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LG Reportedly Planning to Launch Affordable 5G-enabled Smartphones in Second Half of 2020

LG Logo (Picture Source: Reuters)

LG Logo (Picture Source: Reuters)

The South Korean tech giant is also working on a new Velvet smartphone featuring the latest Snapdragon 690 5G Mobile Platform.

  • IANS
  • Last Updated: August 3, 2020, 11:53 AM IST

South Korean tech giant LG is planning to launch an affordable 5G device in markets like South Korea and the US in the second half of 2020. The company is looking ahead to strengthen its original design manufacturer (ODM) strategy and released a device that can be available to a larger market, reports Android Headlines. With the upcoming mass-market 5G smartphones, LG is trying to get the early mover advantage in the markets like the US and South Korea. The company is also working closely with chipset makers for offering best-in-class experience even on the affordable devices.

In addition, the company’s Mobile Communications division is working on improving the profitability of its business and becoming more competitive in the current market. Recently, LG Velvet 5G with Dimensity 800 SoC was spotted in a Google Play Console listing. The LG Velvet 5G launched earlier this year is one of the best mid-range 5G smartphones with a Snapdragon 765G SoC. Additionally, the company is also working on a new Velvet smartphone featuring the latest Snapdragon 690 5G Mobile Platform.


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Tech

Microsoft is Reportedly Planning a Six-Phase Re-opening of Its Offices in US on January 19, 2021

Image for Representation
(Photo: Associated Press)

Image for Representation
(Photo: Associated Press)

With Covid-19 Crisis hardly showing any sign of slowing down, many tech giants like Google and Apple have extended their work from option until next year.

  • IANS
  • Last Updated: August 1, 2020, 10:56 AM IST

Microsoft has reportedly chosen January 19, 2021, as the date for reopening its US offices. According to The Verge, the tech giant is planning a “hybrid workplace” for a six-phase reopening of its offices. “Stage six will be when offices are ready to fully reopen for employees to return to work,” the report said on Friday. The six stages are: Closed; Mandatory working from home; Working from home strongly encouraged; Soft opening; Open with restrictions and finally, Open. “In the US, we have established that the earliest possible date for Stage 6 is now January 19, 2021,” read an internal memo from Kurt DelBene, Microsoft’s head of corporate strategy.

“Our goal for Stage 6 is to return to normal operations while being prepared to back off to an earlier stage if a significant resurgence in the virus occurs,” the memo added. Google is planning to keep its employees working remotely until July 2021 while Apple employees will not return to offices until early next year. With the COVID-19 pandemic hardly showing any sign of slowing down, Google said it would allow employees to work from home till the middle of next year if their roles permit.”To give employees the ability to plan ahead, we are extending our global voluntary work from home option through June 30, 2021, for roles that don’t need to be in the office,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in an email to employees, according to a CNBC report.

In May, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg laid out a detailed remote-working plan to make half of his 50,000-strong workforce work from home by 2030. According to him, about half of Facebook employees would work from home five to 10 years from now. While Amazon and Apple expect their employees to return to their respective offices in January, most other tech companies have also allowed work from home till the end of the year.


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Tech

More Than 1,000 Employees at Twitter Reportedly Had Access to Internal Tools that Hackers Exploited

Twitter logo, representative image. (Photo: Getty Images)

Twitter logo, representative image. (Photo: Getty Images)

Twitter and the FBI are currently investigating the breach that allowed hackers to repeatedly tweet from verified accounts belong to prominent personalities.

  • Reuters
  • Last Updated: July 24, 2020, 2:03 PM IST

More than a thousand Twitter employees and contractors as of earlier this year had access to internal tools that could change user account settings and hand control to others, two former employees said, making it hard to defend against the hacking that occurred last week. Twitter Inc and the FBI are investigating the breach that allowed hackers to repeatedly tweet from verified accounts of the likes of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates, Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk and former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg.

Twitter said on Saturday that the perpetrators “manipulated a small number of employees and used their credentials” to log into tools and turn over access to 45 accounts. here On Wednesday, it said that the hackers could have read direct messages to and from 36 accounts but did not identify the affected users. The former employees familiar with Twitter security practices said that too many people could have done the same thing, more than 1,000 as of earlier in 2020, including some at contractors like Cognizant.

Twitter declined to comment on that figure and would not say whether the number declined before the hack or since. The company was looking for a new security head, working to better secure its systems and training employees on resisting tricks from outsiders, Twitter said. Cognizant did not respond to a request for comment. “That sounds like there are too many people with access,” said Edward Amoroso, a former chief security officer at AT&T. Responsibilities among the staff should have been split up, with access rights limited to those responsibilities and more than one person required to agree to make the most sensitive account changes. “In order to do cybersecurity right, you can’t forget the boring stuff.”

Threats from insiders, especially lower-paid outside support staff, are a constant worry for companies serving large numbers of users, cybersecurity experts said. They said that the greater the number of people who can change key settings, the stronger oversight must be.

STUMBLES

The former employees said that Twitter had gotten better about logging the activity of its people in the wake of previous stumbles, including searches of records by an employee accused last November of spying for the government of Saudi Arabia. But while logging helps with investigations, only alarms or constant reviews can turn logs into something that can prevent breaches.

Former Cisco Systems Chief Security Officer John Stewart said companies with broad access need to adopt a long series of mitigations and “ultimately ensuring that the most powerful authorized people are only doing what they are supposed to be doing.” Who exactly pulled off the hacking spree isn’t clear, but outside researchers such as Allison Nixon of Unit 221B say the incident appears linked to a cluster of cybercriminals who regularly traded in novelty handles – especially rare one-or-two character account names – that are treated a bit like the vanity license plates of the online world.

Although the public evidence tying the hacking to those was circumstantial, ultra-short Twitter handles were among the first to be hijacked. In addition, the forums where those hackers were active have long been replete with boasts about having access to Twitter insiders, according to Nixon and Nick Bax, an analyst with StopSIMCrime, a group that lobbies for greater protection against “SIM swapping” – a phone number hijacking technique often used by these kinds of hackers.

Bax said he had seen reference on forums to “Twitter plugs” or “Twitter reps” – the terms used to describe cooperative Twitter employees – since as far back as 2017. The potential involvement of low-level cybercriminals has particularly alarmed professionals because of the implication that a hostile government might be able to cause even greater havoc.

Access to accounts for national leaders was limited to a much smaller number of people after a rogue employee briefly deleted President Donald Trump’s account two years ago. That could explain why Biden’s account was hijacked but not Trump’s. Twitter should expand the number of protected accounts, said former Twitter security engineer John Adams. Among other things, accounts with more than 10,000 followers should at least need two people to change key settings.

Security experts said they were worried that Twitter has too much work to do and too little time before the campaign for the Nov. 3 U.S. election intensifies, with potential inference domestically and from other countries. Ron Gula, a cybersecurity investor who co-founded network security company Tenable said, “The question really is: Does Twitter do enough to prevent account takeovers for our presidential candidates and news outlets when faced with sophisticated threats that leverage whole-of-nation approaches?”

On a call to discuss company earnings on Thursday, Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey acknowledged past missteps. “We fell behind, both in our protections against social engineering of our employees and restrictions on our internal tools,” Dorsey told investors.


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Tech

iPhones to Reportedly Feature Periscopic Telephoto Cameras in 2022, Says New Report

Representative Image. (Source: MacRumours)

Representative Image. (Source: MacRumours)

The report added that two strongest lens suppliers in Korea and China, Sunny Optical and Semco will join Apple’s lens supply chain later this year and at the beginning of next year respectively.

  • IANS
  • Last Updated: July 22, 2020, 5:12 PM IST

Apple is reportedly planning to introduce periscope telephoto cameras into its iPhone lineup in 2022. A periscope lens offers optical zoom capabilities not otherwise possible in a smartphone camera, allowing for 5x or even 10x optical zoom. Periscope lenses have already seen their way into some smartphones including the OPPO Find X2 Pro and the Huawei P40 Pro Plus.

A new research note from Ming-Chi Kuo claims that the two strongest lens suppliers in Korea and China, Sunny Optical and Semco will join Apple’s lens supply chain later this year and at the beginning of next year respectively, reports The Verge. Kuo said that Semco will begin shipping iPhone lenses, including periscope motors, telephoto lenses in 2022 and a periscope telephoto lens, as well as a voice coil motor technology which will ship in 2022.

The iPhone maker is expected to launch four new iPhones under the iPhone 12 series in September this year which would include two premium variants. The iPhone 12 Pro will come in 6.1-inch or 6.7-inch sizes. The rear camera module on the device will house four sensors with a LiDAR scanner which was introduced in the recently launched Apple iPad Pro. All four iPhone models are expected to feature OLED displays and 5G support.


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Tech

Apple iPhone 2021 Models Will Reportedly be Equipped With Touch-Integrated OLED Displays

Image for Representation
(Image: Reuters)

Image for Representation
(Image: Reuters)

The OLED display panels will reportedly come with inbuilt touch sensors instead of touch sensor films, according to reports.

  • News18.com
  • Last Updated: July 21, 2020, 4:44 PM IST

Apple is reportedly working to equip its 2021 iPhone series models with touch-integrated OLED displays, as per a report. According to South Korea-based ETNews, the Cupertino-based tech giant has already placed orders for the new OLED display panels that will come with inbuilt touch sensors instead of touch sensor films. This will reportedly make the panels thinner than the traditional OLED displays that have a touch-receptive layer attached to them. The report also says that the touch-integrated OLED displays will be supplied by Samsung Display.

“According to the industry on the 19th, Apple ordered a touch-integrated OLED as the display standard for the iPhone in 2021. Apple next year demanded that all panels to be used in the new iPhone be touch-integrated,” the report by ETNews said. Apple, so far, has been traditional displays that have touch film attached to them but this could change soon with the launch of the iPhone 12 series later this year. The new feature means cost-cuts and also Samsung roping in a major customer like Apple will also boost the tech giant’s immense popularity as well.

The report also further states that the iPhone 12 series will come with display screens of different sizes including 5.4-inch, 6.2-inch, and 6.7-inch. Apple is set to launch four variants of the iPhone 12 models that are expected to feature OLED displays and 5G support, as previously reported by renowned Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. The four variants of the upcoming iPhone 12 series will also include 6.1-inch iPhone Pro and 6.7-inch iPhone Pro Max. The rear camera on the Pro models will also sport four sensors with a LiDAR scanner that the company introduced in the recently launched iPad Pro.


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Tech

Google is Reportedly Testing an Emoji Shortcut Bar in Gboard for Android, To Add 117 New Emojis

Image for representation.

Image for representation.

According to Google, there have been over 40 per cent rise in the use of emoji during the shelter-in-place and social distancing times due to Covid-19 crisis.

  • IANS
  • Last Updated: July 18, 2020, 10:53 AM IST

Witnessing a steep rise in the emoji use worldwide, Google has rolled out a quick access emoji bar in Gboard beta version, which would be available to all Gboard Android users in the coming months. The new emoji shortcuts bar in Gboard will appear right above the keyboard. With the emoji bar, users would be able to quickly use multiple emoji without having to switch to the dedicated emoji page on the keyboard. In the current Gboard version, the users need to tap on the emoji icon next to the spacebar in order to open the emoji page.

According to Google, there have been over 40 per cent rise in the use of emoji during the shelter-in-place and social distancing times as people now have more emoji options than ever before. Last year, Google sent a proposal focused on introducing more empathetic expressions and finding opportunities to bring equity to the keyboard to the Unicode Consortium, the nonprofit organization that maintains emoji standards and guidelines.

“We’ll see some of those efforts released this fall with a slightly smiling face, an emoji of two people hugging, a man in a veil, a woman in a tuxedo, and a person feeding a baby,” the company said in a statement on Friday. Along with other emoji approved by Unicode, 117 new emoji will be available with the release of Android 11 in the fall. Android 11, expected to be launched on September 8, comes with a host of new features, including redesigned and reorganised notifications. There are also a number of accessibility, smart home, and general improvements included with Android 11 as well.


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Tech

Qualcomm Snapdragon 875G and 735G Chipsets Will Reportedly be Built on Samsung's 5nm Node

Samsung is reportedly planning to make Qualcomm’s next-generation flagship and mid-range Snapdragon chipsets Snapdragon 875G and the 735G, using its 5nm EUV process, in 2021. These chips are expected to be 25 per cent smaller than SoCs fabricated using the 7nm process, and will feature higher transistor density and up to 20 per cent improved power efficiency, reports SamMobile.

The Snapdragon 865 and the Snapdragon 865+, which were released this year, were made by the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) using its 7nm process. The Snapdragon 875 is rumoured to feature Aqstic Audio Technologies’ ‘WCD9380′ and ‘WCD9385′ audio codec engines. The same lithography technology will also be used to manufacture the mid-range Snapdragon 735G silicon.


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Tech

Apple is Reportedly Working on a Two-Way Wireless Qi Charging Cases Without Lightning Connector

Image for Representation
(Reuters)

Image for Representation
(Reuters)

Apple already has a Smart Battery Case for iPhones but it has a Lightning connector that needs to be attached to the phone for charging.

  • IANS
  • Last Updated: July 17, 2020, 5:42 PM IST

Apple is reportedly working on two-coil wireless charging technology for an iPhone battery case without using the Lightning connector. In a patent that was filed in May 2019 and was awarded to Apple recently, the company describes a smart battery case that could use two coils for bidirectional wireless charging, AppleInsider reported.

“A battery case has first and second coils on opposing sides of a battery and has switching circuitry that is coupled between the first and second coils,” the patent read. According to the patent, the next-generation Smart Battery Case would charge the device when it is attached to Qi wireless charging and the battery case will be able to transfer power directly to an iPhone in a “pass-through” without charging its own battery.

However, Apple already has a Smart Battery Case for iPhones, which, when attached to the smartphone, starts charging the device, but it has a Lightning connector that needs to be attached to the phone for the charging.

Recently, Ming-Chi Kuo, a reliable source related to developments of Apple, had claimed that the Cupertino-giant could ditch the Lightning port for a completely wireless iPhone by 2021.


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Tech

Apple MacBook Pro Shipments to Reportedly Increase by 20% in Q3 2020: Report

Apple is reportedly planning to significantly increase its new MacBook Pro orders in the late third quarter and will see its overall MacBook shipments rise over 20 per cent sequentially in the third quarter, DigiTimes reported on Monday. The Cupertino-based tech giant shipped 3.2-3.5 million MacBooks in the second quarter this year and the volumes are expected to grow to around four million units in the third quarter.

In fiscal Q2, Macs contributed $5.4 billion of Apple’s $58.3 billion in overall revenue. Famed analyst Ming-Chi Kuo who closely tracks the company has said that the 13.3-inch MacBook Pro similar to the current 13.3-inch device is likely to be the first Mac to get an Arm-based silicon chip designed by Apple.

In a research note with TF International Securities, Kuo said the 13.3-inch MacBook Pro with Apple silicon chip will go into mass production in the fourth quarter. Kuo also predicted that Apple fans would see an Arm-based MacBook Air either in Q4 this year or in the first quarter of 2021. In addition, Apple suppliers are reportedly getting ready to manufacture the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro laptops with mini-LED displays starting from 2021.


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Tech

Walmart Reportedly Planning to Launch a New Subscription Service to Take on Amazon Prime

The retail giant Walmart is reportedly planning to unveil a new subscription service called Walmart+ that will offer similar benefits to Amazon Prime. Walmart was expected to unveil Walmart+ earlier this year before the pandemic derailed those initial plans. But now, the largest retailer in the US is set to launch the service this summer for $98 per year, news website Vox reported.

Walmart+ will include same-day grocery delivery, discounts on fuel purchases and more. Meanwhile, Amazon Prime, which costs $119 annually, includes free two-day delivery on a huge number of items – with some products even available on the same day or next day.

Both companies struggled with soaring demand for groceries during the pandemic as people began panic shopping. While Covid-19 panic-buying helped boost Walmart sales to record highs earlier this year, its US e-commerce presence is still only around an eighth the size of Amazon’s. As per the report, Amazon is valued at $1.5 trillion, while Walmart is worth $337 billion. And Amazon Prime is a big reason why. Walmart is also going to unveil an online family entertainment program called CAMP by Walmart, in partnership with the retail startup CAMP and the online video technology firm Eko.