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15
May

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 said to have 6.3-inch 18.5:9 screen


There have already been plenty of leaks and speculation surrounding Samsung’s replacement for the disastrous Galaxy Note 7, and every one of them show that the new handset will firmly put memories of exploding devices into the dim and distant past.

The latest is that the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 will be the largest Note device yet, mainly in screen real estate. It will also adopt the same 18.5:9 aspect ratio as the Galaxy S8 and S8+.

Speaking of the latter phone, if this suggestion is true, the Galaxy Note 8 will have a screen size only a tad larger. It states that the Note 8 will sport a 6.3-inch screen.

  • Samsung Galaxy Note 8: What’s the story so far?
  • This amazing picture leak could show us the Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Considering the S8+ has a 6.2-inch display, we can guess that both handsets will be similar in form factor. The Note will have the trademark S Pen stylus though, we’d imagine.

The Chinese tipster also reaffirms that the Note 8 will have Samsung’s new dual camera system on the rear – something we’d heard before. However, he says that it won’t be the first Samsung device to have that snapper, as otherwise though. Instead, that will be the foldable much-rumoured Galaxy X.

Considering we’re not expecting to see an official launch for the Note 8 until August/September, there is plenty of time for more rumours. We shall keep you informed.

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15
May

Motorola Moto X4: Release date, specs and everything you need to know


Motorola is set to have five phone ranges on shelves before the end of 2017 according to a recent leak of a company presentation slide. We’ve already seen the Moto G5 and G5 Plus, but there looks to be a return for the Moto X. The Moto X took a step aside in 2016 to make way for the Moto Z flagships, but now it seems Motorola wants to bring it back as a sort of sub-flagship device.

The last incarnation of the Moto X we saw was in 2015 with the Moto X Force, the Moto X Play and Moto X Style. In 2017 however, Motorola looks set to release just one Moto X model, which could combine the best of both the Play and Style.

A tweet from usually reliable tipster Evan Blass suggests the new Moto X will be called the X4, so we’ll be using that for the purposes of this feature. But what can we expect to see from the Moto X4 and when will it be released? Read on to find out.

Motorola Moto X4: Release date

There haven’t been any major rumours suggesting a release date for the Moto X4, but with it being talked about at a company presentation, and appearing on Motorola’s roadmap for 2017, we’d expect it to be out in the summer.

Motorola Moto X4: Design

Jerry Yin

We haven’t seen many leaked photos or renders of the Moto X4, but we do have a small image of it from the presentation slide showing all of Motorola’s phones for 2017 and a video of a similar slide.

The images show an all-metal build, which considering the G5’s metal construction, is no real surprise. There are slim bezels either side of the screen and larger ones top and bottom.

While it’s not seen in the video and not obvious from the slightly blurred image, there is a physical home button on the front. This will be a sub-flagship phone after all and not gunning for the likes of the Galaxy S8 and LG G6.

Google Plus user Jerry Yin posted some photos purporting to be the Moto X4 on his profile. The photos confirm the metal build and home button and also show the rear camera with two lenses. More on that later.

The Moto X4 will also have an IP68 rating to protect it against water, dust, dirt and sand.

Motorola Moto X4: Screen

The leaked presentation slide shows the Moto X4 will have a 5.2-inch full HD display with 3D Glass. It’s not entirely clear exactly what 3D Glass is, but we suspect it will give the Moto X4 curved glass edges to the screen to make it easy to hold in the hand while also looking good.

Jerry Yin’s photos show the Moto X4 with onscreen buttons, as we’ve seen on previous Motorola phones.

Motorola Moto X4: Camera

Jerry Yin

Yin’s photos show the Moto X4 has a dual camera system, although instead of two separate image sensors that we’ve seen on some phones, both lenses are inside the one circular module on the rear.

It’s not clear what resolution the cameras will be, but we’d hazard a guess around the 12 to 13-megapixel mark considering the Moto G5 Plus has a 12-megapixel camera and the Moto Z a 13.

The dual-lens camera also appears to come complete with an LED flash, also built into the circular camera module. As for a front-facing camera, we’d expect it to be a 5-megapixel sensor, but we haven’t heard any strong rumours relating to it just yet.

The presentation slide also mentions something called SmartCam, which we suspect will be some sort of software integration to provide better quality photos, but we may have to wait until Motorola’s official unveiling to find out for sure.

Motorola Moto X4: Hardware

Jerry Yin

Jerry Yin’s photos show a screen detailing some of the phone’s internal specs, a couple of which being 3GB of RAM and 32GB of onboard storage. However a leak in China, which was translated by a Reddit user, suggests it will have 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. Could there be two different models? We’ll see.

As for processor, the Chinese leak suggests a Snapdragon 660. We weren’t expecting a Snapdragon 835 that’s for sure, so the 660 plausible option.

The Moto X4 will also have a relatively large battery at 3,800mAh and it will feature Quick Charge technology, although the exact version is as yet unknown. There will also be a fingerprint sensor embedded in the home button.

Motorola Moto X4: Conclusion

While we do have some leaks and rumours to go on, there’s still a lot about the Moto X4 that we’re simply speculating on for now. We still don’t know when we can expect to see it officially announced for instance.

However, from the information we do have, the Moto X4 is shaping up to be a decent sub-flagship device. From the leaked presentation slide, there isn’t a lot of difference between the Moto X and Moto Z flagship, apart from modules, and we all know how they worked out last time.

15
May

HTC U official launch event on 16 May, here’s how to watch it


HTC is hosting a media event tomorrow, on 16 May 2017, to take place at 2pm in Taipei, 2am in New York, so 7am in London.

It will be hosting a live feed online and we hope to have the stream here on Pocket-lint for you to watch. Alternatively, you will also be able to view it on HTC’s official website here.

The event is undoubtedly for the HTC U, the company’s 2017 flagship smartphone that will sit above the HTC U Ultra and HTC U Play.

  • HTC U ‘Ocean’: What’s the story on HTC’s next flagship?

One of the features we’ve written about several times is its touch-sensitive frame. Expected to be called Edge Sense, the technology will place sensors around body of the phone that will be used to control various functions.

As to what functions can be controlled remains to be seen, although leaked renders and a video shows the sides being used to call up a side panel of apps and then being able to select one by scrolling your finger or thumb along the edge. HTC itself has been talking about squeezy sides for a couple of weeks too.

It appears to make controlling the phone a lot easier with one hand, as you don’t need to stretch your thumb across the screen.

Alleged official press pics show a front-mounted home button – being held in a hand and given a small squeeze. The video doesn’t show what action this causes on the phone though.

  • HTC might unveil HTC U flagship with ‘touch-sensitive’ frame
  • Amazing HTC U ‘Ocean’ press pics leaks, here’s the flagship handset

Other specs for the HTC U are said to include a 5.5-inch WQHD 2560 x 1440 display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, 12-megapixel rear camera, 16-megapixel front-facing camera, 64GB or 128GB of internal storage, microSD card slot, Android 7.1 Nougat and HTC’s own Sense 9 UI.

15
May

Audi and Volvo go all-in on Android Auto


Audi and Volvo are making a very public commitment to Google after pledging to build Android Auto into their next generation of cars. Rather than simply enabling your smartphone to interact with the vehicle, Google’s software will form the backbone of these car’s infotainment units. Users will, potentially, be able to use a wide variety of Android-specific apps on their whips, as well as use Google Maps for navigation. In addition, drivers will be able to control their AC, sunroof and windows from the same console that they find a new Spotify playlist or chat to their voice assistant.

Google has a developer conference coming up, and so the company is beginning to trumpet the abilities of its software platforms. It is hoping that more automakers will adopt Android Auto as a “turnkey” platform, one that car makers can simply use on their cars, similar to how phone manufacturers use Android itself.

We’ve already seen this in action, Google was demoing a Maserati that was running Android Auto at last year’s I/O. Its utility was already obvious, even back then, since Google’s interface is worlds away from the terrible automotive displays we normally use.

It should, hopefully, enable those vehicles to become more useful over time as more features are added to Android Auto. It’ll also ensure that cars of the future are little more than glorified smartphone accessories — albeit ones that are several thousand dollars more expensive than a sexy case.

Source: Google

15
May

NHS Trusts ignored patch that would’ve averted malware disaster


The ransomware attack that crippled crucial NHS systems across the UK and continues to cause disruption could have easily been contained, according to NHS Digital. The body, which oversees data and IT infrastructure across the NHS, said hospitals and other arms of the service had ample time to upgrade their systems. The ‘WannaCry’ malware variant used a Windows exploit Microsoft patched in mid-March this year. At the end of April, NHS Digital notified staff and “more than 10,000 security and IT professionals,” pointing them to a patch that would “protect their systems.” It seems this advisory fell on some deaf ears, which explains why only certain NHS Trusts were affected.

Over the weekend, NHS Digital also addressed speculation that aging infrastructure was to blame: “While the vast majority [of NHS organisations] are running contemporary systems, we can confirm that the number of devices within the NHS that reportedly use XP has fallen to 4.7 per cent, with this figure continuing to decrease.” Windows XP was put out to pasture in spring 2014, though the UK government did pay for an extra year of support back then. In reaction to the spread of ‘WannaCrypt,’ Microsoft took the “highly unusual step” of issuing a patch for out-of-support systems last Friday.

Reading between the lines, NHS Digital is basically blaming the update apathy of individual Trusts as the reason for the ransomware’s spread. It’s not the only one pointing fingers, though. In the aftermath of the attack, which hit organisations and companies across the world, Microsoft fired shots at the NSA, CIA and other intelligence agencies for keeping mum about vulnerabilities they discover. ‘WannaCrypt’ takes advantage of an exploit known as EternalBlue, for instance, which only really became common knowledge last month (though Microsoft had patched supported products before then). A mysterious group known as the “Shadow Brokers” published details of EternalBlue and other exploits online, claiming they were poached from the NSA’s cyber war chest.

Via: Sky News

Source: NHS Digital

15
May

Former Google worker barred from Uber’s self-driving division by court


A judge has ruled that Uber can keep working on its autonomous vehicles with one key condition: autonomous vehicle lead Anthony Levandowski must be removed from any of Uber’s self-driving efforts. Prior to joining Uber, Levandowski worked for Google’s Waymo division and allegedly took some 14,000 documents pertaining to LiDAR and other self-driving tech on his way out the door. He’s still employed by Uber according to TechCrunch, and has voluntarily removed himself from the autonomous division as of late last month.

TC also reports that the presiding judge ruled that information from Waymo essentially made its way into Uber’s tech by osmosis, “regardless of whether any documents were actually found on Uber computers and devices.”

“Waymo’s injunction motion is a misfire: there is no evidence that any of the 14,000 files in question ever touched Uber’s servers and Waymo’s assertion that our multi-lens LiDAR is the same as their single-lens LiDAR is clearly false,” said Angela Padilla, Uber associate general counsel said in a statement last month. At the time, Uber was forced to admit that Waymo’s LiDAR tech was better, and that it had used off-the-shelf components to try closing the gap.

In a statement to TC, Waymo today said that the court granted it “expedited discovery” and that the company will “use this to further protect our work and hold Uber fully responsible for its misconduct.”

Nope, it doesn’t sound like this is the last we’ll hear of the case. We’ve reached out to Uber for more information and will update this post should it arrive.

Source: TechCrunch

15
May

Samsung’s virtual assistant might live in your fridge


Whatever you think of the Bixby assistant in Samsung’s Galaxy S8, you’re about to see a lot more of it. According to Pulse, the company is outfitting its Family Hub 2.0 refrigerators with the AI helper, including both newly shipping fridges and existing units through an update. And while Bixby’s voice control is still largely unavailable on the S8, it’ll reportedly be a staple feature here — you could ask about the weather, search for a recipe or play music while you’re prepping your next meal.

Don’t count on Bixby reaching a fridge near you in the immediate future. A spokesperson tells us that Samsung has “nothing to announce” about its Bixby plans right now, so you may have to stick with the Family Hub 2.0’s original software for a while.

You might not be thrilled at the prospect of this update if you see Bixby more as a redundant Google Assistant alternative than anything else. However, it does make sense for Samsung’s business strategy. If Samsung is going to compete with Amazon, Apple and Google in the virtual assistant space, it needs to make Bixby as ubiquitous as possible. That means having it always available, whether it’s in your kitchen or your pocket.

Via: The Verge

Source: Pulse

15
May

Facebook’s latest AI add-on will teach chatbots to sound less robotic


If you’ve been paying any attention to what Facebook is up to lately, you’ll know that artificial intelligence and conversational chat bots are two of the most important initiatives for the company. Today, the Facebook Artificial Intelligence Research group (FAIR) is announcing a new initiative that bridges the two. A new online “lab” will let anyone test and use publicly-available datasets to test their own AI dialog systems. The new system, called ParlAI, is FAIR’s attempt to make smarter AI bots that aren’t as single-minded as many of the ones available now.

By pulling from the 20+ different datasets that Facebook is making available, the hope is that people will build multi-purpose dialog systems that pull from all of the various data sets. Not only will this help those AI bots be more functional, it’ll also allow for better “training” of AI dialog so that they learn faster and communicate in a more human way than they have thus far.

While anyone can try ParlAI out, it’s not really meant for developing bots — it’s more to be used for training dialog systems in a better way to begin with. That way, when they’re actually deployed and used to interact with actual humans, they’ll be smarter and converse in a more natural fashion. Another notable aspect to ParlAI is that it directly links to Amazon Mechanical Turk so you can have humans test your code directly.

If you’re interested in AI dialog, ParlAI is up on GitHub now — the team behind it says to expect some bugs, though, as this is just a beta release. It’ll be a while before the research and testing that comes out of this project actually makes it better to talk with chat bots and other artificial intelligence systems, but it could be an important step towards making things like Facebook M, Google Assistant, Siri and Alexa feel more human.

Source: ParlAI

15
May

Watch SpaceX push the Falcon 9 rocket to its limits


SpaceX launches are seldom boring, but its next mission will be notable precisely for what isn’t happening. Elon Musk’s outfit is poised to launch the Inmarsat-5 F4 broadband satellite on May 15th at 7:20PM ET, and the payload is both so heavy (13,448lbs) and going into such a high orbit (22,000 miles) that the Falcon 9 rocket won’t have enough propellant left to land. That’s right — although SpaceX had hoped to make a habit of reusing rockets, this vehicle won’t be returning safely to terra firma. This weight shouldn’t be an issue once Falcon Heavy is available, but the larger rocket won’t be ready to fly for a while.

Not that SpaceX will necessarily mind. This is its first launch involving Inmarsat, so losing a rocket may be worthwhile if it helps secure a long-term customer. And of course, it’s particularly important for Inmarsat itself — the satellite will help fill out its Global Xpress internet service for commercial aircraft and ships. If you have a faster connection the next time you’re flying overseas, you might chalk it up to this mission.

Just don’t base your schedule around this blast-off. SpaceX periodically has to scrub launches due to weather or last-minute glitches, and it has a backup scheduled for a similar time on May 16th if things go awry. Although conditions are looking good so far, there’s always the chance of a surprise delay.

Via: The Verge

Source: SpaceX (YouTube)

15
May

Motorola targets developing markets with dirt cheap Moto C


The rumors were true: Motorola has a pair of budget smartphones up its sleeve, and they’e called the Moto C and Moto C Plus. As suspected, the electronics company is positioning these as your First Smartphone, with an eye toward developing markets. The specs Motorola has released mostly align with the leaks from last month, too.

Each handset features a 2MP front camera, while the C’s rear sensor maxes out at 5MP. The C Plus features an 8MP rear shooter in addition to a larger 4,000 mAh-hour battery over the C’s 2,350 mAh power cell. That isn’t the only difference between the two. Moto also says that the Plus has a bigger screen in addition to double the onboard storage (16GB) of its sibling.

Going back to the developing markets target, the C Plus is a dual-SIM phone and it goes on sale this spring in “various countries” throughout the Asian Pacific, Europe and Latin America. Moto’s press release says that the 3G Moto C with 8GB of storage will cost €89, the 4G variant will cost €10 more and the 16GB C Plus starts at €119.

Here’s to hoping that these will be far more capable than the Moto E was. At first, the phone seemed competent enough for day-to-day use, but throwing more than a few apps on that handset brought its performance to a grinding halt.

Source: Motorola

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