Blog Archive


Chinese-Made Smartphones Are Secretly Stealing Money From People Around The World

When Mxolosi saw a Tecno W2 smartphone in a store in Johannesburg, South Africa, he was attracted to its looks and functionality. But what really drew him in was the price, roughly $30 — far less than comparable models from Samsung, Nokia, or Huawei, Africa’s other top brands.

“They’re very attractive and appealing to your eyes,” Mxolosi, who asked for his last name not to be used to protect his personal safety, told BuzzFeed News. “Honestly, I was a Samsung fan but I said, ‘Let me try this new product.’”

It was another sale for Transsion, the Chinese company that makes Tecno and other low-priced smartphones, as well as basic handsets, for the developing world. Since releasing its first smartphone in 2014, the upstart has grown to become Africa’s top handset seller, beating out longtime market leaders Samsung and Nokia.

But its success can come at a price. Mxolosi, an

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Japan’s travel subsidy program to cover half of costs from Oct.

© 共同通信社

Japan’s travel subsidy program, launched in July to help revive domestic tourism hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic, will cover half of travelers’ costs from October, up from the current 35 percent, tourism minister Kazuyoshi Akaba said Tuesday.

Under the “Go To Travel” campaign, travelers in Japan now enjoy a 35 percent discount to their expenses centering on accommodation fees, but can save more from Oct. 1 as they will receive coupons worth 15 percent of the total costs that can be used for food, shopping and other activities offered at destinations.

Akaba said the coupons are expected to “recover lost travel demand as well as widely spur consumption at local destinations.”

The 1.35 trillion yen ($12.7 billion) subsidy program, however, currently excludes travel to and from Tokyo, which has seen the worst coronavirus infections among the 47 prefectures.

The central government will subsidize up to 20,000 yen

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Pixel 4a Becomes The First Smartphone To Get ioXt Certified At Launch

A week ago, Google announced the budget Pixel 4a smartphone. Today, the Alphabet-owned company confirmed that the Pixel 4a is the first smartphone to come with ioXt certification, an international standard for IoT security, at launch.

Alongside the Pixel 4a, last year’s Pixel 4 smartphones are also certified by the Internet of Secure Things Alliance (ioXt). Interestingly, the announcement comes just after Google discontinued the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL smartphones.

Google Pixel 4a gets ioXt certification for Android profile

The alliance is looking after the security compliance assessment program for connected devices. It currently has over 200 members including Google, Amazon, Facebook, T-Mobile, Comcast, Zigbee Alliance, and others. Apart from smartphones, the ioXt certification devices include smart lighting, smart speakers, and webcams.

With smartphones becoming the key device for accessing smart home devices, the ioXt certification should enhance credibility. The above-mentioned Pixel 4a smartphones are ioXt Certified under

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Intel researchers design smartphone-powered robot that costs $50 to assemble

Robots don’t have to be expensive. In fact, if there’s a smartphone handy, a wheeled ‘bot can be built for around $50, according to Matthias Muller and Vladlen Koltun. The two Intel researchers are the coauthors of a recent paper titled “OpenBot: Turning Smartphones into Robots,” which proposes leveraging phones to equip robots with sensors, computation, communication, and access to an open software ecosystem.

Using off-the-shelf smartphones as robot brains confers a number of advantages beyond cost savings. Rapid upgrade cycles mean secondhand smartphones are readily available — an estimated 40% of the world’s population owns smartphones — and they’re constantly improving with regard to camera quality and processor speed. Moreover, even commodity models sport inertial measurement units, GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, cellular modems, and dedicated chips for AI inference, some of which outperform desktop processors.

In the researchers’ OpenBot design, a smartphone plugs into an electromechanical body for sensing, data

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All 2020 OnePlus Smartphones Become Android Enterprise Recommended

All smartphones that OnePlus announced in 2020 are now ‘Android Enterprise Recommended’. This is a goal OnePlus set for itself earlier this year, and now all of its 2020 devices reached it. Just to be clear, those devices include the OnePlus 8, 8 Pro, and Nord.

Google has kicked off the Android Enterprise Recommended program back in February 2018. That program is supposed to have a list of certified devices that are recommended for enterprises to offer to their employees.

All OnePlus smartphones announced in 2020 are now Android Enterprise Recommended

At the moment, over 190 smartphones are certified as part of this program. In order for a device to become AER, it must mess some software update requirements. On top of that, it needs to meet specific hardware requirements.

Phones that are eligible for this certification need to offer at least 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, and 8+

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70% of smartphones shipped in the US during the second quarter were made in China

Distributors increased orders for ultra-low-end Android smartphones from lesser-known China made smartphones like Unimax and Wiko to match the tight consumer budgets and limited spending power of the Americans after millions of them lost their jobs and US unemployment rate crossed record high amid COVID19.

Around 70% smartphones shipped in the US during second quarter this year were made in China, says Canalys, a market analyst firm.

The number of China-made smartphones shipped in the world’s third largest smartphone market surged 10 points from 60% during the first three months of the year. The total smartphones shipped in the United States in the second quarter jumped 11% to 31.9 million from the previous quarter.

“Resumption of Chinese factory operations at the end of March and stores reopening in May and June were key contributors to sequential market growth,” Canalys said.

The federally-subsidized Lifeline program provides discounted phones for low-income Americans.

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Virtual Program – Narrative Threads: New Jersey Quilts & Textiles

This post was contributed by a community member. The views expressed here are the author’s own.

Registration is required. Please register @ .

This program is free and open to all. It will be presented on the Zoom platform.

On the day before the program you will be sent the Zoom meeting information by email. Please note that if you are using Zoom on a tablet or smartphone you will need to download the Zoom app.

The views expressed in this post are the author’s own. Want to

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Samsung now offering product demos at home in India

In a pursuit to stronghold its the Indian market, Samsung has announced a lot of initiatives for the last couple of months. The chaebol recently introduced a privacy mode dubbed AltZLife exclusively for the country. It recently also announced its finance service to allow customers to buy devices easily from the comfort of the home.

Samsung also offers Galaxy Forever and Galaxy Assured service in the country. The former is a lease program while the latter offers assured buyback scheme. To keep its mobile business healthy in the pandemic, Samsung has now launched yet another program in the country. This one offers Samsung customers to have product demos right at their doorstep.

Samsung customers can now book home product demos in India

The South-Korean giant has now launched its Experience Samsung at Home program in India. As a part of this program, the potential customers can book home demos for

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Are you drunk? Your smartphone may soon be able to tell you to grab some water

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Have you had too much to drink?

The way you’re walking is a big indicator — and one day, your smartphone may be able to tell you you’re walking like you’re drunk.

A study released Tuesday in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, tested several participants using sensors that measure acceleration — typically used on cars, ships and spacecrafts — to detect motions of the users’ walks.

For the experiment, 22 adults of various ages — all at least of legal age to drink, naturally — were given a vodka drink that was strong enough to give them a breath alcohol concentration of 0.2%. Phones were then secured onto their lower backs.

Participants had an hour to finish the drink and were then monitored hourly for seven hours, during which they had to perform walks in a straight line for 10 steps forward and 10

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Why you should be using Alexa on your smartphone

You need the Alexa app for Android or iOS to set up any of the Amazon Echo speakers, but once you’ve got your Echo in place, you might not give much thought to the program on your phone—not when you can do so much with voice commands aimed at your smart speaker.

a woman holding a cell phone: When you don't want to ruin your chill morning vibe or stop devouring a bagel by yelling at Alexa, you can use your phone.

© Provided by Popular Science
When you don’t want to ruin your chill morning vibe or stop devouring a bagel by yelling at Alexa, you can use your phone.

If you’re ignoring the app, though, you’re missing out. It’s much more than just a setup utility for the Echo speakers, and it just got a major overhaul that means it’s more intuitive to use than ever.

Get to know the home screen

Open up the Alexa app and tap Home to get to the home screen (if you’re not already on it). This displays a useful overview of

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