ES only devices can run effortlessly on OpenGL devices without the need for developers to recode. This has been made possible by the new API alignments. In addition, WebGL has also received an update in the form of enhanced security and isolations.

Khronos says that WebGL will be completing the transition into complete ubiquity pretty soon. WebGL is now supported by most of the browsers and is even being adopted by companies that didn’t at first. Apple’s new iOS 8 will be supporting WebGL in their Safari browser. Along with that IE 11 from Microsoft and Chrome from Google basically means that WebGL will be supported on any internet enabled device.

Speaking of mobile platforms, OpenGL ES has been validated too on ARM Mali Midgard, Imagination PowerVR Rogue, NVIDIA Tegra K1, and Intel HD Graphics for Atom, which is basically all the major mobile hardware, except one. Qualcomm is still to be validated.  But sadly, Ardeno 300 series won’t be supporting the latest version of OpenGL ES 3.1 while the support on Ardeno 400 series is still unknown. But given how Intel is gradually getting into the mobile market, paired with their HD graphics as well as PowerVR chips, low cost devices might not have too much to worry.

But the most exciting feature of the OpenGL ES 3.1 is that along with the Android Extension Pack, or AEP, from Google, OpenGL ES’ features can be extended even further. With the AEP, Google will be enabling tessellation, geometry shaders, compute shaders, and ASTC texture compression on the forthcoming Android L, which are all latest features of desktop GPUs and which can be easily made possible on the mobile devices.

The latest version of OpenGL sure does have a lot for developers to chew on along with a lot of exciting probability for the consumers. Plus, OpenGL ES and AEP just made me get even more excited for the upcoming Android L!

Source: Anandtech

The post OpenGL 4.5 update brings desktop like graphics on Mobile appeared first on The Mukt.

Enjoy Windows games and apps on Linux using PlayOnLinux 4.2.4

Tuesday 12th of August 2014 05:00:00 PM

PlayOnLinux allows you to easily install and play numerous games and apps designed to run with Windows. Some of the noteworthy games are World Of Warplanes, Wolfenstein 3D, The Matrix: Path of Neo Update 2 etc. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

PlayOnLinux also supports various applications in different categories. The list includes some core Microsoft applications like several versions of Microsoft Office and Internet Explorer. What’s more, it can also try to install a non-listed application for you. Get a categorized list of supported games and applications in PlayOnLinux here. The page is also updated whenever a new software is added to the list.

As you might have already guessed, PlayOnLinux is a graphical front-end to Wine. But it’s comes with various scripts and tweaks to install and use Windows software without users having to get their hands dirty with the terminal and scripts. Installation of any supported package via PlayOnLinux is as easy as select and click to install.

The latest version of PlayOnLinux, 4.2.4 is available now to help you run your favourite Windows games and applications on Linux.

You can directly download the deb package for Ubuntu. PlayOnLinux supports several other Linux distributions as well. Find the instructions to install it on other distributions in the Downloads section.

The post Enjoy Windows games and apps on Linux using PlayOnLinux 4.2.4 appeared first on The Mukt.

RHEL 6.6 beta available for testing

Tuesday 12th of August 2014 02:26:36 PM

Red Hat has announced the release of RHEL 6.6 beta which is intended for testers. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.6 Beta includes enhancements to both security and stability as well as:

According to the press statement, “Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 offers a stable, proven and predictable platform, balancing the enterprise need to maintain a reliable and secure platform for mission critical workloads with the flexibility to adapt to changing business needs. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.6 Beta answers this need, providing enhanced functionality that allows organizations to easily build and manage large, complex IT infrastructure for deployment across physical, virtual, and cloud environments.”

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.6 Beta also provides enhancements to running Red Hat Enterprise Linux as a virtual guest, upholding Red Hat’s commitment to refining the overall virtualization experience. Virtualization updates in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.6 Beta include support for a host to feed randomness to a virtual machine, increasing security for cryptographic applications, multi-queue performance improvements for guest network and storage throughput when running Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.6 Beta on a Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 host, and more.

You can download RHEL 6.6 beta from this link.

The post RHEL 6.6 beta available for testing appeared first on The Mukt.

Soon you will be able to assemble your phones like PCs, courtesy Google’s Ara

Tuesday 12th of August 2014 01:20:52 AM

Recently we have seen a number of ‘game changer’ moves by smartphone companies all looking to start the new trend. The most recent was the launch of the OnePlus One as the “Flagship Killer” which attempted to offer high spec smartphones at a rock-bottom price. In reality the price was simply half the price you would expect to pay for a Samsung Galaxy S5 or LG G3. So although this did change what users (and probably manufacturers) expect a top of the range smartphone to cost it did not really set the smart world alight.

Also recently we have seen the surge in Android Wear. All the big names are currently competing to offer the best, most attractive and desired new smart watch, bracelet or sports monitor. However again this surge was mainly a surge in interest and largely driven by the media. Whether sales surge in a similar fashion we will soon find out although it is probably doubtful. At the moment they are rather costly and actually not too far away in price from a new smartphone. As both are needed to run Wear this is a rather expensive addition.

So where is the next proper game changer!

Well folks, it actually might already be here. Google’s Ara is a serious contender for the real next big thing. If Ara hits the market as hard as it is expected this won’t just be a game changer but will be an absolute paradigm shift. Ara is looking to change the way we think of smartphones completely. Instead of simply slashing the cost like OnePlus or introducing add-ons like Wear, Ara will revolutionize the phone itself.

MOD’s & Endo’s

Ara is based on the principle of Modules (MOD’s). These MOD’s when used together become a fully functional smart device. Google’s aim is to sell users an endoskeleton (endo) which is basically a skeletal frame of a phone (completely non-functional on its own) and users buy and install the MOD’s they want. In short, your phone becomes an interactive and functional jigsaw with the user simply changing and interchanging MOD’s at will.

 

So you bought your phone six months ago with the latest 13MP camera and now there is a newer 26 MP camera. Well I guess you will have to go and buy the new phone. Wrong! You simply buy the new 26 MP module, throw the old one way and install the new one. Voila.

Initial indications are the ‘endo’ (bare bones) itself will cost somewhere in the region of $15. Although the endo will not do anything on its own, users ONLY have to buy the MOD’s they want. Don’t need a camera? Then why pay for one. Users will be able to install, configure and allocate the endo in any combination of MOD’s resulting in what is truly a customizable device.

At launch it is expected there will be three endo variants.

  • The first will be classed as the ‘Mini’ and simply consists of a 2×1 MOD formation with a total of 9 MOD slots.
  • The next size up will be the ‘Medium’ and is expected to be much more in line with a typical Android phone offering a total of 10 slots.
  • The last endo will be similar in size and purpose to a Phablet with a total of 11 MOD slots offered.

This way of thinking is a game changer in all respects. Not only will there no longer be such a thing as an ‘old device’ but this will drive the price down of smart phones in a way OnePlus could only of dreamed of. As well as choosing which MOD’s are installed and controlling initial costs, users could swap modules with family members or friends which would further decrease user’s outlay.

Brother going out today, then fine he can take the new camera and I will use it tomorrow.

In addition if a user was to buy both the Mini and Phablet endos there would be no issue with swapping the components between the two. What you use today on your phone you could use tomorrow on the phablet. Not to mention the modules are likely to contain the respective data and by swapping between your phone and phablet you will still have all the data only a click away. Again users will not need to buy the same MOD if they have more than one endo. To make it even more interesting the users ‘identity’ will be contained within its own self-purpose module so again the user could simply remove their identity module and give the device to a friend to use without any privacy concerns or simply worrying about them going through your images. The scenarios are limitless.

It is expected the MOD’s are where users will start paying and racking up the price but as this is dependent on users’ needs the actual cost of a working smartphone (albeit a basic device) will be minimal compared to the typically overly-priced and over functional current devices. For instance it may be possible for users to have a functionally basic smartphone for as cheap as $50. MOD’s will be sold in a similar way to apps via a Play Store alternative and Google have announced that third party companies can produce and sell their MOD’s via the Google ecosystem which again is highly likely to drive costs and offer greater customization.

Excited yet? Well, you should be. Ara is in its very early stages at the moment with an expected release date sometime in 2015. Currently developers have been provided with Ara boards and the MDK to work from and Google showed off a non-functional prototype at this year’s LAUNCH 2014.

The Future

Well, this is completely in an alpha stage at the moment and so we simply don’t know what the future will bring with Google’s Modular phone. What is clear is that anyone can be part of the experience either as a user or as a developer.

If you are a dev and interested in creating your own MOD (if these become as big as apps then now really is the time) then you should note Google are currently hosting a completion for new and novel MOD’s.

The first Project Ara Developer Prize Challenge is aimed at the creation of novel modules, that would be used daily, and for something you can’t do with a smartphone today”.

However time is running out. All MOD’s have to be registered by Oct 1st 2014 and a working prototype needs to be submitted by Oct 31st 2014. For more information visit the competition page. The Module Developer’s Kit (MDK) is also available for download. You can find out more details on the MDK by Clicking here.

Here are themukt we are certainly excited about Ara and will be keeping a very close eye on developments and bringing you all the latest news as and when we receive it.

For now though why not let us know what you think of Ara. Is this something you will be interested in? Is it a game-changer? What are your thoughts?

 

The post Soon you will be able to assemble your phones like PCs, courtesy Google’s Ara appeared first on The Mukt.

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