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Thursday, 31 July 2014

The Taiwanese Fair Trade Commission (FTC) has fined Chinese smartphone company Xiaomi a total of NTD600,000 (around $20,000) for false advertising over the number of units that were sold in some of its flash sales that went on in Taiwan. The authority found that in three of its flash sales in December last year, Xiaomi had sold less units than it claimed to have in stock.

Outside of its home market, Xiaomi employs a flash sales model for its products, where a set number of products are offered at a specific date. The amount of products are usually in the thousands, but more often than not they are not enough to satisfy market demand. As a result, these products always sell out within minutes, sometimes seconds, after they are put on sale.

The Taiwanese authorities found that in three separate flash sales held in Taiwan last December, where the company sold a set number of the popular Redmi smartphone, the total units sold were lower than the amount Xiaomi had claimed. The commission’s investigations revealed that in each of the three flash sales, Xiaomi sold anywhere between 508 to 661 Redmi phones less than the company claimed, totalling 1780 devices less than advertised.

The FTC also found that a huge chunk of the devices – 1750 in total – that were not sold in the flash sale were actually reserved and sold to those who had F-codes, which Xiaomi gives away as prizes in contests as well as in its MIUI forums. That still leaves a grand total of 30 Redmi phones which were not sold, which remains an offense for the Fair Trade Commission.

Shortly after the FTC’s announcement, the company posted an apology poster on its official Weibo account. In true Xiaomi fashion, the poster itself had a cheeky overtone, showing a child facepalming himself, with an apology with a breakdown of the units sold in the three flash sales.

Re-post from : lowyat.net

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Thursday, 24 July 2014

There is now concrete evidence that Google Now is a better assistant than Siri. An experiment has shown that Google Now had the edge over Siri by answering 86% of all the questions heard correctly compared to the 84% by Siri.

Gene Munster, an analyst of Piper Jaffray conducted a side-by-side comparison between Apple’s Siri and Google Now. With 800 questions being thrown at the two voice assistants, half of which were carried out outdoors and the other half indoors. The question were centred on five categories – local information, commerce, navigation, general information, and OS commands.

It was calculated that Siri uses Google’s database to answer 3% of all questions compared to 27% from a previous analysis in December 2012 by Munster. Instead of Google, Siri used Bing as a default search engine and Apple Maps for navigation queries. Only 4% of the questions were answered by Siri alone.

“We believe Siri will continue increasing the number of queries it can answer without consulting outside sources,” said Munster. He added that this is important as users would be more likely to simply use Google or other search engine if Siri consistently directs them away from itself.

It is not all bad for Siri as it did well in the competition by gathering data from multiple sources and arranging results based on rating or distance. Siri has improved with a grade of B- as compared to a C+ from the previous competition.

The new test demonstrated Google Now’s ability to pull off a better navigation searches, along with local and general information. Siri on the other hand had the lead at interpreting OS commands such as a request to play a song.

For the final result, Google took a grade of B, triumphing over Siri. Munster claims that Google will further improve at interpreting OS commands in conjunction with the release of voice compatible devices such as the Google Wear watches and the Moto X.

[Source: Appleinsider]

Re-post from : lowyat.net

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Update: We included a comparison of the Xiaomi Mi 4 and Mi 3 so hit the break to check it out.

How many of you are impressed with the Xiaomi announcements earlier today? Its flagship smartphone, the Mi 4, features some of the latest and most powerful hardware under its 5” hood and what makes it even more attractive is that it comes with a pretty affordable price tag – starting from approximately RM1,099.

Update: Mi 4 vs. Mi 3

Here’s a comparison of the Xiaomi Mi 3 and the Mi 4. It seems that quite a number of people are saying that the price difference of RM769 (Mi 3) and RM1,099 (16GB Mi 4) is too much for a device that features such little upgrade. Let us know what you think in the comments below. Do note though, the Xiaomi Mi 3 also retailed at 1,999yuan during its grand debut in China last November so if history repeats itself, 10 months down the road, the Mi 4 might have the same price as the Mi 3 now.

The device, featuring a 5” Full HD JDI OGS full lamination display, is powered by a 2.5Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor with 3GB of RAM and up to 64GB of storage on board, is also equipped with 4G LTE connectivity, a very significant feature missing on the current flagship, the Mi 3.

So, how does the device stack up to the rest of the flagship smartphones in the market? Remember when OnePlus announced its first smartphone ever, they said that the OnePlus One is the 2014 flagship killer? Well, the Mi 4 features similar specs, an affordable price tag, so will the OnePlus One kill the Mi 4 or is the Mi 4 the true 2014 flagship killer?

To find out, we added the Mi 4 into our ever-expanding spec sheet involving the greatest Android flagships this year has to offer.

Personally, although the Mi 4 isn’t even launched into the market yet but Xiaomi is available in more countries, including Malaysia. Even though there isn’t an estimated date before the FD-LTE variant of the Mi 4 will be made available, we shouldn’t have to wait too long before getting one. OnePlus on the other hand is still very limited and we don’t even know if they’ll be launched in this side of the world. So, even though the Mi 4 is more expensive than the OnePlus One (the Mi 4 starts from about USD$322 while the OnePlus costs only USD$299), I still think that Xiaomi will cause a bigger damage on other flagship smartphones with its price tag compared to OnePlus.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.

Re-post from : lowyat.net

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A new microwave may soon be able to tell you the precise calorie count of food that goes inside. That's good news for health nuts who microwave a lot, though they're perhaps a small niche group. For microwavers who aren't that into fitness, though, it could be a bit unsettling. It might not be as easy to ignore as the panel on the back of that box of frozen processed food you're about to nuke.

While the ever-expanding class of wearable fitness devices out there can tell users how many calories they've burned while undertaking any particular activity, realistic estimates of calories taken in have been few and far between.
Enter a new microwave oven currently in the works at GE Global Research that will tell users just how much energy is included in the meal they're about to consume.
"We are developing advanced sensor technology to make estimation of dietary calories in food as simple as the touch of a button," said Matt Webster, a cell biologist at GE working on diagnostics, imaging and biomedical technologies.

GE's team, in collaboration with Baylor University's Electrical & Computer Engineering Department, has combined devices that use advanced sensor technology to estimate the fat content, water content and weight of the food in question in order to automatically calculate dietary calories.

Currently GE has just an early prototype, but "we are hopeful that further development of this technology will result in a push-button device that will provide calorie content of your meal in an instant," Webster said.

Neither pricing nor availability information was provided.

"That looks rather convenient," Roger Kay, principal analyst at Endpoint Technologies Associates, told TechNewsWorld. "If they get a nice price point on it, like (US)$249, they might sell quite a few to health-conscious households."

'Are the Serving Sizes the Same?'

Some 100 million people are dieting in the United States alone, Webster noted, and "more than 80 percent prefer a do-it-yourself approach."
Although there are numerous apps to help track the user's consumption, they're largely guesswork, he pointed out. "How well does that burger you ate match with the burger you selected using an app? Are the serving sizes the same? Do any of the app database entries accurately reflect what you cook at home?"
In fact, automatic calorie estimation for foods actually consumed does not yet exist, Webster asserted. "The solution may be to use advanced sensor technology to measure the actual meal that you eat, rather than relying on an archived database of values."
To assess the three key dimensions for its estimates -- fat content, water content and weight -- GE's team is developing electronics and sensors that use microwaves to look for fat and water signatures.
"You can do this because water and fat interact with microwaves very differently," Webster explained.

'It Could Be the Start of a Broader Initiative'

"Until now, we've seen many devices focused on caloric output but very few focused on caloric input, which is often the more important determinant of weight gain or loss," Ross Rubin, a principal analyst with Reticle Research, told TechNewsWorld. "Adding this functionality to a microwave oven may be one way to differentiate a mature product."
Of course, "we don't microwave everything we eat -- hopefully," Rubin pointed out.
So, "it could be the start of a broader initiative to integrate the functionality into other major appliances, such as refrigerators and ovens that store and cook our food," he suggested. "Or there may be other options such as plates and cups -- such as the Vessyl container -- that can complement or provide such a complete picture.
"The necessary diversity of these products is one reason why the major ecosystem vendors such as Google and Apple are integrating fitness and health-oriented measure-aggregation services and apps into their smartphones," Rubin added.

'The Long-Term Benefits Could Be Huge'

"It's an interesting concept, but it's still a lab concept," Steve Blum, president of Tellus Venture Associates, pointed out.
Still, the development "points to two things," Blum told TechNewsWorld.
"First, consumer goods manufacturers are looking at ways to combine sensors, connectivity and powerful server-side processing to deliver rapid, granular data to people on a routine basis," he said. "Everything around us is measurable, and creating devices that can automatically gather that data and send it on for processing -- make it meaningful -- is rapidly becoming commonplace."
Second, "and more particularly, giving people accurate readings of the calories they're consuming -- as well as, with Fitbit-type devices, what they're burning -- is a big step toward real-time health management rather than disease detection," Blum explained. "The long-term benefits could be huge."

'They'll Need to See Short-Term Benefits'

What remains to be seen is whether consumers want that much information, and whether they'll integrate it into their daily lives, added Blum.
"It seems like a great thing, at first, but in order for people to adopt it on an ongoing basis, they'll need to see clear and consistent short-term benefits, too," he pointed out.
"Tastier meals, easier preparation, painless cleanup are all possibilities. If people save time and effort, or get a better immediate result from the same effort, they'll want to use this kind of gizmo over and over again," he reasoned.
"If it reduces the time and effort to do daily tasks and makes life simpler, new technology like this will take off in the consumer market," Blum concluded. "If it just adds an additional step to existing chores, it'll end up in the back of the cupboard quickly." 

Re-post from: technewsworld.com  (By Katherine Noye)

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Wednesday, 23 July 2014

In 1914 optical engineer Oskar Barnack was working for Ernst Leitz when he designed the very first Leica, the Leitz Camera, or so-called Ur-Leica. The small handheld camera, one of the first to use 35mm film, finally went into production in 1925 following a long delay caused by World War One. It went on to revolutionise photography in the hands of the first photojournalists who set out to record the world on the brink of change.
Today the German company produces a range of digital and film based cameras and a new purpose built factory at Leitz Park in Wetzlar, the town where the Leica was born, is being inaugurated.
Here photojournalist Tom Stoddart, who works with a Leica camera, shares his thoughts on a number of classic photographs as well as the background behind his own favourite image.
Interview conducted by Stephen Evans. Photofilm by Phil Coomes.
Photographs courtesy Tom Stoddart/Reportage by Getty Images with additional pictures from Associated Press, Alfred Eisenstaedt, Yevgeni Khaldei, Leica Camera, Jeff Mermelstein, Rex Features and from Magnum Photos: Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Elliott Erwitt, Thomas Hoepker, Josef Koudelka and Marc Riboud.
Music by KPM Music.

Re-post from : bbc.com 
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eneloop was first launched in Japan in November 2005 under Sanyo Electric. The batteries are on sale in over 60 different countries worldwide; with cumulative unit shipments having passed the 300million mark (as of March 2014).

In year 2009 and 2010 Panasonic acquired Sanyo Electric, but the plan to take over Sanyo has been stalled due to delays in obtaining approval from antitrust bodies in the United States and China on concerns over the size of the two firms’ combined share of the global nickel-hydrogen battery market. So in order to complete this take over, Sanyo Electric have agreed to sell assets related to Sanyo’s portable Ni-MH battery business including a premier manufacturing plant in Japan to Fujitsu-subsidiary FDK as part of an agreement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The move was required by FTC to preserve competition in Ni-MH battery production for portable electronics and other devices.

The deal has already been approved by the Japan Fair Trade Commission and most recently by the European Commission on condition that Sanyo reduce some of its battery production facilities.
The Osaka-based manufacture is expected to sell Sanyo Energy Twicell Co., the only unit that makes nickel metal hydride batteries under the “eneloop” brand and other rechargeable batteries for use in computers and game consoles. Sanyo Energy Tottori Co., another unit that makes cylindrical lithium batteries, will also be sold to FDK.

So as of 2014, FDK produce the following Fujitsu brand of low self discharge rechargeable battery line up for the Malaysian market :

Fujitsu Rechargeable AA Ni-MH battery (typical 2000mAh, min 1900mAh)

Fujitsu Rechargeable AA Ni-MH battery (typical 2550mAh, min 2450mAh)

The eneloop's has gone through the identity change under the Panasonic brand. Their new product lineup will come in three (3) different standards namely – “eneloop pro”, "eneloop standard" and “eneloop lite” 

Comparison both battery

FUJITSU (Typ. 2000mAh)
PANASONIC eneloop Standard
Retains 70% of capacity after 5 years of storage once fully charged.
(Low Self Discharge Rate)
Retains 70% of capacity after 5 years of storage once fully charged.
(Low Self Discharge Rate)
Ready to use battery
(pre-charged by solar power)
Ready to use battery
(pre-charged by solar power)
Able to perform in cold temperature
(-20 degree Celsius)
Able to perform in cold temperature
(-20 degree Celsius)
Recharge cycle : 1800 times
*(2100 times coming soon)
Recharge cycle : 2100 times
Made in JAPAN
Made in CHINA

Hence with the new ownership and also challenger into the Low Discharge Battery category from Panasonic and also Fujitsu we will now wonder which battery brand can out perform each other in terms of quality, performance and durability.

Panasonic eneloop – Back Packing

Fujitsu Battery – Back Packing

1. http://www.thefreelibrary.com/2ND+LD%3A+Sanyo+to+sell+some+battery+operations+to+Fujitsu+unit.-a0211000267

2. http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20140325005697/en/#.U89pjPmSxqV

3. http://ecocell.com.au/ecocell-info-fujitsu-ready-to-use.html

4. http://www.twice.com/news/news/panasonicsanyo-divest-nimh-battery-operations-fdk/18313

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Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Official Specifications:
Typical Capacity  : 2000mAh
Min. Capacity      : 1900mAh
Nominal voltage   : 1.2V
Life cycles           : up to 1800 times
Self-Discharge     : approx. 70% capacity after  5 years

Maximum temperature raise at different discharge currents: 1A:+1,1°C, 2A:+2,9°C, 3A:+4,8°C, 5A:+9,9°C, 7A:+14,2°C, 10A:+19,7°C
This cell is made by the same manufacturer that makes the Eneloop batteries by Takasaki Twicell Factory(FDK Corporation).

These cells has exactly same performance as the newest Eneloop batteries, i.e. a very good performance.

Notes and links:
How is the test done and how to read the charts (http://lygte-info.dk/info/Batteries2012Info%20UK.html)

Compare to other AA/AAA batteries: Alkaline/NiMH/Lithium (http://lygte-info.dk/review/batteries2012/CommonAAcomparator.php)

From Apple's Siri to Google Now, from cell phones to car systems, there are a lot of manufacturers have announced that they launched a personal digital assistant, but these are digital assistant software, features mostly based speech recognition commands, as well as natural language interpretation and wisdom to do the reaction of the corresponding call APP. Now there is a new company launched Jibo, not only have the same software features, but there is like coming out of the body from the cartoon "WALL."

Had in the Siri iPhone on launch after setting off a lot of topics, but everyone's favorite thing to do with it or in the above dialogue, and then see what it will answer kuso answer. Use voice assistant biggest problem is that you still have to hold the hands of smart phones have, in most circumstances, you will have at least one hand can not do things.

JIBO design object as "home assistant", just like the other partners, like digital assistants, when you call its name, it will start the program began to distinguish your voice commands. It has two cameras, you can identify and record the faces of all members of the family as well as sound, and also built-in speaker can be read out a message sent over.

Thanks to the body, it becomes a function can be a lot more than just "soul" of other digital assistant, in the released film can be seen, in addition to its face beyond recognition, but also as a home photography assistant, can detect human faces and pictures, you do not need to hold the phone self-timer.

You can also download the APP to JIBO extensions, you can see from the release of the movie, it can help children to read fairy tales, or his family for bread when cooking advice, help control home appliances when someone back home. But most importantly, because it has a body, although only a head will turn, and with the screen display mood symbol, but for family members, the number of assistants went from originally only phone an APP, evolved into a true object.

According to information released by manufacturers, Jibo by adding hardware, can be applied in six main areas:

See: two cameras can identify and track human faces, pictures, start a video call.
Listen: 360-degree microphone can recognize natural language, talk with Jibo.
Learning: artificial intelligence algorithms will correct recognition results, the more you use the more intelligent.
Assistant: to achieve digital assistant functions.
Speak: no hand can send reminders and messages.
Contact: through natural social and emotional symbols to communication and expression

In addition, JIBO there to launch mobile app, you can install on your phone (Android, iOS) on, so that the information on your phone can also be aggregated to Jibo, so what happened to you happened outside the home Jibo will be wise to master. In order to let more people can join the ranks of JIBO, the designer knew they introduced software alone is not enough, so there are launched JIBO Developer Edition, software designers and can go to JIBOAlive Forum discussion above.

Currently JIBO being indiegogo fundraising above, the final book is priced at $ 499, can be shipped in 2015.

News From : Techbang

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The Lowepro Passport Sling III is a shoulder bag that Lowepro claim is made for travel. Part of the Passport series, a rucksack and messenger bag are also available in the same range. The bag is designed to hold either a DSLR with extra lens or smaller CSC camera and lens, along with travel essentials. It is available in black, or grey and orange. Here, we take a look at the grey and orange version.

Lowepro Passport Sling III Features
The Passport Sling III is designed to be discreet, protective and versatile for your camera kit and easy to grab travel essentials. The bag features two medium and one large external pocket, which are ideal for sunglasses, water bottles and easy access to documentation like your passport.

There is an adjustable shoulder strap with removable shoulder pad, and the main compartment of the bag has two zip access. Loops on the zips make them easy to operate.

The bag is extendable, by way of a zip on the side which when unzipped allows an extra fold of fabric to be released, increasing interior storage by 30%.

In the main compartment there is a padded tablet pocket, and an impact resistant removable camera insert which adjusts to fit a variety of cameras and lenses. When this is removed the bag can be used as an everyday shoulder bag. There is also a zipped mesh side pocket.

Key Features

  • Holds a DSLR or CSC camera and one lens/ flash unit
  • Internal storage can extend by 30%
  • Adjustable strap
  • Padded tablet pocket
  • Room for personal belongings and accessories 
  • Removable camera insert

Lowepro Passport Sling III Handling & Performance

The Passport Sling III is a lightweight bag that is easy to access and comfortable to wear. It can be worn over the left or right shoulder, and you can have the taller part of the bag to the back or front of you by flipping it around. 

The outside pockets are convenient for water bottles and other non valuable accessories, as because they don't zip it would be relatively easy to someone to lift valuables out of the pockets. The mesh zipped pocket inside the bag will be the best place for small valuables. 

The camera insert itself is easily altered to suit the needs of your kit. It comes with one divider, allowing you to fit the camera in snugly leaving room for another lens. We managed to fit a compact system camera  (CSC) with a mid-range lens attached and an extra lens in the bag with no issues, and there was still plenty of room for personal accessories, around and on top of the insert.

The bag is comfy to wear with kit and doesn't weigh too much meaning you can wear it across your body or over one shoulder with no issues.  

The fact that the insert lifts fully out is handy, allowing you to leave the kit in the inset in a hotel safe if you wish and use the bag for general exploring. The ability to extend the bag is handy too and allows you to compact things like lightweight coats if they are added to the bag when it's extended.

The strap altering mechanism is a little strange, as instead of the usual buckle style, there is a pull up clip. If you want the strap shorter, you're left with a loop of strap that has to be tucked into a loop in the front pocket

The Passport Sling Available for Two Colour in Malaysia Market 


Grey Colour : 

For More Info about this Bag visit : http://www.lowepro.com/passportsling

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