India May Get 5G Networks With the Rest of the World: Telecom Secretary

India stands a chance to get 5G technology with the rest of the world as the country enters an era of Internet of Things (IoT), Telecom Secretary J S Deepak said in Bengaluru on Wednesday.

“…We got 2G 25 years after the rest of the world, at least after the developed world. We got 3G more than a decade after it became ubiquitous in US, Europe. 4G may be, five years after its global launch. In 5G, we have the chance of being there with the rest of the world,” Deepak said.

He added that the probable simultaneous launch of 5G in India along with the rest of the world could be from bridging the gap that had prevailed and the country might as well take a step forward and acquire a leadership position in certain areas as it enters into an era of Internet of Things with connected devices and machines.

India May Get 5G Networks With the Rest of the World: Telecom Secretary

Deepak was speaking after inaugurating the first edition of ‘IoT India Congress’ that aims to bring together key stakeholders across the value chain and verticals to collaborate.

“The IoT, which is estimated to have…something like 50 billion connected devices in the next 5-6 years, will unleash a business opportunity for India, at least of USD 15 billion,” he said.

In a recorded video address to the Congress, Union Minister for Electronics and IT, Ravi Shankar Prasad said, IoT is important because connected devices are going to become the order of the day.

“IoT is important more for the poor, for the farmers, for healthcare, for education sectors, to make the quality of life better…,” the Minister said. Deepak said a very ‘vibrant’ IoT ecosystem would be seen in India very soon.

The Department of Telecom has come out with a machine- to-machine (M2M) roadmap which seeks to synergise regulators, bodies involved in development of standards, manufacturers and perspective users so that associated industries could benefit.

Pointing out the initiatives like Telecommunications Standards Development Society India and others by the Department of Telecom, he said “Leveraging technology is an objective which pervades the whole of government. The Department of IT has developed an IoT policy which is in the draft stage and under consultation…”

Stating that there is lot of work in progress like KYC norms for SIM embedded M2M devices, 13 digits numbering scheme for IoT – for SIM embedded M2M devices, he said, “The Department of Telecom has requested the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India for recommendations in the area of quality of service standards of international roaming system and requirement of additional spectrum for an IoT ecosystem in India.

“As soon as the recommendations are received we hope to come out with specific decisions…” he said.

Xiaomi Mi Note 2 Spotted on Certification Site; Now Tipped to Launch on September 14

Xiaomi Mi Note 2 has seen its fair share of leaks in last few weeks. After the rendered images of the alleged smartphone were leaked last month, reports now suggest that the smartphone has been certified by Chinese certification authority 3C. This means that the rumoured launch date of September 14 might indeed be true for the Xiaomi smartphone.

Xiaomi Mi Note 2 Spotted on Certification Site; Now Tipped to Launch on September 14

According to a report by Playful Droid, Xiaomi Mi Note 2 has been officially certified by Chinese 3C authority and now only requires Tenaa certification before it can be officially sold in the country.

Past leaks suggest that Xiaomi Mi Note 2 will sport a dual-edge screen (like Samsung Galaxy Note 7) and a dual camera setup at the back. It is expected to come in an all metal body, and pack a 5.5-inch Oled screen.

The smartphone is expected to come in 6GB RAM/ 128GB storage and 6GB RAM/ 64GB storage bundles and is expected to be powered by a Snapdragon 821 chipset. The phone is also suggest to have a USB Type-C port, 3600mAh battery, two speaker grilles, and a fingerprint sensor at the front.

The 64GB variant of the smartphone is expected to be priced around CNY 2,499 (roughly Rs. 25,000) and the 128GB variant is expected to be available for retail at around CNY 2,799 (roughly Rs. 28,000)

iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus Launched

Apple has unveiled the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus at a special event in San Francisco. The latest iPhone models comes with a new design, doing away with the antenna lines, and they will be available in two new colours: (matte) black, jet (glossy) black, in addition to gold, silver, and rose gold, seen earlier.

The iPhone 7 starts at $649 (approximately Rs. 43,000) for 32GB variant, doing away with the 16GB variant, while the iPhone 7 Plus start at $769 (Rs. 51,000), with a $100 premium for the next storage variants for both models: 128GB and 256GB. Pre-orders open this Friday and the new iPhone models will ship on September 13 in select countries. No word yet on India launch price and date.

iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus Launched: Price, Launch Date, Specifications, and More

The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus also feature a redesigned home button, and pack in dust and water resistance, a first for the iPhone series.

There are camera improvements, with the iPhone 7 also getting optical image stabilisation (OIS). There’s a new 6-element f/1.8 aperture lens with 12-megapixel sensor and quad-LED with True Tone Flash. A new 7-megapixel front camera is included as well. The newest iPhone models come with a new image processing image, which, Apple claims, delivers better, faster pictures.

The iPhone 7 Plus packs in the widely rumoured dual rear camera setup – one 56mm telephoto lens and the other wide-angle lens. The bigger iPhone is also capable of 2X optical zoom, with total zoom up to 10x.

The new iPhone models comes with a 25 percent brighter display with a wider colour gambit and improved colour management. The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are powered by a new A10 Fusion 64-bit quad core chip, which is 40 percent faster than the A9, and more power efficient, which means the new models have the “best battery life ever” on an iPhone.

The speakers in iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are stereo – one at the bottom, and one at the top, and twice as loud as their predecessors.

As expected, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus also ditch the headphone jack, which means your existing earphones will not work with the new iPhone models. Apple will use the Lightning port for audio. Each new iPhone model will come with bundled Lightning EarPods, and a Lightning-to-3.5mm audio adapter.

Apple also introduced new AirPods for wireless audio experience, which will not be bundled with the iPhone models. They pair easily with your Apple devices, thanks to the W1 chip inside Apple devices. They are rated to delivery 5 hours of battery life, up to 24 hours with the included charging case that is also used for carrying them around.

Lyf Wind 4S With 4000mAh Battery, 4G VoLTE support Launched at Rs. 7,699

Lyf Wind 4S With 4000mAh Battery, 4G VoLTE support Launched at Rs. 7,699

Just hours after launching the Flame 7S, Reliance Digital’s Lyf has expanded its Wind series portfolio as well in India. The big highlight of the Lyf Wind 4S is the 4000mAh battery, VoLTE support, and a bundled in USB OTG adapter. The smartphone is priced at Rs. 7,699, and will be made available at all Reliance Digital stores.

As far as the specifications go, the Lyf Wind 4S sports a 5-inch HD (720×1820 pixels) IPS display with 5-point multi touch technology. It is powered by a 1.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 MSM8909 quad-core processor paired with Adreno 304 GPU and 2GB of RAM. The smartphone offers 16GB of inbuilt storage, with the option to further via a microSD slot (up to 128GB).

Optics on the Lyf Wind 4S include an 8-megapixel rear sensor with autofocus and LED flash. On the front, there is also a 2-megapixel fixed-focus selfie camera on board. The smartphone’s camera features include ISO, exposure, white balance, anti-banding, zero shutter lag, face detection, HDR mode, red-eye reduction, continuous shot, touch up mode, 6x digital zoom, and panorama shooting.

The Lyf Wind 4S packs a nice 4000mAh battery, which the company claims can offer up to 34 hours of talktime on 4G and up to 634 hours standby time. It supports the light sensor, proximity sensor, and e-compass. The device measures 144.7mmx73mmx9mm and weighs 148 grams. Also, it runs on Android 5.1 Lollipop, and supports dual-SIM dual standby slots (Normal + Micro).

The smartphone will be made available in Black, Blue, and Brown colour variants. It supports various gesture-based functions like double click to wake, slide down to launch camera, and slide up to unlock. Connectivity options include 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi calling, GPS, Micro-USB 2.0, and Bluetooth 4.1.

As mentioned, Lyf is also bundling an USB OTG adapter for easy connection to pen drives. Reliance is offering a one year manufacturer warranty and one year extended warranty on the handset. The extended warranty, however, has to be manually activated through the MyLyf app.

iPhone 7 Launch Jitters See Many Already Waiting for iPhone 8

The iPhone 7 is expected to make its global debut on Wednesday, but many consumers and investors are already setting their sights on Apple Inc’s 2017 version of the popular gadget, hoping for more significant advances.

At its annual product launch in San Francisco on Wednesday, the world’s most valuable publicly traded company is expected by blogs and analysts to reveal an iPhone without a headphone jack, paving the way for wireless headphones, a touch-sensitive home button that vibrates, double-lens cameras for the larger ‘Plus’ edition and other incremental improvements.

iPhone 7 Launch Jitters See Many Already Waiting for iPhone 8

A large crowd of journalists, analysts and Apple employees crowded into the foyer of the Bill Graham auditorium in San Francisco on Wednesday morning ahead of the event, munching French toast sticks and asparagus quiche.

But implied volatility surrounding Apple options was the lowest ahead of an Apple product launch since 2009, indicating options traders are not foreseeing a jolt in the stock price. Shares were down less than 1 percent in midday trade.

Apple typically gives its main product, which accounts for more than half of its revenue, a big makeover every other year and the last major redesign was the iPhone 6, in 2014. The modest updates suggest that this cycle will be three years.

“It looks like part of the reason they are keeping the design the same this year is there are bigger changes they are working on for next year,” said analyst Jan Dawson of Jackdaw Research.

Sales of the iPhone dropped two quarters in a row this year, the first declines in the history of the device. With many consumers who purchased the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus due for an upgrade, Apple may eke out single-digit gains in sales for the 7, Dawson said.

But some consumer technology sites are advising users to hold off on upgrading until next year’s version, which will mark the 10-year anniversary of the iPhone.

Analysts say the iPhone 8 may feature a wider display that reaches from one edge of the device to the other and a home button integrated into the screen.

Wall Street is impatient for growth, and Apple will be hard-pressed to reverse the downward trend this year, said Colin Gillis, an analyst with BGC Partners.

“The iPhone 7 runs the risk of disappointing investors,” he said.

Consumers are waiting longer before replacing their phones, a shift that Apple must address in its product roadmap, said analyst Ben Bajarin of Creative Strategies.

Analysts predict the Apple Watch will be the second closely watched feature of the event. Apple is expected to revamp the wearable, released last year, with a faster processor and a GPS chip, enabling users to track runs and other workouts without their phones. Most analysts believe sales of Apple’s watch – which the company has not disclosed – have not yet justified the fanfare.

Starting at $299, well above many other wearables on the market, the most meaningful change Apple can make is a price cut, Bajarin said.

LG Electronics says to invest in robot technology

South Korea’s LG Electronics Inc said on Sunday it will aggressively invest in robots, seeking to capitalise on advancing artificial intelligence that may eventually lead to sophisticated machines performing everyday human tasks.

LG, in a statement, said its appliances division is preparing the firm’s entry into the robotics industy with the aim to develop products that will work closely with home appliances products such as refrigerators, washers and air conditioning units.

“We will prepare for the future by aggressively investing in smart home, robots and key components and strengthen the home appliances business’s capabilities,” said Jo Seung-jin, head of LG’s appliances business, in the statement.

Advances in fields such as artificial intelligence and wireless communications are allowing for more sophisticated machines that can talk to each other via the internet and perform more complex tasks.

Countries across the world are investing heavily in robotics in hopes to develop a new industry or cope with socioeconomic problems such as low birth rates or an ageing population by introducing machines which can serve humans as cooks, caretakers or labourers.

LG did not elaborate on how much it plans to invest in its push or when it expects to launch robotic products, but the firm said it is exploring a variety of options through the combination of technologies including autonomous driving and artificial intelligence.

MirrorLink Car Smartphone Network Has Vulnerabilities, Claim Researchers

A system of rules that allow vehicles to communicate with smartphones may be vulnerable to hacking, a new study suggests. Many of today’s automobiles leave the factory with secret passengers: prototype software features that are disabled but that can be unlocked by clever drivers, researchers said.

In what is believed to be the first comprehensive security analysis of its kind, researchers at New York University Tandon School of Engineering and George Mason University in the US found vulnerabilities in MirrorLink, a system of rules that allow vehicles to communicate with smartphones.

MirrorLink when unlocked can allow hackers to use a linked smartphone as a stepping stone to control safety-critical components such as the vehicle’s anti-lock braking system.

MirrorLink Car Smartphone Network Has Vulnerabilities, Claim Researchers

Damon McCoy, from the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, explained that “tuners” – people or companies which customise automobiles – might unwittingly enable hackers by unlocking insecure features.

“Tuners will root around for these kinds of prototypes, and if these systems are easy to unlock they will do it,” he said. “And there are publically available instructions describing how to unlock MirrorLink. Just one of several instructional videos on YouTube has gotten over 60,000 views,” McCoy added.

“The researchers used such publically available instructions to unlock MirrorLink on the in-vehicle infotainment system in a 2015 vehicle they purchased from eBay for their experiments,” said McCoy.

The automaker and supplier declined to release a security patch – reflecting the fact that they never enabled MirrorLink. McCoy pointed out that this could leave drivers who enable MirrorLink out on a limb.

MirrorLink is the connection protocol and allows the driver or passenger to control phone apps via the car’s dash and steering wheel controls. Created by the Connected Car Consortium, MirrorLink represents 80 per cent of the world’s automakers, is the first and leading industry standard for connecting smartphones to in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems.

However, some automakers disable it because they chose a different smartphone-to-IVI standard, or because the version of MirrorLink in their vehicles is a prototype that can be activated later.

Microsoft Makes It Easier for Mac Users to Switch From Evernote to OneNote

After unveiling the OneNote Importer tool for Windows in March, Microsoft has now announced that it is also releasing the same tool for OS X users in an attempt to make the transition smooth and hassle-free.

Microsoft announced its battle with Evernote, perhaps the biggest name in the note-taking services market, by launching the OneNote Importer Tool five months ago. Back then, it was announced just for Windows users, but Microsoft had promised a release for Mac in a few months.

Microsoft Makes It Easier for Mac Users to Switch From Evernote to OneNote

Now that Evernote increased the price of its Premium service to $69.99 per year, similar to Office 365 Personal’s yearly plan, Microsoft likely thinks this is the best time to give more users the option to shift if they so preferred. Microsoft notes that Office 365 subscription offers OneNote, Word, Excel, and all the other Office apps, with an additional 1TB of cloud storage.

The OneNote app offers most of the services of Evernote, including the famous Web clipper for all major browsers. The company is also trying to attract Evernote users with a range of premium note-taking features. OneNote, for instance, offers unlimited monthly uploads. In comparison, Evernote only offers 60MB per month to free users. OneNote users can also save emails in their notes and digitise business cards without spending a dime.

Microsoft reveals that about 71 million Evernote pages have been moved to OneNote since the launch of the OneNote Importer Tool in March. Prior to this importing tool, if you wanted to move from Evernote to OneNote, there weren’t many ways to move your content seamlessly. The OneNote Importer tool also takes care of preserving the tags and right format when moving your notes from Evernote.

Microsoft notes that the tool is supported on Mac computers running on OS X 10.11 and above only. The imported files will sync across devices, software platforms (PC, iOS, and Android), and Web browsers for free. Microsoft warns that before importing, users should ensure that the Evernote app is installed on the Mac and all the files are synced for smooth transition. Users can download the OneNote Importer tool from the company site, and follow the step-by-step instructions listed there for the transition.

Millions of Windows PCs Vulnerable to 20-Year-Old Bug

A 20-year-old vulnerability that exists in the Windows Print Spooler process can potentially affect millions of Windows PCs, all the way back to Windows 95. While Microsoft has issued a patch for Windows Vista and later operating systems, earlier versions are still vulnerable.

Millions of Windows PCs Vulnerable to 20-Year-Old Bug

The critical vulnerability is based on the way Windows machines interact with network printers, and could allow an attacker to gain elevated privileges to execute malicious code at the system level over either a local network or even the Internet.

The Windows Print Spooler manages the process of connecting the laptop/ PC to available network-hosted printers. It automatically downloads necessary drivers immediately, to avoid manual hassle, and this failure to authenticate made it possible for attackers to trickle malicious drivers into the mix.

Researchers from Vectra Networks discovered the critical vulnerability (CVE-2016-3238 and CVE-2016-3239), and claims that this failure to authenticate installation of drivers can allow illegitimate and malicious drivers to be downloaded. Once this happens, the entire network could be compromised. “Not only will that unit be able to infect multiple machines in your network, but it would also be able to re-infect [them] over and over. Finding the root cause might be harder since the printer itself might not be your usual suspect. This situation comes to life because we end up delegating the responsibility of holding the driver safely to the printer, and those devices might not be as secure or impregnable as one would hope,” Vectra researcher Nick Beauchesne wrote in a blog post.

Equipped with system-level controls, the malware can spread laterally from one machine across an entire network as well. Vectra added that printers, printer servers, or any network-connected printer into an “internal drive-by exploit kit.” Apart from watering hole attacks, the team detailed privilege escalation exploits, a man-in-the-middle attack, and even the ability to infect other devices over the Internet.

Vectra claims that this vulnerability dates back to as far as Windows 95, and Microsoft’s new patch, detailed in its Security Bulletin MS16-087, rated the vulnerability as critical for all supported Windows versions, and issued a Security Update for Windows Print Spooler Components for Windows Vista and later versions. If you don’t have Windows Update turned on, now is a good time to do so.

Notably, security expert HD Moore informed Ars Technica that the Microsoft security update in fact ‘”doesn’t really close the code-execution hole, but rather it merely adds a warning as part of the update.”

The update doesn’t work for PCs running on Windows XP and earlier, as Microsoft ended support for these versions years ago. This means that millions of PCs are still vulnerable. As such, the malware threat is more susceptible to public printers, or loosely-protected office networks.

Moore adds, “This is mostly a risk for BYOD laptops within a company, folks using personal laptops on public networks, and corporate networks where the group policy explicitly enables this feature. Convincing someone to add a printer might be tricky, but there may be other ways to drive that behaviour through other network attacks, such as by hijacking HTTP requests and telling the user to do so.”

How a Computer Helped a Paralysed Chimp Walk Again

In a first, Japanese researchers have rehabilitated a paralysed chimpanzee through interaction with computers and touch screens.

The case of Reo, a male chimpanzee that learned to walk again after being paralysed due to illness, shows how much can be done to rehabilitate animals injured in captivity, said lead author Yoko Sakuraba of Kyoto University.

How a Computer Helped a Paralysed Chimp Walk Again

Reo’s example suggests that euthanasia does not have to be the only option for injured animals

The case was described in an article in Primates, the official journal of the Japan Monkey Centre published by Springer.

In their normal work, researchers of the Primate Research Institute at Kyoto University use chimpanzees’ interaction with computers and touch screens to study the cognition and perception of these primates.

When Reo was paralysed from the neck down, dedicated staff put this technology to further use by encouraging the animal to walk again.

When Reo was 24 years old in 2006, he suddenly became paralysed when a portion of his spinal cord became inflamed.

For the first ten months thereafter, the chimpanzee was severely disabled, lying on his back. He gradually recovered enough to sit up, and could later pull himself upright by using suspended ropes.

Intensive physiotherapy over a period of 41 months followed, after which he was able to climb about again using only his arms.

To aid Reo’s ultimate integration back among the other twelve animals held at the institute, his carers decided to try to get him walking again.

They incorporated a computerised task in this process. This was considered an option because in his youth Reo had learnt how to perform cognitive tasks on a touch panel, and in so doing had become used to receiving food rewards whenever he succeeded at tasks presented to him.

A computer-controlled monitor was, therefore, placed on one wall, and cognitive tasks were again put to him.

The rehabilitation sessions encouraged him to increase his movements considerably, and he started walking up to five hundred metres in a two-hour session.

“Cognitive tasks may be a useful way to rehabilitate physically disabled chimpanzees, and thus improve their welfare in captivity,” Sakuraba said.