LG goes “back to basics” with G6

LG has launched the G6 flagship highlighted by its display and wide angle cameras.

LG has launched the G6 flagship highlighted by its display and wide angle cameras. In essence, it’s a “back to basics approach to premium smartphones,” according to the company, after the missteps taken by the G5.

“LG will continue to lead smartphone innovation with a focus on convenience and reliability in order to exceed consumer expectations.”

-Juno Cho, LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company president

There’s a 5.7-inch QHD+ FullVision display (2880×1440) that features an 18:9 aspect ratio.

Sculpted from aluminum and glass, the smartphone features a minimalist design that comes in black, platinum, and white. The metal has a soft matte finish, rounded corners, and a flat back with no camera bump.

The G6 is the first smartphone to support the Dolby Vision and HDR 10 High Dynamic Range standards for a “wider range of color,” according to LG.

The company is offering the G6 Game Collection that provides up to $200 of in-game content for Temple Run 2, Spider-Man Unlimited, Crossy Road, SimCity BuildIt, Cookie Jam, and Genies & Gems on Google Play.

The smartphone has dual 13MP rear cameras, including a 125-degree wide angle lens and a 100-degree field of view on the 5MP front camera.

There’s a new Square Camera mode that shows recent photos in one window in film mode so users can review photos without having to resort to the gallery, and a Square Camera feature that divides the screen into two identical squares. The G6 can also take perfectly square photos in 1:1 aspect ratio, ideal for social media apps like Instagram and Snapchat. Users can also choose other ratios like 4:3, 16:9, and 18:9. You can also take pictures in 1:1 ratio in one window and then review, edit, and upload in another window immediately after shooting. GIFs can also be created by combining up to 100 images from the gallery.

The smartphone is rated for IP68 water and dust resistance that makes it safe to be immersed in up to 1.5 meters of water for up to 30 minutes.

Here’s the rest of the spec sheet:

  • Memory: 4GB RAM, 32/64GB of storage, microSD
  • 3,300mAh battery
  • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • Dimensions: 9 x 71.9 x 7.9mm, 163g

Source: LG

LG’s latest Gram 14 claims 21 hours of battery life

In a 2.16-pound frame

LG has refreshed its Gram 14 laptop to feature 21 hours of battery life in the same 2.16-pound frame.

There’s still no touchscreen here, but the body’s now made out a nano carbon magnesium alloy. There’s also a new display technology behind the screen bezel that allows the IPS to achieve its brightness and resolution benchmarks while cutting down on component weight. Both of which allow LG to squeeze a little extra battery into the Gram 14.

Source: The Verge

LG bringing Tone Studio wearable speaker to CES

The company’s also bringing along the Tone Free wireless earbuds

LG will launch several new wireless, wearable audio products at CES 2017, led by the Tone Studio wearable speakers capable of delivering 3D surround sound.

The Tone Studio features four speakers – two full range on top and two vibrating on the bottom – for a “personal surround sound experience,” according to LG. Its sound was designed in collaboration with DTS, and features a Hi-Fi DAC. With the Dual Play feature, you can connect two Tone Studios to share the audio from a movie or playlist.

Meanwhile, the Tone Free comes with wireless earbuds stored inside a neckband for charging, carrying, and vibration alerts for incoming calls and texts. Those alerts can be dealt with via voice commands for a hands-free experience. An additional charging cradle is also available to purchase.

Source: LG

TechSummit Rewind 126

Amazon kills off the cashier with Go concept, Google’s Trusted Contacts broadcasts your location, Microsoft hits reset on chat bots & more

This is the TechSummit Rewind, a daily recap of the top technology headlines.

Amazon launches Go cashier-free food shopping experience


Amazon has launched Go, a “new kind of store with no checkout required” with a single 1,800 square foot retail space in Seattle.

Customers use the Go app to enter the store, with a combination of sensors, computer vision, and deep learning keeping track of what’s taken off and returned to shelves inside a virtual cart. Once finished, the shopper simply walks out and gets charged with their Amazon account with a receipt.

According to the company, the store has been in the works for four years.

“We asked ourselves: what if we could create a shopping experience with no lines and no lines and no checkout? Could we push the boundaries of computer vision and machine learning to create a store where customers could simply take what they want and go?”

-Amazon, on the Go website

In its current form, the store is built specifically around ready-to-eat meals and snacks prepared on-site (by humans ironically) along with Amazon Meal Kits that split the difference with 30-minute meal prep.

Go launches to Amazon employees in beta this year. The store will open for all early next year.

Google’s Trusted Contacts app lets you share your location during emergencies


When Google Latitude was discontinued in 2013, it never truly made a replacement for its version of iOS’ Find My Friend. With Trusted Contacts, Google’s bringing location tracking back so you can communicate with and locate loved ones in case of emergency.

Trusted Contacts lets you add people with whom you want to share your whereabouts, whether it’s your GPS location or if you’re online. During a crisis, friends and family members can request your status to see if you’re safe, and you can respond with your location to let them know you’re okay, or deny the request. If you don’t respond within five minutes, the app will automatically broadcast your location to the contact, or your last known location if your phone is offline.

The app can also be used as a virtual companion – sharing your commute with your friends so they can watch to see that you’ve made it to your final destination. When you get to your location, push the button at the top of the screen or on the lock screen to end sharing.

However, it could open yourself up to potential stalkers that can keep their eyes on your whereabouts at all times if you leave the app passively running in the background.

Trusted Contacts is free to download now on Android.

Microsoft tries out chat bots again on Kik


According to Twitter user Tom Honsell, Microsoft has launched Zo, a chat bot that’s being tested now in the Kik messaging app. After briefly gauging your personality, it’ll participate in conversations like an overexcited teenager.

Notably, the bot steers clear of topics like politics or Hitler (unlike its previous Tay bot). It’s also uncannily knowledgeable about Redmond’s pride and joy, and is a devout Windows Phone fan.

LG Electronics makes home appliance boss CEO


Jo Seong-jin, LG Electronics’ home appliance boss, has been promoted to the company’s vice chairman and CEO in its annual reshuffle.

Mobile head Juno Cho kept his post, along with his TV and auto component counterparts.

In all, 58 executives were promoted, the most in 12 years from the company, and compares to last year’s 38 promotions.

Volkswagen launches Moia standalone mobility company


Volkswagen is making a significant bet on future mobility services with Moia, a new separate company that exists under the VW umbrella focused on providing mobility solutions, including fleet-based commuter shuttles and eventually autonomous on-demand transportation.

The company’s focused on solving the problems associated specifically with cities and movement within there, according to new group CEO Ole Harms. He called mobility in the city the “lifeblood” of the urban environment, and suggested that Moia will seek to be the heart in the metaphor that keeps the flow running smoothly so that the city and its residents can function efficiently.

To do this, Moia will first focus on setting up on-demand shuttle services, using original designs for small, multi-passenger shuttles that are intended to operate with electric drivetrains for maximum efficiency with maximum impact.

Users can hail shuttles from an app, and join them form designated pick-up points near their location on short notice. If users hail during a time when they’d be the only passenger, Moia is currently planning to potentially outsource that to partners like Gett or others operating ride-hailing services to ensure users can still get a ride.

Fitness trackers outpace smartwatches with consumers

Fitbit Charge 2

According to a new report from IDC, most people are wearing a fitness tracker rather than a smartwatch.

From June through September, fitness trackers made up 85 percent of the wearables market and drove all the growth in sales. Smartwatches meanwhile fell in popularity during the same time period.

Fitbit took first place on the list of popular wearables brands, followed by Xiaomi, Garmin, Apple, and Samsung. According to IDC, Fitbit shipped 5.3 million fitness trackers in the period.

The firm expects sales to remain strong as the holiday season approaches.

“Simplicity is a driving factor, and this is well reflected in the top vendor list as four out of five offer a simple, dedicated fitness device.”

-Jitesh Ubrani, IDC senior research analyst

TechSummit Rewind 105: LG V20

A recap of what we know about the LG V20

This is a special edition of the TechSummit Rewind, recapping what we know about the LG V20.

Android 7.0 Nougat

Android Nougat

The V20 will be the first device to feature Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box.

Taking advantage of Nougat’s feature set, the flagship will include Vulkan-supported graphics for gaming and improved performance with Doze.

“We are excited to offer the first phone in the world to feature Nougat out of the box. The LG V20 upgrades and extends its predecessor’s cutting-edge multimedia features a step further, providing [a] distinctive mobile experience and sets a new standard for premium phones for consumers.”

-Juno Cho, LG Electronics & Mobile Communications Company president

Nougat is coated with LG’s UX 5.0+.


The V20 will also be the industry’s first smartphone with 32-bit Quad DAC (digital audio converter) capabilities.

According to LG, a Quad DAC can reduce up to 50 percent more ambient noise than a traditional DAC.

“As smartphones mature, we’re seeing more and more customers looking beyond just fast processors and big displays in their devices. Higher quality audio is simply the natural evolution of the smartphone, as the industry moves toward a more holistic multimedia consumption experience.”

-Juno Cho

“As a technology more typically available in high-end audio equipment, Quad DAC on the V20 will make users feel as if they are carrying around a professional home-audio system on their smartphone.”

-Robert Blair, ESS Technology president & CEO

The HD Audio Recorder lets users capture “studio quality” audio with a wider dynamic frequency range using three high AOP microphones to record sound that “surpasses audio recordings on conventional smartphones.” With Studio Mode, audio can be controlled manually with keys similar to those found in video cameras and use Music Recorded to create audio suitable for auditions.

LG is also continuing its previous collaboration with B&O PLAY, with a “natural, balanced sound.”


Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor with X12 LTE, the V20 introduces Steady Record 2.0. The feature leverages Qualcomm’s electronic image stabilization 3.0 to record sharper video while neutralizing shaky images.

The gyro-based EIS improves sync accurate between the image and the gyro and reduces sync latency to 50 milliseconds. EIS is complemented by digital image stabilization, which adjusts objects across frames and minimizing distortion caused by rolling shutter for smoother action in post-processing.

The flagship can also record Hi-Fi videos and manually control audio settings using options like Low Cut Filter that removes unwanted background noise and Limiter to set recording distance. The V20 also captures audio using 24-bit/48 kHz Linear Pulse Code Modulation that LG claims is a comparable format to that used in professional video equipment.


Both of the V20’s cameras have wide-angle front and rear-facing cameras. The 5MP front camera has a 120-degree lens, while the 8MP rear camera has a 135-degree lens. There’s also a second large aperture standard angle lens that captures images at up to 16MP with a 75-degree lens.

The front camera’s Auto Shot function produces selfies with face detection, that triggers the shot when the subject is ready and smiling. The shutter button won’t need to be pressed.

The V20’s Hybrid Auto Focus delivers autofocus through three mechanisms – Laser Detection AF, Phase Detection AF, and Contrast AF – for both photos and videos. The phone will decide whether Laser or Phase Detection is best and then refine the focus with Contrast AF.


The Second Screen feature from the V10 is back in the V20, with double the brightness and a 50 percent larger font compared to the V10. The display lets users view notifications and alerts at a glance.

Now with Expandable Notifications, users can tap a button on the Second Screen to enlarge notifications to check longer messages or send a reply/share information.

In terms of materials, LG chose to use a lightweight aluminum with the new silicon-based AL6013 metal found in aircraft, sailboats, and mountain bikes, for the V20’s rear. The top and bottom of the phone is protected from damage by Silicone Polycarbonate, according to LG, which reduces shocks by over 20 percent compared to conventional materials.

The V20 can withstand shocks and still function after repeated four foot drops with impact at various positions.

Here’s the spec sheet:

  • Display: Main 5.7-inch (2560×1440, 513ppi) QHD IPS, Secondary 160×1040 (513ppi) IPS Quantum Display
  • Memory: 4GB RAM, 64GB internal storage, microSD
  • Cameras: Front 5MP with F1.9 Aperture, Rear 16MP with F1.8 Aperture (Standard)/8MP with F2.4 Aperture (Wide Angle)
  • 3200mAh removable battery
  • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • Dimensions: 7 x 78.1 x 7.6mm
  • Colors: Titan, Silver, Pink


The LG V20 will launch in Korea this month with a broader rollout in the weeks and months to come.

LG debuting X Series smartphones at MWC 2016

LG’s new X series smartphones are developed to offer customers a user experience by offering one exceptional feature at a price rivaling mid-range smartphones.

“Everyone has a favorite smartphone feature. At LG, we think there’s room for devices that do one thing very well and that customers shouldn’t have to pay for features that they don’t want. At the end of the day, we’re committed to offering consumers more choices.”

-Juno Cho, LG Electronics mobile communications company president & CEO

The first two models in the X series – X cam and X screen – will debut at MWC 2016 on February 22. The X cam and X screen are designed for customers who “don’t want or need all the bells and whistles” of today’s flagship phones but still want a “great camera or advanced display,” according to LG.

The X cam sports dual rear-facing cameras, with a curved front finish and a 5.2mm profile that weighs in at 118g.

The X screen, meanwhile, is equipped with an Always-on second screen that first made an appearance on LG’s V10 flagship. That 1.76-inch screen sits above a 4.93-inch HD In-cell Touch display for accessing frequently used apps, answering calls, or playing music. The Second Screen also lets users check the time, date, battery status, and other notifications without turning on the main display.

The LG X series will debut in key Asian, European, and Latin American markets next month. Until then, here are the spec sheets:

X cam specs

  • 5.2-inch FHD In-cell Touch display
  • 1.4GHz octa-core processor
  • Cameras: Rear 13MP, 5MP; Front 8MP
  • Memory: 2GB RAM, 16GB internal
  • 2,520mAh battery
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • Dimensions: 5 x 73.6 x 5.2-6.9mm
  • Colors: Silver, White, Gold, Rose Gold

X screen specs

  • 2GHz quad-core processor
  • Cameras: 13MP rear, 8MP front
  • Memory: 2GB RAM, 16GB internal
  • 2,300mAh battery
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • Dimensions: 6 x 71.8 x 7.1mm
  • Colors: Black, White, Rose Gold

Source: LG

TechSummit Rewind #051

Editor’s Note: This is the TechSummit Rewind, a semi-daily recap of the top technology headlines.

Apple reports quarterly profit of $18.4 billion, its largest in history

Apple China Android

Apple generated a profit of $18.4 billion in its Q1 2016 on $75.9 billion in revenue. That’s the company’s largest profit in history.

Revenue was down in Japan and the Americas, with big growth in China being the only reason Apple’s revenue hasn’t already begun to decline. The 74.78 million iPhones sold in the quarter was basically flat year-over-year, while iPad sales declined 21 percent from 2015 with 16.1 million sold in the last three months of the year. Mac sales were down three percent from last year to 5.31 million.

Services, consisting of things like the App Store, iCloud, AppleCare, and Apple Pay, grew 26 percent year over year to $6.05 billion. Other Products, which includes the Apple Watch and Apple TV, grew its revenue 62 percent year-over-year, to bring in $4.3 billion during the quarter.

The Cupertino, CA-based company noted that there were over a billion active users across iOS devices within the last days. Apple also noted that Apple TV and Apple Watch received record sales during the quarter.

Twitter appoints Leslie Berland as CMO

Leslie Berland

Twitter has appointed former American Express executive Leslie Berland as its CMO.

Berland was previously American Express’ executive VP of global advertising, marketing and digital partnerships.

Inbox by Gmail gets smarter search with quick answer cards

Inbox by Gmail

Inbox by Gmail got updated today to make it easier for users to find information like addresses, membership numbers, and package tracking numbers in emails.

The app will now pop up a small card with a quick answer instead of just a list of emails.

For example, if you want to find your United frequent flier number because you don’t have it memorized. Inbox will look at your emails and try to find that number, so it can be displayed in a quick answer box.

According to Google, this is essentially powered by the same technology the app uses to build its trip bundles. Inbox will dish out quick answer cards for searches about addresses, phone numbers, membership numbers, flights, events, bills, package tracking “and more.”

Microsoft launches News Pro iOS app

Microsoft News Pro

Microsoft has unveiled News Pro, a news application that resembles Apple’s built-in News app. The app aims to offer readers a personalized experience by connecting them to articles that match their current interests, while uncovering other sites and stories they may like.

News Pro is powered by Bing News, with an interface personalized by social networks. Users can sign in with either their LinkedIn or Facebook account to have the home feed update with stories matched for them.

A separate section of the mobile app lets you customize which topics and industries you want to track. The tab is divided into two sections, “Browse” and “Pilot” – the latter offers the ability to toggle off or on Browse’s topic choices laid out in a grid format using small thumbnail images.

Users can also like and comment on stories in the app.

The app’s Speedy Mode option presents a stripped down version of an article that’s similar to iOS app SmartNews.

Slack forms Search, Learning & Intelligence group for ‘mining chat corpus’


Team communication app Slack has hired Foursquare executive Noah Weiss to head up the company’s new Search, Learning & Intelligence Group in its New York office.

“The focus is on building features that make Slack better the bigger the company is and the more it uses Slack. The success of the group will be measured in how much more productive, informed, and collaborative Slack users get – whether a company has 10, 100, or 10,000 people.”

-Noah Weiss; Slack search, learning & intelligence group head

Weiss is looking for people well versed in artificial intelligence, natural language processing, and information retrieval to mine the “chat corpus.”

Periscope integrates with GoPro for live streaming video


Periscope has announced an integration with GoPro allowing users to broadcast to their followers from the action camera maker’s Hero 4 Black and Hero 4 Silver cameras. This’ll allow Periscope to recognize a GoPro whenever one is connected, the app gives users the option of broadcasting from the camera.

Periscope users can toggle the broadcast to feed from the iPhone or the GoPro, while continuing to see on-screen chat on their phones. Or, the app offers a new switch to “freeze” the iPhone screen so users can put it in their pocket while continuing to broadcast. The GoPro will save video recorded during the broadcast to the camera’s SD card.

Lyft taps Waze to make rides more efficient


Lyft has announced a partnership with Google-owned Wave to use the app’s Transport SDK and match drivers with another pickup on the way to a destination. This should theoretically cut down on wait times once you hail a vehicle in the app.

“As the first and only ridesharing company to incorporate Waze’s latest advancements, we can make routing and rides even more efficient, which benefits everyone on the Lyft platform. Lyft and Waze share a similar vision for a future with less congestion, and we couldn’t be happier to be working with them closely to make that a reality.”

-Oliver Hsiang, Lyft VP of business development

Waze will become the default navigation method for drivers with a Return to Lyft button for easy access to the app’s controls.

Firefox 44 arrives with push notifications sites can send after users close page


Mozilla has launched Firefox 44 for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android with push notifications, the removal of RC4 encryption, and new developer tools.

The updated browser is available now here on desktop, and all existing users should be able to upgrade to it automatically. The Android version is trickling out on Google Play.

Unlike Firefox’s existing web notifications, you can receive push notifications even when the website isn’t loaded in a tab.

“This is super useful for websites like email, weather, social networks and shopping, which you might check frequently for updates.”


The company is promising that Firefox users will need to first grant explicit permission before receiving these push notifications. These notifications can be managed by clicking the green lock icon on the address bar’s left side.

Furthermore, Mozilla is making these three privacy promises for the feature:

  1. To prevent cross-site correlations, every website receives a different, anonymous Web Push identifier for your browser.
  2. To thwart eavesdropping, paylords are encrypted to a public/private keypair held only by your browser.
  3. Firefox only connects to the Push Service if you have an active Web Push subscription. This could be to a website, or to a browser feature like Firefox Hello or Firefox Sync.

Developers are getting new visual editing and memory management tools.

The Page Inspector’s animation panel makes it easy to scrub, pause, and visualize each animation on a webpage. You can switch between a global view of every animation, drill down to just a few nodes, or pick a specific animation and use the visual cubic-bezier editor to ensure it moves just the way you like. A similar CSS filter editor allows you to visually add, remove, reorder, and adjust filters with live feedback from the page.

You can also now enable pixel rulers along page margins and use the new measurement tool to drag-and-measure arbitrary regions of the page. The Inspector now defaults to displaying CSS colors “as authored,” an eyedropper tool lets you pick colors right from the page, and shift-clicking on a color swatch cycle between authored styles and equivalent hex, rgb, and hsl values.

The new Memory tool helps front-end engineers understand and optimize the way pages allocate and retain memory. It takes a snapshot of the heap and allows you to drill down by retained object type, allocation stack, or internal representation.

On Android, Firefox 44 adds support for the Android print service.

LG planning two flagship phones for 2016 after fourth quarter mobile loss


LG has announced its Q4 2015 earnings, revealing that the mobile division loss money despite the company’s overall growth and profitability.

The company managed to sell 15.3 million smartphones globally in the fourth quarter, rounding up its 2015 total to 59.7 million units. Fourth quarter sales were up 12% compared to the third quarter, thanks to strong performance in North America.

According to LG, they will launch two new flagship phones and a “more cost-competitive value chain” in 2016.

Sony merges PlayStation businesses into US-based Sony Interactive Entertainment


Sony has merged the PlayStation business into the newly-founded Sony Interactive Entertainment. As of April 1, SIE will be run by president and CEO Andrew House from San Mateo, Calif. The company brings the hardware and software units of Sony Computer Entertainment and the PlayStation Network services run by Sony Network Entertainment International under one roof. Local arms will also be set up in London and Tokyo.

“By integrating the strengths of PlayStation’s hardware, software, content and network operations, SIE will become an even stronger entity, with a clear objective to further accelerate the growth of the PlayStation business. Along with our business partners, SIE will develop pioneering services and products that will continue to inspire consumers’ imaginations and lead the market. We will work hard to maximize corporate value by coordinating global business operations across San Mateo, Tokyo, and London by leveraging local expertise.”

-Andrew House, Sony Interactive Entertainment president & CEO

“It has become important for both SCE and SNEI to unify their business strengths under one entity with a single focus.”


According to Sony, the two former companies will “combine resources across their hardware, software, content and fast-growing network businesses, positioning [SIE] for enhanced competitiveness, continued expansion and market leadership in all areas.”

LG teams with Amazon to offer streaming HDR on webOS

LG has announced the launch of High Dynamic Range (HDR) streaming on the company’s 2015 4K OLED TVs, allowing customers to enjoy HDR quality streaming from the Amazon Video app through the company’s webOS Smart TV platform.

“By partnering with Amazon to deliver HDR content on LG’s OLED TV, we are confident we can deliver the best viewing experience available on a TV today for HDR content. The streaming content market has grown enormously in the last few years, and our partnership will bring the best in picture quality to more consumers.”

-Lee In-kyu; LG Home Entertainment Company TV & Monitor division senior vice president, head

Amazon originals Transparent, Mozart in the Jungle, and the pilot episode of Red Oaks are now available to stream on these TVs in the US, UK, Ger,any, and Austria..

Source: LG

TechSummit Rewind #041

Editor’s Note: This is the TechSummit Rewind, a daily recap of the top technology headlines.

Flickr wants you to explore photos in VR


There could come a time when you’re flipping through vacation photos while wearing a VR headset. At the XOXO Festival in Portland, OR, Flickr is showing off an early preview of a virtual reality experience that it hopes will become part of the Yahoo-owned photo service.

The demo was conducted with a Oculus DK 2 hooked up to a PC, with the idea that you’ll be able to use the headset with 360-degree panoramic photos.

Flickr’s only been working on this for a couple of weeks, according to Flickr front-end architect Bertrand Fan. The plan right now is to add a VR headset link/button at every page with a 360-degree photo, so if you happen to have a VR headset lying around, you can try the VR experience out. As of now, the VR demo only works with the Oculus, but Fan hopes to integrate it with the Gear VR and other VR headsets as well.

Eventually, there’ll eventually be an Explore Section on Flickr devoted to 360-degree panoramas.

However, Fan wants it to be possible for you to browse through your library and even organize your photos into albums by waving your hands. The initial stages of Flickr VR are hoped to come to the general public by early next year, according to Fan.

Twitter teams with Square to make donations to political candidates on social network

Twitter-Square donations

Twitter is making it easier for its users to actively support political candidates and their causes.

The San Francisco-based company has teamed up with Square to allow users to make donations directly to U.S. candidates through a Tweet starting today.

Candidates can sign up for an account through Square Cash, selecting “Business” account, and then emailing campaigns@squareup.com to notify Square of their registration.

  • Once a campaign has been verified by Square, it can Tweet a $Cashtag (unique URL) to request donations from supporters
  • The tweet will automatically include an image with a “contribute” button for people to donate directly.

When donors see a tweet containing a candidate’s $Cashtag and hit the “contribute” button, the Tweet will enable you to select a donation amount and add your debit card and FEC required information

You’ll then have the option to tweet the candidate’s $Cashtag to your followers or return to where you were in Twitter.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 packs 600Mbps LTE, smarter charging

Qualcomm Snapdragon 820

Qualcomm has revealed that its future Snapdragon 820 chip will include 600Mbps LTE-Advanced, to blow past the previous 450Mbps record. It’ll upload at a brisk 150Mbps, too, and the chip is the first to support unlicensed LTE. You’ll also be able to use multi-gigabit 802.11ad WiFi.

According to the San Diego, CA-based company, the Snapdragon 820 is focused on intelligent fast charging rather than raw performance. Its new Quick Charge 3.0 spec is up to 27% faster than refilling your battery, but the big deal is an algorithm that saves energy during those rapid-fire recharges. Compared to Quick Charge 2.0, you’re losing up to 45% less power which could add up over the typical life of a phone or table. The 3.0 implementation is also better at choosing the exact voltage you need, thus reducing the risk that you’ll overheat your devices or shorten your device’s lifespan.

Like the Snapdragon 820 itself, you’ll have to wait for most of this technology to show up next year. However, some is coming sooner. The Snapdragon 617 mid-range chip with eight cores and 300Mbps LTE will support Quick Charge 3.0 when it arrives at the end of 2015. This tech will also reach a slew of other Snapdragons like the eight-core, 150Mbps budget 430 chip due next spring, as well as the previously mentioned 618 and 620.

Ola raising over $500M at $5B valuation


India-based transportation app Ola has raised over $500 million at a $5 billion valuation, with $225 million committed so far.

LG having event on October 1st


LG has sent out invitations to an October 1st event in New York.

Facebook will work with Germany to combat anti-refugee hate speech


Facebook will work with the German government to crack down on hate speech and xenophobia online, after the country’s justice minister called for the Menlo Park, CA-based company to do more to combat hateful speech on refugees. According to the Wall Street Journal, Facebook will work with Germany’s justice ministry, internet service providers, and other social networks to form a taskforce aimed at flagging and removing hateful content quicker. Facebook also pledged to help finance organizations that track online hate speech.

“The idea is to better identify content that is against the law and remove it faster from the web.”

-Heiko Maas, Germany justice minister

Appeals court strikes blow for fair use in copyright ruling

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit has issued a ruling that found Universal Music Group’s view of fair use as flawed.

The record labor must face a trial over whether it wrongfully sent a copyright takedown notice over a 2007 YouTube video of a toddler dancing to a Prince song. Stephanie Lenz, the toddler’s mother, acquired pro bono counsel from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). The San Francisco, CA-based organization sued Universal in 2007, saying that its takedown practices violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

The judges ruled that copyright holders “must consider the existence of fair use before sending a takedown notification.”

“Fair use is uniquely situated in copyright law so as to be treated differently than traditional affirmative defenses.”

-Richard Tallman, US circuit judge

Universal will now have to face a trial over whether it “knowingly misrepresented” its “good faith belief the video was not authorized by law.” Copyright owners “must consider fair use before sending a takedown notification [before forming that] good faith belief,” according to the judges.

To be successful at trial, Universal has to show that it considered fair use before sending the notice.

The fair use consideration doesn’t have to be “searching or intensive,” according to Tallman.

“A copyright holder who pays lip service to the consideration of fair use by claiming it formed a good faith belief when there is evidence to the contrary is still subject to 512(f) liability.”

-The opinion

“I disagree that there is any material dispute about whether Universal considered fair use. Universal knew it had not considered fair use, and therefore knew it lacked a basis to conclude that the video was infringing.”

-Milan Smith, U.S. circuit judge

Dow Jones strikes chord with Symphony

Symphony, the Palo Alto, CA-based company behind a messaging tool backed by some of Wall Street’s biggest banks, has struck a deal with Dow Jones to offer news content in its service.

Symphony has received support from Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, and other Wall Street banks.

Google broke Russian antitrust laws


Google has violated Russian antitrust laws by requiring manufacturers to pre-install its services on their devices, according to the local antitrust authority.

“It’s a violation that Google required equipment makers to pre-install its services, including search, to get the Google Play application store on their devices.”

-Vladimir Kudryavtsev, Russia Federal Anti-Monopoly Service IT department head

The regulator will have detailed instructions on how to remedy the problem for Google within 10 days, according to Kudryavtsev.

“This is good news for Yandex, which has been losing market share as smartphones powered by Google’s Android gained popularity. A lot of users have been using Google services by default, and Yandex may get a chance to win them back.”

-Konstantin Belov, UralSib Capital analyst

LG launches Tone Active Bluetooth headset

LG will begin rolling out the LG Tone Active Bluetooth headset in North American and Korea this month, followed by “key markets” in Europe, CIS, Asia, and Latin America throughout the third quarter.

The Tone Active is water and sweat resistant with earbuds that fully retract into the headset. The headset also fits “snugly around the neck for a secure fit” when “running or jogging.”

With Quad-Layer Speaker Technology and a Digital MEMS microphones, LG Tone Active users will get “robust bass, crisp treble, less distortion on high frequencies, and exceptional voice clarity” for hassle-free conversations.

“Our designers saw an opportunity to expand on the LG Tone series with a headset that will pair perfectly with people’s daily, active routines. Our newest Tone Active isn’t just for exercising, they’re perfect for anyone who’s constantly on the move, whether at home, work, or at the gym. Tone Active was designed to be the ultimate wireless solution to withstand any and all activities.”

-Seo Young-jae, LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company Innovative Personal Devices vice president

The Tone Active comes in lime, orange, blue, and pink.

Source: LG