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31
Mar

Xiaomi is doubling down in India as competition intensifies


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Xiaomi is getting an infusion of cash to ward off its local rivals.

After a slow 2015, Xiaomi bounced back last year to record $1 billion in revenue from India. The numbers highlighted a particularly profitable fourth quarter for Xiaomi — occurring around the time of demonitisation, during which a major chunk of high-denomination notes were devalued. The company’s Redmi Note 3 turned out to be one of the best-selling devices of the year, and its successor, the Redmi Note 4, is continuing that momentum.

Xiaomi also opened its second manufacturing facility in India, and is now churning out a phone every second. The goal for the Chinese manufacturer is to solidify its footing in the Indian market, a task that’s getting considerably harder owing to the increased competition in this segment. Xiaomi’s local rivals OPPO and Vivo continue to steadily gain ground in India, and by targeting the same segment and selling their products at thousands of retail stores, they’ve managed to rise through the ranks in a relatively short time.

Xiaomi has learned from its mistakes in China.

Xiaomi saw a healthy 15.3% growth in the fourth quarter, edging past Lenovo to become the second-largest vendor for the three months ending in December 31. But with OPPO and Vivo making inroads into tier 2 and tier 3 cities and aggressively marketing their products, Xiaomi doesn’t want the situation in India to play out the same way as it did in China.

To that effect, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun has announced that the company would be investing $500 million in its Indian unit over the next three to five years. On a visit to India that included meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and reaffirming the company’s commitment to the Make in India initiative, Jun said that Xiaomi was willing to take “controlled risks” in the country:

In the next two years we want more and more influence in India. We want to take more risks in India. But we want to take controlled risks.

Xiaomi’s failure to focus on the offline segment in its home market allowed its rivals to gain much-needed momentum, but the company isn’t repeating its mistakes in India. The Redmi Note 4 is going up for sale at thousands of offline retailers, and with the second factory up and running, Xiaomi is finally in a position to meet the ravenous demand for its devices. Whether it’ll be able to sustain that demand is another matter altogether.

31
Mar

Get this reversible micro USB cable for just $13!


Dealing with charging cables is just a part of modern day life. First, you can never seem to find one when you need it. Then there’s the all-too-common issue of going to plug your charger into your phone only to realize its upside down.

Introducing the MicFlip Fully Reversible Micro USB Cable! Learn more

You can solve both of those problems by picking up a MicFlip Fully Reversible Micro USB cable. Both the Micro USB and USB-A plug are fully reversible, meaning you will never have to worry about plugging in your phone ‘the right way’ again!

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Not only that, these 6-foot cables look really stylish, with a super strong red Nylon braided cable and gold coated plugs which look snazzy and are also resistant to corrosion. Get all the reversible convenience of the newer USB-C standard for all your micro USB phones today!

Get a reversible microUSB cable for just $13.99! Learn more

These cables regularly sell for $24.99 but you can save 44% thanks to this deal from Android Central Digital Offers. Don’t miss out on this great offer!

31
Mar

Best Strategy Games For HTC Vive


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What are the best strategy games for HTC Vive?

Gaming in VR isn’t just about first-person shooters and role-playing games; strategy games are becoming more and more popular as people realize how fun it is to hover over a game board, planning a method of attack or a solution to a puzzle.

Those of you who love strategy games on a normal monitor will find themselves immersed to a completely new level in VR. To help you get started, here are some of the best strategy games available for HTC Vive.

See the full list of strategy games at VR Heads!

31
Mar

Best Cases for Moto G5 Plus


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What are the best cases available for the Moto G5 Plus?

Motorola’s latest budget phone, the Moto G5 Plus, is shaping up to be quite the follow up to the Moto G4 Plus.

If you’ve picked one up or are considering getting one, you should also pick up a case to keep it in tip-top condition. Most of the premium accessory brands haven’t released anything for the Moto G5 Plus yet. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of affordable cases available. Here’s your best options so far.

  • Incipio NGP case
  • LK Wallet case
  • TUDIA Ultra Slim case
  • SPARIN Crystal Clear case (Two-pack)

Incipio NGP case

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If you’re looking for a lightweight rugged case, Incipio’s NGP case is the right voice for you.

Featuring a textured back and bumper to ensure you maintain a solid grip, this one-piece polymer case is designed with enhanced drop protection — you’ll notice the honeycombed interior which helps to disperse the shock when your phone inevitably hits a table or floor.

Precise cutouts means you’ll have full access to the charging port and headphone jack as well as the volume and power button on the side.

Choose between black and berry pink and keep your Moto G5 Plus protected!

See at Incipio

LK Wallet case

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If you like the idea of keeping your phone and your wallet in one place, you should get an LK luxury wallet case for your Moto G5 Plus. It allows you to carries the phone, some cash, and three credit cards in one pocket.

The synthetic leather comes in four colors, from a classic black to more vibrant color options. The magnetic closure is secure and the TPU inner shell offers shock resistance, covering the edges and corners of your phone.

LK’s wallet case also folds into a sturdy kickstand for hands-free operating. You’ll still have access to all the buttons and ports, including your camera, without removing your phone.

See at Amazon

Tudia Ultra Slim case

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Tudio’s Ultra Slim case for the Moto G5 Plus is a very stylish option for protecting your phone. it features stylish carbon fiber designs at the top and the bottom of the backplate, which both looks great and helps with grip.

Made with high quality TPU, this sleek case won’t add much bulk to your phone, while the raised edge around the screen help keep your phone protected when it’s face down on a surface. It’s available in three color options: black, grey and navy blue.

For a really stylish and slim option for protecting your Moto G5 Plus, the Tudia Ultra Slim case can’t be beat!

See at Amazon

SPARIN Crystal Clear case (Two-pack)

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The Moto G5 Plus is a big step up in design from the Moto G4, so chances are you’ll want to show it off a bit with a clear case.

SPARIN’s clear case is your best bet. Made from crystal clear TPU, you’ll barely be able to tell that the case is there — but you’ll be really happy it is. It offers full protection for the back panel, edges, and corner of your Moto G5 Plus without adding unnecessary bulk. There are precision cutouts for the speaker, camera and other ports, ensuring that your able to use your phone without any obstruction.

Best of all, you get two cases for the price of one, so you can swap em out day to day or simply always have a back up on hand which is nice.

See at Amazon

Which case will you pick?

We want to know which cases work best for you, so let us know in the comments below!

Moto G5

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  • Moto G5 Plus review
  • Moto G5 Specs
  • Top 10 things to know about the Moto G5 + G5 Plus
  • Moto G5 Plus vs Moto G4 Plus
  • Join our Moto G5 forums!

See at Amazon

31
Mar

Apple fixes iOS loophole that overloaded 911 centers last fall


Last October, a teenage hacker figured out how to trick some iPhones into calling 911 repeatedly, racking up thousands of bogus calls. That attack took place months ago, but Apple has just now updated iOS to keep such an incident from occurring again. As noted by The Wall Street Journal, iOS 10.3 (which rolled out earlier this week) closes the vulnerability that 18-year-old Meetkumar Hiteshbhai Desai allegedly exploited.

The WSJ detailed exactly how the hack happened back in October. The short explanation is that iOS had a feature that let apps automatically dial a designated telephone number when tapping on a link — now, iOS 10.3 requires users to confirm they want to dial the number before a call is initiated. In the case of this attack, Desai allegedly wrote a code and posted it on Twitter; 911 was dialed when users tapped the link.

But once the call was started and the user hung up the phone, the phone would automatically dial it back again — the only way to break the chain was to shut the phone off entirely. Android phones weren’t affected by this issue. If you tapped the link while using Android or on the web, you’d instead get directed to a site that simply said “LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL.”

Apple may have closed off the issue that caused this specific attack, but 911 systems remain surprisingly vulnerable to brute force overloads. As noted by the WSJ, there are 6,500 911 call centers in the US, but only 420 of them are part of a cybersecurity defense program. The Department of Homeland Security has been working on ways to prevent and defend against these types of brute force attacks, but they haven’t come up with a solution just yet. As for Desai, he claims that he released the code by accident, but that doesn’t change the very real harm his prank caused.

31
Mar

The Engadget Podcast Ep 34: Intergalactic


On this special all Samsung edition of the Engadget Podcast host Terrence O’Brien is joined by executive editor Dana Wollman and senior editor Chris Velazco. First all three will debate some of the most burning questions surrounding South Korea’s biggest phone manufacturer. Should Samsung be using resources to build yet another virtual assistant? Is there anyone who wants to use their phone as a desktop? And, most importantly, can the Galaxy S8 save Samsung from itself? Then Chris Velazco will paint a picture of the event on the ground, before the crew dives deep on the finer point of the S8’s design, interface and audio pedigree.

Then, on The Wind Down, we discover that Dana failed to do her homework and Chris is contemplating picking up Dungeons & Dragons.



Relevant links:

  • Samsung’s ‘unbox your phone’ event gave us a phone that’s still a box
  • Every Galaxy S8 comes with a pair of $99 AKG earbuds
  • The Galaxy S8 and S8+ pack big changes into gorgeous bodies
  • Samsung squeezed a smart home hub into a WiFi router
  • Does anyone actually want to use a phone as a desktop?
  • The Galaxy S8 can double as a pretend desktop
  • Samsung’s Bixby AI assistant can see as well as talk
  • Live from Samsung’s Galaxy S8 event!

The Wind Down:

  • Spoon – Hot Thoughts
  • Missing Richard Simmons
  • The Adventure Zone

You can check out every episode on The Engadget Podcast page in audio, video and text form for the hearing impaired.

Watch on YouTube

Watch on Facebook

Subscribe on Google Play Music

Subscribe on iTunes

Subscribe on Stitcher

Subscribe on Pocket Casts

31
Mar

One Drop’s CareKit App Showing ‘Substantial Improvement’ in Glycemic Control for Diabetic Users


Earlier this year, the CareKit-supported One Drop Blood Glucose Monitor launched on Apple.com, allowing users to get pain-free results in just seconds, with data easily displayed on the compatible iOS app. After a few months on the market, One Drop has today released new findings and is reporting that its kit has catalyzed “a substantial improvement in glycemic control.” In total, the study accounts for 3,500,000 app log-ins and over 200,000,000 primary health data points entered by its users over a period lasting between 2 months to 1 year.

The data comes from One Drop mobile app users on both iOS and Android who have either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, and who have consistently followed the company’s app guidelines by entering two glycated hemoglobin (A1C) values at least sixty days (but not more than one year) apart. In June 2016, prior to One Drop’s wide release, initial analysis showed a 0.7 percentage point reduction in A1C for One Drop app users, going down from 7.8 percent to 7.1 percent.

Now, One Drop has repeated its analysis “on a much larger sample” of users, and discovered a 1.0 percent point reduction in A1C among app users, decreasing from 8.2 percent to 7.2 percent. Diabetics are encouraged to take A1C tests at least twice a year, in order to measure their average blood glucose level during the previous 3 month period. The American Diabetes Association encourages those with diabetes to aim for an A1C test result of less than 7 percent; people without diabetes typically range between 4 and 6 percent, so the lower the result the better.

As One Drop pointed out, the more that its users visited the app and tracked their blood glucose and food intake, the more their A1C improved. At the same time, inflated results from the glut of new users post-launch also factor into the .30 percent increase between the findings last June and this month. The company mentioned that, although the findings might appear small, “this is just the tip of the iceberg” in terms of testing and improvements coming to One Drop.

“The improvement in A1c we’ve seen among our users is often achieved with drugs, but rarely, if ever, seen with self-care interventions,” said Jeff Dachis, Founder and CEO of One Drop. “With One Drop, we are delivering a well-designed, evidence-based diabetes solution that provides cost-effective, comprehensive care to anyone, anywhere in the United States and, soon, anywhere in the world.

The company’s app also has an on-demand coaching service called “One Drop Experts” — available in the Premium plan — which gives users 24/7 in-app diabetes support from Certified Diabetes Educators, and even a digital therapeutics program to keep every aspect of their program on track. One Drop has additionally tracked activity from this specific section of the app as well, and discovered the following took place over a four week period.

Participants using the One Drop app and One Drop Experts:

  • reduced average blood glucose by 27 mg/dL;
  • reduced average blood glucose from 185 mg/dL (A1c 8.1%) to 158 (A1c 7.1%);
  • reduced average percentage of high blood glucose readings from 19% to 4%;
  • nearly doubled the percentage of in-range blood glucose readings;
  • consistently tracked food and blood glucose over time.

For those interested, the One Drop Blood Glucose Monitoring Kit sells for $99.95 on Apple.com, while the One Drop for Diabetes Management app is free to download on the iOS App Store, and includes Apple Watch support [Direct Link]. One Drop’s advantages include a lancing device that has custom depth settings to ensure that each user can discover the right amount of pressure and get “a perfect drop every time.” The Premium subscription plan ensures users never run out of test strips, in addition to access to One Drop Experts.


In 2016 One Drop was one of four apps that launched with Apple’s CareKit platform, which allows app developers to design and launch integrated software to facilitate better communication and information gathering among doctors and their patients. The other three apps were fertility tracker Glow Nurture [Direct Link], maternity app Glow Baby [Direct Link], and depression medication tracker Start [Direct Link].

For One Drop, Founder and CEO Jeff Dachis said that the company intends to continue its expansion and encourage the spread of diabetic knowledge in the process: “As we expand, we will maintain our focus, empowering everyone with diabetes today to make better choices and lead fuller lives.”

Tags: CareKit, One Drop
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31
Mar

Netflix has a new translation test to avoid subtitle fails


Netflix supports over 20 languages, many of which aren’t dubbed, so subtitles are often the only way for foreign viewers to follow the plot. While the streaming company holds itself to a high standard, the internet abounds with tales of wonky translations. That’s why it has developed Hermes, the first-ever proficiency test for caption translators by a major content provider. The aim is to identify subtitlers that understand the subtleties of a languages and won’t translate “Smashing Pumpkins” to “Pumpkin Puree” (above).

Netflix outsources translation to third-party services, all with different recruiting practices, “so it’s nearly impossible for Netflix to maintain a standard across all of them,” it wrote in its Hermes launch post. That makes quality control difficult, so Netflix said it took a “Hollywood meets Silicon Valley” approach to solving it.

Hermes grills candidates on their ability to understand English, the root language of most of its films. It also tests their ability to “translate idiomatic phrases into their target language” without linguistic or technical errors. For instance, “they are very shrewd and made a killing” uses the “made a killing” idiom that’s ripe for mistranslation if the subtitler isn’t familiar with it. There are over 4,000 such expressions in English, Netflix says, and it’s important to find a translation that’s “culturally accurate” while keeping the color of the original.

After taking the tests, each captioner will be assigned an “H-Number” that tells Netflix their skill level. That way, it can use the best people for, say, Out of Africa, while those with lower skills could handle Mama Mia!

The H-Number, which Netflix will require of every subtitler by this summer, will also help it to measure the quality of translations and compare them to the person who did it. “Perhaps they consider themselves a horror aficionado, but they excel at subtitling romantic comedies — theoretically, we can make this match so they’re able to do their best quality work,” Netflix says. It adds that soon English “won’t be the primary viewing experience on Netflix,” making the work increasingly important for a company that’s keen on expansion.

Source: Netflix

31
Mar

EFF: Verizon will install spyware on all its Android phones


Who’d have thought that just days after the house rolled back privacy protections for internet users, ISPs would take advantage? The EFF did, pointing out that Verizon has already announced that it will install spyware, in the form of the launcher AppFlash, across its users’ Android devices in the coming weeks. AppFlash, as TechCrunch reports, will embed itself to the left of your home screen, offering details on local restaurants, movies or apps that you can download.

But the EFF spent a little time staring at AppFlash’s privacy policy, where it’s revealed that the software will vacuum up any and all of your private data. For instance, it’ll snag your cell number, device type, operating system and the apps or services that you use. More crucially, the app will also harvest the details of everything installed on your device, your location and the contact details of everyone in your phonebook.

Verizon admits that the information will be shared within “the Verizon family of companies,” including that of (Engadget parent) Aol. From there, the data will be used to “provide more relevant advertising within the AppFlash experiences and in other places.” The other places being a euphemism for banner and display advertising all across the web.

So, if you’re trying for a baby and you’ve got a fertility app on your phone, it’s reasonable to expect plenty of banner ads for diapers and formula feeding. If you’re doing something more private, like making your first steps out of the closet or dealing with a substance abuse issue — and you’ve got a relevant app — then Verizon’s gonna know about it.

To be fair, Verizon justifies its stance by saying that it’ll need some of this data in order to make on-demand services work. How, after all, can it seamlessly tell you local movie times and call you an Uber to the cinema if it doesn’t know where you are? Not to mention that Google already snatches most of this information for its own purposes.

But, as the EFF points out, most of the Android devices on Verizon’s network will now have a common app that hackers will be probing for holes. Should a nefarious type find such a vulnerability, then you can be sure that same personal data will be sold off to the highest bidder.

Source: EFF

31
Mar

ICYMI: Moving arms with thought and painting faces with light


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Today on In Case You Missed It: A quadriplegic man can now move his right arm thanks to the miracles of modern science. No, not like that. A team of doctors from the Cleveland Functional Electrical Stimulation center bridged the gap in his severed spine with a brain control interface and a “functional electrical stimulation” system allowing him to move his right arm. He still doesn’t have a sense of touch but at least he can scratch his nose.

We also take a look at new media artist Nobumichi Asai’s latest work, a motion-tracking projector that paints its target’s face and hands with digital designs. It’s a more advanced version of what Asai set up for Lady Gaga for her David Bowie tribute. The system runs at 1000 frames per second and boasts a sub-10 millisecond lag time.

As always, please share any interesting tech or science videos you find by using the #ICYMI hashtag on Twitter for @terrortola.

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