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Inhabitat’s Week in Green: next-gen EVs and bricklaying robots

Each week our friends at Inhabitat recap the week’s most interesting green developments and clean tech news for us — it’s the Week in Green.

Inhabitat's Week in Green

Now that the first wave of electric vehicles has established a strong foothold in the market, automakers are working on their successors — and the green cars of tomorrow will blow you away. For starters, they’ll be able to travel much farther. This past week, Volkswagen revealed that it’s working on an electric car with a 186-mile range; Chevrolet announced plans to begin producing the 200-mile Bolt EV in 2016; and reports indicate that the next-generation Nissan Leaf will be able to travel over 310 miles on a single charge. Hydrogen cars are also gaining traction — last week, Toyota announced that its Mirai is the only zero-emission vehicle that can travel 312 miles nonstop. Meanwhile, Tesla is tackling the range-anxiety problem by improving its charging network — and it just launched a next-generation Supercharger that is lighter, faster and cooled by liquid. If you’re looking for something even more futuristic, we have just the thing — the world’s first commercial jetpack is (finally) set to hit the market next year.

Meanwhile, revolutionary new technologies are enabling architects to design buildings that could never have been built 10 years ago. Dubai is an early adopter — this past week, the emirate announced plans to create the world’s first 3D-printed office building (complete with built-in furniture). Speaking of structures built by machines, a team of engineers has developed a bricklaying robot that can build an entire house in just two days. Even Paris is embracing the architecture of the future. The city is known for its strict building codes, but it just approved its first skyscraper in 40 years — and it’s shaped like a towering glass triangle.

Believe it or not, there’s a farm flourishing 100 feet below the streets of London — and it’s set to reap its first harvest this month. The indoor farm is called Growing Underground, and it’s using high-tech systems and bright pink grow lights to produce pea shoots, radishes and celery for commercial customers. Providing food for the hungry is a noble goal — and one Berkeley student has leveraged technology to feed almost 600,000 homeless people. Komal Ahmad’s app, Feeding Forward, makes it easy for anyone to donate leftover food to a good cause. Could 3D-printed meat be coming soon to a kitchen near you? That’s the promise behind “The Cultivator” — a solar-powered appliance that could let you print your own meat at home. And Adidas gave holiday beachgoers a reason to cheer by unveiling the world’s first pair of sneakers made of ocean garbage collected from the sea.

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Samsung now updating the Galaxy Note 4 to 5.1.1 in Russia

Will the GS6 follow the Note 4's example with a metal frame? Perhaps instead go all-metal?

While the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge have already begun their Lollipop 5.1.1 update process some weeks ago, there has been nothing much to speak of when it came to flagships from the year prior. That’s about to change, at least as far as the Galaxy Note 4 is concerned. A screen capture has appeared that indicates Samsung’s premiere phablet (model SM-N910C) is now in receipt of the latest Android build, at least for those users in Russia:

note-4-5.1.1-screenshot SamMobile

Unfortunately there is nothing yet known about what exactly this build entails, however it is presumed to include all the relevant bug fixes and whatnot that were contained in the Android 5.1 update. It will be particuarly interesting to see if anything pans out with the rumor of Samsung activating the Exynos 64-Bit CPU that is dormant in some Note 4 models. Given that the build date is listed as June 29th, it would appear the roll-out is either happening in a staggered format, or else it took a bit for someone to notify the source of the story.

Before you begin mashing the “Check for Updates” button, please keep in mind that OEMs often release updates in “test” markets wherein they can monitor the process and keep watch for any problems or bugs that might occur before a widespread roll-out. Such was the case last year, for example, when LG began its deployment of Lollipop in Poland.

Have you received the latest Lollipop log on your Note 4? Be sure to leave us a comment below!


Yamaha’s motorcycle design team made this 360-degree drum kit sphere

Like some kind of corporate Freaky Friday, Yahama tasked its motorcycle design team with making some instrument concepts — and asked the opposite of its instrument design team. With no constraints like (well) commercial viability, designers were able to (and did) go to town. While the fruits were revealed back in Spring, the company’s publicly exhibited the results over the weekend to the well-heeled residents of Roppongi, Tokyo. Here’s a closer look:

Filed under: ,



Android Authority this week – July 5, 2015

ZTE Nubia Z9-15

Hello Android fans! This week us brought us a couple of hot new Android smartphones and some positively sizzling rumors about devices to come. More details surfaced about the Galaxy S6 Edge Plus, as well as a first batch of reports about the Galaxy Note 5; OnePlus revealed its new phone would have a fingerprint scanner; the Honor 7 and Meizu MX5 launched in China; we got another look at the Moto G 2015; and a first credible render of the Android-powered BlackBerry Venice showed up.

Inside AA HQ

Organization has been the name of the game at AA HQ this week. With the summer lull on the way, we’re looking in the mirror and trying to come up with ways to serve you, our loyal readers, in a better, more informative, and more entertaining way.

One initiative we’re taking is putting a bigger focus on the vibrant UK market. We have several team members based in London, and they’re eager to improve our coverage of all things British. Enter our new UK carrier review series from Nirave Gondhia and the best UK phone lists by Rob Triggs. And we’re just getting started: expect more UK coverage in the future.

We want to make it easier for you to get answers to your questions about new Android devices, so going forward, we’ll be having Ask Us Anything posts on our forums and on the website for all devices of interest. We’re piloting the concept with the Nubia Z9 – feel free to jump in and ask away.

ZTE Nubia Z9-3

This Sunday, the prize in our giveaway is a Samsung Galaxy S6. Get your ticket here!

samsung galaxy s6 edge unboxing aa (11 of 20)

The stuff you shouldn’t miss

Top news of the week

Note 5 and S6 Edge Plus rumors

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge-33

OnePlus 2’s slow-mo unveiling


Honor 7 is here                   

Huawei-Honor-7 (1)                                                                 



Another Moto G 2015 leak


This is the BB Venice

BlackBerry Venice AA

Sound off

We always want to hear your feedback. Whether it’s criticism or praise, feel free to tell us what you think about Android Authority’s content, design, and community. Comment here or get in touch with us on our social channels:

Happy Sunday!


Speculation: Is there a connection between the BlackBerry Venice and Samsung?

Note: While this piece does contain various supportive evidence to buttress the theories contained within, the content itself is purely speculative and should not be taken as fact. Furthermore, the very product the piece revolves around, the BlackBerry Venice, has yet to be confirmed by BlackBerry itself.

BBM Material Design AA

BlackBerry Messenger is already available on Android. Will the hardware be next?

Some years ago, the RIM BlackBerry product line could be seen everywhere. In the days before the modern smartphone, it was the go-to source for business productivity, for secure messaging, and for top tech. Things changed when Apple introduced the iPhone, and further metamorphosed once Google’s Android entered the scene. As time moved on, even the most loyal of BlackBerry users began to consider other options, even if a certain POTUS is smitten with the darling device. RIM, now having changed its name to BlackBerry, has been in a protracted period of turmoil not unlike that which has befallen HTC.


IDC’s data gives a good look at the more-recent decline of BlackBerry handsets.


The company did make some minor waves when it decided to release its industry leading BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) for Android, having previously allowed Android apps to be side-loaded onto its newer hardware. Up until a few days ago, the idea of Samsung and BlackBerry collaborating on a product might have seemed far-fetched, but looking back in time a few months, things were decidedly of a different doing, at least on the rumor mill.

Something with Samsung

This past January, an interesting story began circulating. Originating from Reuters, it alleged that Samsung was in talks to purchase BlackBerry for $7.5 billion. The report said that top executives from both companies had met to discuss the deal, and cited both insiders and confidential documents as sources. The story was widely covered, and at one point BlackBerry’s stock had a major upturn. In the end, however, both companies vehemently denied such negotiations, and the topic was essentially finished. Still though, some of us at Android Authority felt the idea was deserving of further consideration.

What if, however, there was more to these two company’s rumored doings than anyone had initially realized. What if, somewhere along the way between then and now, Samsung and BlackBerry had actually entered into a partnership that would see the production of a long rumored BlackBerry Android phone. A phone BlackBerry itself has said would not be outlandish to consider. And what if this phone, called the Venice, was going to be announced in the near future on AT&T?

Truth-be-told, it’s actually not such an outlandish idea to believe that Samsung might play a part in BlackBerry’s first Android phone. As you will read, there are several reasons in fact.

Conspiracy Theory 

As many commentators around the internet have pointed out, the now-infamous press render of BlackBerry’s alleged Venice shares more than striking similarity to the Galaxy S6 Edge. Take a look for yourself:

BlackBerry Venice AA

And now compare it to the Galaxy S6 Edge:


Gizmodo Japan

Logically speaking, there are a number of reasons why a partnership between Samsung and BlackBerry would make a lot of sense:

1. Samsung’s fortunes are fading

While sales of the Galaxy S6 have been fantastic, they have fallen below the lofty goals that analysts had previously speculated. Likewise, competition in China is getting fiercer by the day, with new devices being prepped from companies like Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo, and ZTE that are becoming more and more desirable. Having a long-term contract with an established company like BlackBerry would be a great source of security in terms of finances, especially in the cut-throat component market where OEMs are constantly shopping between suppliers to get the best guarantee and cost-performance. While BlackBerry certainly isn’t selling tens of millions of devices now, it potentially could should a refocus on Android pay off.

2. BlackBerry needs to cut costs

While the company has more-or-less staved off the total tail-spin it was facing before current CEO John S. Chen took control, it is definitely not in a position of power by any means. If Samsung were to offer it a lower manufacturing cost structure than its current partners, this savings would be most-certainly welcomed. Heck, Samsung could even be used to build most of the device itself, something that becomes more plausible if you factor in the display issue. If Samsung is manufacturing the display, why not give the entire contract to it, especially given that BlackBerry’s current manufacturing contract with Foxconn might not be the most desirable one there is.

3. Samsung is eager to sell more AMOLED

The Korean OEM has never been one to shy away from the benefits of SAMOLED displays, be it a function of power savings, color saturation, thinness, or even the ability to curve them. It commands near-total control over the OLED display market right now, yet the number of customers lined up to make use of the panels are quite limited at best. Whereas HTC once embraced AMOLED, it has since preached the power of S-LCD3. Motorola has made use of Samsung’s technology in several of its products, but then again none of them are mass market hits. By including a SAMOLED display in a BlackBerry however, especially a curved one, Samsung is thereby making use of its latest (and thereby most costly) technology.

Galaxy S6 Edge AMOLED display

Meet the Sheet: Could the super thin, flexible SAMOLED display be used in a BlackBerry device?

4. BlackBerry needs to turn heads (as well as shoulders, knees, and even toes)

BlackBerry needs to make a truly impressive product if it wants to turn the tides with an Android device. Don’t get me wrong here, there are more than a fair share of BB fans around the world, and there is no reason to assume they wouldn’t follow the company into Android territory. The problem is, however, that Android territory is already a very crowded marketplace, and once a customer makes the decision to use Android, the need to stick with BlackBerry becomes questionably, especially given that the OEM’s BBM platform has been available to Android users for some time.

At the same time, if BlackBerry wants to attract more customers, which it clearly does want hence the embracing of Android, it needs to make a product that stands out from the pack. When even the Chinese, who have long been characterized as “copy cats” are making creative, innovative products that stand out, what can BlackBerry do? Including the S6’s edge display is by far the best way to make the Venice stand tall and proud, and you can be sure everyone will take notice of such a bold move from a company most have put out to pasture.

5. The Enterprise market is BlackBerry’s specialty

Security has always been a big issue in the business world, and one of the main reasons BlackBerry was so cherished was the enterprise-focused security suite build into the platform. One such example is the BES12 enterprise mobility management software, which features a range of tools and security options to help businesses keep on top of employee hardware. Samsung developed its KNOX platform in an effort to make in-roads, and indeed it paid off with Google adopting it and the U.S. Government allowing it.

Late last year, the two companies joined forces to promote their services. Samsung would stand to benefit from any such partnership as far as security goes, something that couldn’t come at a better time amid the current crisis of vulnerability the Korean conglomerate now faces. Given that Samsung has already shown an eagerness to pre-load Microsoft apps onto its devices, it wouldn’t be a stretch to find it also seeking to bundle BlackBerry security elements as well. BlackBerry could get a larger market for its services, and Samsung in turn, would get a fantastic package to impress potential enterprise-level clients.

lg curved edge display (4)

LG could also be the one producing the screen for the BlackBerry Venice.

Margin of Error

Given that LG also has shown a display prototype that has curved sides on either end, it’s technically possible that LG could be the supplier of this alleged product’s panel. Given that no product as of yet makes use of LG’s technology, it would be of great financial benefit for the Korean OEM to find a taker and maker as soon as possible so as to cash-in on its hard work.

There is also a possibility that the Venice won’t have any curved display at all, but rather curved glass that gives the illusion. Sharp made use of this kind of trick when it announced the Aquos Crystal last year, and more recently Oppo did as well. Making the display looked curved might be a bit more of a stretch in ingenuity, but depending on the way light was refracted, anything is possible.

 V for Venice

Slider Crackberry

BlackBerry fan-site N4BB has listed the following specs for the Venice, along with a release date of around November:

  • 5.4-inch Quad-HD display
  • 18 MP rear-camera
  • 5 MP front-camera
  • 1.8 GHz Hexa-core (Snapdragon 808 chipset) 64-bit
  • 3 GB RAM

That the BlackBerry Venice itself exists seems to be a non-issue, for the company showed it off during this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, albeit it as a “Slider” and, naturally, running BlackBerry’s OS. Still the presence of a curved display could be seen even then, and a lot can change in a few months to say the least. Back in March, rumors of Nokia getting cozy with Android were still limited to a single tablet, yet now there is talk of much more.

That BlackBerry would want to finally accept the reality of its situation and spring for Android would be the best possible move for it. The emergency of a vested, established player in the mobile industry into Google’s market would be a major boon to consumers looking for a secure platform, and it would also help to reinvigorate a company that has much to offer, if only were it to find a market to sell to.

slider_ronlouks Cnet 

There is also a potential benefit for Samsung that hasn’t been discussed, namely a possibility to make use of a certain, mysterious patent it filed earlier this year. The design looks oddly reminiscent of the Venice, and it’s possible the pop-out-part could be shifted to the bottom, internals rearranged, and a Samsung Slider (or BlackBerry Galaxy) produced.

Wrap Up

While this piece should in no way be taken as anything more than pure speculation, hopefully we have made a reasonable case as to just why Samsung (or LG) might be interested in assisting with a BlackBerry product (be it Android, or otherwise). The question then comes down to just how many Android fans would be willing to purchase a BlackBerry, and likewise, how many BlackBerry customers would be willing to jump ship along with their sailor and swim to a more storied shore. Any thoughts?


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7 problems with the Samsung Galaxy S6 and how to fix them


he Samsung Galaxy S6 is a fantastic device, so much so that it is outperforming internal sales targets set by Samsung themselves. The device took on a whole new design direction for the company by adopting a more premium build quality and ditching the plastic casing in favour of metal. The result was a device that stacked up against Samsung’s main competitor, the iPhone 6, and overtook it to regain Samsung the number one spot in US marketshare.

Despite it’s popularity, it doesn’t mean the Galaxy S6 goes without any problems; in fact, there are quite a few issues that plague the device and its day-to-day operation, but we’ve compiled a list of the common issues and some simple tricks to resolve them.

Galaxy S6 Performance Problems

You may experience the device begin to lag occasionally after extended periods of use or things may start to act a little sluggish. No problem, there’s a simple fix to help stabilise and reset things to perform better all without any risk to losing your data.

1. Turn the Galaxy S6 off.
2. Press and hold Home, Power and Volume Down buttons simultaneously until the device vibrates.
3. When the Samsung boot logo appears, release the buttons.
4. Tap Volume Down until you see ‘Wipe Cache Partition’.
5. Select it using the power button and select ‘Yes’.
6. Reboot your Galaxy S6 after the process has completed.


Galaxy S6 Overheating Problems

Had a serious gaming session and your device running pretty hot? Or perhaps you just backed up all your holiday photos and now the device is needing a break? No problem, simply reboot your device into Safe Mode for a few minutes and leave it sit for a bit. This should help rapidly bring down the temperature of the device since in Safe Mode only the essential processes are running.

Galaxy S6 Screen Rotation Problems

This one unfortunately is not a simple fix and involves getting in touch with Samsung since they have acknowledged the issue:

Samsung is aware of an issue affecting screen rotation on a very limited number of Galaxy S6 Edge devices and a solution is already available. Owners who believe their device may be affected should call 1-800-SAMSUNG for support.

However, always try a reboot or a factory reset in the first instance to see if this alleviates the issue.

Galaxy S6 GPS Problems

Some Galaxy S6 devices have experienced issues obtaining a GPS lock shortly after purchasing the device. This could be down to a number of issues, but most likely isn’t hardware related and instead the sensor just needs calibrating. Here’s what to do:

1. Head into the Galaxy S6 Settings.
2. Go into ‘Personal’ and select ‘Privacy and Safety’.
3. Then proceed to ‘Location’ and then ‘Location Method’.
4. Once in there, select ‘GPS Only’.
5. Now change it to ‘GPS, Wi-Fi and Mobile Networks’.
6. It should now obtain a lock pretty quickly. Wait a few more seconds than usual if you’re inside.
7. If you still have no luck, follow the above with a reboot.


Galaxy S6 Battery Life Problems

Samsung decided in their infinite wisdom to ditch the removal battery we’re all come to love in the previous Galaxy models and opt for a smaller, non-removal, battery in the Galaxy S6. This has unfortunately resulted in battery issues for some power-users, and even some normal users are experiencing the smaller capacity.

Unfortunately, there is no definitive fix for battery life, only tips and tricks to manage them.

1. Make sure your Wi-Fi turned off when you’re not expecting to connect to a wireless network. Your device will still broadcast for networks attempting to connect, which wastes battery.
2. Only use GPS and location settings when you need them – otherwise turn them off.
3. Turn down your screen brightness – this one is pretty obvious.
4. Use power-saving mode – it can extend your battery quite significantly.

Galaxy S6 Wi-Fi Problems

This one can be caused by a number of issues, not least by your local network router you’re connecting to, so it’s advisable to give that a reboot in the first instance.

If you’ve still no luck then head on into the Wi-Fi settings and select ‘Advanced’. From there, make sure ‘Always allow scanning’ is turned off and that ‘Keep Wi-Fi on during sleep’ is set to always.

There are a number of good Wi-Fi signal strength analysers on the Google Play Store – chances are your bad Wi-Fi experience on the Galaxy S6 is caused by poor signal strength from your router.

Galaxy S6 Bluetooth Problems

This one can be solved by entering safe mode and forgetting previously learned devices.

1. Power off the device. Then, press & hold the power button and volume down key.
2. Once it boots up, you can let go of the power button but keep the volume key held down.
3. When you’re in Safe Mode, you’ll see the words at the bottom left corner of the screen.
4. Head on into Bluetooth settings and long press each remembered device and choose to forget it.

Other issues

We’ve bound to missed off a few issues that others have experienced; if that’s the case, please feel free to drop us a comment below stating what your issue is and we’ll be sure to help out.

The post 7 problems with the Samsung Galaxy S6 and how to fix them appeared first on AndroidGuys.


Army exoskeleton prototype helps soldiers learn to shoot

The MAXFAS exoskeleton on a tester's arm

Foot soldiers thrive on their shooting skills, but learning expert marksmanship can take a long, long time. US Army researchers could soon have a robotic shortcut to improving those skills, however. They’re working on MAXFAS, an arm exoskeleton that uses cable-activated arm braces to correct involuntary arm shakes while you’re shooting — think of it like a stabilized camera. The carbon fiber body is light enough that it doesn’t add weigh you down, and it’s smart enough to detect the differences between purposeful movements (such as aiming) and tremors.

The machinery is currently fixed in place, so it would mostly be useful in the short term as a way to teach proficiency to recruits and anyone who needs brushing up. In early tests, the developers noticed that people who’d worn MAXFAS were better shots even after taking it off. Eventually, though, there could be a truly mobile version that gives troops a boost in the field. You could one day see armies full of crack shots that aren’t easily thrown off by fatigue or the chaos of war.

[Image credit: Doug LaFon/US Army]

Filed under: Robots, Wearables


Source: US Army


Samsung starts rolling out Lollipop update for the Galaxy A5 in Russia


Samsung is now distributing the long-awaited Android 5.0.2 update to all variants of the Galaxy A5 (SM-A500FU) located in Russia. The upgrade transports the functionality of Lollipop, an improved battery life and better performance to the handset.

All the changes you’d expect to find in the Lollipop software are bundled into this upgrade, including support for multiple accounts, improved notifications, stronger 256-bit encryption, a smoother multitasking experience and the recently-announced Material Design guidelines.

As usual, the upgrade is being rolled out in stages, but if you don’t feel like waiting for a notification confirming that it’s ready for your device to hit your unit, you could always search for the update manually.

To do so simply open the Settings app, scroll to the bottom and tap on “About Device”, hit “System Updates”, then select “Check for updates”. Once done, the upgrade will start downloading from Samsung’s servers.

Come comment on this article: Samsung starts rolling out Lollipop update for the Galaxy A5 in Russia


[Deal] Flipkart slashes INR 9,000 off the price of the Nexus 6


Earlier today, Independent retailer Flipkart significantly slashed the price of the Nexus 6 in India by INR 9,000 ($140), so residents in the region can now pick one up for INR 34,999 ($550).

For those in need of a refresher on its specifications, the Nexus 6 packs a 5.9-inch Full HD display, a 2.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon 805 processor, 3GB of RAM and a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera.

If you’re based in India, like the sound of the Nexus 6 and would like to pick one up for the reduced price — hit the source link below.

Source: Flipkart

Come comment on this article: [Deal] Flipkart slashes INR 9,000 off the price of the Nexus 6


Galaxy S6 International Giveaway!

Welcome to the Sunday Giveaway, the place where we giveaway a new Android phone or tablet each and every Sunday.

A big congratulations to last week’s winner of the Axon phone giveaway: Adriano P. from Brazil.

This week we are giving away a Samsung Galaxy S6!

While Samsung has enjoyed a ton of popularity thanks to its solid handsets with great specs, in recent years the company has come under fire for its less-than-premium designs. Thankfully, Samsung went back to the drawing board with the Galaxy S6, ditching the plastic designs found on its predecessors and making the move to a stunning new metal and glass aesthetic. It isn’t just the outer design that saw a makeover with the Galaxy S6, however. The Lollipop-powered TouchWiz software on the GS6 also has been dialed back considerably, resulting in a much more optimized and smooth experience. Topping it all off, the GS6 has plenty of power thanks to its 64-bit Exynos 7420 processor paired with 3GB RAM.

New Android Authority Twitch channel – If you like mobile gaming then you’ll love our new Twitch channel. Every weekday you can tune in and watch our own Joe Hindy playing the most popular Android games. Follow us here.

Join Now!

Galaxy S6 International giveaway

More giveaways: Beats Pill 2.0 Bluetooth speaker giveaway at SoundGuys!

Terms & Conditions

  • The giveaway is an international giveaway (Except when we can not ship to your Country.)
  • If we can not ship to your country, you will be compensated with an online gift card of equal MSRP value to the prize.
  • We are not responsible for lost shipments.
  • You must be age of majority in your Country of residence.
  • We are not responsible for any duties, import taxes that you may incur.
  • Only 1 entry per person, do not enter multiple email addresses. We will verify all winners and if we detect multiple email addresses by the same person you will not be eligible to win.
  • We reserve all rights to make any changes to this giveaway.
  • This giveaway is operated by Android Authority.
  • The prize will ship when it is available to purchase.

Full terms & conditions and FAQ | Past giveaway winners [Gallery]


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