Is The Worse Over for Galaxy Note 7?

Posted by Kirhat | Sunday, September 25, 2016 | | 0 comments »

Galaxy Note 7
If anybody asks Samsung, they will probably say that the worst is over for Galaxy Note 7 as replacements are now hitting store shelves. News has also surfaced that some claims of exploding Galaxy Note 7 handsets may not be true.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission indicated there were 92 incidents of damage or injury from Galaxy Note 7 handsets overheating, enacting a recall of one million devices. However, Samsung told ZDNet that there have been 26 false reports of Galaxy Note 7 handsets exploding.

In 12 cases, Samsung determined Galaxy Note 7 handsets involved had no defect, while in seven other cases, the manufacturer was unable to confirm the complaint due to the consumer canceling the claim or having thrown the device away, according to the tech publication.

While this does not negate the cases in which Galaxy Note 7 handsets have exploded and caused damage, Samsung is certain to take every opportunity to turn perception around in its favor. Since the recall began in early September, several reported claims have come up false or inconclusive.

One report of a 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee catching fire was found to have no connection to the Galaxy Note 7, according to the St. Pete Patch . Another report of a child suffering burns after a phone exploded in his hands was found to be a different Samsung device other than the Galaxy Note 7.

Reports of exploding Galaxy Note 7 handsets have come from all over the world, including the U.S., U.K., South Korea, France, Canada, Singapore, the Philippines, Turkey, Vietnam, Croatia, Romania, Iraq, Lebanon, the UAE and the Czech Republic.

With replacement handsets now shipping, Samsung is expected to have 60 to 70 percent of possibly defective Galaxy Note 7 units off the market by next week, at least in the U.S.

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Using Siri To Unlock Neighbor's House

Posted by Kirhat | Friday, September 23, 2016 | | 0 comments »

Apple HomeKit
It seems that the the more convenient everyone's lives is supposed to be, the higher the risk that something will go wrong. Technology is not always the answer, but it could also pose a serious threat as well.

According to Reddit post by user "sportingkcmo," he had his house equipped with an August Smart Lock, a Bluetooth-enabled door lock that users operate using their phone, as well as Apple's HomeKit, which enables users to interact with smart home gadgets using Siri. According to his post, the user had set up his iPad Pro in the living room to connect to the lock through HomeKit.

Unfortunately, the setup opened up a huge security hole that serves as lesson of how smart home technology can backfire: His neighbor, who was coming by to borrow some flour, was able to let himself in by shouting, "Hey Siri, unlock the front door."

The iPad was apparently able to hear the neighbor’s command through the front door and then sent the unlock command to the August Smart Lock. (The August Smart Lock also supports Amazon’s voice assistant service, Alexa, but users can't unlock the door with Alexa. Users can only lock and check the status of the lock with Alexa.)

Apple said it recommends that all users have passcode authentication enabled on their devices. This could have been prevented if the user had set passcode authentication on the iPad.

If this story is true, then it raises serious questions about the security of smart home systems. Ceding such critical parts of the home (like the front door) to tech gadgets can pose major security risks. Voice control holds a lot of exciting possibilities but remains new and unexplored territory. In this case, the combination of voice technology with a smart lock system exposed a major vulnerability.

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Simple Hacks for Faster Internet

Posted by Kirhat | Thursday, September 22, 2016 | | 0 comments »

Internet Connection
Ever since the modern internet connection was introduce way back in 2000, many users struggled in dealing with speeds that don't quite cut it. Moments of frustration with connectivity issues during intense episodes of TV series and long load times while perusing Instagram feed have led many to wonder whether they will ever find an internet connection that truly is 'the one.'

Although most of those who complained are quick to blame their provider in most cases, it's possible that simple things like where the router is located or how long has the user neglected clearing their device could be the real culprit. After several troubleshooting and gathering advice from peers and IT experts, the following may be the most useful and effective hacks for achieving higher internet speeds without committing to a larger monthly internet bill.

Before anything else, users may want to evaluate first their internet speed. Running a speed test using a site like Speedtest.net and compare the numbers with the internet plan's promised speed. If the download and upload speeds match, it means the user is getting what they have ordered, and they might need to upgrade their plan for higher speeds.

If the speed test results are lower than what they are paying for, they may try a few of these hacks to increase speed.
  1. Reboot your devices and equipment
    When was the last time you restarted your computer, tablet, modem, or router? A reboot helps your hardware and software sync up with each other and can improve internet and computer performance.

    After shutting down your device, run a power cycle on your router and modem as well. To do this, simply unplug both pieces of equipment and leave them off for a few minutes. Then plug them back in, turn them on, restart your device, and, finally, reconnect to the internet.
  2. Clear your cache
    Certain websites and downloads store temporary internet files on your computer. While these files are designed to improve your experience when you revisit the sites they came from, they can actually slow down your overall internet speed if they build up.

    Once a week, clear your browser’s cache and history, as well as your DNS cache. You can find history – and cache – clearing commands in your browser’s menu, usually under 'history,' 'options,' or 'tools.' As for your DNS cache, to clear it in Windows 10, Open DNS support says to open the command prompt and input “ipconfig /flushdns.” For Macs running El Capitan, OSXDaily says to type “sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder” into the command terminal.
  3. Clean your computer
    Even the best internet won’t run smoothly on an outdated computer. Look through your applications and remove any programs or oversized files you no longer use. If you need to keep large files but don’t use them regularly, store them on the Cloud or an external hard drive.

    Additionally, if you don’t already use an antivirus program, install one and run it frequently to check for and remove any viruses, which can significantly slow down your computer and internet speed.
  4. Block bandwidth bandits
    Software, plugins, apps, and hackers can eat away at your bandwidth, slowing down your internet speed. If you use a PC, use the Resource Monitor to review which programs are connecting to the internet. If you have a Mac, you can use the Activity Monitor to check data usage.

    Pop-up blockers, such as AdBlock Plus or FlashBlock, help shut down ads and animations that use up bandwidth. Installing a firewall can also limit your computer’s vulnerability to hackers and bandwidth-hogging programs.
  5. Update or switch browsers
    Browser developers regularly release updates to fix bugs and improve performance. Most browsers notify you when an update is available, but you should check manually to make sure you’re running the latest version. If you are running the latest version and still experiencing lags, consider switching to a different browser.

    The most popular browsers known for speed and security are Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome. However, there are several other under-the-radar browsers. Experiment to see which browser works best for you, and remove any you don’t like or use.
  6. Relocate your router

    Routers don’t make for the most attractive home decor, but hiding them behind the TV or below a desk can impact your internet speed. For the best signal, a router should be in an open, central location, elevated, and with antennas pointed perpendicularly.

    Some routers are discreet enough to be mounted to the ceiling, but even if yours isn’t, you may be able to place it out of sight, like on the top of a bookshelf. Wherever you put it, just make sure it’s free of potential interference from thick walls or large electronics.
  7. Connect with cables

    As a general rule, wired connections are faster and more reliable than wireless ones. If you’ve been struggling to get a Wi-Fi connection on your computer, plugging your device in with an Ethernet cable that runs directly to the modem could fix the issue.

    When you’re looking at Ethernet lines to buy, don’t forget to check the category on the plastic covering. You should see a classification like "Category 5" or "Cat-5." The higher the number, the newer the standard. Ideally, you want at least a Cat-5e.
Users You don't really have to be a tech expert to make small tweaks to their internet experience. Set aside some time to put these hacks into action and kick your internet speed into high gear. If you still experience ongoing delays, it may be time to call your internet provider for expert help. If they are not willing to give their current provider another shot, look for options to upgrade to a fiber connection which experts say is able to more effectively transmit connection than cable and DSL connections.

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Is iPhone 7 Really Better Than Galaxy Note 7?

Posted by Kirhat | Wednesday, September 21, 2016 | | 0 comments »

iPhone 7 vs Galaxy Note 7
After the launch of iPhone 7 and 7 Plus early this month, almost everyone was blown off by it blazing-fast performance compared to existing phones when it comes to benchmarks. Benchmarks, however, are a little limited, and don’t always show how the phone performs in the real world. So is the iPhone 7 faster in the real world?

According to a speed test conducted by PhoneBuff, the answer seems to be a resounding "YES."

The test pits the iPhone 7 against the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 — one of the more powerful Android phones to hit shelves this year. In the test, each phone is used to open up a series of popular and processor-intensive apps. A video blow shows the test in time lapse.

It appears that the iPhone 7 doesn’t just completely dominate against the Galaxy Note 7 — it laps it by completing its second run of opening the apps before the Galaxy S7 has even finished its first. That's despite the fact that the iPhone 7 has a mere 2GB of RAM compared to the Galaxy Note 7's 4GB. It somewhat confirms Apple's claim that designing software and hardware together improves performance and means the phone can perform well with less RAM.

In the end, the iPhone 7 finishes two runs of opening up the apps in a speedy 1 minute 40 seconds, while the Galaxy Note 7 takes almost twice as long, with a time of 3 minutes 14 seconds.

The results aren't all that surprising. Even the iPhone 6s beats out the Galaxy Note 7 in PhoneBuff’s tests. Still, many are hoping that the new Snapdragon 821 processor and the new series of Google Pixel phones will be able to salvage some of Android’s power prowess. The new phones are expected to launch some time in early October.

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Apple's Silent Killer In China

Posted by Kirhat | Tuesday, September 20, 2016 | | 0 comments »

Apple Store in China
The world's biggest market for tech gadgets and its paraphernalia could also be considered the biggest threat to the dominance of Apple products. China is second-largest economy in the world with 1.4 billion people potential clients and the fastest-growing middle class on the globe.

Apple knows this, which is why they have invested heavily in the country as evidenced in the numbers. In the fourth quarter of 2015, Apple revenue soared 99 percent in China; geographically speaking, Greater China was second to only the Americas in revenue - and if it kept growing like that, it would overtake them soon enough.

However. everything would start falling apart. Chinese revenue fell 26 percent in the second quarter and 33 percent in the third. Revenue from the iPhone fell for the first time, and company stock began a steep descent.

One might assume that market saturation, plain and simple, is to blame for Apple's fall from grace in China. Once every Chinese citizen who can afford it has an iPhone in their pocket - poof! - the growth is gone.

But that's not the problem Apple is having in China. Apple's problem is competition; in China, a handful of newcomers have been silently but methodically kicking butt and taking names -- Apple being the biggest butt and most recognizable name.

Oppo, Vivo, Huawei and Xiaomi: These are the competitors that pushed Apple to fifth place in the battle for Chinese market share in the second quarter.

In the second quarter of 2015, Apple held a respectable 11.9 percent of the market, making it the third-leading smartphone brand in China behind Xiaomi (17.1 percent) and Huawei (15.6 percent). One year later, Apple had lost nearly a third of its share and owned just 7.8 percent of the market.

The culprits? Two domestic companies that had less than 8 percent of the market share in 2015: Oppo and Vivo. Growing shipments by 124 percent and 75 percent respectively, the two brands now own nearly 30 percent of the Chinese marketplace. Rewind two years, and their combined market share was about 5 percent.

So how did two no-name smartphone newcomers outdo the most profitable company on earth? With shockingly traditional means, it turns out.

At first, several years ago, the Qualcomm-backed Xiaomi was threatening to "disrupt" Apple and its Asian ambitions: The firm made high-end smartphones that were eerily similar to the iPhone, but sold them online and marketed them through social media - eliminating tons of overhead costs and making high-end smartphones price-accessible to the Chinese middle class.

Strangely enough, Oppo and Vivo's surge has coincided with a return to brick-and-mortar retail, a model that Xiaomi had once successfully shunned as it attempted to dethrone Apple.

In the last two years, Oppo and Vivo have gobbled up share from both Xiaomi and Apple, realizing that old-school marketing campaigns, celebrity endorsements and point-of-sale distribution still works like a charm.

After all, sometimes the best way to take on Goliath is with a slingshot.

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What Powers The Apple iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus

Posted by Kirhat | Monday, September 19, 2016 | | 0 comments »

A10 Fusion
This last couple of days, Apple and its most loyal clients were ecstatic with the launch of the latest iPhone variant - iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. They lauded all the unique features and the way the smartphone look and feel.

However, what makes the two iPhones unique and powerful is the source of it power inside.

Powering Apple's new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus smartphones is a new chip called the A10 Fusion. Why Apple added the word Fusion to the name is unknown, and beyond the obvious. Maybe Apple wants to distance itself from a weapon of war. Or maybe it has something to do with AMD's A10 chips. It is not certain.

The A10 Fusion is Apple's first quad-core mobile SoC (System-on-Chip), and it consists of two high-performance cores for demanding applications, and two energy-efficient cores for regular usage.

Which cores are used is controlled by an Apple-designed performance controller.

The low power cores operate at a fifth of the power of the high-performance cores. This is similar technology to ARM's big.LITTLE technology, which isn't surprising given that Apple licenses ARM technology for its chips.

The chip contains 3.3 billion transistors. Compare this to Intel's original P5 core Pentium released in March of 1993, which contained 3.1 million transistors.

According to Apple, the A10 Fusion has 40 percent more CPU performance and 50 percent more graphics performance compared to the A9 chip found in the iPhone 6s. Sounds impressive, but the numbers suggest that how much power Apple can squeeze out of its silicon is slowing down given that the A9 chip was a whopping 70 percent faster than its predecessor.

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