Freedom 251 Delivery Begins, Pokemon Go Is a Rage, Samsung Galaxy J2 (2016) Launch, and More News This Week

Freedom 251 Delivery Begins, Pokemon Go Is a Rage, Samsung Galaxy J2 (2016) Launch, and More News This WeekFreedom 251 Delivery Begins, Pokemon Go Is a Rage, Samsung Galaxy J2 (2016) Launch, and More News This Week

Another week gone by, and if you missed some of the big tech news stories, we’re here too recap the highlights of the week. These include some enormous launches, more televisions than you’ll likely see in a whole year, and some very exciting scientific developments. Let’s dive right in.

The most anticipated launch of the week was the television event by Ringing Bells where the much delayed Freedom 251 phone finally – supposedly – started deliveries. Apparently, only 5,000 units are going to be delivered, with a total of 200,000 supposed to follow. No firm dates on when the latter will happen.

(Also see: Freedom 251 First Impressions)

At the time the phone first launched, Ringing Bells had circulated an Adcom phone instead, as a “prototype” of its upcoming phone. At the event, Gadgets 360 finally tried out the real Freedom 251, and you can check out our first impressions.

Pokemon Go is predictably a big success to the point where it hugely boosted Nintendo’s shares. The game is not officially out in India yet though it is pretty easy to download, install, and play Pokemon Goif you have an Android phone. The game works just fine – here’s a guide if you want to know more about playing Pokemon Go in India. That guide will surely come in India now that the game’sinternational release has been delayed.


The other piece of gaming news that has a lot of people excited is that No Man’s Sky is finally ready for release. The game promises to be the ultimate science fiction fantasy of just getting into your space ship and exploring the galaxy, and there is no way that it’s going to please everyone, but we are having a hard time waiting right now.

Samsung launched two new mobile devices this week – the Samsung Galaxy J Max is a VoLTE-enabled 7-inch tablet, while the Samsung Galaxy J2 (2016) is a sub-Rs. 10,000 4G phone with new Smart Glow LED notification system. Also this week, Intex launched the Aqua Power 4G with VoLTE support. There was also the launch of the Blu Energy XL with a 6-inch display. Globally, the Sharp Aquos 507SH launched this week as Japan’s first Android One Phone.

The biggest launch in India this week was probably at Samsung’s televisions related event. Samsung launched a whopping 44 different models in a single day, with prices ranging from Rs. 27,990 to Rs. 23,99,900. The company is trying to offer something for everyone across three different product lines, and says that along with Ultra HD, curved panels are going to be the next big sellers.

Some interesting developments in the telecom space include Reliance now offering a 4G phone with unlimited data for three months, at just Rs. 2,999. For now, people are reporting fast and reliable connections too. Of course, as more users get on to the network, that will most likely change. AndBSNL’s operating profit for this year is going to be over Rs. 2,000 crores – hopefully some of the money can be used to actually improve services.

For Samsung though, the week had some bad news too – a new report claims the Samsung Galaxy S7 Active is not actually waterproof. The problem is apparently limited to the US variant Galaxy S7 Active, according to well known non-profit organisation Consumer Reports. Samsung has acknowledged the problem, and said that it is investigating.

Meanwhile, if you’re one of the dozen people who owns a smartwatch – don’t go to the ATM. Your smartwatch could reveal your ATM pin warn researchers who were able to track PINs with over 80 percent accuracy. And over 13 lakh Android smartphones in India are impacted by a new kind of malware, which is an astounding figure. There are a lot of things you need to stay aware of, and one of those is the dangers of free public Wi-Fi. Follow our guide to stay safe, and also listen to our discussion on the subject in our weekly podcast.

Twitter meanwhile joins the video streaming wars – while the company owns Periscope, it also hosted a live feed of Wimbledon – the content streaming on Twitter will be a mix of video from Wimbledon, and from ESPN, which holds the rights to the content. Facebook on the other hand was the subject of a study that states it is a haven for narcissists. It might be a good time to switch to Snapchat, which just launched Memories, to save photos and videos, although it is being sued over ‘sexy Discover stories’.

Speaking of things you might want to forget, do you know how much Google knows about you? It’s probably a lot more than you think, and thanks to the My Activity tool, you can check. Google knows everything about you, but you can make it forget the worst parts, for now. Do also check out our guides on pausing location history, and getting Google to stop tracking you on the Web.

The biggest bit of science news this week was from Nasa – the Juno spacecraft entered Jupiter’s atmosphere in an event planned down almost to the second decades in advance. It’s a stunning scientific feat that could teach us much more about the history of the solar system.

We could also be moving towards swarms of autonomous drones – researchers say we’re close todrones that visually coordinate on their own. This could mean fast and efficient aerial e-commerce deliveries, or it could be an essential part of Skynet’s arsenal. Hopefully the former.

Oh, and in case you were wondering – selfie elbow is real, say doctors. Turns out that holding your hand like that time and again to take selfies can cause injuries. As if we needed more proof that selfies are bad for you.

[Source:- Gadget360]

60 million households in India now have Internet access: ITU


NEW  DELHI: New data released today by ITU, the UN specialized agency for information and communication technology (ICT), show that 3.9 billion people remain cut-off from the vast resources available on the Internet, despite falling prices for ICT services.

ICT Facts & Figures 2016 shows that developing countries now account for the vast majority of Internet users, with 2.5 billion users compared with one billion in developed countries.

But Internet penetration rates tell a different story, with 81% in developed countries, compared with 40% in developing countries and 15% in the Least Developed Countries.

“Access to information and communication technologies, particularly broadband, has the potential to serve as a major accelerator of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Global interconnectedness is rapidly expanding, however more needs to be done to bridge the digital divide and bring the more than half of the global population not using the Internet into the digital economy,” said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao.

“2016 marks the year when the international community is embarking on the implementation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their 169 targets. ITU, given the tremendous development of ICTs, has a key role to play in facilitating their attainment,” says Brahima Sanou, the Director of the ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau. “ITU statistics inform public and private-sector decision makers, and help us accomplish our mission: to make use of the full potential of ICTs for the timely achievement of the SDGs.”

Mobile broadband growth slowing

The new edition of ITU’s ICT Facts & Figures reveals that mobile phone coverage is now near-ubiquitous, with an estimated 95% of the global population – or some seven billion people – living in an area covered by a basic 2G mobile-cellular network.

Advanced mobile-broadband networks (LTE) have spread quickly over the last three years and reach almost four billion people today – corresponding to 53% of the global population. But while the number of mobile-broadband subscriptions continues to grow at double digit rates in developing countries to reach a penetration rate of close to 41%, mobile-broadband penetration growth has slowed overall. Globally, the total number of mobile-broadband subscriptions is expected to reach 3.6 billion by end 2016, compared with 3.2 billion at end 2015.

Fixed broadband growth strongest in developed countries

Global fixed-broadband subscriptions are expected to reach around 12 per 100 inhabitants in 2016, with Europe, the Americas and the Commonwealth of Independent States regions having the highest rates of penetration. Strong growth in China is driving fixed-broadband in Asia and the Pacific, where penetration is expected to surpass 10% by end of 2016.

ICT prices continue to fall

Mobile-broadband services have now become more affordable than fixed-broadband services, with the average price for a basic fixed-broadband plan more than twice as high as the average price of a comparable mobile-broadband plan.

By the end of 2015, 83 developing countries had achieved the Broadband Commission’s affordability target.

Digital divide means half the world is still offline

By the end of 2016, more than half of the world’s population – 3.9 billion people – will not yet be using the Internet. While almost one billion households in the world now have Internet access (of which 230 million are in China, 60 million in India and 20 million in the world’s 48 Least Developed Countries), figures for household access reveal the extent of the digital divide, with 84% of households connected in Europe, compared with 15.4% in the African region.

Global online gender gap widens

Internet penetration rates are higher for men than for women in all regions of the world. The global Internet user gender gap grew from 11% in 2013 to 12% in 2016. The regional gender gap is largest in Africa, at 23%, and smallest in the Americas, at 2%.
Internet bandwidth

By early 2016, international Internet bandwidth had reached 185,000 gigabits per second, up from a low of 30,000 gigabits in 2008.

However, bandwidth is unequally distributed globally, and lack of bandwidth remains a major bottleneck to improved Internet connectivity in many developing and Least Developed Countries.

[Source:- Voice Data]

Phone book is the Internet’s latest casualty

Verizon will soon end the mass distribution of business phone directories in New York state in another example of how the internet has changed daily life.

State utility regulators gave Verizon permission to cease the widespread distribution of business phone books on Thursday. Verizon is the state’s largest phone company.

The move is intended to save money and eliminate wasted paper. Phone books will still be delivered upon a request by a customer.

The state allowed Verizon to end the mass delivery of residential directories in 2010, saving an estimated 13,600 tons of paper each year.

Verizon now makes listings available for free online. A spokesman for the company says Thursday the vast majority of people now use the internet to look up numbers.

[Source:- Timesunion]


Hillary Clinton’s new mobile app offers real-world rewards to her biggest supporters

Hillary Clinton might be namedropping Pokémon Go on the campaign trail, but she’ll also be hoping her supporters have some smartphone battery left for another app — her own. Clinton supporters Hillary for America launched Hillary 2016 on the App Store last night, an app that offers daily challenges and quizzes to Clinton supporters, as well as providing digital and physical rewards to volunteers who help organize and canvas for the Democratic candidate.


Users can open their own digital headquarters and change its design and layout, moving desks, chairs, and giant American flags around ahead of the election in November. Clinton supporters will be able to compete against each other at local, state, and national level to gauge who’s working hardest for Hillary, with scores increased by activities like signing up to receive texts from Hillary’s campaign. Get enough stars and you’ll also be able to get physical rewards, like having something signed and sent to you by Clinton herself.

The app also calls out Trump in a way that Clinton’s campaign often hasn’t. On the trail, Clinton has focused on the positive things she could do for the United States, but in her app, she’s presented as the only defense against a Republican president. “The only thing standing between Donald Trump and the presidency is us,” the app’s description reads, calling players to “make history” by downloading and canvassing for Hillary. But just like the US is split into red and blue states, Hillary 2016 also splits its supporters — the app’s only out on iOS, with an Android version still in development.

[Source:- The Vrege]

India expanding internet infrastructure to ride the IoT wave

India’s IT minister sees a big future in Internet of Things (IoT), and is expanding the country’s internet infrastructure to capitalize on it.

An article by India’s dna covered IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad’s remarks at a recent IoT conference organized by the country’s National Association of Software and Services Companies.

“As per Gartner, IoT will produce economic benefits of nearly $2 trillion by 2020 and Cisco estimates it will be $14 trillion,” said Prasad, extolling the massive IoT potential could bring to India. “Forbes says that we will have 25 billion IoT connections by 2020. Cisco estimates 50 billion, and the revenue is going to be very, very exciting.”

“Economically, IoT products are going to be very win-win,” said Prasad. He continued by saying that his ministry was open to suggestions that could improve IoT-related skills training and increase human resources research in this burgeoning industry.

Prasad said his government is prioritizing efforts that will allow India to capitalize on emerging IoT opportunities. Specifically, he highlighted efforts to build out the country’s internet infrastructure that will allow both business and government to fully exploit IoT possibilities.

In the past two and a half years, India has expanded its internet network from 358 km of optical fibre to 123,000 km. The minister said his government is targeting an expansion of its network to 500 million internet connections across India by 2017.

“God willing we are going to achieve that number this year itself,” he said.

Infrastructure expansion needs to go local

Prasad said another focus is connecting more local governments to the expanding internet infrastructure. Getting more communities online could boost India’s ability to foster IoT-related activity, such as smart city initiatives.

“We had 80,000 common service centers,” said Prasad, citing the number of local governments digitally connected local governments two years ago. “Now we have scaled up to 200,000. We are going to scale it up to 250,000 (local governments).”

Prasad also said his ministry is also active in digitizing the country’s post office network.

“We have 50,000 post offices in the country. More than 25,000 already have come under core banking solution and we are going to give hand-held devices to 130,000 rural postmen for doing internet banking, insurance services and all,” said Prasad.

[Source:- ReadWrite]

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 on T-Mobile gets Android Marshmallow update

Folks who chose to get an LTE-enabled tablet from T-Mobile and went with the Galaxy Tab S2 are starting to receive an over-the-air update bringing Marshmallow to their device. For a few months at least, users will get to have the latest and greatest on their Android tablet.

The update bumps the Tab S2 up to software version T817TUVU2BPF1. As part of the update, users can get improved battery life thanks to Doze and per-app permissions for more control over your apps. You also get Google Now on Tap and the other highlights on Android 6.0.


The Verizon version of this tablet received this update at the beginning of last month. AT&T started sending out an OTA over the weekend. Now it’s T-Mobile’s turn.

The update can take a few days to arrive on your device. Feel free to hit up the changelog below while you wait.

[Source:- Android police]

A Camouflaged Phone Is the Latest Photo to Drive the Internet Mad

The latest photo to drive the internet bonkers is of an alleged phone hiding somewhere on a patterned rug.

Facebook user Jeya May Cruz posted the photo on her page about two weeks ago, asking her friends if they could spot a seemingly nonexistent phone on the floor, and creating a heated argument as the internet became divided over whether this phone is real.

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Heather Rooney, an Indiana radio personality, shared the original photo, and her post quickly garnered more than 169,000 shares.

Hint: The phone is in a floral-patterned case.

Still can’t find it?

Spoiler: Look very closely to dark stripe of pattern to the right of the front right table leg!

[Source:- ABC news]

Facebook’s Aquila to Project Loon: The big Internet connectivity projects

 Facebook, Facebook Aquila, Aquila flight, Aquila takes flight, Aquila solar-powered plane, Google Project Loon, Project Loon in India, facebook, facebook solar powered plane, facebook aquila project, Aquila internet drone, aquila drone

Facebook made an important announcement yesterday: Aquila, its solar-powered drone which will beam down internet from the skies using lasers, had its first successful test flight that lasted 96 minutes. Facebook’s Aquila comes under the company’s initiative, which looks to bring free internet connectivity to remote parts of the world.

Facebook is not the only one looking at beaming down internet from the sky.Google’s Project Loon will rely on balloons for internet connectivity. Microsoftannounced its White Spaces project to utilise unused spectrum in India to boost rural connectivity. Here’s a quick look at the three important projects, which aim to boost internet connectivity across the world.

Facebook’s solar-powered planes called Aquila

Aquila has a wingspan wider than a Boeing 737. The plane is made of carbon fiber composite, and weighs less than 1,000 pounds (or nearly 453 kgs). This light weight is to keep Aquila airborne for a longer time. The plane is solar-powered and currently uses about 5,000W of power at cruising altitude. Facebook intends to reduce power consumption and weight of this plane further.

While Aquila is currently controlled by a ground crew, takeoff and landing are automatic. The plane which flies very slowly at 80 mph/128 kmph, will carry a communications payload. Facebook says the beams will be “precise enough to hit a dime more than 11 miles away.” The cruising altitude for these planes will be 60,000 feet when they are fully ready, which higher than most commercial aircraft.

Facebook’s plan is to leave these Aquila planes airborne for months at a time, so they can communicate with each other, form a network, and beam down internet.

In an interview with last year, Yael Macguire of Facebook’s connectivity lab had said, “We want the airplanes to be where the people are… It is really important that they can station keep, or stay in a particular region and connect a particular people. They will move, but around a small zone. When the plane moves the RF (radio frequency) system will adjust so that it continues to have the same terrestrial footprint.”

For Facebook, the challenge will be to ensure the beams can precisely hit at targets, as well as making these planes lighter and more power efficient.

 Facebook, Facebook Aquila, Aquila flight, Aquila takes flight, Aquila solar-powered plane, Google Project Loon, Project Loon in India, facebook, facebook solar powered plane, facebook aquila project, Aquila internet drone, aquila droneFacebook Aquila Wing View image. (Source: Facebook)

Related: Satellites, drones and Wi-Fi: This is how Facebook wants to cover the world with Internet

Google Project Loon

Google’s Project Loon will rely on a network of floating balloons to help provide internet connectivity to rural and remote areas. Google has already started testing out Project Loon in India, and is reportedly working with BSNL to share spectrum.

Project Loon balloons will travel in the stratosphere, approximately 20 km above the Earth’s surface, latching onto layers of wind as directed by software algorithms. In the end, they will form one large communications network. The balloons are made from sheets of polyethylene plastic; they are 15 metres wide and 12 metres tall when fully inflated, and Google hopes to keep each balloon afloat for nearly three months, once they are up in the sky.

Also Read: Google’s Project Loon to Facebook Aquila: Everything you need to know about Internet from the skies

The electronics are powered by an array of solar panels, which can produce about 100 Watts of power in full sun. Each balloon can provide connectivity to a ground area of about 40 km in diameter using LTE technology. In June 2013, Project Loon was first tested in New Zealand.

 Facebook, Facebook Aquila, Aquila flight, Aquila takes flight, Aquila solar-powered plane, Google Project Loon, Project Loon in India, facebook, facebook solar powered plane, facebook aquila project, Aquila internet drone, aquila droneGoogle is testing Project Loon in India.

Microsoft White Space Project

Microsoft’s White Space Project is coming to India, and has been tested in other countries in the world, including UK, USA, Jamaica, Namibia, Philippines, Taiwan etc.

Microsoft’s idea with White Spaces is to utilise the spaces or gaps between frequency bands of TV spectrum. Spectrum is generally organised into frequency “bands” to eliminate “bleeding” of transmissions from one channel onto another and these spaces or gaps called “white spaces” are what Microsoft plans to use.

Microsoft’s White Space Project website claims the WiFi in their testing achieved approximately four times the range of a 2.4 GHz standard WiFi channel, with less noise and better propagation through walls and obstructions.

While WiFi has a range of about 100 metres, the 200-300 MHz spectrum band available in the white space can reach up to 10 km. The Srikakulam district in Andhra Pradesh will be first place where the White Spaces project will be tested out in India.

[Source:- Tech I.e]

Nokia eye re-entering mobile market with two high-end Android handsets

Nokia to launch two Android Nougat phones

Nokia is reportedly planning for a comeback to the smartphone market with two new smartphones powered by Google’s latest Android Nougat operating system version 7.0. The handsets are expected towards the end of 2016 or might be pushed to a later date sometime in the first quarter of next year, which is depending on the testing and development.

In June 2015 Nokia’s chief executive officer Rajiv Suri revealed the company is planning to re-enter the mobile phone market in 2016 and it was looking for suitable partners. At the Mobile World Congress convention this year, Suri said the company is aiming at a premium device with its return to the mobile business without providing further detail about the device.

Now details shared by NokiaPowerUser, quoting its trusted sources, suggest the devices are currently in their prototype phase. Both devices belong to high-end category featuring premium metallic design, while delivering the famous Nokia feel seen on company’s other devices.

Both the devices are expected to be water and dust-resistant with IP68 rating, like Samsung’s new Galaxy S7, S7 Edge and S7 Active devices. What’s more? Nokia’s phone will stuff all the Android Nougat goodies.

The devices are like to come in two different screen sizes: the smaller variant with 5.2in screen and a bigger one with 5.5in screen. Expect the phones to feature OLED screens with QHD resolution.

Nokia is said to be secretly working to improve its Z Launcher user interface that comes with company’s Android tablet, dubbed Nokia N1. The UI might have features like touch and hover interaction. Another key element is a fingerprint scanner. The smartphones might come with sensors that are most sensitive ever and based on Nokia’s wonder material graphene.

In 2013 Nokia announced that it has received a $1.35bn (£1.03bn) grant from the European Union for the research and development of graphene.

[Source:- IBT]

China’s Buff ‘Blade Warrior’ Becomes Latest Internet Sensation

A muscle-bound man with a prosthetic leg caught the attention of Internet users recently after he appeared at the Chinese Body-Building Championship on July 13 in Chengdu, capital of southwest China’s Sichuan Province.

The 23-year-old man, Yang Shuaihong, ranked in the top 30 and was applauded for his performance throughout the competition.

After pictures of Yang spread online, many began referring to him as “China’s Blade Warrior” on social media.

Yang works as a private fitness coach in Chengdu. His recent appearance was the first time he participated in such contest.

He lost his right leg in a car accident two years. Yang was in the back seat of a friend’s vehicle when it collided with a truck. He was a dance instructor before the accident.

While still in hospital, Yang resumed weight-lifting to prevent muscle atrophy.

He eventually regained his muscular physique and learned how to live with his artificial leg. It only took him four months to return to his job.

[Source:- Shanghai Daily]