Oppo Has Bought Samsung ‘Edge’ Displays

Oppo has ordered flexible OLED panels from Samsung. The latter is set to fulfil the orders by the end of June.

The Chinese smartphone maker is reportedly planning to integrate Samsung’s ‘Edge’ display on one of its upcoming smartphones. This may refer to the Korean tech giant’s Infinity displays, which are commonly sported on its flagship phones.

South Korean publication The Bell reports that Samsung is set to ship these panels by the end of this month. One panel costs $100, that’s about five times the price of a normal smartphone display. Bearing this mind, we’re assuming this new phone will come with an expensive price tag.

If the news is indeed true, this will be a first for both companies. A smartphone with a curved displays on both sides will be the first for Oppo.

As to Samsung, it has remained the only mass producer of the flexible OLED panels. It is also the only device OEM to utilize the technology in its devices since it first became available. This will be the first time that Samsung would be sharing the technology to another smartphone maker, assuming this actually comes to light.

The Oppo Find X is set to launch in an event hosted by the company on June 20.

The device comes with pretty high-end features such as 5X dual camera optical zoom, Snapdragon 845 processor, and up to 8GB of RAM. Although there is no information about the pricing yet, it looks like its shaping up to be a flagship phone material. And if Oppo is investing on $100 OLED displays, it is possible that the Find X could be the smartphone to have it.

Or perhaps Oppo is reserving that ‘Edge’ for something even more high-end? We’ll have to wait to find out!

Microsoft Sinks Data Centre Off Scottish Island For Eco-Friendly Internet

Microsoft’s sunken data centre is part of an experiment to reduce energy costs and increase internet speeds.

Tech giant Microsoft has sunk a data centre off Scotland’s Orkney Islands. Dubbed Project Natick, it’s purpose is to create quicker and a more “eco-friendly” internet.

The white, 12-meter cylinder that houses computers is powered by tidal turbines and wave energy converters. The water will provide a natural cooling effect to the servers.

Sub-aquatic cable also brings power to the data centre as well as carry data to the shore. However, there is no way to repair the computers on board if they break. The cylinder has 12 racks containing 864 servers and associated cooling system infrastructure.

Cindy Rose, chief executive of the technology giant, said: “Microsoft is exploring the idea that data centres – essentially the backbone of the internet – can be based on the sea floor.”

“The shipping container-sized prototype, which will be left in the sea for a set period of time before being recovered, can hold data and process information for up to five years without maintenance.

The data centre is as powerful as several thousand high-end consumer PCs. But with the natural cooling effect of the sea, it only uses minimal energy.

If the project proves successful, the company has huge long-term objectives for its future. Microsoft plans to bring data centers closer to people as this would mean faster web browsing, streaming and gaming. And since more than half of the world’s population live within 190km of a shoreline, sinking them underwater near coasts could solve the problem.

Phase 1 of Project Natick showed the underwater concept was feasible. Phase 2 extends the research Microsoft has accomplished in phase one and testing if the concept was logistically, environmentally and economically practical.

 

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Emirates Planes Will Replace Windows With Virtual Screens

Would you ride on a windowless airplane? Emirates thinks you should.

Emirates has just unveiled a new first class suite on board its latest aircraft that features “virtual windows” instead of real ones.

The President of Emirates, Tim Clarke, is hoping this new design will pave the way for going totally windowless on future planes. From the outside, these future planes will look solid. However, there will be “a full display of windows” projecting the images from the outside via fiber-optic cameras.

“Imagine now a fuselage as you’re boarding with no windows, but when you get inside, there are windows,” he said.

The image projected on the screen would apparently be so good that “it’s better than with the natural eye”.

“Now you have one fuselage which has no structural weaknesses because of windows. The aircraft are lighter, the aircraft could fly faster, they’ll burn far less fuel and fly higher.”

According to Clarke, doing away with windows will save 50 per cent of the weight of an aircraft. Having windows means they have to reinforce the fuselage inorder to support the structure around it. Apparently, going windowless in fact strengthens the plane.

“So if you have got a composite fuselage, which is produced in one drum … with no windows, the aircraft is automatically much lighter”.

Would you be willing to ride on one? Let us know!

 

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Blizzard Is Working On A New Unannounced Diablo Game

A job posting from Blizzard confirms work on a project in the Diablo universe.

Video game developer Blizzard has not made any announcements but it seems that there is a new Diablo game in the works.

A job listing on the company’s website is hinting that a development is underway. Looking at the post, it is pretty straightforward: “The minions of Hell are growing stronger… We’re working on a new, unannounced Diablo project.”

Previously, the California-based company has teased about a Nintendo Switch version of Diablo. But people are quick to dismiss that the unannounced Diablo project is referring to this. The description asks for a “skilled dungeon artist”. This means there is a need for new art assets.

The exact description states:

“We’re working on a new, unannounced Diablo project. Are you a skilled dungeon artist? Come work with us, and together we will build something exceptional.”

The dungeon artist will be responsible for “modelling and texturing compelling assets.” He is also expected to work well “in an environment of peers who are passionate about working on the dark gothic world of Diablo, making great games, killing millions of monsters and getting loot!”

The 24th Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) is already happening next week so it’s highly doubtful a new Diablo game will be unveiled there. However, they could probably announce that it will be in the works? Maybe. We’re actually hoping they will.

Diablo 3 is turning six years old this year. I think it’s about time for a new one, don’t you think?

 

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One Hour Long Instagram Videos Might Soon Be Available

The used-to-be photo-only platform may soon allow users to post one hour long videos.

Instagram used to be a photo-only platform when it first debuted back in 2010. Fast forward three years later, it introduced 15 second videos to compete with the now-defunct Vine. Eventually, Instagram lengthened the videos to 60 seconds and added 15 second videos to Stories.

But now, rumours suggest that the Facebook-owned platform might be making a big leap and start supporting hour-long videos. So basically, your feed will end up looking like YouTube.

A report in The Wall Street Journal claims that this will come as an update. The videos would be in vertical format, similar to Stories videos.

Although this report is not yet confirmed and there are no further details to enlighten us, the move is not that surprising.

Instagram is owned by Facebook and the latter makes more money on ad revenues played on native videos on Facebook. The longer the video, the more ad space available, the more it can charge. However, teens are already abandoning the platform for Instagram and Youtube. Long videos on Instagram are only possible on Stories Live but it can’t really monetize that since there are no ads. The solution? Allow longer video posts.

This is also an obvious way to compete with YouTube. A recent study by Pew actually shows that YouTube has become the number one social network for US teens.

Again, this news is not yet confirmed and the WSJ has described the plan as “tentative” and “subject to change”.  This means it may still not see the light of the day. But if it does come and you’re not a fan, you can always mute those annoying friends eh?

Sharp to Acquire Toshiba PC Business for 36 Million

Toshiba has agreed to relinquish its PC business to Sharp as the former exits the PC market.

Toshiba has finally put up the white flag for its PC business as it sells it to Sharp.

The deal, worth four billion yen (or about $36 million), also includes the issuance of $1.8 billion in new shares by Sharp to buy back stock from banks.

Toshiba was the first company ever to introduce a notebook PC back in 1985 and were the leaders in the market. But with the birth of smartphones and tablets, PCs went in the backseat. The company used to sell as many as 17 million PCs a year. Now, they sell as little as 1.4 million units last year.

The company also got into more trouble when Westinghouse Electric, its nuclear power division, went bankrupt. Toshiba lost $9 billion.

For consumers however, this is not the end of its PCs. Sharp actually wants to breathe new life to this technology. Now that the former is owned by Foxconn, Sharp can take focus on producing more affordable computers.

The Osaka-based company is so confident with its acquisition of Toshiba that the former issued $1.8 billion in new shares to buy back preferred stock from banks.

Sharp is expected to wrap up the acquisition in October this year.

Grab and Go: Grab Cars Are Now Convenience Stores Too

Grab wants to sell you snacks and beauty products while you take a ride.

Ride-hailing giant Grab has just partnered with US start-up Cargo to bring Grab&Go to Southeast Asia. The partnership allows Grab drivers sell a selection of items to passengers during their ride.

Grab announced the new service in a blog post and through emails to its subscribers.

“If you’re one of the lucky ones, you’ll be able to help yourself to product samples like snack bars and beauty products absolutely free. You can also enjoy the convenience of buying an on-the-go refreshment or snack while you ride.”

Currently, Grab&Go has partnered with brands such as Kellogg’s, Biore UV, Novu and Unilever’s Lux Luminique for the free samples. Passengers are allowed to take home up to four complimentary products.

This latest offering is definitely a win-win for all. Brands get a new way to reach their customers, customers get free stuff, and the drivers earn extra income.

For each paid sale, drivers earn a 20% commission fee. They also earn a S$1 check-out bonus for every order from their Grab&Go box. Cargo claims that drivers can earn an $75-$250 per month through this.

Currently, the service is only available in Singapore. However, Grab tells TechCrunch that it will expand across Southeast Asia if this service is well-received. Grab serves 8 other countries including Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam.

 

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Leaked Images, Price and Specifications Ahead of BlackBerry KEY2 Launch

There’s nothing left to the imagination as images, price and specifications leak ahead of the BlackBerry KEY2 launch tomorrow.

BlackBerry’s successor to its well-received KEYone, aptly named KEY2, is launching tomorrow at a New York event. Fans however, already have a pretty good idea of what’s in store as details of the phone surfaced.

Reputed tipster Even Blass leaked specifications and price details of the handset on this official Twitter account. Renders were also posted highlighting the touch and type form factor of the Blackberry KEY2, similar to its predecessor.

The phone’s back has a textured panel with what looks like rubberised finish. The back also houses the dual rear camera setup and that unmistakable BlackBerry logo.

The front of the BlackBerry KEY2 has the full QWERTY keyboard and a 4.5-inch full-HD touch-supported display. It also sports an 8-megapixel selfie camera with full-HD (1080p) video recording support. Additionally, a fingerprint sensor is embedded on its spacebar key.

Blass also leaked a very detailed specification of list of the phone. It runs on Android 8.1 Oreo and powered by octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 SoC. It has two storage options, 64GB and 128GB, expandable up to 256GB through an SD card.

In terms of connectivity, the handset has FM radio, 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth v5.0, GPS/ A-GPS, NFC, USB Type-C, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

The BlackBerry KEY2 is going to be available in the US with a starting price of $649. To compare, the BlackBerry KEYone was launched in the US last year at $549.

 

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Google Lens Has Its Own App For Faster Launch

The Google Lens has made its way to the Playstore as a standalone app.

Google announced Lens last year as a way for users to identify objects, locations and other stuff from an image. It was first made available for Pixel owners and then later on expanded into the Photos app. And just recently, it was rolled out to most Android devices that supports Google Assistant.

For those who don’t use Google Assistant however, this will not be possible. That is unless you use the LG G7 ThinQ which has a hardware key specifically for Lens.

Now, Google has made it available for all Android users running Marshmallow or above.

The standalone icon is basically the shortcut to access the lens. It means users don’t have to go through the Google Assistant in order to launch Lens. However, bear in mind that it is still part of Google Assistant. The app is just a quick access tool.

What exactly can you with Google’s AI-capable viewfinder? When the app is opened, whatever your camera is pointed at, Google will give you information about it. It is also a useful way to translate, copy and search for texts. Pretty cool eh?

You can download the app here.

 

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The Asus ROG Gaming Phone Is Perfect for PUBG and Fortnight

The Asus ROG gaming phone might just be the perfect gadget for PUBG and Fortnight fans.

Gaming phones are fast becoming commonplace in the market thanks to legions of gamers and fans. When there’s demand, there will be a scramble to supply that. And Asus just jumped in the bandwagon to introduce their own gaming phone, the Asus ROG phone.

It is designed specifically with gamers in mind and could be the most powerful phone on the market.
Asus ROG Phone Specs
The Asus ROG phone is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 with a maximum speed of 2.69GHz. It also has a gaming-optimised Qualcomm Adreno 630 GPU.
Don McGuire, vice president of global product marketing for Qualcomm, describes their products.
“Snapdragon 845 is engineered to deliver users an unparalleled gaming experience; supporting exceptional performance, fast and smooth graphics and Gigabit speeds whether on LTE or 802.11ad Wi-Fi.”
Asus’ latest offering is also the first to have the GameCool system. It’s made up of vapour-chamber cooling, a carbon cooling pad and copper heat spreader. Additionally, the phone also comes bundled with an external Aeroactive cooler to take your gaming to the next level.

Other specs include 8GB of RAM, up to 512GB of storage, and a 4,000 mAH battery. It sports a 6-inch 2160 x 1080 AMOLED HDR display.

Besides the external cooler, the phone also has two more add-ons. First is the pair of gamepads called GameVice controller that slides into both sides of the phone. The second add-on is the Asus’ TwinView Dock. This adds an 6,000mAh extra battery capacity and an entire second screen to the ROG Phone.

Asus has not announced the price and release date for the phone. However, they hinted that it might be available sometime in the third quarter of this year. Fingers crossed!

 

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