News

Sony announces new noise cancelling headphones (WH-1000XM3)

image from Sony

I was a huge fan of the original MDR-1000X before my hand band started cracking. It had world class noise cancelling that was better than the Bose equivalent, an amazing 20 hour battery life, great sound quality, and neat features like being able hear conversations around you while still cancelling out other noise. The reason I ended up getting rid of it and not getting the updated WH-1000XM2 was largely due to the cracked head band and bad microphone that made it hard for me to use it for conference calls.

It has been two iterations since then. Sony announced today the 3rd generation WH-1000XM3. The device now supports USB-C charging with 5 hours of charge after just 10 minutes. It also has a completely new audio processor, the QN1, that is said to improve the noise cancelling even further. The new processor also includes a 32-bit DAC and amplifier which should also improve the audio quality.

As someone that definitely misses the MDR-1000X, I am definitely interested in picking these up. With early reviews saying the noise cancelling blocking out almost all sound on an airplane, you’ll definitely see a review on these in the future.

News Rumors

Everything we know about the Pixel 3

image from Rozetked

The Pixel 3 is a highly anticipated phone that is reportedly launching in October. The recent leaks are getting out of hand. Multiple videos and images have surfaced throughout the past couple weeks that have

Pixel 3 XL will feature a large front notch that houses two front facing cameras.

image from Rozetked

Multiple leaks and rendered have shown the large notch that will be on the Pixel 3 XL. This notch is going to house two front facing cameras which rumored to be used for a wide angle selfies and a “super selfie” mode.

Pixel 3 will have wireless charging

A leaked video has also confirmed that the Pixel 3 will have wireless charging. This is quite exciting as the Pixel 3 looks to be the first Pixel/Nexus phone that is going to support this technology, finally catching up to other flagships that have supported it for years.

Pixel 3 will still have a single rear camera

image from Rozetked

Google looks to be continuing the single rear camera trend. This shouldn’t be much of a surprised considering the single camera on the Pixel 2 has been and still is one of the best smartphone cameras on the market. Google is still able to do more with less.

images from xda-developer

CPU, GPU, RAM, and Storage we expect

Much of the other specifications are in line with what we expect. The CPU is the new Snapdragon 845 with the Adreno 630 GPU. The RAM is staying at 4GB and the storage will still be 64GB and 128GB variants. No word on whether they will offer higher storage capacity.

Slightly smaller battery on Pixel 3 XL

The leaked Pixel 3 XL has a battery of 3,430 mAh which is 90 mAh lower than the Pixel 2 XL. With the new processor, I do not think there will be much difference in battery life between the Pixel 3 XL and Pixel 2 XL.

Some New Accessories

image from Rozetked

In the accessories department it looks like the Pixel 3 XL will be getting a new usb-c wired Pixel buds.

Will you be getting one?

The Pixel 3 leaks have left little to the imagination. Given everything we know so far, will you be getting a Pixel 3?

News

Surface Go is official: The 10 inch $399 mini Surface

image via Microsoft

Microsoft announced the Surface Go a couple weeks ago and demo units have finally started popping up in retails stores. The 10 inch 1.15lbs device is said to be running Windows 10 in S-mode with the ability to do a one time switch to full Windows 10 if the user so desires. The device also supports the usual array of accessories that the bigger Surface Pro supports, from the surface pen to the surface dial. A smaller version of the Type Cover with the Alcantara is also available for purchase as an accessory.

image via Microsoft

The device starts at $399 for the 4GB RAM 64GB eMMC Storage model with the 8GB RAM 128GB SSD being $549. Both models have the Pentium Gold 4415Y CPU and Intel HD Graphics 615. With a 3:2 ratio screen at 1800 x 1200 resolution, the display should be pretty sharp and pleasant to use. Microsoft has also rated this device to get up to 9 hours of video playback.

I have spend a bit of time playing with the demo unit and so far it seems to perform decently well. It certainly should be able to perform basic tasks like email, browsing the web and watching Netflix. Once the unit is officially out on August 2nd, we will dive more deeply into just how far this little tablet can go in terms of performance.

News

Google gets fined €4.34 billion for antitrust practices with Android

image from wikipedia

Google is getting fined 4.34 billion euros for three major antitrust practices on Android. Google now has 90 days to stop these practices or face additional fines. The three antitrust practices that the European Commission are referring to are:

  • Google requiring manufacturers to pre-install Google Search and Chrome as a condition for licensing the Play Store.
  • Large payments made to large manufacturers and mobile network operators on condition that they only pre-install Google Search on their devices.
  • Prevented manufacturers from selling devices with forked versions of Android (e.g. Lineage OS) with pre-install Google apps.

As a consequence of the ruling, Google, at the minimum, would be barred from re-engaging in the above three points. This ruling could fundamentally change the way Google works with manufacturers and the amount of control Google may have on the operating system.

Question is, does Google engaging in these three points stifle competition? I think it does. It is hard to not use Google on an Android phone. On a platform that is designed to be open source, this should not be the case. I think the best solution is to give the consumer choice when they first setup the phone and allow them to import the previous configuration from a previous phone. This way consumers have the option to opting to default to a different browser and different default search while still having the ability to use the Play Store.

What do you think? Please comment below!

Source: EC Press Release

News

Macbook Pro 13 and 15 finally get refreshed, but not by much

Macbook Pro 13 and 15 finally get refreshed, but not by much

image via Apple

After 2 years, Apple has finally taken the time to refresh their aging macbook pro line up. The refresh is mostly a spec bump and includes a handful of new features. The Macbook Pro 13 inch with touch-bar now finally has an 8th generation processor and can be configured up to 2TB of storage. The 15 inch Macbook Pro now has the option of using the i9 six core processor, up to 32GB of RAM, and 4TB of storage. Both models are said to have quieter keyboard (though that was never the compliant of the older model), ability to use Siri without having to hit any key, and the ability for the screen to automatically change color temperatures based on where you are. Given that there has been a 2 year gap, ideally we would of liked to see a complete redesign. With Microsoft’s surface line and other Windows laptops innovating at a faster pass, its getting harder to justify the premium of a Macbook.

Source: Apple

News

Third Party Apps reading your Gmail? Yup, that is happening

Third Party Apps reading your Gmail? Yup, that is happening

image via wikipedia

A recent Wall Street Journal article has done an in depth report on Third Party applications reading your email contents sometimes without your explicit consent. Many of these companies (e.g. Earny) rely on your email content to create better algorithms, generate information to sells to other party for advertisement and/or marketing. Often times, your personal emails can accidentally end up on servers or read by an actual employee to improve their service. Although this is the reality of making machine learning algorithms better, companies should give users more control over their own data. As a consumer, make sure to take some time to throughly read through any privacy policy and user agreements when signing up for a service. It is often times best to do some research on how a particular company monetizes and then decide whether you are okay with trading your privacy for the free and convenient service.

Source: Wall Street Journal

News

Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL design leaks

image via twitter by OnLeaks

Designs of the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL have leaked out on Twitter by OnLeaks. Looking at these renders, the device looks to be pretty similar to the Pixel 2 line. The only obvious differences between the Pixel 2 vs 3 seem to be the addition of the notch for the XL model, the 16:9 ratio screen for the regular model, and the dual front facing cameras that both model possess. It will be interesting to see what Google plans on doing with the front facing dual camera setup.

Source: OnLeaks

News

RAMpage vulnerability on all Android Devices since 2012

Looks like a potential security vulnerability exploiting a hardware bug that allows Android apps to potentially full access of the device and its data. Although this attack has only been reproduced on a few Android devices and not consistently, researchers suspect the exploit to affect all Android phone since 2012 and potentially also Apple devices, VMs and PCs. There is already a proposed mitigation fix that has been suggested by the researcher that found this bug and Google is currently testing to see the performance impact that it may bring to day to day use. We do also want to stress that the likelihood of a large scale attack using this vulnerability is low. This is not an easy vulnerability to exploit. Regardless, keep an eye out for a fix for CVE-2018-9442.

Source: Bleepingcomputers, Ars Technica