With this $25 gadget, Amazon will finally get you to stop scoffing at the idea of a ‘smart home’

Dave Limp, Senior Vice President of Amazon Devices, introduces the 'smart plug' during an event at the Amazon Spheres, on September 20, 2018 in Seattle Washington.

Stephen Brashear | Getty Images News | Getty Images
Dave Limp, Senior Vice President of Amazon Devices, introduces the ‘smart plug’ during an event at the Amazon Spheres, on September 20, 2018 in Seattle Washington.

Earlier this year, Amazon launched a $25 smart plug that lets you control any outlet in your home by voice with an Amazon Echo. That means you can control any lamp, appliance or anything else that plugs into an outlet by speaking a phrase to Alexa like “turn on the living room lamp,” without having to find a switch. It even lets you add other smarts, like a schedule so the light turns on and off at certain times.

It’s a really easy way to turn a “dumb” home into a smart one that you can control with your phone or by voice. You don’t need to fiddle with complicated hubs or spend too much time trying to get something to connect to your WiFi network.

If you can plug in a lamp, you can get the smart plug working. I’m going to show you how to get the most out of it.

This is the smart plug

Amazon smart plug

Amazon smart plug

It’s very simple. Think of it as a sort of adapter that adds the brains to anything you want to plug into an outlet. It will let you schedule an appliance to turn on and off at a certain time, enable you to turn it on or off even when you’re away from home and let you activate it by speaking to Alexa.

All you need to do is take the smart plug, plug in the appliance to one end —it makes the most sense with a lamp because it’s a simple on/off appliance, but you can use anything from a humidifier to a fan — and then plug it into the wall.

[“source=cnbc”]

Samsung unveils Galaxy Note9 in First Snow White, coming in early December

Right on schedule Samsung unveiled a white version of the Galaxy Note9. Dubbed “First Snow White” it was introduced in Taiwan and comes with a matching white S Pen.

Samsung Galaxy Note9 in First Snow White Samsung Galaxy Note9 in First Snow White
Samsung Galaxy Note9 in First Snow White

The new paint job makes its debut in Taiwan and, unfortunately, that’s the only location where it is available. It will land at Samsung stores and Chunghwa Telecom in the beginning of December at a price of NTD 30,900 for the 128GB model.

Buying a white Galaxy Note9 before December 31 will net you a free Fast Wireless charger (normally worth NTD 1,190).

Samsung Galaxy Note9 in Ocean Blue Samsung Galaxy Note9 in Lavender Purple Samsung Galaxy Note9 in Metallic Copper Samsung Galaxy Note9 in Midnight Black
Samsung Galaxy Note9 in Ocean Blue, Lavender Purple, Metallic Copper and Midnight Black

Anyway, this is the fifth color option for the Galaxy Note9 and one it doesn’t share with the Galaxy S9. Still no gradient colors, though.

[“source=gsmarena”]

Xiaomi moves 600,000 Redmi Note 6 Pro units in first India sale

Xiaomi launched the Redmi Note 6 Pro in India a couple of days ago, and the device has so far been a resounding success in the subcontinent.

In its first sale in the country, the company managed to move more than 600,000 units. That’s pretty impressive, and Xiaomi expects to sell even more in upcoming sales.

The Redmi Note 6 Pro is the new king of the Redmi series, which focuses on pairing good specs with very affordable prices. It starts at just INR 13,999 ($198 or €175), while packing a 6.25-inch 1080×2280 notched touchscreen, the Snapdragon 636 chipset, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of expandable storage, a 12 MP main rear camera with f/1.9 aperture and 1.4µm pixels, a 20 MP main selfie shooter with f/2.0 aperture, and a couple of depth sensors for bokeh – one on the back, one on the front.

It has a 4,000 mAh battery and runs Android 8.1 Oreo with MIUI 9 on top.

[“source=gsmarena”]

Google Pixel 3 Lite leaks again, right next to a Pixel 3 this time

Although it has in the past said it’s only focusing on the high end of the marketplace with its smartphones, Google is now working on a mid-range Pixel 3 version. This device, codenamed Sargo, has been leaked a week ago for the first time, and since then we’ve also seen purported camera samples.

Today Sargo (which is going to be called Google Pixel 3 Lite) leaks again, this time in a shot in which it’s right next to a Pixel 3.

If the similarities between these two handsets are confusing to you, note that the Lite model is on the left, the Pixel 3 on the right. The Lite’s screen is marginally taller than the Pixel 3’s, as it has a 5.56″ diagonal (compared to 5.5″) and an aspect ratio of 18.5:9, not 18:9.

The Pixel 3 Lite is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 670 SoC, and it has 4GB of RAM, 32GB of storage (though hopefully this is just the base amount and you’ll be able to buy a model with 64GB too), and a 2,915 mAh battery. Incidentally, that’s the exact same battery capacity as the Pixel 3.

The Lite is also expected to employ the same 12 MP rear camera as its higher priced sibling, which means it would instantly become the mid-ranger with the best main snapper. On the front you’ll get a single 8 MP unit for selfies, that might be the ‘normal’ cam seen in the Pixel 3 and 3 XL. No dual selfie shooters here, though.

Obviously the Pixel 3 Lite should run Android 9 Pie, but the bad news is that it may only be offered in specific developing markets. At the rate it’s started leaking, we assume an official announcement can’t be too far off in the future. Oh, and one more thing: the Pixel 3 Lite has a headphone jack.

[“source=gsmarena”]

Intel Data Centre Results, Margin Outlook Disappoint

Intel Data Centre Results, Margin Outlook Disappoint

Intel Corp’s fast-growing data centre business missed Wall Street targets on Thursday as the world’s second-largest chipmaker faced stiff rivalry from Advanced Micro Devices, and it again delayed the release of its next-generation chips until the end of 2019.

The company’s shares fell almost 5 percent in extended trading.

Sales to data centres that power mobile and web apps, which bring more profit than chips for personal computers, rose 26.9 percent to $5.55 billion (roughly Rs. 38,000 crores) in the second quarter ended June 30. Analysts had expected revenue of $5.63 billion, according to financial and data analytics firm FactSet.

Intel has been increasingly catering to data centres as revenue from PCs has flattened since shipments peaked in 2011.

“We believe performance within Intel’s data centre business largely dictates the performance in the shares and view the slight miss versus consensus as a negative,” said CFRA Research analyst Angelo Zino.

AMD, which has been gaining ground with its new server chips, beat estimates for quarterly profit and revenue on Wednesday, powered by its EPYC server processors.

On a conference call with investors, Intel Interim Chief Executive Bob Swan said the firm expected PCs with its next-generation 10nm chips to be in stores during the 2019 holiday season. Murthy Renduchintala, Intel’s chip architecture chief, said on the call that 10nm data centre chips will be released “shortly after” the consumer PC chips.

Last quarter, the company said the 10nm chips were being pushed from 2018 to 2019 but did not specify when. Intel originally predicted the chips could be ready by 2015.

The compares to rival Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co expecting 7nm chips to contribute more than 20 percent to its revenue next year.

But costs of the 10nm chips are also expected to put pressure on margins, company executives said. Another challenge to margin growth is an expected increase in sales of Intel’s less-profitable modems that help mobile phones connect to wireless data networks.

Earlier this week, Qualcomm executives said they believed Apple had selected Intel to be the sole supplier of modem chips in the next generation of iPhones. Apple and Intel did not comment on Qualcomm’s claim.

Several analysts on Intel’s earnings call expressed concern that its gross margin growth might slow in the fourth quarter, when Apple ships most of its iPhones. Intel executives did not mention Apple or the iPhone but acknowledged those chips are not as profitable as some of its others.

“We expect modem profitability to improve. We don’t see it at the 60-plus percent gross margin level, but we do expect it to be a contributor to earnings performance as we go forward,” Swan said.

Intel’s net income rose to $5.01 billion (roughly Rs. 34,400 crores), or $1.05 (Rs. 72) per share, from $2.81 billion, or 58 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter.

Excluding items, the company earned $1.04 per share, beating expectations of 96 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company benefited from a stabilizing PC market, in which worldwide shipments grew for the first time in six years, according to research firm Gartner.

Revenue in Intel’s client computing business, which caters to PC makers and is still the biggest contributor to sales, rose 6.3 percent to $8.73 billion, beating FactSet estimates of $8.48 billion.

Intel forecast current-quarter revenue of $18.1 billion, plus or minus $500 million, and adjusted earnings of $1.15 per share, plus or minus 5 cents. Analysts on average had expected revenue of $17.60 billion on a profit of $1.08 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net revenue rose 14.9 percent to $16.96 billion, above estimates of $16.77 billion.

The company is searching for a new chief executive after Brian Krzanich was ousted last month following an investigation that found he had a consensual relationship with an employee in breach of company policy.

Chief Financial Officer Robert Swan is acting as interim CEO.

Shares of the Santa Clara, California-based chipmaker which have gained 13 percent so far this year, fell 4.6 percent to $49.75 after the bell.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Mozilla Is Redesigning the Iconic Firefox Logo and Asking Users to Give Feedback

Mozilla Is Redesigning the Iconic Firefox Logo and Asking Users to Give Feedback

As Firefox is growing its presence on the Web by getting not just new features but also adding new versions to meeting specific requirements, its creator, Mozilla, has started redesigning the traditional Firefox logo. The company believes that with the addition of voice assistance and virtual reality (VR), the original flaming tail doesn’t represent its “entire product family”. This is the reason it is going beyond recolouring and dissecting the fox and set to start from the scratch. Being an open-source company, Mozilla is using community support and looks for user feedback to start designing the new Firefox logo. Earlier this month, an Android browser with codename “Fenix” was reportedly in development from Mozilla to target a younger audience that what is using the Firefox browser presently. It was also last month spotted that the company is building a voice-controlled platform that will debut as ‘Scout’ and will help users make a switch from keyboards and access the Web using their voice.

“As an icon, that fast fox with a flaming tail doesn’t offer enough design tools to represent this entire product family,” write Tim Murray, Creative Director, Mozilla, and Madhava Enros, Sr. Director, Firefox User Experience, in a joint blog post. “Recoloring that logo or dissecting the fox could only take us so far. We needed to start from a new place.”

Unlike picking up the flagship Firefox browser into consideration, Mozilla is set to take all its developments into account while designing the new logo. This means that the company is in plans create a logo that will fit its different offerings, including the ones that are currently in the pipeline.

Mozilla has shared two design system approaches and asks users to give their feedback. Instead of taking a crowdsourcing approach or hosting a poll, users need to give their comment on its blog to help the company pick an appropriate design. Furthermore, the two approaches include a “masterbrand” design that comes either as a geometric fox head or a swooshing flame – depicting the existing logo that was notably redesigned in December last year. The masterbrand design is aimed to come as an umbrella under which the entire Firefox product lines will live. But for individual apps, the company has provided options for a general browser icon and some singularly focused browser icons that are aiming at standalone apps, such as Firefox Reality and Firefox Focus. There are also icons for new apps and services that signal the unique function of each product.

mozilla system design approaches Mozilla Firefox

Mozilla’s two system design approaches

 

“Still in the works are explorations of typography, graphic patterns, motion, naming, events, partnerships, and other elements of the system that, used together with consistency in the product, will form the total brand experience,” added Murray and Enros.

The initial designs are “still a work of fiction” and aren’t that icons “final”. This means that the final designs may have some changes over what Mozilla has designed initially. Meanwhile, it is asking users to give their feedback on the initial designs.

As we mentioned, Mozilla is currently expanding its Web presence by adding new features to Firefox. The company is also reportedly building new web browser offerings such as an all-new Android browser for the youth and Scout to take on the competition that mainly has Apple with its Safari, Google with its Chrome, and Microsoft with its Edge.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

New Crypto-Miner PowerGhost Targeting Corporates in India: Kaspersky Lab

New Crypto-Miner PowerGhost Targeting Corporates in India: Kaspersky Lab

A new cryptocurrency miner, dubbed PowerGhost, is targeting corporate networks in India and several other regions in the world, according to new research from Russia-based cyber-security company Kaspersky Lab.

PowerGhost uses multiple fileless techniques to discreetly gain a foothold in corporate networks, meaning that the miner does not store its body directly onto a disk, increasing the complexity of its detection and remediation, showed the study published in Securelist, the online headquarters of Kaspersky Lab security experts.

The main victims of this attack so far have been corporate users in India, Brazil, Colombia and Turkey, it added.

Cryptocurrency mining software creates new coins by using the computing power of a victim PC and mobile devices.

The threat from cryptocurrency mining software has skyrocketed in recent times, replacing ransomware as the main type of malicious software, as previous Kaspersky Lab research had shown.

As this trend grows, enterprises will be put at risk, as miners sabotage and slow down their computer networks, damaging overall business processes and lining their own pockets in the process.

However, the emergence of PowerGhost adds a new dimension to the trend. It demonstrates that malicious miner developers are shifting to targeted attacks to make more money.

PowerGhost is distributed within corporate networks, infecting both workstations and servers, the study said.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Xiaomi Mi A2 Set to Launch in India Tomorrow: Here’s Everything You Should Know

Xiaomi Mi A2 Set to Launch in India Tomorrow: Here’s Everything You Should Know

Xiaomi Mi A2 India launch is scheduled to start in less than 24 hours, marking the entry of only the second Xiaomiphone part of the Android One initiative in the country. The new Mi A2 smartphone is the follow-up to last year’s Mi A1, and the company is emphasising its cameras in its social media teasers. Gadgets 360 has previously learnt the smartphone’s base variant, unveiled in Spain last month, will not be coming to the Indian market. Instead, the 4GB RAM and 64GB storage model will serve as the entry point for the new model. Also, the smartphone will be an Amazon exclusive in India. The specifications of the handset are already known, so the Xiaomi Mi A2 price in India will be the big draw for all the fans. Here’s what you should know about tomorrow’s launch:

Xiaomi Mi A2 live stream

The Xiaomi Mi A2 India launch is scheduled for 4pm IST, and there will be a live stream. However, the link is not yet live, and we will update this story as and when it becomes available. Xiaomi fans looking forward to the Mi A2 launch in India can register for the live stream on the official site and 100 of these registrants will win F-codes for the handset.

Xiaomi Mi A2 price in India, specifications

As mentioned above, the Mi A2 price in India is not yet known. The smartphone was unveiled with price tag of EUR 279 (about Rs. 22,500) for the 4GB RAM + 64GB storage variant and EUR 349 (about Rs. 28,000) for the 6GB RAM + 128GB storage option. While the former is confirmed to launch in India at tomorrow’s event, the company was said to be still deliberating on the latter.

ALSO SEEXiaomi Mi A2 vs Mi A2 Lite: What’s Different?

As for the specifications, the dual-SIM (Nano) Xiaomi Mi A2 runs an optimised stock version of Android 8.1 Oreo, certified by Google’s Android One programme, and sports a 5.99-inch full-HD+ (1080×2160 pixels) display with a 18:9 aspect ratio, 2.5D curved glass, and Gorilla Glass 5. It is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 SoC, paired with an Adreno 512 GPU.

 

In the camera department, the handset sports a dual rear camera setup. It consists of a 12-megapixel Sony IMX486 with f/1.75 aperture and 1.25-micron pixels, and a 20-megapixel secondary Sony IMX376 sensor with f/1.75 aperture and a 2-micron 4-in-1 Super Pixel size. The rear camera setup comes with dual-tone LED flash and PDAF. On the front, the handset gets a 20-megapixel Sony IMX376 selfie camera with f/1.75 aperture, fixed focal length, and a soft-LED flash. There is a 3,010mAh battery under the hood, and the India variant will come with Quick Charge 4 for fast-charging support.

In terms of connectivity, the smartphone includes 4G LTE, Bluetooth v5.0, dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Miracast, an IR emitter, and USB Type-C. There is no 3.5mm headphone jack on the Xiaomi Mi A2. Sensors on the handset include accelerometer, ambient light sensor, gyroscope, and proximity sensor.

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Xiaomi Mi A2

Xiaomi Mi A2

  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS
Display5.99-inch
Processor2.2GHz octa-core
Front Camera20-megapixel
Resolution1080x2160 pixels
RAM4GB
OSAndroid 8.1 Oreo
Storage32GB
Rear Camera20-megapixel
Battery Capacity3010mAh
BUY AT
  • Xiaomi Mi A2
    Launching 8th August
    Buy

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 AI Camera Features Leaked, S Pen to Come in Colour Options

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 AI Camera Features Leaked, S Pen to Come in Colour Options

S Pen will come in different colour options and Samsung will sell them separately

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 will get unveiled this week, but with all the rumours that have been surfacing on the Web, we probably know what to expect from the smartphone. Besides all the leaks, the Galaxy Note 9 has also been showcased in several teasers released by Samsung itself. However, leaks are still pouring in tipping the expected specifications and features of the upcoming handset. A recent leak has suggested that the Galaxy Note 9 will have AI-based features. Samsung will also reportedly give early Galaxy Note 9 buyers a choice between the AKG Y50 Bluetooth wireless headphones and 15000 Fortnite V-Bucks. Additionally, a leak has also suggested the features of the S Pen stylus that will reportedly also be sold standalone by Samsung.

As per a post by a tipster on Reddit, citing an unnamed Samsung trainer, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 will come with AI-based features that will be able to optimise the camera based on the subject detected, such as landscape, portrait, food, and more. The new camera is also said to have speech bubbles that pop out if it detects an image having any imperfections such as “blurriness, eyes blinking, and hand shaking too much.”

According to the Reddit user, pre-order offers on the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 include wireless noise-cancelling headphones from AKG worth $299 or the Fortnite package. Also, buyers would be given the option to get both if they pay $100, the user added. This piece of information has been reaffirmed by an image of Galaxy Note 9 Value Pack retail box shared by Dutch site Techtastic. The retail box includes the AKG headphones along with a car mount.

The leaks suggest that the S Pen stylus in Galaxy Note 9 will let users double tap a button to flip camera mode via by doubling as a remote shutter. Also, the S Pen will be able to deliver up to 30 minutes of use by charging for just 40 seconds. Also, the leak suggests that S Pen will come in different colour options and Samsung will separately sell different colour styli. However, there is no information on the pricing. The colour of the stylus is also said to determine the colour of the on-screen memo font.

Also, when it comes to Samsung Dex, the Galaxy Note 9 will reportedly be able to enter Dex mode without a dock, just by using a USB Type-C to HDMI cable. The display of the Galaxy Note 9 will be 6.4-inch but the footprint of the smartphone will remain the same as the Galaxy Note 8, the Reddit user added.

Meanwhile, a new report has hinted at the features of the S Pen stylus that will arrive with the Samsung Galaxy Note 9. As per a WinFuture report, the S Pen will get Bluetooth support, a feature that has been suggested in leaks multiple times. The report says that the button at the top of the stylus can now be used for the first time as a remote control for the smartphone. The report claims that the S Pen can be used to trigger images, remotely control presentations, or even operate other apps without having to touch the handset itself. The images leaked in the report suggest that the stylus comes with a finer tip and now supports 4,096 levels of pressure for a very precise control over your drawings or hand-written messages.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

YouTube Names Handsets Offering ‘Best Experience’, Shows Samsung Galaxy Note 9 on Top With No iPhone on List

YouTube Names Handsets Offering 'Best Experience', Shows Samsung Galaxy Note 9 on Top With No iPhone on List

The list of YouTube Signature Devices includes as many as 18 Android smartphones.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 not just has top-notch specifications but is also touted to be a “YouTube Signature Device” for 2019. Samsung at the Galaxy Note 9 event in New York revealed the latest achievement. Following the formal announcement made on stage in Brooklyn, New York, a YouTube Device Report emerged that highlights the Galaxy Note 9 as well as some other premium smartphones as “Signature Devices” that are claimed to deliver the “best-in-class YouTube experience”. Interestingly, while the report includes models such as the Google Pixel 2 XL, HTC U12+, and OnePlus 6- alongside the Galaxy Note 9 as the leader, it doesn’t mention any iPhone model – not even the top-end iPhone X.

YouTube in the Device Report states that to qualify as a Signature Device, the handset must support high dynamic range (HDR), 360-degree video playback, high frame rate (greater than 60 frames per second), reliable DRM performance, 4K decoding, and use next-generation video codecs along with hardware VP9 profile 2 decoding. “We’ve worked with manufacturers to verify these devices meet or exceed our performance expectations,” the team writes in the report.

The list of YouTube Signature Devices includes as many as 18 Android smartphones. There are models such as the Galaxy Note 9, Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium, HTC U12+, OnePlus 6, LG G7 ThinQ, Xiaomi Mi 8, Nokia 8 Sirocco, Google Pixel 2 XL, Huawei Mate 10 Pro, and LG V30.

However, there isn’t any iPhone model, as noted by The Verge. The prime reason behind the absence of the Apple iPhone models in the list of YouTube Signature Devices is the lack of VP9 video codec support that has been developed by Google to enable a high-quality video playback experience. The lack of VP9 support notably prevents Safari users from watching YouTube videos in 4K.

It is unclear whether the 2018 iPhone models will come with necessary hardware and software support to reach the list of YouTube Signature Devices in the future. This also isn’t likely to be a major factor to influence customers. Having said that, companies such as Samsung are likely to use the latest development to market their offerings including the newly launched Galaxy Note 9.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]