Tuesday, 7 February 2017

10 Mysterious Phones Nokia Created In Its Days Of Glory

Short Bytes: Nokia is nowhere to be seen in the smartphone market, but the company was a maker of many noteworthy devices in the history of mobile phones. Here are some Nokia phones whose designs were off-center beyond the extent many people can digest.
Nokia is the company which define the early age of smartphones and produced some of the toughest devices, the Nokia 3310. During its golden period, Nokia released hundreds of mobile devices. But some of those devices really need an acknowledgment in the era of design-centric smartphones. Here some of the weirdest mobile phones Nokia created under its roof. Some of these devices were a part of Nokia Fashion series. Many people including me don’t have any idea these devices actually existed.

Nokia 3250

Nokia 3250

Release: 2005
This Symbian running phone was internally called Thunder by Nokia. The twist functionality allowed its user to turn the phone into a dedicated music device as it also featured control keys on the other side of the twistable portion.

Nokia N-gage

Nokia N-gage

Release: 2003
It was codenamed Starship, and it did look like some outer space gadget from early alien movies. N-gage, inspired from the word ‘engage’, was intended to be a handheld gaming device in addition to being a mobile phone.

Nokia 3650

Nokia 3650

Release: 2002
Nokia 3650 had its buttons arranged in a circular fashion. It was a smartphone running Sybian S60 and received mixed reviews from users. Some people said the rotary keypad design helped them in typing messages quickly.

Nokia 6800

Image: Telegraph
Release: 2003
This Nokia Series 40 device was another attempt by Nokia to create a convertible device. Nokia 6800’s regular numeric keyboard could be turned over to facilitate a full qwerty keyboard for the phone.

Nokia 7370

Image: The Informr
Release: 2005
Although Nokia 7370 looks like a slider phone, it’s upper part was designed to rotate 180-degrees to become compact and cover the numeric keypad.

Nokia 7700

Nokia 7700

Release: Not Released
Nokia 7700 was meant to be the first multimedia phone from the house of Nokia, but it suffered a bad fate. It was announced in 2003 but never made it to the market shelves. In fact, it doesn’t look like a phone at all.

Nokia 7600

Image: Esato
Release: 2003
The teardrop-shaped Nokia 7600 was the second 3G compatible and one of the early Nokia phones to feature a camera. Its artistic design made it difficult to use but it wasn’t as small as it appears in the image which was a slight relief for its users.

Nokia 7280

Nokia 7280

Image: PCMag
Release: 2004
This phone was serious design work by Nokia and the company received appraisals for that. Nokia 7280 was called Lipstick phone and it didn’t have a keypad, but something called a Navi-spinner to control the phone.

Nokia 7705

nokia 7705

Nokia created this phone specifically for Verizon. Nokia 7705’s swivel design allowed a qwerty keypad to hide behind the screen when not in use. The contact light ring on the lower right corner lit at the time of an incoming call.

Nokia 3200

 Nokia 3200

Release: 2003
Nokia 3200 was based on the S40 platform and came in colorful variants. It was a part of the Expression series and received positive reviews from the critics although it didn’t taste much popularity in comparison to Nokia 3100, its predecessor.
In case we missed “alien” phone by Nokia, don’t forget to tell us in comments below, we might add that to the list. 

Trump Immigration Ban: Now 127 Companies Have Joined the Crusade With Google, Microsoft and Others

Tech companies like Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Netflix, etc. are protesting against Donald Trump’s immigration ban. An amicus brief filed against the ban included 97 signatures from tech companies. It has now received support from 30 more names, extending the list to 127, including Adobe, Slack, Coursera, Evernote, etc.

President Donald Trump’s recent executive order included an immigrations ban on seven countries. It has become a heated topic in the United States, especially in the Silicon Valley which is the technology heart of the nation.

The opposition against the immigration ban started as verbal criticism but it has now turned into a full-fledged protest. Earlier, it was known that 97 tech companies – including Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Netflix, etc – joined their hands against Trump’s immigration ban. An amicus brief was filed on February 5, 2017.
But according to the latest reports, that number has now jumped to 127 companies including big names from the non-tech sector. One such name is Levi Strauss & Co. The list now includes SpaceX, Tesla, Slack, Adobe, HP, Coursera, etc.
A block on the order was instated by a US district court judge James Robart. In return, Tump didn’t miss the chance to respond from his Twitter mouth.
The purpose of the amicus brief is to prevent the order from being implemented again in future. It acknowledges the contribution of immigrants in building America and propelling various businesses. We can very well see the leaders of many of the prime companies in the US are non-Americans. And they are investing the same efforts as a normal citizen would do.
“The Order makes it more difficult and expensive for U.S. companies to recruit, hire, and retain some of the world’s best employees,” reads the amicus brief.
According to the brief, the executive order distinguishes the immigrants according to the basis of their nationality, and it’s “unlawful.”
The e-commerce giant Amazon didn’t sign the brief as the company filed their declaration against the ban. Washington’s attorney general prevented them from joining the brief because they’re a witness in an original case themselves.
To know more about the amicus brief by the tech companies, use this link tweeted by Box CEO Aaron Levie.
What are your views on the immigration ban? Drop your thoughts and feedback.

Breaking News:- Facebook Shareholders Want To Remove Mark Zuckerberg As Board Chairman

Facebook’s co-founder is currently the CEO and the board chairman. A proposal filed by shareholders, who also belong to the group SumOfUS, puts emphasis on the appointment of a new ‘independent’ chairman for the Facebook’s board of directors. This is to suit the best interests of the shareholders in the long run.

Facebook might be reaching the paradigms of success, but the company’s shareholders aren’t very much comfortable with all the powers Mark Zuckerberg has. Since 2012, Zuckerberg has been acting as both the CEO and the board chairman at Facebook.

According to a proposal submitted by the shareholders – who are a part of the corporate power damper group SumOfUS – that there is a need for independent Chairman of Facebook’s board. “In our view, shareholder value is enhanced by an independent board chair who can provide a balance of power between the CEO and the board and support strong board leadership.” – reads the proposal.
Another thing that escalates the shareholders’ eagerness for an independent chair is the new capital structure approved by Facebook last year. It introduced new non-voting Class C stocks and aimed at fuelling Zuckerberg’s philanthropy projects for which he would be selling 99% of his shares. However, the new structure compelled a shareholder to file a lawsuit as it increases Zuckerberg’s control over the company.
Shareholders further say that the new independent chairman’s appointment would be “particularly constructive” in the times when Facebook is being accused of behaving as a promotional platform for fake news, hate speech, and other scenarios. Ultimately, it’s the Zuckerberg-led Facebook board to make a decision on this proposal.
If you have something to add, drop your thoughts and feedback.

Report: Pokémon Go has now crossed $1 billion in revenue

Pokémon Go was 2016’s rocket ship — it broke download records and it raced to $500 million in revenue quicker than any app in history. Now it won yet another accolade, the fastest game to reach $1 billion.
That’s according to a new report from app analytics firm Sensor Tower. To give the record some context, a recent App Annie report estimated that iOS and Android developers earned around $35 billion combined last year. Pokémon Go did $1 billion in just over six months, and without a launch in China, the world largest smartphone market. That’s faster than other billion-dollar games Candy Crush Saga and Puzzles & Dragons.

Sensor Tower drilled the point home via a chart comparing Pokémon Go revenue to that of another top mobile game — Clash Royale from SuperCell. Clash Royale did around $550 million in its first seven months. SuperCell is renowned for producing high grossing and addictive games, yet Pokémon Go leaves it trailing in its wake.

Sensor Tower estimates that Pokémon Go is far less lucrative now than at its peak — it is said to be making $1.5 million to $2.5 million per day, down from record highs of $18 million — but the team behind the app has the nous and loyal fanbase to raise that on occasions.

For example, it can add new characters and run special events. A Halloween-period event was estimated to have doubled the game’s revenue, while there’s potential to increase engagement via the newly launch Apple Watch app, too, and generation two Pokémon Go is still to come.
There are also more markets. The app just went live in South Korea, one of the planet’s most lucrative mobile gaming markets, and Niantic can explore the possibilities of a China launch, where it must contend with issues around government concern and a lack of Google services.
So, while there’s little doubt that the hype around the game has died down, there remains much to be upbeat about.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Google Claims That Chrome Browser Now Reloads Web Pages 28% Faster

Short Bytes: When a web browser reloads a web page, around hundreds of network requests are sent to various domains to validate the content of the web page. Google has updated Chrome browser to validate only the main resource while reloading. It will make the page reload process around 28% faster.
Anew update to Google Chrome web browser will make web pages reload 28% faster from now. They have made small changes to the reload feature which has so far remained unchanged since years.

When you click the reload button, the web browser validates all the links and content present on the web page to see if they’re fresh or not. Thus, it has to initiate numerous requests for a single web page.
In earlier times, web page had a tendency to break more often. The reload acted as saviors in such cases. With time, websites on the internet have become more stable, and the use of the reload button is now confined to update stale content on the web page.

An update made to Google Chrome commands it to update the main resource only while reloading a web page and rely more the cached data stored on the users’ computer. Chrome will be able to reload web pages around 28% faster and reduce data usage, power consumption, and latency.
What is your experience with Google Chrome? Drop your thoughts in the comments.

How Your Android’s Pattern Lock Can Be Cracked In Just 5 Attempts

Pattern lock on Android smartphones is probably the quickest and easiest way to gain access to the device. A group of researchers has a created a computer vision algorithm which is capable of cracking complex pattern locks with an accuracy of 87.5% after analyzing a video recording. As a protective measure, you can use fingerprint input method on your smartphone.
Afew days ago, Fossbytes wrote about the list of the most popular (dumbest) passwords of 2016. You might be wise enough to consider a tough password for your devices and online accounts. But if you think that pattern lock is more secure than common passwords, your thinking will change after reading this story.

According to a new research published on Phys.org, it possible to crack a smartphone’s pattern lock in around five attempts, after which the device gets locked. It is possible by recording a video of people entering pattern lock on their phone.
The story isn’t as childish as it sounds. You’re not supposed to decipher the pattern from the video afterward. But a computer vision algorithm developed by the researchers – from Lancaster University, Northwest University of China, and the University of Bath – is assigned to do this task.
The algorithm can work with an accuracy of more than 80 percent for complex patterns and crack them in 5 attempts. In fact, they were able to crack simple pattern in the first attempt with 60 percent accuracy.
The software doesn’t even need to look at the screen to crack the pattern lock. It understands the movements of user’s fingers relative the smartphone from the video. After analyzing a video, the algorithm suggests a bunch of possible patterns.
Overall, a total of 120 unique patterns were checked. The researchers note that patterns involving more lines and complex shapes are easier for the algorithm to crack.
The attack can be done on any smartphone. Pattern locks are primarily used on the smartphones running the Android operating system. In the case of iOS devices, Pin lock is mostly used.

How to protect yourself?

It would be hard to protect your Android or any other smartphone from the digital eyes out there in the wild. Recording a video of you entering your pattern lock on your Android smartphone is an easy task for any shoulder surfer in subways.
If we consider a practical scenario, even if a person records a video, it would be hard to gain physical access to your smartphone.
If your Android smartphone has a fingerprint sensor, you can prefer it over the pattern lock. Alternatively, you can cover your fingers while entering the pattern lock. Moreover, keeping a simple pattern lock help as the algorithm finds it difficult to crack.
Did you find this helpful? Drop your thoughts in the comments.

Nokia Just Launched Its Own Voice Assistant “MIKA” For Some Special Purpose

At this year’s Mobile World Congress, Nokia will demonstrate their new digital assistant called MIKA or Multi-purpose Intuitive Knowledge Assistant. Not a regular voice assistant like Siri, Cortana, and Alexa, MIKA is specially crafted for the telecommunication sector where it will be able to help the engineers with voice-activated access to information and save their time.
We recently heard about Nokia with the launch of the Nokia 6 smartphone, but it is a work of HMD Global carrying the Nokia brand name. The original Nokia has been living a low profile since it sold its smartphone business to Microsoft. However, last year, the company made news with some internet speed records and lawsuits againsApple.

In 2017, Nokia has arrived with something new, a voice-activated digital assistant. Although, it is not something we haven’t seen in the past. The digital assistant, known as MIKA (Multi-Purpose Intuitive Knowledge Assistant), is designed with a different utility in mind.
Instead of being a commercial voice assistant for everyday users to make online bookings and play music, MIKA will be used by engineers and operators in the telecom sector. It will help them access information using voice commands reducing their focus on less important things.
Nokia AVA, a cognitive service platform, is the driving force behind MIKA. The digital assistant leverages augmented intelligence and automated learning. It facilitates a plethora of tools, documents, and data sources. MIKA – accessible on web and mobile – can suggest network problem solutions based on what it has observed on other networks.
Nokia notes that their digital assistant can save around an hour of productive time in a day. The company is prepared to demonstrate their ambitious digital assistant tech at the Mobile World Congress 2017.
What do you think about MIKA digital assistant? Drop your thoughts in the comments.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Hugo Barra leaves Xiaomi, joins Facebook’s VR team

I guess everyone agrees that Hugo Barra’s resignation a couple of days ago was a big surprise, especially after spending 3.5 years in Xiaomi. He was the one – after all- who transformed the company from a local Chinese giant, to one of the top tech manufacturers in the world.

That’s why today’s announcement that he joins th Oculus VR team of Facebook was also another surprise! Hugo joins the team of Mark Zuckerberg as vice president of virtual reality at Facebook and will lead the Oculus team.
Mark Zuckerberg already commented on this saying:
Barra is joining forces with Mark Zuckerberg as vice president of virtual reality at Facebook and will lead the Oculus team. Zuckerberg himself first posted the news on his Facebook page:

According to the official announcement, Hugo Barra will work closely with Mark Zuckerberg, Brendan Iribe, founder of Oculus, Mike Schroepfer, CTO of Facebook and “the visionaries in the Oculus team” as put by Barra.
The news announcement was shared in Facebook along with an awesome VR selfie of  Hugo Barra and Mark Zuckerberg next to each other, even though Hugo is still in Beijing!
So we look forward to seeing what Hugo has planned for us in the VR world of Facebook.

Xiaomi Mi 6 top-end version will have ceramic body!

Well I know you want to learn more about this upcoming beauty, so… here we go: according to some rumors from China, the high-end version of Xiaomi Mi 6 model will be quite different from the other two, and it will pack a ceramic body, similar to the one Xiaomi’s Mi Mix model has.

This high-end Mi 6 will also pack 6GB of RAM (the other two versions will offer only 4GB unfortunately), thus it will be much more expensive as you can probably imagine.  All three versions will pack a 12MPixels camera from Sony with an IMX362 sensor, and they will all have a 3100 mAh battery (or something around there).
There will be 128/256GB storage versions for the expensive Xiaomi Mi 6, lower storage options for the other two models, but nothing certain at this time.

What’s certain is their prices and they will probably shock some of you. The cheapest variant of the phone is allegedly going to retail in China for CNY 1,999 ($290), the mid-tier model will go for CNY 2,499 ($363), while the high-end version with the curved display and ceramic body will set you back at least CNY 2,999 ($435 or €405).

Rumored Specs of Nokia 8 Plus Video Leaked

Nokia is not only here to compete, but to take over the market. Nokia has officially confirmed its presence at MWC 2017 where it will showcase it’s pure craftsmanship, build quality and reliability it is known from the past.

This 2017 is not going to be easy at all for sleeping OEM’s… Another leak video was spotted at CES 2017 of Nokia 8 and the expected rumor spec is as seen below;

image Credit: Total Tech Media

Rumored Spec of Nokia 8

·         5.7 inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display
·         24MP rear camera with OIS and Super EIS enabled
·         12MP front facing camera
·         Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC
·         6GB RAM
·         Micro SD Card support upto 256GB
·         64GB and 128GB internal storage options
·         Dual front facing speakers
·         Led notification light
·         Nokia logo lights up on front during boot

Here is the leak video of Nokia 8 below…

Designed by David Akindeji