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Saturday, 29 June 2013

Meet the Umeox X5, the world's thinnest smartphone - but for how long?




The last handset to hold the record, Huawei's Ascend P6, did so for just seven days before it was knocked off its perch.
Proving that a week is a very long time in technology, it has taken just seven days for a company to launch a phone to rival the Huawei Ascend P6, which, when launched on June 18, was done so alongside the claim of being the world's thinnest smartphone. And, at a mere 6mm thick, it really was a record breaker. The Samsung Galaxy SIV is a whopping 7.9mm and the iPhone 5 a far from svelte 7.6mm in comparison.
However, fellow Chinese phonemaker Umeox has just gone one better with the X5, which at 5.6mm thick is now the world's thinnest smartphone, stealing the title from Huawei and relegating the its handset into second place.
In terms of internal specifications, the Umeox X5 offers a 5.3-inch touchscreen, a dual-core processor, an 8-megapixel rear camera, a 3-megapixel front-facing camera, and will come with the latest version of Android pre-installed.
So although it beats the Huawei on physical dimensions, the Ascend P6 still has more under the hood, namely a quad-core processor, and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera to complement its 8-megapixel rear-facing unit.
The first reviews of the Ascend P6 have been overwhelmingly positive in terms of form, build quality and attention to detail, however, despite these aesthetic touches, underneath is a well-put-together mid-range handset. And with very similar specifications, expect the X5 to offer similar performance, albeit in a very slightly slimmer package.
However, while internal specifications and standout applications are gaining importance in mature smartphone markets as a way of differentiating handsets, particularly those that run the Android operating system where competition is rife and where most handsets appear almost identical from the outside, in China, a market that, while still in its infancy, has just overtaken the US to become the world's biggest market for handsets, the thickness of a device is of equal importance to the number of processor cores or the amount of built-in RAM.
And while Umeox is yet to confirm specifics -- such as screen resolution or battery life -- it has confirmed that the X5 will be coming to Europe as well as China and is expected to go on sale in France this summer before launching across the rest of the continent.
And as the Chinese market and Chinese handset makers both continue to grow in importance, expect more and more devices to arrive on the market in the coming months claiming to be the thinnest or lightest.

Samsung developing yet another version of the Galaxy SIV

Samsung developing yet another version of the Galaxy SIV 


Don’t panic, the company may well be preparing a sixth variant of its flagship phone but it won’t make existing versions obsolete or any less useful.
The handset in question will quite possibly be named the Galaxy SIV Advance and will offer the fastest up-and-down-stream mobile internet connection of any phone ever made. But, to do so, it will need to connect to a 4G LTE-Advanced network. Currently, according to All Things D such networks are pretty much still in their conceptual stages.
However, this hasn’t in any way prevented Samsung’s co-CEO, JK Shin, from talking up the product. “We’ll be the first with the commercial launch of the advanced 4G version of the smartphone,” Shin told Reuters. “The new LTE-Advanced (4G) phone will be another addition to our high-end segment offerings that ensure healthy profit margins.”
That high-end already includes the Samsung Galaxy SIV, the Samsung Galaxy SIV Mini, the Samsung Galaxy SIV Google Edition, the Samsung Galaxy SIV Active and the Samsung Galaxy SIV Zoom.
Compare that with Apple’s current flagship range, which runs to a single device, the iPhone 5.
So which version of the SIV is the right for you?
Galaxy SIV
A no-nonsense device that pairs a remarkably fast processor with a full HD 4.99-inch AMOLED display and a 13-megapixel camera. It also runs the latest version of Android and is packed with a number of Samsung features, such as smart pause (videos stop when the user isn’t looking at the screen) and a host of apps and features developed by Samsung and housed within the device’s custom user interface skin. That’s also a potential downside for some. Samsung’s extra features are not to everyone’s taste and many of them will probably never be used by the majority of owners.
Google Edition
If Samsung’s additions put you off, this is the perfect device. It only runs stock Android so there are no software-based bells or whistles, just the operating system itself plus whichever apps the user chooses to install.
Mini
Easier to handle thanks to its smaller size – it has a 4.3-inch screen making it roughly the same size as the latest iPhone. However, by making the device smaller, Samsung has had to strip out some of its internals. So memory goes down to 8GB and the processor from quad- to a dual-core.
Active
Slightly heavier than the standard SIV but much more rugged. This is the handset for people who like the great outdoors and want a reliable smartphone to take on their adventures. It is water- and dust-resistant and features a number of special apps such as a barometer and compass. On the inside it keeps the power and processing speed of the standard SIV.
Zoom
From the front it looks identical to the Mini but from the rear, it looks like a standalone digital camera, and that’s because it is. Aimed at users who want to take stunning photos and want a reliable smartphone at the same time, the Zoom offers reasonable internal specifications plus a 10x optical zoom lens for insane 16-megapixel stills photography. Like the Active, it also features a number of tailor-made apps and settings to make the most of its photo-taking capabilities.

Next iPhone could be controlled with head movements

Next iPhone could be controlled with head movements 


Developers have unearthed more settings in the latest beta version of iOS 7, the operating system that will power the next iPhone and iPad and that will also be released to existing iDevice owners later this year.
Discovered by an anonymous tipster, the feature allows users to control their devices with left-or-right head movements and was first reported by 9to5Mac. Tilting the head in one direction would launch the Siri personal assistant, for example, while tilting it in the opposite direction could return the screen to the home menu.
The features were discovered within the software's Accessibility Settings, suggesting that Apple is looking at ways to make using its devices easier for people who have limited limb movement or other physical disabilities. Or it could simply be a backup option for when traveling on public transport and not having a hand free to operate the phone or tablet for fear of falling over.
Samsung's latest flagship phone, the Galaxy SIV, uses facial recognition technology built into its front-facing camera to automatically scroll web content up or down or turn an e-book page based on the user's eye movements. What's more, it will automatically pause video when the user isn't looking directly at the screen and can even activate sleep mode to preserve battery life. However while it sounds great on paper, early reviews suggested that the features were less than smooth when used in real life.
Other discoveries in the iOS7 beta source code include ‘blink' and ‘smile' recognition within the camera's software, suggesting that as well as automatically detecting and focusing on a face, the iPhone camera will now wait to take a picture until the subject's eyes are open and is looking happy.
However, as with all code that appears in the beta edition of an operating system, there is no guarantee that it will make it into the finished version. And with iOS7 pencilled in for a September launch, existing iPhone and iPad users will not have long to wait to find out if the features have made the grade.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

AOC enters PH tablet market

You may start associating the brand that’s been known for its monitors with tablets. This week, AOC introduced its Android slates to the Philippines, the first country in Southeast Asia to have them.
The newly launched devices come with low price tags. Are the people behind AOC launching mid- to high-end tablets in the coming months?

AOC Breeze Tablet G8DC or MW0831 

AOC Breeze Tablet G8DC or MW0831 

AOC Breeze Tablet G8DC or MW0831 

 AOC Breeze Tablet G8DC or MW0831 

AOC Breeze Tablet G8DC or MW0831 

 AOC Breeze Tablet G8DC or MW0831 

AOC Breeze Tablet G8DC or MW0831 

“Frankly speaking, there’s no way we can compete with the iPad,” AOC executives said. “Even Samsung cannot dominate that market. We will concentrate on the low-end range. The next batch of products will arrive second half of this year.”
For as long as low prices don’t mean low quality, then we’re not complaining.

 AOC Breeze Tablet G7DC or MW0731+ 

AOC Breeze Tablet G7DC or MW0731+ 

AOC Breeze Tablet G7DC or MW0731+ 

 AOC Breeze Tablet G7DC or MW0731+ 

AOC Breeze Tablet G7DC or MW0731+ 

 AOC Breeze Tablet G7DC or MW0731+ 

AOC Breeze Tablet G7DC or MW0731+ 
 

The overall design resembles the Huawei MediaPad 7, and that's probably because of the product's metallic back. It has a gorgeous anodized aluminum finish, with a matte black accent on the corner and exposed screws on the sides.
That, plus the device’s solid feel, is not what you'd expect from a sub-P10,000 tablet.
However, because of its squarish form factor, no thanks to bezels that need some trimming, the G8DC or MW0831 is not that easy to hold with one hand. Good thing its thickness and weight are comparable to those of most Android tablets.
Port selection is pretty thin; the right-hand side houses a microSD card slot, a mini-HDMI port, a headphone jack, and a microUSB port. But despite the AOC Breeze Tablet G8DC or MW0831’s lack of full-sized options, this unit has a Bluetooth module, unlike most budget offerings.


 

Most healthy breakfast options

 

 Porridge
Considered a healthy breakfast choice, porridge is rich in fibre. It keeps blood sugar level under control, curbs appetite and regulates the building block of muscles. Since you stay on a fast due to an eight-hour sleep every night, a protein rich breakfast is a must. Porridge serves this purpose. It lowers the cholesterol and hence is good for diabetic patients. If your kids are in their growing age, you can add sugar syrup and nuts to the cereal.




  

 Oatmeal
Corporate world’s most favourite breakfast, oatmeal contains a rich variety of grains. Also, brilliant marketing and easy access has made oatmeal a frequent breakfast choice. It is a boon for all those who wish to reduce their wheat intake or are on a diet. Oats help control blood sugar level, cholesterol level, regulate bowel movement and relieve people who are prone to depression.




 
Cinnamon Puffins
A perfect balance of taste and nutrition, cinnamon puffins is a good breakfast choice. Loaded with satiating proteins and filling fibre, it aides slow digestion keeping blood sugar and cholesterol levels under check. Besides this, the cinnamon in it rewards you with doses of thiamine, folate, zinc, potassium, vitamin B6, magnesium and selenium and iron. A digestive agent and a guide to healthy bowel movement, cinnamon puffins is an unparalleled choice of breakfast. 




  

 Vanilla Almond
A rare combination of Madagascar vanilla and nutty almond when tried for breakfast takes you on a joyride. Devoid of saturated fat and cholesterol, you can fulfill your calorie requirement from this meal without risking your health. High in dietary fibre, iron, niacin, thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin A, B and C, it is a store house of essential nutrients. Enjoyed best with butternut squash, do not forget to heat it well before consumption. 




  

Poha/Rice Crispies
The poha version of rice crispies is popular in every Indian household and makes a light breakfast delicacy. Rich in nutritional values, it is good for your eyes and digestive system. Traditionally it is enjoyed best with curry leaves, turmeric powder and a pinch of sugar. 

Most healthy breakfast options

 

Curd and fruits: There’s no denying the goodness of curd. For a smart and filling breakfast option, chop up a bunch of fruits, like bananas and apples and add them to a bowl of curd, top it up with some muesli and chopped walnuts and you’ve got yourself a quick and delicious breakfast that’s also highly nutritious. 




  

 Egg sandwich: Boil an egg and slice eat it on a wheat toast with a slice of tomato, some low fat cheese and lettuce and you’ve got yourself a delicious breakfast that’ll keep you going for hours. 




  

 Muesli: Ditch your regular cereals and try some muesli instead. Fortified with fruits and nuts, muesli is a healthy and convenient breakfast option. Have it with milk or curd and stay full and energised for hours




  

 Fruit smoothie: Improve on your basic milk shake by going in for a smoothie instead. Toss your favourite fruits like bananas, apples or pears into the mixie with a bowl of curd and a spoon of honey. Run the moxie and voila, your smoothie is ready. Delicious and filling, it’s the perfect breakfast option for the summer.




 
 
Baked beans with toast: For a break from the usual egg and toast or cheese and toast combination, try baked beans with toasted wheat bread. Super simple and filling, this breakfast gives you the right combination of protein and carbohydrates to keep you going for a long day ahead.  




 

Most healthy breakfast options

 

Peanut butter and wheat bread: Peanuts are rich in antioxidants and give you the instant boost of energy you need. Try some home made peanut butter and have it with whole wheat bread for a nutritious and energising breakfast. 



  

Whole-wheat bread sandwich: If you’re a vegetarian, Dr Prasad suggests a simple paneer, onion, tomato and cucumber sandwich. “Spread a layer of low-fat paneer instead of cheese, as it’s a healthier option,” she stresses. A layer of grated paneer, sliced onions, cucumber and tomato, salt and pepper – and you’re ready to go. For non-vegetarians, keep some boiled, boneless chicken pieces handy. Mustard sauce or mayonnaise with boiled chicken and onions tastes fantastic, try it out today. 




  

 Cereal: Dr Prasad warns against those sugar-coated cereals in the market. “Choose sugar-free wheat flakes or corn flakes. They pack in carbohydrates, fibre and protein,” she says, “add some fresh fruit or dried fruits and nuts to make it more wholesome.” Museli that combines a variety of grains and driedfruits too makes for a good option.




  

 Daliya: “Popular up north, daliya (broken wheat) makes for an excellent breakfast option,” says Dr Prasad. Daliya is unrefined wheat, loaded with fibre and complex carbohydrates, it’s healthy and can be made in a jiffy. Dr Prasad recommends adding a handful of nuts to make daliya a perfect, complete breakfast.




  
 
 Dosa: “Choose a multi-grain dosa — what we call adai down south — over the regular kind,” suggests Dr Prasad. It packs in multiple nutrients – just what you need to jumpstart your day. However, make sure you use a non-stick pan, and less oil though.

Most healthy breakfast options

 

Eggs: While eggs make for an excellent breakfast option for kids, adults must tread cautiously. “Get your lipid profile checked,” recommends Dr Prasad, before you go on an egg eating spree. If your cholesterol is high, make sure you stay away from egg yolk. A good source of protein, selenium and riboflavin, egg whites are low in saturated fat and cholesterol. So beat in one or two egg whites, add some chopped veggies (cut and store in refrigerator), a pinch of turmeric, salt and red-chilli powder to taste — mix and scramble or make an omelette. “You can add a slice of brown bread, if you choose,” says Dr Prasad 



  

 Steamed idlis: Your neighbourhood supermarket is most likely to have a stock of idli batter. Cook idlis the night before, if you’re too rushed in the morning. Eat idlis with honey, it’s yummy and won’t require additional time for making chutney or such. In the morning, microwave idlies, pour some honey and you’re ready to go.



  

 Oats: High in fibre, oats is known to help regulate blood sugar levels and keep cholesterol under check. What more? It’s easy to make too. Again, Dr Prasad suggests adding nuts and fruits or dried fruits to that oat porridge. 



  

Poha (flattened rice): Poha is simple to make and takes very little time too. “Add veggies like peas, and perhaps even carrots into your poha to make it more nutritious,” says Dr Prasad. Keep some roasted groundnuts handy to add that extra zing to your poha, groundnuts are also healthy as they pack in antioxidants, folate and a host of other nutrients. 

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Huawei brings the phablet craze to absurd new heights with 7-inch phone

Huawei MediaPad 7 Vogue Release Date Specs 


In its latest attempt to blur the lines between smartphones and tablets, Huawei on Monday announced a new 7-inch Android device that can make phone calls. The MediaPad 7 Vogue is equipped with a 7-inch 1,024 x 600-pixel display, an in-house 1.2GHz quad-core processor and a 3-megapixel rear camera. The tablet also includes 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage, a microSD slot, a 4,100 mAh battery and Huawei’s Emotion user interface atop Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. The MediaPad 7 will be available in a Wi-Fi only model or an HSPA+ model that is capable of making phone calls, a feature that similarly puzzled us in Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8. The slate will arrive in China later this month with expanded availability scheduled for the coming months. Huawei’s press release follows below.
[More from BGR: iOS 7 beta 2: Full change log now available, iPad version released]
Huawei launches the multi-talented MediaPad 7 Vogue
[More from BGR: iOS 7 beta 2 walkthrough [photo gallery]]
All the functionality of a tablet, smartphone, and entertainment center, in one stylish package
[Shenzhen, China, 24 June, 2013]: Huawei, a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider, today launched the HUAWEI MediaPad 7 Vogue, the latest in Huawei’s range of products that make great technology accessible. With a 7-inch display, aluminum unibody and quad-core processor, the MediaPad 7 Vogue provides the perfect mix of functions from a tablet, smartphone and entertainment center in one stylish and portable device.
“Building on the popularity of the HUAWEI MediaPad series, we’ve created a new tablet that caters to fashionistas, technology seekers, entertainment junkies, and people who simply expect more from their technology,” said Richard Yu, Chief Executive Officer, Huawei Consumer Business Group. “We’re delighted to introduce the MediaPad 7 Vogue, our call-enabled tablet with world-class entertainment capabilities and long-lasting battery power. The MediaPad 7 Vogue is a perfect example of Huawei’s dedication to making extraordinary experiences possible.”
The HUAWEI MediaPad 7 Vogue boasts a built-in receiver for direct calling capabilities that remove the need for headphones. It features a powerful quad-core 1.2GHz processor CPU and 16-core GPU, fluid 3D gaming and 1080p full HD video playback. The 3G module supports DC-HSPA+, and downlink speed can reach up to 42Mbps, and the Wi-Fi connection supports 802.11b/g/n for fast streaming of movies or videos. MediaPad 7 Vogue also features a 4100mAh Li-Polymer battery and Huawei’s proprietary power-saving technology, enabling playback of four HD movies or more than 20 hours of continuous calling on one charge. The MediaPad 7 Vogue’s antenna performance is top-class, exceeding most operator standards in the US and Europe.
With its strong and sleek aluminum metal unibody design, the MediaPad 7 Vogue is ultra light and compact at just 9.5mm thin and weighing only 335g. Its 7-inch capacitive 1024 x 600 (IPS) multi-touchscreen with full view-angle and vivid display, offers a dazzling visual experience to bring your photos and videos to life.
Running on Android 4.1, the MediaPad 7 Vogue is pre-installed with email, word processing, Facebook, YouTube, and GPS navigation, and also features Huawei’s proprietary Emotion UI 1.5 providing a more user-friendly and personalized experience.
Offering seamless connectivity, the MediaPad 7 Vogue’s Micro USB port is compatible with a full-range of accessories including an external keyboard, mouse and USB flash disk, while the Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Airsharing functionalities allow for swift content sharing wherever you are.
The MediaPad 7 Vogue comes in black and white and will be available in China this month, with other markets to follow.

- The Lone Ranger: Tonto and the Ranger Meet for the First Time

 

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Found! 3 Super-Earth Planets That Could Support Alien Life

Found! 3 Super-Earth Planets That Could Support Alien Life 


Found! 3 Super-Earth Planets That Could Support Alien Life  


The habitable zone of a nearby star is filled to the brim with planets that could support alien life, scientists announced today (June 25).
An international team of scientists found three potentially habitable planets around the star Gliese 667C, a star 22 light-years from Earth that is orbited by at least six planets, and possibly as many as seven, researchers said. The three planet contenders for alien life are in the star's "habitable zone" — the temperature region around the star where liquid water could exist. Gliese 667C is part of a three-star system, so the planets could see three suns in their daytime skies.
The three potentially rocky planets in Gliese 667C's habitable zone are known as super-Earths — exoplanets that are less massive than Neptune but more massive than Earth. Their orbits make them possible candidates for hosting life, officials from the European Southern Observatory said in a statement. [9 Exoplanets That Could Host Alien Life]

"We knew that the star had three planets from previous studies, so we wanted to see whether there were any more," co-leader of the study Mikko Tuomi of the University of Hertfordshire, U.K. said in a statement. "By adding some new observations and revisiting existing data we were able to confirm these three and confidently reveal several more. Finding three low-mass planets in the star's habitable zone is very exciting!"
This is the first time three low-mass planets have been spotted in the habitable zone of the same star system, and it's unlikely that astronomers will find any more around Gliese 667C. The star's habitable zone is packed full, making it impossible for another planet to orbit stably within the zone, the researchers said.
"The number of potentially habitable planets in our galaxy is much greater if we can expect to find several of them around each low-mass star — instead of looking at 10 stars to look for a single potentially habitable planet, we now know we can look at just one star and find several of them," team member Rory Barnes of the University of Washington said in a statement.
Gliese 667C is the faintest star in the three-star system. From the surface of the planets in orbit around Gliese 667C, the two brighter stars would be as bright as the full moon by night and shine visibly during the day, ESO scientists said.  
Gliese 667C is cooler and dimmer than the sun, making it possible for planets that have very close-in orbits to remain habitable. This star's habitable zone lies within an orbit the size of Mercury's around the sun, ESO officials said.

Mouth-watering food for rainy days

 

Bangus belly sinigang


When rain is coming from all directions outside, stay indoors if you can and keep yourself from feeling dreary. You could do a movie marathon or maybe catch up on some reading. But you know what we think is the best thing that this crazy weather brings? It provides the perfect backdrop for enjoying hot soup! We’ve rounded up our five top stews that are perfect to pair with plain steamed rice on cold rainy days. Which one’s your favorite?
Bangus belly sinigang (Stewed milkfish in tamarind)
The perfect sinigang stew is the one that uses sampaloc (tamarind) juice as the souring ingredient. Aside from the soup actually tasting sourer, there are nutrients that sampaloc contributes to the dish that other artificial souring ingredients don’t have. The process of extracting sampaloc juice, however, is a long one: boil the sampaloc for about 20 minutes until the skins burst, mash the sampaloc in a bowl (with half of the cooking liquid), strain the juice into another bowl and mash again to force out all the juice. And voila, you have the souring ingredient for your Sinigang na bangus!
Tinola (Chicken ginger stew)
An old-time Pinoy favorite, Tinola even earned a mention in Dr. Jose Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere in its first few chapters. If you want your own bowl of this hot stew, all you have to do is saut√© chicken in onions, garlic, and ginger. Add water (just enough to cover) and season with patis (fish sauce) and pepper. Simmer everything for about 20 minutes. Toss in cubes of green papaya and simmer some more until the papaya is cooked through. Ten seconds before you turn off the heat, toss in your greens: spinach or malunggay. Best to serve this dish when it’s hot.


  

 

Beef nilaga

Beef nilaga (Beef stew with clear broth)
Some put saba (plantain banana) in their version of beef nilaga. Others toss in chunks of corn on the cob. And others insist that their Nilagang baka have bits of bone marrow floating in the soup. But the bottom line is always the same: beef nilaga, however it is prepared, is a hearty beef stew with melt-in-your-mouth cubes of beef, crunchy vegetables that are just cooked through, and a rich, flavorful beef broth that always hits the spot. As if this isn’t enough of a punch, squeeze some calamansi (plus a few drops of patis or fish sauce) over everything and you’ve got yourself a beefy blockbuster that’s as good eaten by itself or with a plate of hot white rice. 
[Also check out a chef’s tips on how to cook the perfect Beef nilaga.]
Caldereta (Spicy beef stew)Originally featuring goat meat, this tomato sauce-based spicy stew eventually moved on to the more conventional beef. Adding to the exotic appeal of this Spanish-inspired dish, the first Caldereta dishes also had chunks of goat liver. Bell peppers, olives, peas, tomatoes, onions, and garlic round up Caldereta’s ingredients. To seal in all these complementary flavors, grate cheese over everything right before serving. 


  

Pochero

Pochero (Meat and vegetable stew)
Because this stew couldn’t seem to make up its mind which ingredient to showcase, it put in all three: chicken, beef, and pork. Of course, along with a strong supporting cast of potatoes, tomatoes, pechay (bok choy), saba, cabbage, green beans, and the usual garlic and onion. This is perfect for those who prefer to sip a steaming bowl of stew that’s both salty and sweet (the saba takes care of the sweet part, in this case). Fun fact: In Cebu, pochero goes by another name, which, coincidentally, refers to another favorite Pinoy stew—bulalo.
 

World's last telegram to be sent on July 14

 

It's truly the end of an era: the time of the telegram will come to a close this coming month, with the world's last missive in the medium to be sent from India on July 14.
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), India's state-owned telecom firm, is shutting down its telegram service as it is no longer practical, Business Insider reported.
"We were incurring losses of over $23 million a year because SMS and smartphones have rendered this service redundant," it quoted Shamim Akhtar, general manager of BSNL's telegraph services, as saying.
The report said the July 14 message will come 144 years after Samuel Morse sent the first telegram in Washington.
But it also comes seven years after Western Union shut down its services in the United States.
The telegraph first came to India through British doctor William O'Shaughnessy, who used a different code for the first time in 1850 to send a message.

During its heyday, the telegram—locally known as "taar" or wire—was likened to an urgent message, bypassing the delays of the post.
Business Insider said the telegram peaked in India in 1985, with 60 million telegrams sent and received a year from 45,000 offices.
"Today, only 75 offices exist, though they are located in each of India's 671 districts through franchises. And an industry that once employed 12,500 people, today has only 998 workers," it said.
— TJD, GMA News
 

This 'spy-proof' font makes your emails invisible to other computers



With the US National Security Agency (NSA) being recently linked to high-tech surveillance, a former contractor has created a new font that he claims will thwart such snooping.
Sang Mun described the font, dubbed ZXX, as "a disruptive typeface" that he said would be unreadable by automated text scanning software.
A video shows how the typeface confuse Optical Character Recognition (OCR) artificial intelligence:

"The project started with a genuine question: How can we conceal our fundamental thoughts from artificial intelligences and those who deploy them? I decided to create a typeface that would be unreadable by text scanning software (whether used by a government agency or a lone hacker) — misdirecting information or sometimes not giving any at all," he said.
According to him, he drew six different cuts - Sans, Bold, Camo, False, Noise and Xed - to "generate endless permutations, each font designed to thwart machine intelligences in a different way."
He said ZXX's name is derived from the US Library of Congress’ listing of three-letter codes denoting the language of a book.
Code “ZXX” is used when there is: “No linguistic content; Not applicable,” he said.
No protection from NSA
But security researcher Graham Cluley said ZXX is a messed-up font that "will NOT protect you from the NSA."
Regardless of whether you communicate electronically using Sang Mun’s font, Comic Sans or something more traditional, it makes *no* difference to anyone spying electronically on your communications.
Cluley said the messages one sends via email, instant messaging or social networks are composed of bytes, with each letter of the message represented by one single byte.
He said computers spying on communications see not the the font but a bunch of numbers that they reassemble into characters and eventually words, phrases and sentences.
"So, it makes no difference to these computers if a font, for example, disguises a capital 'T' as a capital 'G,'" he said.
Cluley said that while ZXX could disrupt OCR technology, the NSA could just "add knowledge of the font to their arsenal and extend their expert systems to decipher it from images in the same way they might handle the likes of Comic Sans, Windings and Times Roman."
"It’s a nice art project by Sang Mun, but I don’t think anyone serious about keeping their conversations private from the-powers-that-be will be rushing to add it to their portfolio of privacy tools," he said.
— TJD, GMA News

First look at iOS 7 beta

 

Apple unveiled their latest mobile OS, iOS 7, at their World-Wide Developer Conference last June 10, 2013. The new iOS 7 came with a departure from the tried and tested iOS look-and-feel. Gone are the skeuomorphisms and in its place, a more 2D UI design. The 2D UI design comes with a layered implementation that provides depth to the overall user experience. The depth of the new UI is evident when you encounter graphic elements that pop up as overlays -- you will have a view of what is beneath the overlay, providing you with some feel of context.
If you will believe what others have said about the new UI, the iOS 7 borrowed design elements from the likes of Windows Phone, WebOS and Android. However, just as always, Apple (re-)uses existing technologies (and in this case, design), polishes it to perfection, melds it with their products and adds some fairy dust before it is released. Whilst you will say that they copied this and that from this and that phone, remember that Apple recognizes the best and steals them (great artists, remember?). Say whatever you want, Apple's bottom-line is they perfected these technologies and tried to make it disappear, i.e., when using the device makes the underlying tech disappear, then they have achieved perfection.
I have read comments from writers with sources from within Apple and one word stuck with me -- polarizing -- that the new iOS 7 look-and-feel will have that polarizing effect. And it's indeed polarizing - you either love it or hate it. :) There are stuff to hate, such as the look of some of the icons, the background of the app folders and the predominant use of white spaces, there are a lot to love about it -- Control Center, Notification Center (with some actionable notices), Multitasking, iTunes Radio, revamped Photo gallery, AirDrop, revamped Camera, new Safari interface, enhanced Siri, enhanced Mail, enhanced Calendar and enhanced Messages (and more actually).
It should be understood that at its current form, iOS 7 is still in beta, beta 1 to be precise. There is a reason why it is only available to developers -- because what matters to developers is the underlying architecture and the APIs. Unfortunately, I cannot give you any other details, except for screenshots similar to what Apple has shown but shows iOS 7 on a real local device, due to the NDA.
Apple's new iOS 7 will undergo changes before it gets released sometime September or October, along with the next iPhone, and perhaps the new iPads. In its normal cycle, iOS versions tend to go up to beta 7 before the final GM, or Gold Master, version is released to developers. And the road from beta 1 will be paved with numerous changes -- from design (color scheme, icons, etc.) to implementation (how a button behaves, API behavioural changes, etc.). Note that Apple has not yet provided an iPad version of the firmware -- they will perfect the iPhone first and then it will be simpler to scale it up to the iPad.
 

Monday, 24 June 2013

Will iPhone 5S have dual-LED flash?

Will iPhone 5S have dual-LED flash? 


Over the past few weeks images of a device that is reportedly the iPhone 5S have been hitting the web and a new photo has appeared, once again suggesting the presence of a dual-LED flash upgrade. 
The images of what is claimed to be the iPhone 5S come from Weibo user Palm Uncle, who is generally considered a reliable source, having previously gotten his hands on leaked images of Samsung's Galaxy S4 LTE. The images were later posted to technology site Slash Gear.
Previously leaked images also showed a dual-LED flash set-up at the top right-hand side of the phone, and  Slash Gear suggests that the leaked images combine to show the entirety of the hotly awaited device.
Other than the addition of the dual-LED flash system, which would give users of the iPhone 5S access to more brightness than before, possibly making the device better for photography, the phone would also appear to be ever so slightly thinner than the 5.
Aside from the dual-LED flash system and the difference in thickness, bloggers and tech experts have been hard pressed to identitfy any major differences between the 5 and the new device in the images. The idea that the next iPhone will not be a complete re-design of Apple's famous device is also supported by pictures reported to be of the logic board which emerged earlier in June yet did not, according to several expert blogs, appear to show any significant difference to those found in the 5.

Make Your Dream Trip Happen

 

 Tired of liking everyone else’s travel photos on Instagram? Don’t just sit in your cubicle, daydreaming of your own trip—make it happen! Here’s how.

Set Your Goals

So you’ve been staring at the same island paradise postcard on your corkboard for the past five years. You won’t come any closer to crossing it off your bucket list, until you actually start planning your trip. Decide exactly where you want to go, whom you want to go with, how much you need, and file that vacation leave already! Set things in motion, alert the universe, and opportunities are bound to pop up (plane fare sales, travel fairs, and contests with grand holiday prizes!).

Don’t be afraid to dream big, even with a small budget. In his book The Sketching Backpacker, an illustrated travel journal published by R.O.X., author/artist Robert Alejandro shares, “The backpacking trip was an eye-opener—the fact that with a relatively small amount of money, you could actually travel and see some of the most beautiful places on the face of the earth.” Alejandro, who took three months off work to backpack through nine countries (Southeast Asia and parts of China) with four friends, says, “We agree that it isn’t a ‘splurge’ but rather an investment on yourself.”


Do Your Research

After you’ve set your sights on a destination, figure out how to get there, where to stay, and what to do. Read up on it, and quiz friends who’ve been there before. Travel blogs, crowd-sourced apps, and the wildly-popular Trip Advisor also provide helpful, realistic reviews (and directions, too). Don’t forget to check out visa requirements, and make that appointment already. These days, you don’t even have to rely on a travel agent (unless your suki gives you a great discount, of course)—simply scour the Web for fares and accommodations to suit your preference and budget. Check out the local tours on offer, or be adventurous and customize your own itinerary. Practically everything is just a click away!

Save Up!
Don’t wait till you win the lotto to go on that much-awaited holiday. Determine your budget, set a deadline, and start saving! When estimating your budget, don’t forget to factor in travel fare/travel tax, accommodations, food, attraction entrance fees, and shopping/pasalubong allowance.

Michelle Calasanz, an English teacher, anim√© fan and Arashi (a Japanese boy band) devotee, dreamed of visiting Japan since childhood, and finally decided that it was going to be her 30th birthday gift to herself. “Two years before my scheduled departure date, I started saving at least P500 a week, until my travel fund grew and grew. I had a calendar and kept tabs on how much money I saved.” She was so focused on her goal that she hardly ever shopped or ate out; she gave herself a weekly allowance, and followed it strictly, and all bonuses went straight into her travel kitty, too. Her reward? A glorious, life-changing three-week getaway to Japan, traveling from Tokyo to Osaka, mostly on her own. Next stop, London!


Grab Opportunities
If you have a knack for writing or taking great photos, try your hand at contributing to a travel magazine (email the editors!). Who knows, if they like your work, they might send you on assignment (so you get to travel and get paid for it!) the next time around. Keep an eye out for contests, too—you might just get lucky and travel for free!

Surfer girl Camille Cabreira spotted a contest and decided to give it a go. “Thousands of girls joined. We submitted photos and asked our friends to vote. I was so surprised when I was chosen to be one of the Philippine finalists! The experience was beyond amazing.”
So, what’s the top destination on your bucket list?

Get Your Online Video Some Hits

 

 Think you waste enough time on YouTube? Back in 2012, 72 hours of video were uploaded on YouTube every minute. And a good chunk of that were homemade videos, shot by everyday people, hoping to be the next “YouTube sensation.” Hey, it worked for singing sensations Justin Bieber and Soulja Boy.

But the sad fact remains: just because you uploaded what you think is the best video ever, doesn’t mean it will trend. 87% of online marketers use video content to push their products, along with the many millions of individuals uploading their cat videos online. So not only are you battling it out with other internet celeb-wannabes, but you’re also jumping in a pool where many big companies are splashing around in, as well.

So what to do if you’ve already got your heart set on being the next most-shared video on Facebook? Here are a few tips.

Do it in HD.
According to social media news site Mashable.com, nine out of the ten videos that went viral in 2012 were professionally made. Which means, the better the quality of the video, the more chances people will stick around to watch it. You don’t need access to a professional director and camera crew. Even the dinkiest phones that are equipped with cameras can take videos with high resolution. So unless you were shooting in a thunderstorm, there’s really no excuse to upload a video with poor quality.

Avoid “product shots”.
Nothing can turn someone off more than blatantly talking about and showing items that you’re clearly endorsing. If someone wanted to watch ads, they’d go to ad websites (or turn on their television sets). Unless you’re selling the product in a creative manner, keep any branded items out of the shot.

Take risks.

We’re not saying you should attempt to do dangerous stunts. But don’t be afraid to do something that’s out of the ordinary. If it’s genuine enough, people will pick up on your game-ness and be interested in seeing what happens.

Be yourself.
There’s only one Rebecca Black. There’s only one PSY. There’s only one cat who can play a keyboard like he owns it. The point is, don’t try to be someone else. Be yourself—everyone else is taken, or has been filmed and uploaded already. Show why you’re unique, and why you’re worth being watched. Be believable, be touchable, be real. Let your personality shine through.

Show emotions.

No one wants to watch videos that are as emotionally appealing as watching paint dry. Let your audience feel something when they watch your video. Let them feel happiness, sadness, or heck, even anger by the time they’re at the last second of your video. Tell a story, and leave them with something to remember you by.

The Best Power Foods for Women


Click Here!   The best foods for women of any age  




You grind in the gym every day to look and feel your best, but if your diet doesn't include these 12 power foods, you're doing yourself and your health a disservice!

To strengthen bones: parmesan cheese
Calcium is key for preventing osteoporosis (especially in your 20s). Yogurt and nonfat milk help, but who wants them three times a day? Work Parmesan cheese into your diet; its 340 mg of calcium per ounce - compared to about 200 mg in cheddar or Swiss - goes a long way toward your 1000 mg/day quota.

To boost immunity: apples

Smart and sweet, apples are rich in quercetin, an antioxidant that can bolster your body's disease-fighting abilities. In one study from Appalachian State University, just 5 percent of people who ate more quercetin came down with a respiratory infection over a two-week period, compared to 45 percent of those who didn't.


To build your iron stores: lentils

Low-calorie lentils pack about 30 percent of your daily iron per cup cooked. About 12 percent of young women have low iron stores - at the extreme, that leads to anemia. But one study found that even women who were iron deficient (not anemic) had poorer performances on skill tests than those with normal levels.

To fight wrinkles: broccoli
"A cup of broccoli has 100 percent of your vitamin C-crucial for production of collagen, which gives skin elasticity," says Tammy Lakatos Shames, R.D. It's also rich in beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A. This vitamin assists in cell turnover, so old skin cells are replaced with fresh (read: younger-looking) ones.

To get healthy carbs: potatoes
Potatoes contain a fat-fighting compound called resistant starch that can help keep weight in check. One medium spud with the skin will run you just around 100 calories, and with more potassium than bananas, potatoes also help fight heart disease by keeping blood pressure low.

To up your intake of folate: spinach

This leafy green is high in vitamin K and also contains calcium and magnesium - a combo that may help slow the breakdown of bone that occurs as you get older - as well as folate, a B vitamin that helps prevent birth defects. And it packs just 7 calories per cup raw!

To stress less: dark chocolate
European researchers found that people who ate an ounce and a half of dark chocolate - about 200 calories worth-every day for two weeks produced less of the stress hormone cortisol and reported feeling less frazzled. Cortisol causes a temporary rise in blood pressure; consistently high levels up your risk for depression, obesity, heart disease and more.

To fight cancer: mushrooms
One study showed that women who ate just one third of an ounce of raw mushrooms a day (that's about one button mushroom) had a 64 percent reduction in breast cancer risk. Other research suggests that mushrooms reduce the effects of aromatase, a protein that helps produce estrogen - a major factor in some breast cancers.

To fight heart disease: sardines
These pungent little fish are good sources of omega-3 acids, which decrease inflammation that can lead to blocked arteries. They also prevent blood clots that can cause heart attacks and strokes, and keep blood vessels smooth and supple. Three ounces of sardines have about 1.3 grams of omega-3s (you need about 1 gram a day).

To help flatten your belly: avocados

Avocados are high in monounsaturated fat, which has been shown to help you drop weight, including from your troublesome middle. In one study, people who got the most monos (about 23 percent of their daily calories) had about 5 pounds less belly fat than those who ate a high-carb, lower-fat diet.

To protect your eyes: bell peppers
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts are leading causes of vision loss, but foods rich in lutein, zeaxanthin, and vitamin C, like bell peppers, can keep eyes sharp. A cup of sliced red, yellow and orange peppers contains nearly twice your daily vitamin C, plus 116 micrograms (mcg) of lutein, and 562 mcg of zeaxanthin.

To boost energy: whole-grain pasta

Whole-grain pasta is loaded with B vitamins, which help your body convert food into energy. And unlike processed grain products that lack fiber, whole grains are more filling than their refined counterparts. In other words, you'll feel satisfied with fewer calories.